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 midterm exam, and a team-based research paper. This course is designed for 3rd and 4th year students in Psychology and other social sciences. 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.
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.
Transportation will be provided by the Psychology Transportation Center. At the beginning of the semester, students will have to complete a mini canvas course and orientation before being approved to drive a psych vehicle. Students are strongly encouraged to car pool with other students assigned to the same site and have at least 2 approved drivers in the vehicle at all times.