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BACHELOR'S

Learning, Equity, and Problem Solving for the Public Good

Overview & Curriculum
Applying
Careers & Engaged Learning
Living/Learning

LEAPS is a four-year Bachelor’s Degree in Education, designed to prepare students for a wide range of professional careers. It has many unique elements that distinguish it from the traditional undergraduate experience, including an educational approach based upon our best knowledge of how people learn.

LEAPS prepares learning leaders by

  • employing broad, program-wide mastery learning goals that transcend individual courses;
  • recognizing learning from across the student’s entire experience;
  • providing students with regular real-world interaction through projects, volunteering, internships, and research opportunities;
  • providing students with an active and growing portfolio of achievements that future employers and graduate schools find compelling, including a capstone thesis project demonstrating a broad range of integrated capabilities;
  • employing a “Forum” or homeroom-like experience—organized by U-M faculty, who serve as mentors and advisors to students—to build coherence across courses and applied learning experiences;
  • featuring a cohort experience that encourages collaboration and provides a built-in social and professional network.

Curriculum

Program-Wide Learning Goals and Mastery-based Assessment

LEAPS is built around four program-wide mastery learning areas: Ways of Knowing, Personal Good, Group Good, and Public Good. Ways of Knowing focuses on different academic traditions and ways of understanding the world around us: scientific, historical, narrative, computational, mathematical, artistic, etc. Personal Good is about building one’s intentionality and reflection, self-knowledge and well-being, and persistence. Group Good is about being a reliable and productive contributor to teams, and learning how to lead. Public Good is about civic purpose and engagement, cross-cultural understanding, ethics, and empathy and altruism.

LEAPS Learning Goals exist beyond traditional course-based assessment. Each LEAPS learner describes and demonstrates their own accomplishment of the Learning Goals as they build their personal portfolio. LEAPS graduates receive two different transcripts: the traditional U-M transcript showing courses and grades, and a mastery-based transcript with a linked portfolio showing demonstrated capabilities.

Forum: Meaning Making, Community, and Continuity

A homeroom-like Forum provides learners with a space for meaning making across their entire learning experience. All Forums are organized by U-M professors, who serve as direct and consistent mentors and advisors to students across their entire program, helping to build strong connections to the resources and opportunities of the program and the broader university. Forum provides an opportunity for LEAPS cohorts across the four years of the program to collaborate and benefit from peer-mentoring experiences where students provide feedback to each other, and especially to newer students. Learning to give and receive constructive feedback is among the key skills learned in the program. Forum is also where students present and defend evidence towards mastery of the program-wide learning goals. A key part of this process is students giving feedback to each other, another important skill for future work and learning.

Key Areas of Coursework

LEAPS students take courses in

  • how people, communities, and organizations learn;
  • methods for understanding and studying learning in the world;
  • methods for creating interventions and programs to improve learning;
  • how cities shape identities, and how peoples shape cities;
  • race and social justice issues shaping human development and learning;
  • the cultural, industrial, and political history of Detroit.
Upper-Level Capstone

All LEAPS students will be prepared to defend their mastery of program-wide learning goals and demonstrate their broad skills and knowledge through a senior capstone or thesis project.

Requirements

Total credits must equal at least 120 to qualify for graduation. In addition, students must demonstrate suitable mastery of program-wide learning goals.

Course listings, specific course offerings, and program requirements are subject to change. Please confirm course offerings with an advisor.

Minimum credits required
120

Forum credits

8

Students complete the following courses:

  • EDUC 101 – Lower Division Forum 1 (1 credit)
  • EDUC 102 – Lower Division Forum 2 (1 credit)
  • EDUC 103 – Lower Division Forum 3 (1 credit)
  • EDUC 104 – Lower Division Forum 4 (1 credit)
  • EDUC 321 – Upper Division Forum 1 (1 credit)
  • EDUC 322 – Upper Division Forum 2 (1 credit)
  • EDUC 323 – Upper Division Forum 3 (1 credit)
  • EDUC 324 – Upper Division Forum 4 (1 credit)

 

General Education credits

29

Students complete one of the following courses:

  • ENG 125 – Writing and Academic Inquiry (4 credits)
  • ENG 126 – Community Engaged Writing (4 credits)

Students complete all of the following courses:

  • EDUC 131 – Science in the City (3 credits)
  • EDUC TBD – Strategic Communication (3 credits)
  • EDUC TBD – LEAPS Math Course (3 credits)

Students also complete courses in the following subject areas:

  • Humanities (4 credits)
  • Sciences (4 credits)
  • Sciences (Upper Division) (4 credits)
  • Social Sciences (4 credits)

Core credits

26

Students complete the following courses:

