AAC & U and SHEEO Help Build Coalition to Address Civic Engagement |



With College Promise and Complete College America, leaders in higher education will lead the discourse on democracy.

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While institutions of higher learning are firmly committed to addressing the most pressing issues facing American democracy – from racial equity to health care to climate change – a group of organizations and leaders are committed to doing more and in a fair way.

Tuesday the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC & U) and the Association of State Higher Education Executives announced the creation of the Civic Learning and Democracy Engagement Coalition in partnership with Complete College America and Promise of the College. The mission of CLDE, supported by dozens of other agencies committed to change, will be to equip all post-secondary students with the knowledge and frameworks necessary to proactively open dialogues and work together to help solve critical issues in the workplace. success of the nation.

“There are many ways to prepare students for active and informed participation in democracy,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella, a member of the CLDE steering group which includes some of the most important agencies in the United States. United focused on education. “We don’t recommend a one-size-fits-all approach. What we want to see is a next generation of creative leadership across all higher education institutions to make college civic learning expected, equitable, high quality and inclusive.

The New Alliance of Civic Democracy Champions offered a glimpse of what its ideals will be in a Declaration of shared commitment, including innovative solutions that promote sustainability. Among them, he said: “Today, higher education is strewn with pockets of learning and practice of great democracy. But to fulfill the civic mission of higher education, we must integrate civic inquiry and democratic engagement into the educational journey of every student.

To make this a reality, these leaders said that CLDE pledged to pursue four strategic goals:

  1. Quality and fairness: Students from underserved communities will be a priority as institutions increase their engagement and capacity to make democracy and civic engagement part of post-secondary learning for all.
  2. Commitment to democracy: This will include helping students understand historical contexts and future perspectives on disparities that exist in the United States, as well as a holistic view of how the world works and its leaders.
  3. Collaborative problem solving: Together, students will be tasked with “creative combinations of general education, arts and science studies, and career-related studies, to work directly on selected public issues that society needs to solve.” These include racial healing, education, housing, digital access, human rights, and interfaith cooperation.
  4. Political commitment: Obtain financial and political commitments to support the first three objectives.

Building a strong, civic and more scholarly pool of young talent – and empowering all groups to do so – is essential for them to be competitive within our borders and on the global stage. Engaging in civil dialogue and skills building, they say, will help them prepare for the workforce of the future.

“We cannot be a layered nation in which some students are preparing for civic leadership, while others receive the implicit message that democracy will take neither their time nor their talent,” said Yolanda Watson Spiva, president of Complete College America. “Students who finish college without having received civic education or leadership experiences tend to have limited employment prospects and access to other opportunities that lead to the promised upward economic and social mobility. through post-secondary education. “

The AAC&U notes that more than 950 institutions require civic engagement for accreditation under the Higher Education Commission, while other state university systems are launching civic engagement initiatives.

“We celebrate state systems that already make civic learning a higher education priority,” said Robert Anderson, president of the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association. “But in the minds of the nation’s founders, all educators must advance civic learning as a vital asset to creative democracy.”

The organizations and leaders who have joined the CLDE are:

