Outreach and engagement: Our inextricable ties with our community

Wayne State is inextricably tied to Detroit, the city of our founding, and this connection is critical to the success of both the university and the city. Our Carnegie classification in the highest research category is matched by the highest classification for community engagement, a testament to our positive impact on our community, state and beyond.  Our history of outreach and engagement touches all levels of the community, from the neighborhoods to the halls of government and from the churches to the boardrooms. Our dual Carnegie classifications and our national recognition for promoting social mobility speak to our dedication to helping solve the challenges our community and state face. This starts with offering access for students with the will and talent to succeed regardless of their means to an excellent education from a top-ranked university with outstanding faculty. 

Our aspiration

We will expand and build upon our 153 years of community engagement, development and impact by leveraging the combined power of our faculty expertise, student interest, business engagement and entrepreneurial activities. In this way, we will continue to foster growth and opportunity, partnerships and solutions, entrepreneurship, and business development that distinguish Wayne State as an institution of opportunity and access for our city, our state and the world.  

Goal 1: Lead and participate in the economic growth and prosperity of Detroit and Michigan. 


  • Strengthen collaboration with neighborhoods, the business community, local and regional government, and local workforce initiatives to better capitalize on shared opportunities for economic growth and prosperity. 
  • Expand partnerships with local and regional government, NGOs, community organizations, and other thought leaders to address issues specific to urban communities. 
  • Deepen collaboration with businesses to expand entrepreneurial opportunities, innovation and business development within the community.  
  • Advance community-engaged research and service learning that promote sustainable urban development.
  • Leverage Wayne State's national and global networks to advance community needs and interests.
  • Leverage university purchasing power to positively impact economic development in Detroit and throughout Michigan. 

Goal 2: Deepen our engagement with Detroit and Michigan business partners to address challenges of discovery, innovation, talent and workforce pipeline development. 


  • Partner with employers to expand the number of internships and employment opportunities for students. 
  • Expand strategic partnerships with employers to provide lifelong learning opportunities for their employees.
  • Reduce barriers and provide support for individuals with existing college credit to complete their degrees and expand their career opportunities.
  • Increase innovation and entrepreneurship in the community by leveraging the combined resources of the university's business engagement, TechTown and faculty research.
  • Integrate the various business engagement activities of the university. 

Goal 3: Strengthen our efforts as an engine of social mobility. 


  • Support and expand efforts to help economically disadvantaged students earn college degrees and prepare them for prosperous careers, lifelong learning and wealth-building opportunities.
  • Strengthen institutional infrastructure to support faculty, staff and student engagement in community-based programming, services and research.
  • Expand entrepreneurship education.
  • Build a new community-based childcare facility that is integrated into the teaching and research mission of the university.  
  • Expand student community service and volunteer opportunities. 
  • Enhance the visibility of existing outreach and community support services provided by faculty, staff and students.