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Institutional Programs

The institutional programs of the University of Costa Rica are interdisciplinary coordination opportunities centered on a theme of strategic interest to improve the quality of life of the country’s inhabitants.

The cooperative and complementary work promoted in these programs allows for a better utilization of the institutional resources and strengthens the incidence and the leadership role of the University of Costa Rica as a higher education institution committed to the production of socially pertinent knowledge and the establishment of methodological strategies and instruments for development.

Because of their macro-thematic approach, the institutional programs regularly promote the undertaking of a variety of studies and inter-, multi-, and trans-disciplinary meetings to balance out the situation and decide on improvements for its academic activities.

Furthermore, these programs promote projects that put together the capacities of different units in the same territory or place to achieve a potentially replicable comprehensive approach or guide the interventions in other contexts.

The institutional programs of the University of Costa Rica are the following:

  • The University Child Centers (CIUS) are an institutional program dedicated to the integral care of children under the age of six. They are located in five campuses of the University of Costa Rica and aim at contributing to the integral development of children, their families, their communities, and the national educational system assisted by a variety of disciplines to produce happy people and a better quality of life.

    The Program organizes teaching, research, social outreach, and student affair activities and projects and has the following care centers:

    For more information, contact the Centros Infantiles Universitarios, visit the Facebook profile Acción Social, UCR, or call (506) 2511-5272. 

  • Since 1999, as a permanent component of the university activities and their external linkages, the Risk Management and Disaster Reduction Program has aimed at developing a disaster and risk management culture in order to minimize the vulnerabilities in case of emergencies or disasters.

    Among other actions, the Program offers training to the Risk Management and Emergency Response Committees of the Institution that operate in the Academic and Administrative Units, research centers and institutes, libraries, student residences, and regional campuses in order to set up strategies and actions geared to the reduction and elimination of risks and vulnerabilities when facing threats to the university environment.

    For more information, contact the Programa de Gestión del Riesgo y Reducción de Desastres, the Vice Presidency of Administrative Affairs, or call (506) 2511-1100.

  • The Socio-Environmental Kiosk Program for Community Organization seeks to promote the active participation of citizens by strengthening their organizational capacities and the political and institutional incidence of the community stakeholders in the resolution of environmental issues.

    Currently, the Program works in several regions of the country together with community organizations to protect and defend the natural resources against environmental problems caused by the expansion of monocultures, excessive real-estate and touristic development, irrational exploitation of natural resources, and violation of the environmental regulations.

    The Program works in three areas:

    • Information and Communication: it consists on generating communication processes in the communities to disseminate and inform them about socio-environmental conflicts by means of field trips with participation of students of the community outreach program (TCU) and the production of audiovisual and written materials.
    • Legal and Technical Advisory: it seeks to make available the technical tools, academic background, and scientific and professional expertise of the University on socio-environmental issues by coordinating with professionals and scholars that carry out studies and investigations and train students and the community at large in technical and legal issues of environmental risks and their implications.
    • Organizational Support: it promotes the creation of community spaces, such as workshops, gatherings, meetings, and training sessions to reflect on and analyze the problems related to the environmental threats and risks found in the local and national realities.

    For more information, contact Kioskos Socio-Ambientales, visit the Facebook profile Programa Kioskos Socio-Ambientales para la Organización Comunitaria UCR, call (506) 2211-5035 or (506) 2280-1840, or write to or .

  • The Institutional Program on Leadership with Human Development promotes the integral formation of transformational committed leaders and entrepreneurs who take on the challenge to lead the processes of change for themselves and others with ethics.

    The Leadership Program benefits the students of the University of Costa Rica and is implemented in all its regional campuses. In addition, it works with the communities through social outreach projects and the coordination and alliances with community organizations, organisms, universities, and other entities that believe in the need to strengthen personal leadership as a fundamental foundation for human improvement in its different roles and scenarios.  

    For more information, contact the Programa de Liderazgo, located in the first floor of the College of Pharmacy, visit its Facebook profile Programa de Liderazgo UCR, call (506) 2511-8319, or write to .

  • Since 2006, the Open Education Program (PEA) has had the purpose of contributing to the academic improvement of the University’s employees who want to start, continue, or finish their GDE. Furthermore, as part of its community projection commitment, the Institution also sets quotas to allow people from the community and employees’ relatives to take these courses.

    Students receive integral formation and are constantly motivated to set their own goals and achieve their dreams. The students have the option to take the exams for three courses in each of the two examination sessions held by the Ministry of Public Education each year. Thus, courses are taught in two consecutive cycles according to the dates of the two examination sessions.

    The PEA is registered as a teaching outreach project whose base unit is the School of Social Work.

    For more information, contact the Programa de Educación Abierta, call (506) 2511-6741, 2511-6742 or 2511-6743, or write to .


  • The Comprehensive Program for Adults and Senior Citizens (PIAM) seeks to respond to the needs of this group through social inclusion and participation in the various areas of the University of Costa Rica.

    In 1986 the Institution opened its doors to adults and senior citizens for them to take regular courses. Later, specific courses targeted to this population were designed. At present, people over the age of 50 may take semester-long courses under both of these categories.

    Classes start in March and August of each year according to the calendar of the University’s regular courses.

    For more information, contact the Programa Integral para la Persona Adulta y Adulta Mayor or visit us at the following address: from the Fuente de la Hispanidad 100 meters east and 25 meters north; call (506) 2234-8492 or 2511-1500; or write to .

