The Ecological-Community Psychology Program applies humanitarian principles to community-based research that is designed to ameliorate social problems and promote community well-being. Our approach to community research and intervention training emphasizes the fundamental relationship between individuals and the social systems in which they are embedded. Through independent service learning, mentored research experience, and classroom instruction, scholars in training acquire broad substantive knowledge of community psychology theory, research, and intervention, with a special emphasis on program evaluation theory, methods, and practice from a community psychology perspective. Our students leave Michigan State University prepared to work as scholars in a wide variety of applied and academic contexts.
Both our students and our faculty spend much of their professional time working with community members and organizations at the local, state, and national levels. Our involvement in the community is often considered one of the strongest points of our program, and is often what sets us apart from other community psychology programs. Our new students spend their first year finding out who in the community works in their area of interest. Upon exploring the key players in their interest area, students then create and complete a self-guided practicum in the community.