  • ALA 122 – Intergroup Dialogues (3 credits)
  • ALA 171 – Making the Most of Michigan (1 credit)
  • EDUC 100 – Learning Within and Across Settings (4 credits)
  • EDUC 105 – Race and Social Justice Institute (2 credits total, one credit taken two times)
  • EDUC 130 – The City as Identity (3 credits)
  • EDUC 202 – Inquiry, Partnership, and Research 1 (3 credits)
  • EDUC 203 – Inquiry, Partnership, and Research 2 (3 credits)
  • EDUC 481 – Education for Empowerment Capstone 1 (3 credits)
  • EDUC 482 – Education for Empowerment Capstone 2 (4 credits)

Research & Engagement credits

12–20

Students complete the following courses:

  • EDUC 107 – Lower Division Research/Practice Engagement 1 (2–4 credits)
  • EDUC 207 – Lower Division Research/Practice Engagement 2 (2–4 credits)
  • EDUC 393 – Upper Division Research/Practice Engagement 1 (4–6 credits)
  • EDUC 394 – Upper Division Research/Practice Engagement 2 (4–6 credits)

Concentration credits

18–24

Students complete six concentration-related electives.

Elective credits

15–20

Students complete three electives.

NOTE: Students pursuing teaching certification must choose electives that meet state requirements for different teaching areas and levels. These students should work closely with an academic advisor to select appropriate elective courses each term.

Course sequence

Year 1: Foundations
Fall Term, Year 1
CourseDescriptionCredits
ALA 122Intergroup Dialogues3
ALA 171Making the Most of Michigan1
EDUC 100Learning Within and Across Settings4
EDUC 101Lower Division Forum 11
EDUC 105Race and Social Justice Institute1
EDUC 130The City as Identity3
Elective

3–4

Total term credits16–17
Students live at Marygrove in year 1.
Winter Term, Year 1
CourseDescriptionCredits
EDUC 102Lower Division Forum 21
EDUC 105Race and Social Justice Institute1
EDUC 107Lower Division Research/Practice Engagement 12–4
EDUC 131Science in the City3
EDUC 202Inquiry, Partnership, and Research 13
Elective3–4
Total term credits13–16
Students live at Marygrove in year 1.
Year 2: Deepening Understanding
Fall Term, Year 2
CourseDescriptionCredits
EDUC 103Lower Division Forum 31
EDUC 203Inquiry, Partnership, and Research 23
EDUC TBDLEAPS Math Course3
ENG 125
OR
ENG 126
LSA Writing4
Elective3–4
Total term credits14–15
Winter Term, Year 2
CourseDescriptionCredits
EDUC 104Lower Division Forum 41
EDUC 207Lower Division Research/Practice Engagement 22–4
General Education Sciences4
General Education Social Sciences4
Elective3–4
Total term credits14–17
Year 3: Launching Concentrations
Fall Term, Year 3
CourseDescriptionCredits
EDUC 321Upper Division Forum 11
EDUC TBDStrategic Communication

3

General Education Humanities4
General Education Sciences (Upper Division)4
Concentration Elective3–4
Total term credits15–16
Winter Term, Year 3
CourseDescriptionCredits
EDUC 322Upper Division Forum 21
EDUC 393Upper Division Research/Practice Engagement 14–6
Concentration Elective3–4
Concentration Elective3–4
Total term credits11–15
Year 4: Capstone & Concentrations to Career
Fall Term, Year 4
CourseDescriptionCredits
EDUC 323Upper Division Forum 31
EDUC 481Education for Empowerment Capstone 13
Concentration Elective3–4
Concentration Elective3–4
Elective3–4
Total term credits13–16
Winter Term, Year 4
CourseDescriptionCredits
EDUC 324Upper Division Forum 41
EDUC 394Upper Division Research/Practice Engagement 24–6
EDUC 482Education for Empowerment Capstone 24
Concentration Elective3–4
Total term credits12–15

Upcoming Information Sessions

There are no information sessions currently scheduled; please contact us at marsal.admissions@umich.edu to speak with a recruiter.

Application Deadline

Fall (Aug)
February 1

Application Process

Step 1: Gather application materials

Students apply to LEAPS using the Common Application. All required items must be submitted by February 1, 2024.

Information you may want to compile before you begin the Common Application:

  • Social security number (required if you are applying for financial aid through FAFSA)
  • Parent/Guardian information (occupation, education, etc.)
  • Parent/Guardian tax return form (1040)
  • Standardized test results if you wish them to be considered for admission
  • Dates of high school and college entrance/exit, advisor contact info, and course information
  • Community-based organizations/student organizations in which you have participated

Application materials

  • Completed Common Application with $75 application fee1 payment
    • Includes one Common Application essay and two UM essays (see prompts)
  • High school transcript (additional requirements by country)
  • School Report (Common App)2
  • Recommenders
    • Required:
      • You must invite a school counselor who will complete the School Report2 and other forms for you.
      • One Teacher (core academic teacher or other non-relative who can speak directly to the student's academic aptitude, potential, and classroom performance )
    • Optional:
      • Arts teacher, clergy, coach, college access counselor, employer, etc.
  • SAT or ACT score, if available and you wish them to be considered, or other test results like PSAT, if available
  • TOEFL, IELTS, MET, or Duolingo, etc. scores (for non-native speakers of English)
  • Official college transcripts (for high school students dual enrolled in a college or university; additional requirements by country)