  • Through its University Nutrition Education and Care Program (PREANU), the School of Nutrition proposes and implements educational methodologies aimed at improving people’s quality of life through good nutrition habits; it also provides nutritional consulting services to individuals and groups.

    This program was created in 2006 and has nutrition clinics that focus on children and adolescents, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular and digestive disorders. It also offers programs such as “Lose Weight While Eating Healthily” and “Nutrition Traveling Classroom.”

    Among other services, the PREANU offers nutritional consultancy to pregnant and nursing women, nutrition consultancy for children and adolescents; individual and group nutrition consultancy for adults with overweight and obesity problems, diabetes, cardiovascular and digestive problems, as well as courses and workshops on food and nutrition.

    For more information, contact the School of Nutrition, check its Facebook profile PREANU/ Programa de Educación y Atención Nutricional Universitario, UCR, call (506) 2511- 2166, or write to .

  • The Scientific and Technological Information Program for Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (PREVENTEC) compiles and processes technological and satellite data to warn about and reduce the impact of disasters. This is done through the in-depth study of the dynamic processes of threats and risks, such as floods, landslides, and eruptions. It also supports decision-making processes and is an academic and scientific ally to the National Emergency Commission (CNE).

    To achieve its goals, PREVENTEC also has the support of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MICIT). In 2005, it was declared to be of national interest. It encourages all of the Governmental institutions to support its activities within their possibilities and the respective regulations.

    For more information, contact PREVENTEC, visit its Facebook profile PREVENTEC.UCR, call (506) 2280-1830, or write to .

  • The Interdisciplinary Study and Social Outreach Program on Children’s and Adolescents’ Rights (PRIDENA) is a space to produce, transfer, and disseminate knowledge about children and adolescent’s issues.

    The PRIDENA was created in 2002 as a teaching outreach project in the School of Social Work, under the Vice Presidency of Social Affairs. Since then, it has strengthened and diversified its themes and has created working groups that study the situation of this population from a human-rights perspective.

    This program, together with UNICEF, prepares the Sate of Children’s and Adolescents’ Rights (EDNA) report.

    For more information, contact PRIDENA, call (506) 2511-5079 or 2511-6390, or write to .

  • The Institutional Program on Disabilities (PRODIS) has as its goal the coordination of disability-related programs, projects, and activities at the University of Costa Rica in order to strengthen the full exercise of the rights of people with disabilities.

    Through this Program, the University contributes to the development of an academic, teaching, and administrative environment that is free from discrimination, exclusion, and social inequality, while promoting in the university, national, and international community the respect, dignity, and promotion of the rights of people with disabilities.

    For more information, contact PRODIS or the Vice Presidency of Social Affairs, call (506) 2511-4486 or 2511-8247, or write to .

  • The Regional Resource Program for the Deaf (PROGRESO) of the University of Costa Rica, together with the School of Counseling and Special Education, offers courses on Costa Rican Sign Language (LESCO). These courses are geared toward teachers, professionals, relatives, or people over 18 years of age who relate to or directly work with deaf people and the public at large. The courses are recognized by the Costa Rican Civil Service. Classes are taught by deaf people who are specialists in the teaching of LESCO.

    For more information, visit the PROGRESO facilities located across from the Confucius Institute at the Rodrigo Facio Campus, call (506) 2511-4160, or write to

  • The Freedom of Speech, Right to Information and Public Opinion Program (PROLEDI) focuses on the study of, reflection on, and proposal of policies and activities and projects to strengthen the exercise of citizens’ rights to communication and information.

    It was created in 2011 and is registered under the Office of the President of the University of Costa Rica as an academic opportunity to relate to citizens. Since its onset, it has developed a series of public activities and organized reflection sessions about the rights on communication and the need to create public policies on this matter.

    Among other activities, the PROLEDI organizes forums, debates and awareness-raising campaigns about human’s right to communication. It also undertakes research projects in the fields of social communication, sociology, political sciences, and law, as well as on the political influence of the University in various arenas of the national political decisions based on the consultations from Government entities such as the Legislative Assembly, the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic, and the Ombudsman’s Office, among others.

    For more information, contact PROLEDI, visit its Facebook profile PROLEDI-UCR, call (506) 2511-6852, or write to .

  • The Program on the Information and Knowledge Society (PROSIC) originated from a cooperation agreement between the University of Costa Rica and the Costa Rican Power and Telecommunications Institute (ICE) to create a space to analyze and research the importance of guaranteeing universal access to ICTs and reduce the digital divide in Costa Rica.

    Since 2005, the PROSIC has had a multidisciplinary focus on human beings and has been devoted to the study, reflection, analysis, and development of activities and projects for a wider and better use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for society’s benefit.

    This program prepares an annual report that describes the Costa Rican situation regarding access to the ICTs and their development.

    For more information, contact PROSIC, visit its Facebook profile PROSIC-UCR, call (506) 2253-6491, or write to

  • The Volunteering Program offers students the opportunity to channel their free time toward new options that would allow them to understand the reality of their country, be protagonists of their own history, and express their creative potential, as well as to get a more comprehensive formation that would make them more sensitive and committed human beings.  

    The program is geared to all university students in the various campuses and sites. Nevertheless, certain projects require specialized knowledge, so recruiting focuses on students who are in their sixth semester or beyond or who are about to complete their major.

    For more information, contact the Volunteering Program and check its Manual. Or check the social networks: Facebook Programa de Voluntariado UCR; in YouTube, ProgramaVoluntariado; in LiveStream, Programa Voluntariado UCR. Or call (506) 2511-1055 or 2511-1056, or write to .

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