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About Us

As one of the University's Michigan Learning Communities, MCSP combines the personal attention of a small school with the extensive opportunities of a large research institution.  Our program attracts students with a variety of academic interests who share a commitment to community service.  MCSP helps students transition smoothly from high school to college and prepares them for leadership roles on campus and in their future careers. Students and faculty members meet for classes and office hours and participate in student-organized events in West Quad -- where MCSP students live.  Our living-learning environment creates a comfortable sense of community within the University.  MCSP is sponsored by the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and University Housing.

What does MCSP do?

  • Bridge the living and learning aspects of university life
  • Share a commitment to social justice, democracy, and a diverse community
  • Lead local, national and international community service initiatives

MCSP Student Profile (on average)


Annual MCSP Students


U-M First-year students


Student Leaders (RA, PA, PM)


White to Student-of-Color ratio

High-Impact Educational Practices

MCSP offers unique educational opportunities for undergraduates, which have been widely recognized for their positive impact on student learning, academic achievement, and student satisfaction with college. These include:

  • Learning communities
  • Collaborative projects
  • Close faculty-student interaction
  • First-year seminarsWriting-intensive courses
  • Common intellectual experiences
  • Community service-learning and civic engagement activities
  • Diversity

MCSP Components

  • ALA 102, The “common intellectual experience” course for MCSP
  • First Year Seminars
  • “Learning in Community” Courses (community service learning & intergroup dialogue)
  • English Composition Courses
  • Academic Support
  • Student-run Programming Board
  • Community Service Action Teams
  • Leadership Opportunities: Resident Advisors, Peer Advisors for Programming, Peer Advisors for Community Service, Peer Mentors, Action Team Coordinators, Webmaster
  • Community and a "home" at the U-M

Community Service Opportunities

Community Service Clubs: The PACS team organizes its work of community engagement and service-learning with community partners primarily through three Community Engagement Clubs. These clubs empower first-year students through direct service initiatives, justice education, and reflection while fostering mutual growth and understanding in MCSP, UM, and the wider community. It is a unique experience in which first year students gain leadership experience by planning and participating in reflective service and educational events.

Intergroup Relations Council: MCSP’s "IRC" is a student organization sponsored by MCSP to encourage intentional efforts to build upon its proven track record in serving a community that embraces the diversity and engagement of its students, staff, and faculty and gives strong support to its underrepresented students. The IRC organizes dialogue-style conversations with students on a range of topics both within MCSP and in collaboration with other campus units, educates and supportsstudents from various social identity groups within MCSP, and works to build a strong positive climate for diversity and learning. The IRC also develops programs for MCSP and campus community that focus and educate on diversity, including issues of power and privilege, collaborates in planning such programs with a variety of units on campus, assists in training students for community service and civic engagement by emphasizing boundary-crossing and bridging in order to work effectively and constructively with populations across diverse backgrounds, and helps in planning for MCSP’s MLK Day events (Circle of Unity and others), MCSP’s social justice film series, and coordinating outside speakers. 

Programming Board: Our Programming Board (PB&U) takes a grassroots approach by giving first-year students the chance to create social and service events for their learning community.  In the process of planning engaging programs, they develop lifelong leadership and community-building skills.  Past PB&U events have included a canoe trip to clean-up the Huron River, a Diabetes Awareness Dinner to demystify this commonly misunderstood disease, and a pumpkin-painting party to make Halloween decorations for local families in need.