  • Make the dream come true (AtD): Karen Stout, President and CEO
  • ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge: Jennifer Domagal-Goldman, Executive Director
  • Anchor Institutions Working Group: David J. Maurrasse, director
  • American Political Science Association: Steven R. Smith, Executive Director
  • America’s Asia-Pacific Scholarship Fund (APIA): Noël Harmon, President
  • Bringing theory to practice: David Scobey, director
  • Compact Campus: Maggie Grove, Interim President
  • Center for Community College Student Engagement: Linda Garcia, Executive Director
  • Center for Education and Workforce, Georgetown University: Anthony Carnevale, Director
  • Civic Nation: Kyle Lierman, CEO
  • Coalition of urban and metropolitan universities: Bobbie Laur, Executive Director
  • New Hampshire Community College System: Mark Rubinstein, Chancellor
  • Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS): Doreen Murner, Executive Director
  • ECMC Foundation: Peter Taylor, President
  • ETS: Walt MacDonald, President and CEO
  • Excellence in education: Sarita Brown, President
  • Higher Education Commission: Barbara Gellman-Danley, President
  • Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities: Antonio R. Flores, President and CEO
  • Imagining America: Artists and Academics in Public Life: Kal Alston and Erica Kohl, Board Chair and Faculty Director
  • Institute for citizens and academics: Rajiv Vinnakota, President
  • Institute for Democracy and Higher Education, Tufts University: Nancy Thomas, director
  • Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management: Lisa Petrides, Founder and CEO
  • Interfaith Youth Core: Eboo Patel, founder and president
  • Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, Tufts University: Dayna Cunningham, Pierre and Pamala Omidyar Dean
  • Karsh Institute of Democracy, University of Virginia: Melody C. Barnes, Executive Director
  • League for Innovation at Community College: Rufus Glasper, President and CEO
  • Massachusetts Department of Higher Education: Carlos Santiago, curator
  • MENTOR: David Shapiro, CEO
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education: Heather F. Perfetti, President
  • National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators: Justin Draeger, President and CEO
  • National Association of Student Personnel Administrators: Kévin Kruger, president
  • National Association of System Managers (NASH): Rebecca Martin, Executive Director
  • National Institute for the Assessment of Learning Outcomes: Gianina Baker, Acting Director
  • Institute of forums on national issues: Betty Knighton, President
  • New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE): Laurent Schall, president
  • Pericles project: Jan R. Liss, Executive Director
  • Prosperity now: Gary Cunningham, President and CEO
  • Public agenda: Andrew J. Seligsohn, President
  • America Stock Exchange: Bob Ballard, President and CEO
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC): Belle S. Wheelan, President
  • Virginia State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV): Peter Blake, Director
  • The Howard R. Swearer Center for Public Service, Brown University: Mary Jo Callan, Executive Director of the Stark Family
  • The Bonner Foundation: Bobby Hackett, President
  • The Education Trust: Denise Forte, Interim CEO
  • The Leaders’ Conference on Civil and Human Rights: Wade Henderson, Interim President and CEO
  • The Netter Center for Community Partnerships, University of Pennsylvania: Ira Harkavy, Associate Vice-President and Founding Director
  • Maryland University System: Jay Perman, Chancellor
  • WASC Higher Colleges and Universities Commission: Jamienne S. Studley, President

Founding signatories

  • Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U): Lynn Pasquerella, President
  • The Heads of State Higher Education (SHEEO): Robert Anderson, President
  • Complete College America (CCA): Yolanda Watson Spiva, President
  • College Promise: Martha Kanter, CEO

Research partners

  • Center for Community College Student Engagement,
    The University of Texas at Austin
  • National survey on student engagement,
    Post-Secondary Research Center, Indiana University School of Education
  • Faculty survey on student engagement,
    Post-Secondary Research Center, Indiana University School of Education

K-12 Partners

  • iCivics, educating for American democracy
  • CIRCLE, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement,
    Tufts University, Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life

CLDE pedagogical advisers

  • Fay Akindes, Director, System-Wide Professional and Educational Development, University of Wisconsin System
  • Jodi fisler, Senior Associate for Assessment Policy & Analysis at the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV)
  • Ari Hoy, Vice President of Program and Resource Development at the Bonner Foundation
  • Marie Beth Amour, Executive Director, Metro Student Success Program and Professor of Public Health, San Francisco State University
  • David Scobey, Director of Theory into Practice (BTtoP)
  • Carol Geary Schneider, President Emeritus, Association of American Colleges and Universities, Senior Advisor for Quality and Civic Learning, College Promise; Consultant for Quality and Equity, Lumina Foundation
  • Whitehead Dawn, Vice President, Global Citizenship for Campus, Community & Careers, AAC&U

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