The Ginsberg Center consults regularly with U-M faculty, instructors, staff, and graduate students who are designing new, or refining existing, community-engaged courses or research. Our consultations offer best practices for community engagement, informed not only by the growing field of community-engaged scholarship but also by suggestions from numerous conversations with our community partners.
In response to the Covid-19 Crisis, we are offering virtual consultations, workshops, and Community of Practice gatherings. In addition, we have compiled ideas and resources to adapt your community-engaged course for virtual instruction.
To schedule a consultation or workshop, complete our Support Request Form or contact us at email@example.com. Join our Academic Partner mailing list to stay informed about upcoming events and opportunities!
How does Ginsberg Center define 'community-engaged'?
The Ginsberg Center uses the term community-engaged scholarship to describe any scholarly endeavor -- courses, research, service, or other learning experiences -- that puts community-defined needs at its center. Community-engaged scholarship describes a hands-on experience within a community that has several key components:
- Addresses societal needs not currently being fully met by other sectors
- Produces reciprocal benefits for community partners, campus partners, and students
- Intentionally integrates community-based needs and academic learning objectives
- Prepares students for engagement and promotes ongoing reflection and/or critical analysis
- Interrogates structures of inequality and questions the distribution of power
- Supports the development of a lifelong commitment to civic engagement
Community partners are active participants in the process of identifying needs and developing appropriate interventions and projects to address these needs. Faculty, staff, and, students work in collaboration with community partners to consider the impact on communities before, during, and after community engagement.
Why should you implement community-engaged scholarship?
Community-engaged scholarship is a high impact practice. Evidence shows that participation in these activities has the greatest positive impact on students' academic success, graduation rates, personal and interpersonal development, and other measures of learning (NSSE 2008).
High impact practices induce student behaviors that lead to meaningful learning outcomes (Kuh 2008):
- Investing time and effort
- Interacting with faculty and peers about substantive matters
- Experiencing diversity
- Responding to more frequent feedback
- Reflecting and integrating learning
- Discovering relevance of learning through real-world applications
Community-engaged scholarship engages faculty, staff, students, and community partners in broader civic and social engagement efforts, promoting a lifelong commitment to civic engagement.
Further Reading: Fitzgerald, H. E., Bruns, K., Sonka, S. T., & Furco, A. (2012). The Centrality of Engagement in Higher Education. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 16(3), 7–27.
What are examples at the University of Michigan?
We have gathered examples from across the University that show how your peers are supporting UM's mission of serving the public good while advancing their scholarship and supporting student learning. You can browse a range of collborations, courses, research projects, student partnerships, and other projects designed to share expertise.
The FAQs below highlight key ideas and additional resources for your community-engaged efforts.
How can I...
Design my course to allow both university and community partners to get what they want and need?
- Exchange information with community partners about goals, desired outcomes, students’ learning, and capacity.
- Be conscious of not promising more than you can deliver.
- Agree on expectations between yourself, partner(s) and students, including communication preferences and how conflicts will be resolved.
- Provide structured support for students before they work with community partners to develop required skills to minimize potential harm to communities.
- Proactively discuss how community partners would prefer to be recognized and compensated for their time and cooperation.
- To learn more, review our digital resource, “Best Practices for Community-Engaged Teaching”
- For online or hybrid courses, we offer additional considerations here, which includes our Best Practices for Online Community-Engaged Teaching.
- We would be glad to support your course design process. You can request a consultation by completing our Support Request Form or contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Promote my students' civic and democratic engagement?
The current crises facing our communities and country highlights the critical necessity for having all of our interests represented by elected officials and governing bodies.
- Share the Pathways to Civic Engagement with your students and encourage them to explore multiple pathways in and our of your course. This complementary resource also offers academic partners specific strategies to support students' civic learning through each Pathway.
- We offer tools and strategies for integrating civic engagement into your courses, with support from our campus and national civic partners, to support students’ full engagement in civic life.
Assess student learning?
- We offer recommendations, resources and tools to support you in assessing students' learning. Included on this page:
- Key recommendations
- Community-engaged course evaluation questions
- Tools for assessing student learning
- Resources to support reflection
- Annotated bibliography of research on assessing community-engaged learning, across course, school and institutional levels
[ONGOING SUPPORT AND RESOURCES]
Get support and feedback on my community-engaged teaching, research, or program?
- Attend one of our upcoming workshops or Community of Practice gatherings.
- Our Events Calendar lists our current sessions. Please note this list includes events for both faculty and students.
- The next Ginsberg Community of Practice with meet on six Fridays in June and July of 2021. Applications are now open.
- Request a private workshop for your unit or department; we can work with you to select the appropriate session or customize content.
- To suggest additional workshop topics, please email email@example.com.
- Request a one-on-one consultation with a Ginsberg Center staff member,
- Fill out our Support Request Form, or
- Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Join our Academic Partner mailing list to stay informed about upcoming events and opportunities!
Help students learn more about local communities?
Consider crafting assignments around the following resources based on the community engagement focus of your course, research or program.
- Washtenaw County
- Ann Arbor: Local Historical Sites & Oral History Collection
- Yspilanti: Local History
- United Way's Equity Challenge in Washtenaw County
- Detroit Historical Society's Oral & Written History Archive
- D community: Online database or organizations
- City Council Videos: Committees cover different topics
- Data Driven Detroit Toolbox
- UM's Library Guide on Detroit
- United Way's Equity Challenge on State of Michigan
Reference current scholarship to inform my teaching and research?
- Explore our journal, The Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning
- Explore the selected bibliography from our journal, MJCSL.
- MJCSL's Special Issue on Community Impact
- Some additional references to get you started:
- Howe, C. W., Coleman, K., Hamshaw, K., & Westdijk, K. (2014). Student Development and Service-Learning: A Three-Phased Model for Course Design. The International Journal of Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement, 2(1), pp. 44-62.
- Jacoby, B. (2014). Service-learning essentials questions, answers, and lessons learned. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
- Mitchell, T. D. (2008). Traditional vs. critical service-learning: engaging the literature to differentiate two models. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 14(2), 50-65.
- Explore our annotated bibliography on assessing student learning.
Explore funding opportunities to support my community-engaged efforts?
- The Ginsberg Center uses a collective funding model to offer Faculty Community Engagement Grants.
- The LSA Course Development Grants, administered by the Ginsberg Center, support community-engaged courses in LSA.
- Engaged Michigan, through the Provost's office, lists additional funding opportunities to support faculty teaching and research.