The Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning

stairs shows levels of engagement from learning basics to building skills to applying principles

We help prepare undergraduate, graduate, and professional students for community-engaged learning in both curricular and co-curricular settings. Our sessions are designed to be interactive, engaging, and tailored to faculty and student needs depending on community contexts and participants' levels of engagement. In 2019-2020 we offered over 100 sessions for students across the university. 

In response to the Covid-19 crisis, we are currently offering only virtual workshops to prepare students to ethically enter, engage and exit communities; we encourage instructors to incorporate some or all of the Community Engagement MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) into your courses. We are currently offering both in person and virtual sessions. 

Use our Support Request Form to request a consultation or workshop.  Contact us at or if you have any questions about how we can work with you to prepare your students for community engagement. Join our Academic Partner mailing list to stay informed about upcoming events and opportunities!  

How do I...

Learn more about the kinds of workshops offered by the Ginsberg Center?

We offer a range of workshops based on participants' experience level and form of community engagement, from students who are particpating in a one-day service event for the first time to those who are leading out their own community-engaged projects. No matter the context, Ginsberg staff can work with you to tailor workshop content to your goals.

  • Introduction to Community Engagement
    Participants learn key principles of effective community engagement when engaging for the first time, often in introductory courses or programs​
    For students who are:
    • Beginning to explore ways to engage with communities
    • Attending one-time service events
    • Returning regularly to sites for direct service but working not towards any particular project
  • Applying Principles to Build Skills
    Participants develop and practice skills to effectively apply key principles of effective community engagement. Participants at this level learn more about key elements of successful partnerships and potentially develop tangible products for their community partners.
    For students who are leading projects for a course, program, or student organization. Students at this level may be:
    • Establishing a new partnership with community partners
    • Designing or consulting on community-based projects
    • Assisting with a research project
  • Applying Principles to Self-Directed Projects
    Participants apply the basic principles of community engagement and learn skills to complete a self-directed project or research.
    For students who are responsble for completing undergraduate or graduate level:
    • Fellowships
    • Capstone experiences
    • Community-engaged research
  • Anti-Racist Community Engagement
    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:

1. Adapted from 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)

Request a workshop for students involved in my course, research or program?

  • We offer workshops for community-engaged courses with more than 10 students.
    • If your class has less than 10 students, please encourage your students to attend one of our public workshops, described in more detail below. 
  • To request a workshop, please complete our Support Request Form
    • If you have not worked with us before, requests must be submitted 1 month in advance
    • For repeat requests, requests must be submitted 3 weeks in advance
  • Potential workshop topics include, among others:
    • Entering, engaging and exiting communities in reciprocal, ethical, and respectful ways
    • Applying principles of community engagement
    • Best Practices for community-engaged research
    • Social identities, power and privilege
    • Collaborative leadership in community engagement
  • We also provide follow-up workshops
    • One of our Graduate Academic Liaisons can be assigned to your class to offer multiple sessions tailored to your course context to build on and apply the ideas and principles mentioned in an intial session or in the Community Engagement MOOC.
    • Please indicate your interest in a follow-up session on the Support Request Form.

View upcoming public workshops open to all students?

Use online materials, such as the Community Engagement MOOC, to prepare my students?

  • Ginsberg staff collaborated on a Community Engagement 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
  • 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 Suppport Request Form to request a follow-up session

Prepare my students to make one-day service events more effective?

  • Prepare your participants to maximize benefits for both your program and community partners:
    • Check Yourself Checklist: a quick list of things to consider before engaging
    • Community Engagement online course: a more in-depth preparation with 5 modules that can be taken separately or all at once.
    • Ginsberg Center staff can answer any questions about these resources, and provide advising/consultation/support on how you can move forward as a group. We can also answer questions about logistics, reflection, and training prior to the day of service.
  • Use the guide for volunteering in groups that breaks down the process from start to day of.
  • If you share the link with your students, be sure to remind students to explain why they are reaching out to your organization, including information about the course and/or program