The Michigan Community Scholars Program (MCSP)


David Schoem is the founding Director of MCSP. More information can be found on the program website.

The Michigan Community Scholars Program (MCSP) is a residential learning community emphasizing deep learning and academic success, meaningful civic engagement/community service learning and intergroup understanding and dialogue. Students, faculty, community partners and staff think critically about issues of community, seek to model a just, diverse, and democratic community, and wish to make a difference throughout their lives as participants and leaders involved in local, national and global communities.

MCSP is distinguished by its outstanding cross-disciplinary faculty, its unequaled student leaders, its dedicated community partners, and its exemplary staff. All who participate in the MCSP community seek to lead lives of commitment and make a difference in the world.


  1. Deep Learning 
  • Engagement with Ideas: Critical thinking, Intellectual exploration, Active learning, Joy of learning, Long term commitment to learning, Exchange of differing viewpoints
  • Ways of Knowing: Learning and teaching through traditional, experiential, discovery and other innovative means; Learning across disciplinary boundaries; Learning collaboratively; Learning in the classroom and outside the classroom
  • Transition to College: Successful academic and social transition from high school to college and throughout their years with MCSP; academic and social support services and mentoring; providing an orientation to the resources of the wider university
  • Academic Success: Each student getting the most of what he/she wants from a college education; GPA performance of students equal to or better than a comparable cohort of UM students
  • Learning about Community: Developing complex understandings about community and social issues in society; Learning about self, social identities, and a wide range of socio-cultural groups and histories
  1. Engaged Community 
  • A Scholarly Community: Close faculty-student-community partner-staff interaction; Respecting each community member as both educator and -scholar; A focus on community members coming together to teach, study, learn, understand, and engage with ideas from different disciplinary perspectives and with people from different backgrounds
  • A Safe and Accepting Environment: Comprised of people from diverse social backgrounds and – perspectives; Intercultural understanding, interaction and dialogue across groups. A place and set of people who enjoy being with one another
  • An Involved, Participatory Community: High levels of commitment, short and long term, to building community and participating within the community
  • A Focus on the Individual and the Group: A community that cares for each individual yet fosters a sense of responsibility to community; exploration of personal and social identities of self and others
  1. Meaningful Civic Engagement /Community Service Learning  
  • High Quality Service Learning: Providing service fitting the needs of the community; preparation of students to participate effectively in the community; participation in the community through long term and short term projects, including service learning, internships, social change efforts, political participation, volunteering, and fundraising
  • Reflection: Reflective learning about democratic processes, civic life, social problems and social justice, self, and society
  • Leadership Development: Preparing students to be active participants and leaders in civic life; training for students through courses and workshops; student leadership through peer facilitation of courses, peer advising and mentoring, peer control of student program planning and budget; leadership roles for faculty, community partners, and staff
  • Sustainable Partnerships: Meaningful, mutually beneficial, and long-term partnerships between university and community
  • Long Term Commitment: Develop long term commitment¬ to civic engagement for the public good; broad dissemination of experience and insights from MCSP community
  1. Diverse Democracy, Intercultural Understanding and Dialogue 
  • A Diverse Community: A commitment to maintaining a diverse community among students, faculty, community partners and staff; a commitment to working with diverse individuals and communities outside MCSP
  • Participation in Intergroup Dialogue: Deep intercultural engagement; Understanding and dialogue across groups; Broadening students’ social and intellectual “comfort zones” beyond their own social identity groups
  • Commitment to Strong Democracy: Developing a commitment to strengthening democratic practice and participating in public life and civic organizations locally and globally
  • Reflection on Social Justice: Linking notions of diversity with democracy; Reflection on issues of social justice and injustice, equality and inequality (including historic legacies of inequality)
  • Model Good Practice: Developing a vision of a just, diverse democracy; Modeling diverse democratic community practices in the short term that can be replicated long term beyond college