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Begun by the Division of Student Affairs and the Department of Sociology in 1973, Project Community is one of the longest-running academically-accredited service-learning courses in the nation. The mission of Project Community is to involve students in community service and social action, both to improve the lives of those in the community as well as to enhance student learning and development.

Students may choose one of two Project Community courses, both of which include a community service component, a weekly reflection seminar, and assigned readings and writings. Most students elect Sociology 389: Practicum in Sociology, and choose to serve in educational institutions, health agencies, criminal justice facilities, or programs assisting those with housing issues or experiencing homelessness. Within those settings, students can choose to work with specific populations such as women, the elderly, or the developmentally disabled. Students may also elect Education 317: Participation/Observation in a Classroom, and tutor children in schools. The course tenets are as follows:

  • Praxis in which action is informed by an ongoing cycle and equal valuing of theory, reflection and experience
  • Co-learning in which the role boundaries dividing teachers and learners are blurred
  • Peer learning in which students serve in learning leadership roles
  • Community in which an intentional effort is made to develop a community of learners n the classroom
  • Personal learning in which connected and intuitive ways of learning are valued alongside analytical, objective ways of knowing

For further information on Project Community visit http://www.umich.edu/~mserve/pc/.