Student Engagement

Poverty Solutions is committed to engaging students and the campus community to extend learning beyond the classroom.

Students participate in a poverty simulation exercise.

Poverty Solutions organizes and supports several engaged learning opportunities for students throughout the year, such as poverty simulations and hunger banquets designed to allow students to reflect and learn ways to take action, promote justice, and be an ally to those living in a real state of poverty. In addition, all of Poverty Solutions events are open to students.


Core Course 

Poverty Solutions offers the gateway course Real World Perspectives on Poverty Solutions (SWK 503 section 001), which is open to all students. This gateway course features national and global leaders and aims to ignite new conversations and deepen existing commitments regarding poverty prevention and alleviation strategies and programs.

Certificate in Poverty Solutions, Action and Engagement

In partnership with the Community Action and Social Change (CASC) minor program, based out of the School of Social Work, Poverty Solutions offers a certificate program. This certificate allows CASC students to focus on poverty alleviation and prevention within this social justice focused interdisciplinary minor. It also provides students with several opportunities to connect with Poverty Solutions through social events, research opportunities, and mentorship. Learn more.

The CASC minor, which currently has 250 undergraduate students enrolled each year, is a minor flexibly designed for all undergraduate students to build skills and knowledge to enact social change.

Poverty Solutions Certificate Approved Courses.

Other Courses

In addition to courses offered in the certificate program, U-M teaches more than 100 poverty-related courses through its schools and colleges, including architecture; business; dentistry; education; kinesiology; law; literature, science, and the arts; nursing; pharmacy; public health; public policy; information; and social work. Further, events and engaged learning opportunities have increased the number of students introduced to core content on poverty, and helped to prepare emerging scholars for successful careers in research, policy, and practice that significantly contribute to poverty prevention and alleviation.  View other poverty-related courses available at U-M.

Research and Work Opportunities

In the past year, Poverty Solutions has employed more than 30 undergraduate and graduate students from the School Public Policy, School Social Work, College of Literature, Science and the Arts, School of Information and School Public Health. These action-based research assistants help Poverty Solutions staff and faculty affiliates meet project needs in real-time by assisting with everything from qualitative data collection for a randomized control trial evaluation of a workforce development project, implementation of our summer youth employment program, census data analysis for our map project, and literature reviews for the forthcoming Detroit partnership. 

Other ways to get involved

There are also number of ways to engage through volunteering and U-M’s many student organizations. Several University of Michigan student clubs doing work in this area include:

Note: if you have a suggestion on a club to add, send us an email at