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, as shown in the figure on the right. Below, we offer six different models1 of Community-Engaged Teaching, describe key features, and offer examples of each at the University of Michigan.

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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 Additional/Extra Credit

  • 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.