Community stewardship grows from common ground


The Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition is made up of educators, visionaries, resisters of injustice, public intellectuals and advocates, people with a lot of love for this world. SEMIS brings the art and craft of Place-based Education into core practices in schools, and advocates for transformational changes to K-12 institutions, colleges and universities, so that all living systems may thrive in sustainable, healthy and just communities.

We support teachers as they bridge classroom learning to the community, so that, in partnership with others, students can solve real-world problems and create positive change. We do this through place-based education—an immersive approach to learning that empowers students to act as environmental stewards, caring for themselves, their peers, and the land and community where they live.

An active voice in the national dialogue on place-based education

The SEMIS Coalition uses research-based practices in teacher professional development and coalition building to provide sustained professional development throughout the year, including an intensive summer institute.

We also facilitate partnerships between school teams and community organizations, and provide on-site facilitation of professional learning communities, classroom coaching, and active coordination with school administrators.

As these activities take place, we are constantly assessing and evaluating our methods for effectiveness in a variety of dimensions.

“SEMIS challenges me to think about ways to anchor my curriculum, meaningfully, to places in students’ lives.”

Johnny Thompson

Teacher, Honey Creek Community School

Image Title: Awardees at the 2019 Community Forum

SEMIS members pictured here each received an award for their outstanding efforts and partnerships in this place-based learning work. This photo shows an inter-generational group of students, teachers, community partners, and SEMIS staff.

One thing that being part of the SEMIS Coalition does for the students I work with is value their voices, their intelligence and their energy. It helps them to make their place-based learning public and display the courage it takes to change the world.

Mindy Nathan

High School Teacher , Bloomfield Hills Public Schools

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