Contact My SSW Report Sexual Misconduct

Main menu

Information on this page is for Fall 2020 applicants. If you were admitted prior to Fall 2020 please click here to view information accurate to your curriculum.
Community-Based Initiative Program

Community-Based Initiative Program

As one of our Community Scholars Programs, the purpose of the Community-Based Initiative (CBI) in Detroit is to train and support a new generation of social workers dedicated to community and social change in urban cities, neighborhoods, and communities. This is done through coursework and field placements based in Detroit and surrounding areas including Highland Park, Hamtramck, and Dearborn. Upon graduation, CBI scholars work as community organizers, policymakers, program planners, organization managers and administrators, evaluators, and foundation staff within Michigan, the US, and internationally.

Up to 10 incoming students who are genuinely committed to community-based work in urban areas will be selected for the CBI program.

Approximately two incoming Returned Peace Corps Volunteers will be selected each year to be Coverdell Fellows and participate in the Community-Based Initiative.

Community-Based Initiative in Detroit Funding

  • Nonresident Award: $10,000/semester ($40,000 total for four terms or $30,000 total for three terms)
  • Resident Award: $5,000/semester ($20,000 total for four terms or $15,000 total for three terms)

Specialized CBI Courses

Taught in Ann Arbor:

  • Orientation Seminar (Fall Term I)
  • Integrative Capstone Seminar (Fall Term II)

Taught in Detroit:

  • Theories and Practices for Community Change (Winter term)
  • Skills and Strategies for Community Change (Winter term)

Special Fieldwork Placements

The Community-Based Initiative in Detroit offers opportunities for innovative practice in community-based field agencies. Field placements must be completed in the Detroit area including Highland Park, Hamtramck, and Middle-Eastern communities of East Dearborn. Note: students must have their own transportation to and from their field placement site(s). Agencies may include:

  • American Red Cross
  • Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS)
  • AIDS Partnership Michigan
  • American Indian Health and Family Services
  • CareFirst Community Health Services
  • Community Health and Social Services (CHASS) Center
  • Detroit College Promise
  • Detroit Parent Network
  • Grandmont/Rosedale Development Corporation
  • Greening of Detroit
  • Jefferson East Business Association (JEBA)
  • Kids-TALK
  • Michigan Timebanks (Detroit locations)
  • Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) of Michigan
  • Southwest Solutions
  • UM - SSW Detroit Initiative
  • UM - SSW TAC Good Neighborhood Initiative
  • UM - REACH Program
  • United Way of Southeast Michigan


  • All potential MSW students who are interested in community-based work in urban settings are invited to apply. CBI participants must be enrolled in the full-time 16-month, 12-month (Advanced Standing or UM Sociology & SW), or MicroMasters MSW curriculum and select the Community Change pathway.
  • Application deadlines: December 1, 2019 (early application), February 1, 2020 (priority), March 1, 2020. Selection of applicants will be made from all dates with priority given to those applicants that meet the December and February deadlines.
  • Deferred admits planning to enroll in fall 2020 must submit their special program application by November 1, 2019.
  • Financial need will be considered in the review of special program applications.
  • Your MSW application must be complete by the scholarship deadline.
  • If you would like to apply for CBI, then please answer “yes” to the question, “Do you plan to apply to an SSW Special Program?” found on the Financial Assistance page of the MSW online application and then select the Community-Based Initiative in Detroit checkbox. The CBI application pages will be added to the end of your online MSW application.
  • Be sure to include your name and “CBI Program Statement” in the upper corner of your statement before you upload it to your online application.
  • Note that it will be more likely to be offered CBI if you select the Community Change pathway on your MSW application.

For more information about the Community-Based Initiative in Detroit, contact the Office of Student Services at (734) 936-0961 or

Contact Us Press escape to close