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What is Project Community?

Project Community is the Sociology Department's community service learning opportunity.

Project Community is comprised of two courses:

  • Sociology 225 is the entry level course available to all students (first-years through seniors)
  • Sociology 325 is the course taken by the course’s Peer Facilitators (PFs), most of whom have been recruited from our SOC 225 students.

Mission

Project Community is committed to student involvement 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.  By engaging in service and complementary active learning, students grow in social responsibility, develop critical thinking skills, assess personal values, and come to better understand themselves.  Students are primarily involved with individuals in the community who experience social inequalities, and learn with, from, and about them.

Program History

Project Community was founded on the U-M campus by the student activists of the 1960s, responding to John F. Kennedy's call to "ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

Early members of this student organization traveled to the Deep South to participate in the Civil Rights Movement and were challenged by the Movement's leaders to work for social justice in their home communities.

Initially volunteering at schools, prisons and hospitals in the Ann Arbor area, these students sought out faculty who could support their community practice with academic theory through independent study.

In the 1970s Project Community became a formal course, a partnership between the Department of Sociology and the Division of Student Affairs' Ginsberg Center.

Why Should I Participate in Project Community?

Most students who participating in Project Community register for the course SOC 225. This course, known as a service-learning course, is an ideal experiential complement to the regular academic instruction provided by Department of Sociology faculty. It can be a useful tool for getting acquainted with the “real-life” applications of sociology or a meaningful capstone for an upper-level student who has already completed several SOC courses. Participants develop and hone communication skills and make meaningful connections and contributions to Ann Arbor and metro-Detroit communities.

Students interested in a more in-depth involvement in the program can apply to be a Peer Facilitator.  Peer Facilitators take Sociology 325 - a more in-depth course where students learn leadership and facilitation skills.  These students participate on-site with the other Project Community students, but the lead the weekly discussions connecting the courses readings to what students are experiencing in their community service placements.

A Project Community student in SOC 225.102: America Reads works with a local elementary student.