FAQs

General

What makes Project Community different from other experiential learning programs at the University of Michigan (i.e., CEAL’s Community Based Learning courses or Project Outreach)?

Project Community involves classroom lectures, site-based discussion sections (Education, Public Health, or Criminal Justice), and active learning from a sociological perspective.

As a student in this course, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Apply sociological concepts and perspectives to real-world experiences
  • Increase awareness about how your social identities influence interactions at your community site and among your Project Community classmates
  • Increase your knowledge of social inequalities within the Education, Public Health, and Criminal Justice systems, and in broader society
  • Develop transferable skills, such as intercultural communication, critical thinking, and adaptability, through experiential classroom activities, reflective papers, dialogic conversations, and community-engaged learning
  • Identify ways to work collaboratively across differences, and create more just communities

Do I need to attend every part of class? How is the course graded?

Yes, you must be able to attend all parts of the class.  Project Community is a 4‐credit, letter‐graded course. It is expected that you will devote approximately 12 hours per week to this 4-credit course in order to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Attend and participate in lecture and discussion section for 2.5 hours each week
  • Spend 3-4 hours every week volunteering at a community site (Note: Your “on-site” time does not include driving time. Your weekly hours will be determined by your community site, and other factors such as prep time and distance from campus).
  • Spend approximately 3 hours/week on readings and journal assignments. You will generally be responsible for reading 30-40 pages per week
  • Complete midterm and final papers

How does the Department of Sociology choose Project Community partner sites?

Project Community partner sites are a variety of organizations that work directly with individuals and communities experiencing social inequality. Sites are divided into three areas to match student interests: Education, Public Health, and Criminal Justice.

Can I choose a site that is not on the list or can I create my own site?

No, students must volunteer at a site that is currently a Project Community partner.

I’m interested in Project Community but I’m not sure which site to choose. Can you assign me to any open site?

We do not assign sites for students. Students should carefully read about each site and choose one that best fits their interests and schedule.

Is Project Community offered in Spring or Summer term?

No, Project Community is only offered in the Fall and Winter terms.

Do Project Community credits count toward the LJSC or SHM majors or subplans?

Yes, but not all sites! All Public Health sites are approved for SHM credit and all Criminal Justice sites are approved for LJSC credit.

How many times can I enroll in Project Community? Can I enroll for more than one term if I volunteer at different sites?

Due to the structure of the lecture and discussions, students are only permitted to take Project Community (SOC 225) once. Students who wish to continue working with their community partner site can enroll in SOC 325: Project Community – Advanced Practicum.


Registration

How do I enroll?

For the majority of sites, students can enroll normally once registration begins. However, for some sites (Criminal Justice sites and Jewish Family Services), students must obtain an override to register. To obtain an override, please read the “Overrides” FAQ below and fill out an override request form.

The LSA Course Guide lists the section I want as open with ___ number of seats. However, when I try to register it says the section is full and I need to join the waitlist. What's going on?

Unfortunately, due to the way Project Community is built in Wolverine Access, the LSA Course Guide occasionally lists inaccurate information regarding the number of seats available in each section. If you are unable to enroll and asked to waitlist it means that the section is full. Please follow normal waitlist procedures.

Can I register after the beginning of the term, during the drop/add period?

Project Community requires the Department of Sociology to work closely with community partners to place volunteers for each term. As a result, it is nearly impossible to secure volunteer positions for students who register after the first week of classes.

I’m registered for a Project Community site, but need to drop the class. How can I drop?

For many of the Project Community sites, we are actively collaborating with our community partners to place volunteers prior to the start of classes. As a result, we require that students contact the department and receive an override to drop the course starting one week before the beginning of classes. This allows us to better serve our community partners by giving them accurate information. For Winter 2019, students will need override permission to drop after January 2, 2019. Prior to this date, students can drop without override permission.


Overrides

Why do some Project Community sites require an override?

Certain community partners require additional information from volunteers, such as background checks or mandatory orientations.

For Winter 2019, the sites requiring overrides to enroll in SOC 225 are:

  1. Jewish Family Services – (Section 007)
  2. Gus Harrison Prison – Men’s Creative Writing Workshop (Section 018)
  3. Washtenaw County Jail – Men’s and Women’s Creative Writing Workshops (Section 019)
  4. Washtenaw County Jail – Men’s and Women’s Art Workshops (Section 020)

How do I obtain an override?

Read the site’s information carefully and determine if the site requires an override. To obtain an override, please fill out an override request form. We will contact you within three business days.

When should I submit a request for an override?

Students must wait until backpacking begins to request overrides. For Fall 2019, backpacking begins on March 27th, 2019.

After I submit a request for an override, when will I hear from your office?

You will receive an email from our office within three business days.

Once I’ve been issued an override, how long until it expires?

Overrides expire three days after the date of issue.


Waitlists

I am on the waitlist for a site. When can I expect to hear back about an override?

Project Community moves students off the waitlist periodically as (1) unused overrides expire for students who have been issued them, (2) as students registered for the course drop, and (3) as we collaborate with our community partners to secure more volunteer positions. Because of this, it is difficult for us to predict your chances of being issued an override after being placed on the waitlist.

If you are still on the waitlist when classes begin, please attend the first class meeting and inform the instructor. We will let you know by the end of the first week of classes whether or not we are able to accommodate you.


Transportation

Where are Project Community sites located?

Project Community partner sites are located throughout Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Detroit. Please read each site’s description carefully to determine whether or not you will need transportation.

How can I get to the sites? Is transportation provided?

Students must transport themselves to volunteer at partner sites. Site descriptions list partner site addresses and bus lines. Students enrolled in Project Community who have a valid driver’s license are able to work with the Community-Engaged Academic Learning (CEAL) to use a vehicle, which is provided free of charge. Carpooling among students in the same section is encouraged.


I have more questions about the course and/or the enrollment process—who should I contact?Please email pcinfo@umich.edu