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Abstract

The Michigan State University Adolescent Project (MSUAP) is an experiential learning opportunity, which teaches students to work with adolescent youth and their families through referrals from the juvenile justice system. Through its engaged learning approach, students are taught to emphasize assets, build relationships, and recognize the context which influence social problems. The MSUAP is a two semester course where undergraduates receive 10 weeks of manual based training followed by assignment to work with a youth one on one. The student works with the youth for eight hours per week in the community setting. This article will describe the evolution of MSUAP as a model of pedagogy congruent with the outreach and engagement mission of today’s higher education, summarize past research on the multiple impacts of the MSUAP model, and provide an in depth case study of the educational experience from the perspective of a participating student.

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