Notes:

  1. You can apply for a fee waiver in the application if you meet certain criteria
  2. The school report or counselor recommendation must be submitted with an official high school transcript and received by the deadline. For this reason, we strongly encourage counselors to submit the report and transcript electronically.
Step 2: Apply online

Complete the Common Application for First-Year Students. Please indicate Regular Decision under admission plan. The LEAPS program does not accept Early Action applications.

Watch our instructional video, First-Year Common Application Process, and visit the Office of Undergraduate Admissions' APPLY website for detailed information.

Careers

In their junior year, LEAPS students choose a specialization or pre-professional interest known as a pathway. Pathways are designed to prepare students for particular career paths and/or postgraduate study. Students may choose a pathway from among pre-set options, or define their own pathway (which other students may follow in the future) with faculty approval. LEAPS faculty will guide students toward professional learning opportunities and courses designed to prepare them for further study or work in their respective areas of interest.

Pathways are flexible. Potential pathways include the following:

  • Public-service Entrepreneurship
    Work directly with entrepreneurs in an incubator on the Marygrove campus as you take courses in key areas of business. Graduate ready to contribute to (or found!) an innovative company.
  • Education
    Engage with learning at all levels right on the Marygrove campus: Pre-K, elementary, middle, and high school. While LEAPS does not result in a teaching certification, it will prepare you for a range of education-related careers, including roles in education policy, summer camps, museum education, and other informal learning settings. 
  • Public Health
    Join forces with nonprofits across Detroit serving a broad range of community health and wellness needs.
  • Public Service/Government
    Learn about government from the inside out by working with members of the Detroit City Council, analyzing data and producing reports related to the needs of the city, and taking political science and government courses.
  • Law
    Engage with all levels of the legal system in Detroit. Work with legal clinics run by the University of Michigan Law School. Take the courses that law schools really value.

In their junior year, LEAPS students choose a specialization or pre-professional interest known as a concentration. Concentrations are designed to prepare students for particular career paths and/or postgraduate study. Students may choose a concentration from among pre-set options, or define their own concentration (which other students may follow in the future) with faculty approval. LEAPS faculty will guide students toward professional learning opportunities and courses designed to prepare them for further study or work in their respective areas of interest.

Concentration are flexible. Potential concentrations include the following:

  • Public-service Entrepreneurship
    Work directly with entrepreneurs in an incubator on the Marygrove campus as you take courses in key areas of business. Graduate ready to contribute to (or found!) an innovative company.
  • Education
    Engage with learning at all levels right on the Marygrove campus: Pre-K, elementary, middle, and high school. While LEAPS does not result in a teaching certification, it will prepare you for a range of education-related careers, including roles in education policy, summer camps, museum education, and other informal learning settings. 
  • Public Health
    Join forces with nonprofits across Detroit serving a broad range of community health and wellness needs.
  • Public Service/Government
    Learn about government from the inside out by working with members of the Detroit City Council, analyzing data and producing reports related to the needs of the city, and taking political science and government courses.
  • Law
    Engage with all levels of the legal system in Detroit. Work with legal clinics run by the University of Michigan Law School. Take the courses that law schools really value.

Engaged Learning

Each year, LEAPS students are matched with opportunities for internships, community-based work, and research projects in partnership with Detroit organizations, communities, and companies. These range from neighborhood associations to automotive and consulting companies to social-venture startups. Faculty-led research projects from across U-M offer additional opportunities for engaged learning and development as a scholar and a lifelong learner.

Exterior of Madame Cadillac Hall on the Marygrove Campus.

LEAPS

An immersive living/learning experience

  • Students live on the Marygrove Campus in Detroit for their first year. This creates a welcoming living/learning environment where students can build strong relationships with each other, their faculty, and the community, which will continue through all four years of the program.
  • Residence halls at Marygrove are newly renovated, directly connected to academic and recreational spaces, and part of a wooded campus serving as a community hub for neighborhoods in northwestern Detroit.
  • No cost, regular transportation between Detroit and Ann Arbor is provided, helping students experience and participate in the UM-Ann Arbor experience.
Michigan Stadium
Central Campus, UM-Ann Arbor
  • Students receive support in finding housing (either on-campus or off-campus) in Ann Arbor after their first year, and also have the option of remaining at Marygrove in Detroit.
  • All LEAPS students will have the option to use the Marygrove residence hall as a “home base” for ongoing work in Detroit.
Detroit Riverwalk
Spirit of Detroit
Detroit JazzFest