For EMU students, community engagement encompasses a variety of activities with the goal of connecting the campus to the wider community. Volunteering takes place individually and in groups, through one-time initiatives and long-term commitments.
Community engagement can extend beyond volunteerism to include active participation in local governments, events and involvement as residents of our community. Our impact is focused locally, in Ypsilanti and Washtenaw County, but is also present through a variety of national and international partnerships supported through service, advocacy and philanthropy.
Students interested in being involved in community engagement at EMU can connect in a variety of ways:
The VISION Volunteer Center's student-led programs, comprised of direct service as well as education and advocacy components, are a great way to meet Learning Beyond the Classroom requirements, earn your work-study award, obtain class credit, meet new people or spend time learning about our world. Search volunteer opportunities and record your volunteer hours at Volunteer Connection.
Take a class
Academic Service-Learning (AS-L) offers a long list of courses at EMU in a wide variety of subjects, which integrate a community engagement component in the coursework. Engage has many programs to support students throughout their time at EMU. Visit the College Access page for more information.
Work in the Community
Participate in EMU’s community work-study program by using your work-study award to work in local community organizations. The Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Communities provides support for local families and children within education and housing. Students with interests in education, health, human services, education or community development should contact ISCFC regarding current program opportunities
Make an Impact
Optimize Eastern is a student-led organization that believes students can change the world. Optimize creates and inspires initiatives for students to take action and make a change in their communities. Through semester-long workshops and mentorship, students put their ideas to problems into action. This could result in creating a nonprofit, business, student organization, and much more!
The Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) in close partnership Michigan colleges and universities, seeks to help more Michigan students pursue post-secondary education. Recent graduates (bachelor’s) will serve as Advise MI AmeriCorps advisers in selected high schools across Michigan, particularly those that are located in communities with low college-going rates and low adult educational attainment rates.
Digital Inclusion leads, educates and trains low and moderate-income youth in information technology, which creates community access to affordable technology and IT career pathways. Our 501c3 nonprofit operates as a social enterprise, assisting in sustaining our mission since 2008. Sites located at Eastern Michigan University and Jackson College are managed by college students, with support from interns and volunteers for daily operations. For information, visit their website.
Nonprofit Board Training Program
The EMU Nonprofit Board Training Program seeks to provide members of the EMU community with real life nonprofit Board experience to cultivate voluntary leadership in the community. The long term goal is to create a more diverse pipeline of future nonprofit leaders for Washtenaw County. Program participants include local nonprofit organizations and EMU students, faculty and staff who wish to serve as volunteer administrative leaders. For more information, visit their website.