SUBJECT: Important Information: Summer 2020 Engaged Learning

Dear colleagues,

In our continued efforts to ensure the safety of our students while supporting their learning experiences, we have developed guidelines in coordination with the Office of the Provost in Ann Arbor regarding engaged learning for Summer 2020.

The following guidance defines the scope of UM-related off-campus engaged learning activities and advises students on activities that are permissible to plan. Additionally, we encourage all students to focus on activities that can be conducted remotely.

However, if and when health, safety, and travel restrictions are relaxed in the coming weeks and months, the guidance below sets out the conditions under which off-campus, UM-related student engaged learning experiences could be conducted in-person.

Supporting Engaged Learning for UM-Dearborn Students during COVID-19: 

All engaged learning activities (domestic or international) can continue to be supported and/or receive credit if they are offered in remote format (no in-person contact). Please see the Summer 2020 UM-Dearborn Engaged Learning Guidelines for additional details, including requirements for certain in-person activities. 

What are UM-related, engaged learning activities? 

Off-Campus engaged learning activities take place off campus and engage students in real-world problems, issues and opportunities in a variety of settings. 


  • Engaged learning activities include activities such as internships and co-ops (at both domestic and international locations), Semester in Detroit, academic service learning, student teaching, community-based learning and research, community engagement efforts and other co-curricular activities, research in external, non-University of Michigan laboratories, clinical placements in the health sciences and psychology, etc.

  • Off-campus engaged learning activities are considered UM-related if the student meets any of the following criteria: 

    • Receives UM credit for the experience 

    • Participates in an off-campus engaged learning activity that is UM-managed or organized 

    • Participates in an engaged learning activity that is necessary to achieve a degree requirement 

    • Participates in an engaged learning activity organized by a Sponsored Student Organization or an engaged learning activity that is formally sanctioned by a UM unit as a Sponsored Event 

    • Receives funding from a UM unit or receives funds managed by the UM for their engaged learning activity. 

  • An off-campus engaged learning activity is considered UM-managed or organized when a UM unit, faculty or staff member is involved in creating, funding, or approving the activity, or coordinating the applications and selection of participants. Note that situations where UM is merely certifying a student’s enrollment status are not subject to this guidance. 

Guidelines for Summer 2020 Term

University-related engaged learning activities that are offered in remote format (no in-person contact) can continue throughout the 2020 summer terms and receive credit if applicable.

University-related, off-campus domestic engaged learning activities for individual students may be permissible in-person if students meet the following conditions: 

  • Ensure that the activity does not violate any local, federal, state, or other guidelines, rules, orders, regulations, laws, and the like, including, but not limited to, those related to human gatherings/in-person interactions and any and all travel to or from the proposed engaged learning site (or intermediary points). 

  • Comply with all UM travel policies, including the UM suspension of international and domestic air travel until further notice. UM funds should not be used to purchase airfare during this time; external funds (e.g. sponsored research funds) may still be used for travel where appropriate. 

  • Obtain written verification from a UM-Dearborn department chair or unit administrator that the engaged learning activity is acceptable given the special considerations for any travel outside of the home during the COVID-19 pandemic and associated curtailments of travel and other activity. The simplest way to document this written acceptance is via email. 

  • Submit a Student Request for Engaged Learning & Domestic Travel with sufficient evidence to indicate that the proposed University-related, off-campus engaged learning activity will not violate any applicable laws, rules, regulations, guidelines, orders and the like and receive a no-objection review from the Chief International Travel Safety Officer and the International Travel Oversight Committee. 

  • Register any travel with UM.

We ask that you share this guidance with your students, and we will be including this information in a message from the Dean of Students to all students later this week.  Although these guidelines apply to UM-related engaged learning, we highly encourage all students who are considering any type of in-person experience (i.e., internships or co-ops not for credit) to follow these guidelines as well.  

Thank you for your help in supporting our students to engage safely in their learning activities as we continue through this time of uncertainty.

With all best wishes,


Office of the Provost

1080 - Administration Building
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128
View on Map
Phone: 313-593-5030