Parents and Families

Two University of Michigan students take a selfie picture in a plaza in Santiago

Engaged learning opportunities are a hot commodity on campus, and these ‘hands-on, mind-on’ learning chances can help your student discover new knowledge, skills, attitudes, and directions.

U-M Student Life offers hundreds of engaged learning opportunities and programs (many outside the classroom, some for credit) reaching tens of thousands of students. Each year, Student Life adds significantly to the holistic education of the majority of undergraduate students, and many graduate and professional students.

"Engaged Learning," as defined by the Office of the Vice Provost for Global and Engaged Education, means developing your student's:

  • Creativity
  • Intercultural Intelligence
  • Social/Civic Responsibility and Ethical Reasoning
  • Communication, Collaboration, and Teamwork
  • Self-Agency and the Ability to Innovate and Take Risks.

Engaged learning activities include programs on campus, off-campus internships, and local, regional, or global community opportunities, all of which challenge students to actively pose and wrestle with complex, unscripted, or ambiguous challenges. Students in these programs are responsible to ‘real-world’ stakeholders who are invested in the results, and must take intellectual risks and help to create their own learning. Programs range in duration from a handful of hours to efforts extending over multiple years.

One such program is the Michigan International Internship and Service Program (MIISP).  MIISP prepares students for all aspects of their experiences abroad, encourages sustained learning during the travel, and prompts meaningful reflection upon their return.

Led by the International Center, MIISP supports students in the selection of overseas service or work programs, provides general and culture-specific preparation prior to travel, maintains contact via required blogs, email correspondence, and Skype, and then helps students connect the important learning experiences with their academic programs and future life plans.

“MIISP allowed me to work with other students,” relates Leonora Lucaj, 2014 participant, “…to form community, to become more culturally aware and experience diversity.”

The America Reads tutoring program, through the Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning, engages U-M students in area elementary schools to address the challenge of getting all kids reading at grade level by 3rd grade. The U-M tutors receive general instruction in literacy and tutoring strategies, and then work in teams to develop individualized plans for their one-to-one work with tutees.

“The Ginsberg Center’s America Reads program has allowed me to see Detroit through the voices of the kids I work with,” says current tutor David Young. “We read books that have real connections to their lives, and this allows us to push deeper into conversations about issues they face every day.”

These are but a few of the engaged learning resources available through Student Life to help your student develop creativity and critical thinking skills in real-life situations, learn and connect outside of traditional classroom settings, and contribute to efforts and communities off-campus. Visit our website for more ideas or information.


To help Student Life continue making a difference in students' lives, please consider making a gift.


November 2015 Newsletter

No articles found