Prepare students for community engagement

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We help prepare undergraduate, graduate, and professional students at U-M for community-engaged learning in both curricular and co-curricular settings. Our resources and interactive sessions prepare students across U-M's 19 schools and colleges to engage in a wide range of community-based contexts and types of projects. Our student workshops and resource materials are designed to complement your own pedagogical commitment to preparing students for engagement, and we can consult with you on how to connect our sessions to your own instruction.

Ginsberg Center offers three options to faculty and staff for student preparation:

  • In-Class Workshops - Request a private workshop for your community-engaged course, program, initiative or research project
  • Open Registration Workshops - Have your students register for our open registration workshops, offered year round to U-M students through our Learning in Community Workshop Series (LinC)
  • Asynchronous MOOC - Assign all or part of Community Engagement: Collaborating for Social Change, our asychronous online offering 

We offer a range of workshops based on participants' experience level and form of community engagement, from students who are participating in a one-day service event for the first time to those who are leading out their own community-engaged projects. 

  • Foundations of Community Engagement (50-80 min)- New for 2023-24, this workshop is an updated version of Ginsberg’s long-standing Entering, Engaging, and Exiting (E3) session. 
    • Foundations of Community Engagement is an interactive workshop for students that introduces principles and practices of equitable, ethical community engagement. Participants will develop a deeper understanding of what the term “community engagement” means, as well as the many forms it might take - from research and course-based projects to philanthropy, activism, policy, and direct service. Across all these forms of engagement, participants will learn concepts and actions that promote equitable partnerships, center community-defined priorities, and disrupt entrenched power dynamics between universities and community members. 
      • For students who are:
        • Beginning to explore ways to engage with communities
        • New or newer to community engaged work
        • Enrolled in community-engaged courses
        • Completing assignments that ask students to interact with local community organizations and community members
        • Attending one-time service events
        • Returning regularly to sites for direct service but working not towards any particular project
        • Research assistants on community-engaged research projects


  • Appreciative Interviewing (80 min)
    Participants develop and practice skills to effectively build rapport with, interview and collect stories or information from communities. 
    For intermediate and advanced students who are working on projects with large communication, rapport, and/or interviewing elements. Students at this level may be: 
    • Establishing relationships with community members while working with community partner organization
    • Conducting qualitative research or assisting with a research project
    • Collecting stories or interviews from community partners and/or community members


  • Anti-Racist Community Engagement (80 min+)
    Participants go deeper in discussing the role white supremacy often plays in community engagement and learn strategies for actively resisting symptoms of white supremacy in their partnerships.
    For intermediate to advanced students who have some familiarity with issues of racial justice and basic principles of ethical community engagement. It is recommended that students prepare for this session by:


  • Exiting a Community Engaged Project (50-80 min)
    An important goal of community-engaged learning experiences is for students to have a positive, humanizing, and sustainable impact on the communities they work with. Students reaching the end of a community-engaged course or service project should prepare to exit a community with these goals in mind. In this interactive session, students will explore what it means to exit a project sustainably; discuss the outputs, outcomes, and impacts of their project; identify important questions to ask their community partners in preparation for exiting a project; and discuss and work on their exit plan.
    • For students who are:
      • Coming to the end of a community-engaged project, or their part in a community-engaged project
      • New or newer to community engagement work
      • Enrolled in a community-engaged course
      • Completing assignments that ask students to interact with local communities
      • Attending one-time service events
      • Returning regularly to sites for direct service but not working toward any particular project
      • Research assistants on community-engaged research projects

We offer workshops for community-engaged courses, projects, and programs at U-M with more than 10 students.

  • If your class has less than 10 students, your students may attend one of our open registration workshops or complete our MOOC
  • To request a workshop, complete our Support Request Form
    • Please submit your request at least 1 month in advance 
    • Availability for course-based workshops is limited due to the volume of requests we receive. Our workshop calendar can fill up fast, especially at the start of each term. Please note that you may be placed on a waitlist or directed to an open registration option. 

We offer a number of our most commonly requested workshops in our Learning in Community (LinC) workshop series open to all students. For classes, programs, or student organizations with fewer than 10 students, we suggest encouraging students to attend one of these LinC workshops.

  • Ginsberg staff collaborated on a Community Engagement: Collaborating for Social Change MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) to provide content, videos, activities and reflections for learners to better understand community engagement, and how they may more effectively engage in their practice.
  • The MOOC can be taken in its entirety or any portion or combination of modules to supplement or replace preparation you already offer. 
  • As part of the UM Community, you and your students receive full and uninterrupted access to the course, as well as the ability to gain a certificate of completion, for free. You'll also have access to the course after the course run ends (it becomes a course within your "Archived Course" tab in edX). It is not possible to track individual student participation at this time. For questions about technical aspects of the MOOC, please contact the development team at  [email protected].
  • Ginsberg Center staff can help you to identify which of the five modules might work best for your community-engaged context. We can also offer a follow-up workshop for your course, research or program to build on the ideas and activities from the MOOC. Use our Support Request Form to request a follow-up session
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foundations of community engagement