Civic AgencyInvolves the capacities of citizens to work collaboratively across differences like partisan ideology, faith traditions, income, geography, race, and ethnicity to address common challenges, solve problems and create common ground; requires a set of individual skills, knowledge, and predispositions; also involves questions of institutional design, particularly how to constitute groups and institutions for sustainable collective action. (CLDE Emergent Theory of Change, 2017 CLDE Meeting)
- Chronology of Key Events and Publications
- 5 Things Student Affairs Professionals Can Do to Institutionalize Civic Engagement
- Diversity & Democracy: Civic Learning for Shared Futures - Higher Edcuation for Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement: Reinvesting in Longstanding Commitments
- Ethos Matters: Inspiring Students as Democracy's Co-creators
Guiding Questions to Promote the Development of Students’ Civic Agency
- How is the concept of citizenship explored in your programs/services?
- How is meaningful dialogue facilitated across political ideologies?
- How can community service experiences direct reflection about common challenges, common ground, and common work?
- How do developmental aims inform your campus response to conservative and/or liberal activism?
- How do programs support the development of resilience for civic life?
- How do interactions with students highlight the need for personal and social responsibility?
- How does your institutional mission statement express the civic mission of your college and university?
- What specific skills and values do you hope to provide to your students and your graduates?
Civic TechnologyThe 2016-2017 NASPA Lead Initiative Lead Advisory Institutions did a review of several technology platforms that are of interest to Lead Initiative campuses. From this review, a few tools are highlighted below as a resource for campuses. These reviews are not intended to be an endorsement for the product but should serve as a guide when considering the use of civic technology platforms.
Campus Connect: When bundled with their Service Learning Module, Campus Connect makes it easy for School Admins to create, manage, track impact, and report on student service learning courses and programs.
Highlights: Offers corresponding modules for community partners to track volunteers and community wide volunteer postings which can integrate with the campus version so community partners are not duplicating data entry.
Things to note: Focus more on tracking hours than student learning.
Campus Groups: CampusGroups helps universities and colleges increase campus engagement by providing all the tools to manage groups, promote events, and improve the student experience.
Highlights: Provides aggregated, campus wide data, can collect, analyze and compare student involvement and assessment data, satisfaction surveys, identify students who need reminders on their goals to reach learning outcomes of the campus. Extensive attendance and involvement data - # of hours at each event, membership data for each student, their roles within groups, number of events attended, number of hours contributed towards requirements, and the number of emails students are reading. Create custom evaluations for measuring ROI, program effectiveness, presenter assessment event satisfaction and more. Download reports into Excel or build RSS feeds of data.
Things to note: It is unclear if users outside of the college community (alumni, campus partners, employers etc.) are able to access Campus Groups.
CampusLabs (Collegiate Link / OrgSync): With the power of Campus Labs, an individual / institution can connect students to meaningful and guided opportunities, easily manage and track their involvement, and showcase the impact on the student experience.
Highlights: Track individual student activities, can produce a co-curricular transcript, students can upload/input reflection responses.
Credly: End to end solution for creating, managing, and issuing digital credentials.
Highlights: Capture individual student activities, can require staff approval/verification if preferred.
Things to note: There is not a space for faculty/staff data entry.
Lyon Software: CBISA (Community Benefit Inventory for Social Accountability) features a blend of both statistical and narrative information. This allows you to not just crunch numbers, but to also describe your group's real and intangible contributions in the form of stories and anecdotes. CBISA also collects and stores information used throughout your reporting year including community needs, partnerships, and goals.
Highlights: Focus on overall engagement to see impact, emphasis on generating reports to Excel, Word, XML, Crystal, and PDF formats, cost is $1360 annually with unlimited data, unlimited users, all necessary web trainings, and unlimited technical support, some campuses are currently using for reports to and information for AAC&U, Campus Compact, Carnegie Classification, and President’s Honor Roll.
Things to note: Does not track individuals nor is it useful to do survey administration.
Presence (formerly Check I'm here): Presence is a web and mobile software platform that helps you identify ways to increase student engagement, better allocate resources, enhance assessment practices, and promote opportunities, ultimately improving outcomes and retention.
Highlights: Organization and event management, track individual student involvement, easily used on mobile devices and campus branded apps, conduct assessments/evaluations on site, use card swiping.
Things to note: Focus seems to be on event management and student organizations, unclear if there is space for faculty to share their s-l activities and information.
SharePoint (Microsoft product): SharePoint empowers teamwork with dynamic and productive team sites for every project team, department, and division. Share files, data, news, and resources. Customize your site to streamline your team’s work. Collaborate effortlessly and securely with team members inside and outside your organization, across PCs, Macs, and mobile devices.
Highlights: Share or download Excel, Powerpoint, Word, or Visio documents, campus Sharepoint site is highly customizable for look/feel, and organization, most campuses already have Microsoft or 365 so it is easy to add the SharePoint functionality.
