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Semester in Detroit is an initiative created and driven by students. Based on their passion for the city, UofM students set out to create a program that would fulfill their vision of applied education, community engagement and social justice.

Synthesized under the guidance of Professor Stephen Ward, who teaches in the Residential College and Center for Afro-American and African Studies, Semester in Detroit began developing during his course, “Urban and Community Studies.” The University of Michigan had recently begun a Semester in Washington program, adding to a number of off-site University programs which made students ask, “Why not have a Semester in Detroit?”

Rachael Tanner, Aditi Sagdeo, Molly McCullagh and Jaime Nelson, former students in Professor Ward’s course, drafted a proposal and sought guidance from people in both the University and Detroit communities. As word of the program spread, other students were eager to get involved and became a part of the Semester in Detroit Student Planning Team.

Semester in Detroit was a concept that quickly caught the attention of top administrators in the University.  With support from students, faculty, staff, and administrators, the Semester in Detroit Student Planning Team continued working diligently to bring in new partners and interest.

To realize their vision, the Student Planning Team is currently working in conjunction with the University administration and faculty, the Ginsberg Center, the University of Michigan Detroit Center and Detroit community organizations.

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