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Office Hours

Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Office: 713-222-5338
Fax: 713-223-7425

UHD Main Building
Rm: 405 - South


Support UHD



The University of Houston-Downtown has been a proud partner with AVID for Higher Education since 2009.


“AVID for Higher Education was designed specifically to meet the needs of students attending a college or university. It partners with institutions of higher education to systemically address the goals of increased learning, persistence, completion and success in and beyond college. AVID assists postsecondary professionals in analyzing existing student support initiatives and data, identifying barriers and needs, and establishing and assessing student learning outcomes. By supporting faculty and administrators in their efforts to increase student engagement, AVID also supports students in their efforts to earn a college degree. When implemented with fidelity, AVID impacts the expectations and behaviors of postsecondary students, faculty, and administrators through thoughtful and ongoing professional development.” –Eileen Friou, National Director of AVID for Higher Education.

The AVID Center

The Learning Connection and AVID Center:
Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Supplemental Instruction:
Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The University of Houston-Downtown’s AVID Center is the place where students can find academic inspiration and motivation along with just about everything else from movies about the horrors of plagiarism to the occasional zombie themed mid-term celebration. UHD’s AVID Center is located inside the fourth floor Learning Connection (405-S) and home to the offices of AVID site team members Michelle Falcon, Gregory Dement and Mari Nicholson-Preuss. The study room shared by the AVID student mentor/tutors for history can also be found inside the Learning Connection.


Throughout the semester, the Learning Connection’s AVID inspired collaborative learning room hosts events for students enrolled in AVIDized sections of the freshman college success program (CSP). AVID trained student mentor/tutors also use the collaborative learning room for small group tutorial sessions.


In addition to AVID, the Learning Connection serves as the hub of UHD’s thriving Supplemental Instruction (SI) program directed by Ken Luke.


Upcoming AVID Events

There’s always something exciting going on in the Learning Connection!


UHD Avid Upcoming Events
Avid Calendar

What is AVID?

“AVID engages the whole student and the whole campus. Promoting student success is a multidimensional process that requires attention to the student as a whole person. AVID’s holistic approach provides this comprehensive support, and it does so in a way that helps campuses enact the full spectrum of intended learning outcomes espoused in their mission statements.” –Joe Cuseo


For more than thirty years, Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID) has worked to close the achievement gap by ensuring that all students are prepared for college. AVID for Higher Education works with colleges and universities to develop and implement student engagement strategies that promote increased learning, persistence, completion and success.

As a result of our partnership with AVID for Higher Education (AHE), UHD has

  • Incorporated high level questioning strategies and goal setting into the advising process 
  • Offered AVID sections of the college success course taught by AVID site team members
  • Provided professional development on the use of AVID strategies
  • Utilized AVID expertise for the development and improvement of student success initiatives
  • Integrated active learning strategies into classroom instruction
  • Promoted AVID based training for student mentors, tutors, writing associates and SIs
  • Created an AVID Center 

AVID Site Team Members

Chris Birchak, Dean of University College
William Waller, Associate Dean of University College
Gene B. Preuss, Associate Professor, History
Jemma Sylvester-Caesar, Director of Advising Center
Liza Alonzo, Assistant Dean of Students
Caroline Kimberly, Assistant Professor, English
Jovanni Lota, Instructional Librarian
Mari Nicholson-Preuss, Director of University Honors Program


Visit our University College UHD-AVID wiki for more information about AVID, student success and active learning.

Contact Us


The AVID staff is ready to assist you with any questions or concerns.

AVID Staff

Dr. Mari Nicholson-Preuss

Dr. Mari Nicholson-Preuss
History Learning Strategies Instructor


Dr.Gregory Dement

Dr.Gregory Dement

Science Learning Strategies Instructor




AVID Student Assistants


Julie Ibarra-Flores
Julie Ibarra-Flores



Beto Rodriguez
Beto Rodriguez





AVID Student Tutors for History

Aracely Garcia
Aracely Garcia




Ashley Fair

Rachel MacDonald

Rachel MacDonald


Page maintained by:University College

Last updated or reviewed on 1/15/15

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