Simplicity - CSM Module (related to NACElink): Connect job seekers to leading employers while giving them all the tools they need to prepare for and succeed in today's job market. Efficiently manage all aspects of career services, including job postings, on-campus recruiting, post-graduation metrics, and more.
Hightlights: Symplicity offers modules for managing student conduct, on-campus housing, accommodations, study abroad, student support services, and connecting with community which many campuses already use so this could be an easy add on. Can review and evaluate resumes/CVs, job applications, interviews, etc. Can be a tool to create and host career fairs and workshops. Recruiters have access to candidate information.
Things to note: Does not seem to be a tool that tracks hours volunteered/worked.
- Campus Connect: When bundled with their Service Learning Module, Campus Connect makes it easy for School Admins to create, manage, track impact, and report on student service learning courses and programs.
Community PartnershipsResources coming soon.
Dialogue and Deliberation
Conversation Café: Conversation Cafés are open, hosted conversations in cafés as well as conferences and classrooms—anywhere people gather to make sense of our world. At a Conversation Café there is nothing to join, no homework, no agenda, just a simple process that helps to shift us from small talk to BIG talk, conversations that matter.
Hosts are key to successful Conversation Cafés.
Hosting Manual: http://www.conversationcafe.org/the-complete-hosting-manual/
Principles, agreements, and process: http://www.conversationcafe.org/principles-for-conversation-cafes/
Facing Project: The Facing Project is a nonprofit that connects people through stories to strengthen communities. We provide tools, a platform, funds, and inspiration so communities can share the stories of citizens through the talent of local writers, artists, and actors.
Interactivity Foundation: The Interactivity Foundation works to enhance the process and expand the scope and health of our democracy by bringing people together in small group discussions of broad topics of societal concern. Our goal is to engage more people in the exploration and development of more possibilities for public policy. We use a facilitated discussion process that is oriented around the notion of collaboration by difference, engaging a group to work together to uncover divergent perspectives on the discussion topic and to develop divergent approaches to that topic.
Living Room Conversations: Living Room Conversations is a non-profit organization founded in 2010 as a result of a transpartisan partnership focused on revitalizing civil discourse through conversation. Living Room Conversations offers an open-source format to facilitate structured conversations among people of differing views and backgrounds. Through these conversations we hope to increase understanding of various issues, build relationships, and pave the way for collaborative and inclusive problem-solving.
National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD): The National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation is a network of thousands of innovators who bring people together across divides to tackle today’s toughest challenges. NCDD serves as a gathering place, a resource clearinghouse, a news source, and a facilitative leader for this extraordinary community.
National Issues Forum (NIF): National Issues Forums (NIF) is a network of civic, educational, and other organizations, and individuals, whose common interest is to promote public deliberation in America. It includes civic clubs, religious organizations, libraries, schools, and many other groups that meet to discuss critical public issues. Forum participants range from teenagers to retirees, prison inmates to community leaders, and literacy students to university students
NIF does not advocate specific solutions or points of view but provides citizens the opportunity to consider a broad range of choices, weigh the pros and cons of those choices, and meet with each other in a public dialogue to identify the concerns they hold in common.
NASPA Online Learning Community:
Public Conversations Project: Difficult conversations - about the issues that matter most - are too often avoided or approached with fear. Many believe, often based on experience that engaging with difference will threaten the stability of their community or result in the same unproductive debates where no one feels heard or valued. Even when people do engage with difference, they often retreat further into what they know and understand; communities devolve into silence, heated disagreement, or sometimes even violent conflict. In this stalemate, everyone loses the richest, most essential parts of living and working in diverse and pluralistic communities.
Story Circles: Story circles are one of the main tools used in the People's State of the Union! From January 23-30, 2015, Citizen Artists across the country hosted story circles, inviting communities to come together and share their own perspective on the current state of our union. Below is a general guideline for how story circles may be used in any setting.
5 Things Student Affairs Professionals Can Do to Institutionalize Civic Engagement | August 2013
Matthew Hartley and Laura E. Sponsler
A newly released NASPA 5 Things Issue Brief asserts that student affairs professionals generally—and chief student affairs officers (CSAOs) especially—can play a pivotal role in the important civic purpose of advancing our democracy through the preparation of citizens
While the responsibility of this task is shared among faculty, administrators, policymakers, and community leaders, the brief argues that student affairs leadership is crucial to institutionalizing civic learning and democratic engagement. The brief is constructed around five key suggestions for CSAOs to consider to improve their institutional culture, policy, and practice in order to advance their institution’s educational opportunities to prepare students for active citizenship and active participation in our nation's democracy.
Effective Strategies for Supporting Student Civic Engagement | May 2018
Marissa Corrente, Jonathan Hilsher, Stephanie King, and Melinda L. Tejada
Recent protests and political events signal the need for higher education institutions to take a closer look at the importance and significance of student activism on college students’ experiences. Out-of-classroom environments are ripe with opportunities for students to process, communicate, and engage. This brief offers examples of effective strategies for student affairs educators in supporting student activism movements on college and university campuses. Examples from three NASPA Lead Initiative institutions are highlighted.