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Service Learning Opportunities

Earn Credit and Make a Difference!

The Department of Psychology offers multiple ways to become involved in the community while earning credit toward your degree. Each of the Service Learning Courses below fulfills the experiential lab requirement for the Psychology major. Both Psychology and BCN majors will find the Service Learning Courses to be a rewarding experience that allows you to apply your knowledge outside of the classroom.

Please see the sections below for more details regarding our Service Learning Courses.

Detroit Initiative- Psych 325

Detroit Initiative- Psych 325

Established in 1995, the Detroit Initiative seeks to provide opportunities for students to engage in further education, service, and research in the Detroit area through a focus on community-identified priorities.

Each Detroit Initiative course contains an internship component, where students spend 2-4 hours each week working with a community-based organization in Detroit. At these sites, students participate in such activities as tutoring or supervising children in after-school or summer programs, working on community education projects or on community research projects, and or doing outreach into the community. Internships are supervised by the instructor and program staff, as well as by a staff person at the community-based organization.

The Detroit Initiative offers three undergraduate psychology courses during Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer terms under the course Psych 325. These classes are also cross-listed with American Culture. For more information regarding these courses, please visit the Detroit Initiative website.

Michigan Mentorship- Psych 304

Michigan Mentorship- Psych 304

Michigan Mentorship offers a unique opportunity for undergraduates to help local “at risk” grade school students by acting as mentors. This program has been very successful, as young students experience personal gains in self-confidence, persistence, self-knowledge, support and friendship.

Through Michigan Mentorship, UM students volunteer in Ann Arbor Public Schools and Peace Neighborhood Center. Students gain valuable experiences that help them better understand theories of motivation, child development, and learning. We aim to help shape an individual’s perspective and outlook on life.

An application is required before enrolling in Psych 304. If you are interested in obtaining an application, please email Dr. Ellen Quart at equart@umich.edu.

Michigan Mentorship is offered during Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer terms. For more information, please visit the Michigan Mentorship website.

Project Outreach- Psych 211

Project Outreach- Psych 211

Project Outreach offers an opportunity for UM students to provide meaningful service to others while learning about psychology in action. The purpose of Project Outreach is to allow students to learn about themselves and psychology by becoming involved in community settings. Outreach students engage in real work in the community,
designed to meet community needs.

With five unique sections, Project Outreach allows students to identify a particular topic of interest, learn about psychology as it relates to their section topic, and volunteer in relevant environments.

Please see the blue drop-down sections below for more details about the five Project Outreach topics:

  • Early Childhood Care
  • Mental Wellness
  • Psychology and Criminal Justice
  • Health Psychology
  • Psychology at Work

Requirements:

Attendance at lectures and small group discussions, two hours per week
Discussion participation
Responsible participation in placements, four hours per week
Completion of a weekly journal
Class project

Transportation: M-Bus, AATA, personal vehicle, or a UM vehicle.

Any questions regarding Project Outreach can be sent to project.outreach@umich.edu.

Project Outreach Group Leading- Psych 306

Project Outreach Group Leading- Psych 306

 

Psych 306 gives students the opportunity to take on a leadership role within Project Outreach. Once enrolled in Psych 306, students are trained to be Group Leaders for Psych 211 students. Group Leader responsibilities include facilitating small group discussions, maintaining a relationship with a placement site, grading assignments and providing feedback, demonstrating sensitivity to multicultural differences in a classroom setting, and more.

While it is helpful to have previously taken Psych 211 before enrolling in Psych 306, it is not required.

Students may become a Group Leader for any of the following sections:

  • Early Childhood Care
  • Mental Wellness
  • Psychology & Criminal Justice
  • Health Psychology
  • Psychology at Work

Enrolling in Psych 306 requires a short application process. You may apply to be a Group Leader here!

Any questions regarding Project Outreach can be sent to project.outreach@umich.edu.

Please see the sections below for more information regarding specific sections of Project Outreach.

Psych 211-002: Early Childhood Care

Lectures and discussions for this section occur on Tuesdays from 4:00-5:50 p.m.

Experiences during early childhood care are critically important to the future well-being of a child. How do young children learn to navigate the world on their own? Students in this section volunteer  as mentors to children ages 2-5 in community preschools and daycare centers. First-hand interaction with preschoolers, teachers, and parents requires patience, presence, and commitment. Students observe change and growth as they support their mentees in cognitive and social development.   

Examples of Placement Sites:

  • Ann Arbor Public Schools
  • Community Day Care
  • First United Methodist Cooperative Nursery
  • Michigan Medicine Children’s Center
  • Washtenaw Promise

Psych 211-003: Mental Wellness

Lectures and discussions for this section occur on Tuesdays from 4:00-5:50 p.m.

Most people experience mental health issues at some point in their lives, but many are unable to access treatment. Students in this section learn about evidence-based treatments designed for greater accessibility. For their placement hours, students participate in a novel mental health program developed at UM. Working in small groups, students are trained and rotate through member, assistant, and facilitator roles. In a future term, students are eligible to become facilitators working with the public.

Examples of Placement Sites: 

  • Students in this section train with student peer groups at UM.

Psych 211-004: Psychology and Criminal Justice

Lectures and discussions for this section occur on Thursdays from 4:00-5:50 p.m.

One in two adults has had an immediate family member incarcerated in jail or prison, with even higher rates for Black and Indigenous people. How are psychological concerns (e.g., substance abuse, violence, mental health, racial bias) addressed in legal settings?  In this section, students work directly with juvenile or adult offenders as volunteers in field placements. These service experiences expose  psychological concerns within the legal and criminal justice systems.

Examples of Placement Sites:

  • Center for Forensic Psychiatry
  • Cooper Street Correctional Facility
  • Guiding Harbor
  • Monroe County Youth Center
  • Washtenaw County Jail
  • Washtenaw County Youth Center

Psych 211-005: Health Psychology

Lectures and discussions for this section occur on Thursdays from 4:00-6:00 p.m.

Many psychological, behavioral, and cultural factors contribute to physical health and illness. In this section, students gain direct service experience with patients in a variety of supervised residential and outpatient healthcare settings. Students offer empathy, emotional support, and companionship to individuals with disabilities, mental illness, substance abuse, neurological issues, and end of life concerns. Students learn about the interaction of psychological and health concerns in health and illness.

Examples of Placement Sites:

  • Chelsea Retirement Community Senior Living and Preschool
  • Glacier Hills
  • Sophie's Place
  • Story Point Senior Living
  • Vibrant Senior Living

Psych 211-006: Psychology at Work

Lectures and discussions for this section occur on Wednesdays from 4:00-6:00 p.m.

Psychology is everywhere, so students pursue a wide variety of career directions. To explore psychology in the professions, students volunteer service in field placements related to psychology. Section meetings develop “soft skills” for navigating the workplace, including communication, networking, presentation, teamwork, conflict resolution, and negotiation. Students also develop resumes, conduct mock interviews, and create professional profiles. 

Examples of Placement Sites:

  • Community Action Network
  • Department of Psychology Student Admin and Academic Affairs Offices
  • Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network (OPEN)
  • Washtenaw Alive
  • Wolverines for Life