About Projects with Under-served Communities
Projects with Under-served Communities (PUC) is a unique program at The University of Texas at Austin that combines the two challenges of community need and student enrichment in an innovative project-based, service-learning collaboration between the International Office, the Cockrell School of Engineering, and the School of Social Work.
History of Impact
Launched in 2010, PUC uses an innovative yearlong course sequence to hone students’ leadership skills and cultural competency—both vital when competing in an increasingly global job market—while providing much-needed services to communities in developing countries. Projects have been successfully implemented in partnership with communities in Peru, Ghana, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Tanzania, Papua New Guinea and India.
Teams served more than 14,850 people with projects including:
creating access to clean water sources
improved and more sustainable cooking stoves
increased accessibility for handicapped community members
How it Works
PUC combines rigorous coursework with hands-on, practical experience. Engineering and social work students participate in a year-long course while researching and designing projects in response to community needs. They collaborate with a local partner and travel to the community to implement the project during the summer following the completion of the academic course.
Skills gained through PUC:
- Project management
- Project Design
- Collaboration with partners in the local communities
- Cultural awareness
- Community engagement event coordination
- Public speaking and presentation
The application for the PUC 2016-17 cohort is now open! Please APPLY HERE. Please read application instructions very carefully. Application deadline is Monday, March 7th. Please contact the PUC Program Coordinator Julie Westerman at email@example.com with any questions.
Wed-Feb 10, 2016 5:30PM - 6:30PM ETC 2.102
Tue-Feb 16, 2016 5:30PM - 6:30PM ETC 2.132
Wed-Feb 17, 2016 5-6PM Utopia Theatre 2.106 (In Social Work Bldg.)
Thurs-Feb 18, 2016 12:30-1:30PM Utopia Theatre 2.106 (In Social Work Bldg)
In 2015, 22 students put learning into practice as they devised solutions for communities in India, Tanzania and Nicaragua where they worked alongside local partners and stakeholders to construct housing foundations, sanitary latrines, accessibility ramps and drainage solutions. Learn more about the 2015 projects:
To learn more about projects dating back to 2010, visit the PUC past projects page.
Projects with Under-Served Communities Leadership and Partners