Detroit Initiative Sections

Each Detroit Initiative course contains an internship component, where students spend 2-4 hours each week working with a community-based organization in Detroit. At these sites, students participate in such activities as tutoring or supervising children in after-school or summer programs, working on community education projects or on community research projects, and or doing outreach into the community. Internships are supervised by the instructor and program staff, as well as by a staff person at the community-based organization.

The Detroit Initiative offers three undergraduate psychology sections. These classes are also cross-listed with American Culture.

Psych 325/AC306: Community Research (4 Credits)

This course covers research methodologies that are useful in learning about and with communities. These include community assessment, analysis of census and other statistical information on communities, asset mapping, and ethnography. Through readings, lectures, and discussion, the class considers what is involved in each of these methods and when each is appropriate for community study. Students use these methodologies to complete a research project in collaboration with a community organization. Results from the research project are communicated through a report to the community organization. Requirements include readings, lectures, and research project. The course requires one 2-hour visit per week to Detroit for a total of 4 hours/week. Transportation is provided. Students are assigned to work with community-based organizations on projects to improve the well being of children, families, and the community. Projects include such activities as facilitating after-school activities for elementary school-aged youth, developing community outreach activities, working on community education projects, and/or tutoring. This direct practice experience in the community based setting provides for greater understanding of course concepts, more in-depth learning, and a site for a community-based research project. This course fulfills the experiential lab requirement for all psychology majors.

Psych 325/AC319: Empowering Families and Communities (4 Credits)

This course introduces students to the principles and practices of community psychology by focusing on the themes of empowerment and prevention. The influences of social context, racism, culture, and inequality in shaping behavior and attitudes in community settings are emphasized. Through readings, lectures, and simulations, students deepen their understanding of how families and communities function and how communities can be involved in community-based program development and delivery. Each class section involves lecture and discussion. Students complete a journal, an in-class mid-term exam, and a team-based research paper. This course is designed for 3rd and 4th year students in Psychology and other social sciences. The course requires one 2-hour visit per week to Detroit for a total of 4 hours/week.Students are assigned to work with community-based organizations on projects to improve the well being of children, families, and the community. Projects include such activities as facilitating after-school activities for elementary school-aged youth, developing community outreach activities, working on community education projects, and/or tutoring. This direct practice experience in the community based setting provides for greater understanding of course concepts, more in-depth learning, and a site for the team project and paper. This course fulfills the experiential lab requirement for all psychology majors.

Psych 325/AC321: Practicum in the Multi-Cultural Community (3 Credits)

This course is an experiential field course requiring one 4-hour or two 2-hour visits weekly to a community based organization in Detroit. University transportation is provided. Students will be assigned to work with community-based organizations on projects to improve the well-being of children and families. Projects involve such activities as community outreach, assisting in child care settings or summer programs, and/or working in community education projects. Internships are supervised by the instructor and program staff, as well as by a staff person at the community-based organization. Students meet twice a week to integrate theory with practice. Assignments include a paper, presentation, and reflection papers. This class is usually offered during Spring and Summer terms.