The Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning

University of Michigan

What does Community-Engaged Scholarship look like in practice?

Community Engagement can be practiced in many different ways across Teaching, Research & Service. Below, we offer examples from across the University of Michigan.

For help with your community-engaged learning efforts, please complete the Online Request Form or email us at

Faculty Spotlight: Anne Mondro

Anne Mondro, Associate Professor, Stamps School of Art & Design.  Anne and Joe Trumpey, co-taught Social Spacess which explored the ways in which artists and designers work within the public sphere. Students explored the practice of socially engaged art and design while building skills essential to engagement work including how to observe, interview, and collaborate through a partnership with Growing Hope, in Ypsilanti. 

Click here to learn more about Anne's experience with this community-engaged course.  

Models of Community-Engaged Teaching

Hefferenan1 offers six different models of Community-Engaged Teaching. Below, we describe key features, and offer examples of each at the University of Michigan. 



Capstone Course

Service Internship

  • Students work as many as 10 to 20 hours a week in a community setting
  • Charged with producing a body of work that is of value to the community or site.
  • Ongoing faculty-guided reflection to analyze students’ experiences using discipline-based theories  
  • Reciprocity is key: community and students benefit equally from the experience
  • UM Examples:

Action Research

  • Similar to an independent study option for those highly experienced in community work
  • Students work closely with faculty to learn research methodology while serving as advocates for communities
  • Can be effective with small classes or groups of students
  • Assumes that students are/can be trained to be competent in time management and can negotiate diverse communities
  • UM Examples:

Directed Study

  • Students gain additional credit by completing an added community-based project  
  • The instructor serves as the advisor for the directed study option
  • Such arrangements require departmental approval and formal student registration

1. Kerissa Heffernan, Excerpted from Fundamentals of Service-Learning Course Construction. RI: Campus Compact, 2001, pp 2–7, 9.