We work closely with several other organizations doing complementary work, so we’re sitting down with them for a little Q & A. We’ll add to this roster as we complete more interviews. For now, learn more about:
University Network for Collaborative Governance (UNCG) &
AASCU’s American Democracy Project
We've organized our links into four categories...
Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU)
The mission of the Association of American Colleges and Universities is to make the aims of liberal learning a vigorous and constant influence on institutional purpose and educational practice in higher education.
Program Areas: Education and Institutional Renewal, Diversity Equity, and Global Initiatives, and Quality, Curriculum, and Assessment
Current relevant programs include: Liberal Education and America's Promise (LEAP); Inclusive Excellence: Diversity, Inclusion, and Institutional Renewal; Core Commitments: Educating Students for Personal and Social Responsibility; Center for Liberal Education and Civic Engagement; Shared Futures: Global Learning and Social Responsibility, and; various campus diversity initiatives.
In addition, the Center for Liberal Education and Civic Engagement sponsors an ongoing democratically-focused transnational project with the Council of Europe and the U.S. Steering Committee of the International Consortium for Higher Education, Civic Responsibility and Democracy. (http://www.aacu.org/civic_engagement/CouncilofEurope.cfm).
AAC&U also sponsors Diversity Web (www.diversityweb.org) and Diversity Digest, which profile campus diversity initiatives linked to AAC&U programs.
AAC&U also produces an online publication, On Campus With Women (http://www.aacu.org/ocww/index.cfm), which highlights issues and trends involving women in higher education.
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is an independent policy and research center with a primary mission "to do and perform all things necessary to encourage, uphold, and dignify the profession of the teacher and the cause of higher education."
Carnegie Senior Scholars Tom Ehrlich and Anne Colby have been prolific on the subjects of civic education and learning, service learning, social responsibility, and ethics. Their most recent publication, a consensus report by 22 scholars, jointly organized by Carnegie and the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), explores the civic effects of attending college and the benefits of various approaches to civic learning in higher education. It emphasizes that colleges and universities have a civic purpose and outlines an agenda for further research. Download the report at: http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/dynamic/publications/elibrary_pdf_633.pdf.
Network for Higher Education and Democratic Culture
During the Global Forum in Strasbourg in June 2006, the Declaration on the Responsibility of Higher Education for a Democratic Culture: Citizenship, Human Rights and Sustainability (http://dc.ecml.at/index.asp?Page=Declaration) was adopted to "promote a democratic culture and sustainable societies through higher education". In addition to this Declaration, the Council of Europe's Commission on Higher Education and Democratic Culture developed a website to serve as the online home to the Declaration and basis for the creation of a global Network of institutions who are committed to these principles. To become a member of the Network, an institution must affirm its commitment by signing the Declaration (http://dc.ecml.at/join_network.asp) and posting at least one activity that promotes democratic culture, human rights and global citizenship.
While this work is being led by the Council of Europe (representing forty-six nations), the primary contact in the United States is the International Consortium for Higher Education, Civic Responsibility and Democracy housed at the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Community Partnerships and co-chaired by the Center's Director, Ira Harkavy.
Note: Many organizations reference Tom Ehrlich's definition of "civic engagement" from Civic Responsibility and Higher Education (Oryx Press, 2000): Civic engagement means working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes (Preface, p.vi)
American Associations of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)
American Democracy Project
The American Democracy Project (ADP) is an initiative of 224 AASCU campuses that seeks to create an intellectual and experiential understanding of civic engagement for undergraduates enrolled at institutions that are members of AASCU. The goal of the project is to produce graduates who understand and are committed to engaging in meaningful actions as citizens in a democracy. ADP's current interests include stewardship of public lands, juries, voting, civic skills, and political engagement.
Campus Compact's mission is to advance the public purposes of colleges and universities by deepening their ability to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility.
Campus Compact envisions colleges and universities as vital agents and architects of a diverse democracy, committed to educating students for responsible citizenship in ways that both deepen their learning and improve the quality of community life. We challenge all of higher education to make civic and community engagement an institutional priority.
Campus Compact was started 20 years ago with a focus on student volunteerism. It grew into the national clearinghouse for service learning, political engagement, and civic engagement. Campus Compact's membership consists of college and university presidents who appoint campus liaison's to Campus Compact. Currently, 1100 campuses belong, and 31 states have Campus Compact networks.
Campus Compact led the work to create the Presidents' Declaration on the Civic Responsibility of Higher Education, http://www.compact.org/resources/declaration/.
For an excellent glossary of terms, see http://www.compact.org/help/glossary.
Higher Education Network for Civic Engagement (HENCE)
HENCE is a new network (2006) of associations and organizations in higher education that came together to "deepen, consolidate, and advance the literature, research, practice, policy, and advocacy for community engagement as a core element of higher education’s role in society. Increasingly, higher education institutions are intentionally connecting academic work to public purposes through extensive partnerships that involve faculty and students in active collaboration with communities. This idea of "community engagement" is renewing the civic mission of higher education and transforming academic culture in ways that are both exciting and challenging.
"HENCE represents a new, high level of commitment to cooperation across diverse engagement-related organizations to provide support for the next phase of growth and improvement. On February 24, 2006, at the Wingspread Conference Center in Racine, Wisconsin, individuals representing several national organizations agreed on the following network objectives:
- Create a national network coordinated across leadership organizations
- Develop a coordinated approach to providing resources and data
- Encourage local, state, regional, and national meetings (formal and informal)
- Implement a coordinated agenda for advocacy
- Create an agenda for professional development and recognition
- Celebrate institutional differences
HENCE organizations committed to meeting these objectives by forming workgroups on these related tasks:
- Organize resources for and meetings among higher education lobbyists for advocacy at state and national levels
- Provide publications, web resources, training, and events for promoting community engagement at regional and national levels
- Collaborate on common data measures and dissemination of promising practices
- Develop models and provide support for quality scholarship of engagement
- Provide professional development opportunities for higher education leaders
National Service-Learning Clearinghouse (part of the Corporation for National and Community Service and Learn and Serve America)
The National Service Learning Clearinghouse operates a comprehensive web site supporting service learning in schools, universities, and communities. It has the largest and most up-to-date library of service learning information. It also operates a listserv.
November Fifth Coalition
This coalition was founded in May 2007 to introduce civic themes in the 2008 campaign season by developing position papers, organizing events, and drawing attention to civic work.
The November Fifth Coalition (www.novemberfifth.org) is a diverse coalition that has come together around a common commitment to change the sadly predictable script of national political campaigns. Today candidates present themselves as the solutions to our problems, blame our difficulties on rival politicians; in which reporters treat the campaign as a horse race; and in which voters pretend to believe all this -- accepting the fiction that we can vote someone in who will fix our problems, rather than acknowledging our collective responsibility for addressing public challenges and taking care of the commonwealth. Despite the flawed national political system, a new generation of citizen-centered work has arisen, rebuilding an ethos and practice of collective responsibility for our common fate. These include a great range of efforts, from watershed restoration to inner city citizen projects to build affordable housing and create safe neighborhoods, from middle class organizing in suburbs to tame the forces like overscheduling and hypercompetitive birthday parties that undermine family life, to citizen-led education reform efforts. There are many new forms of discussion and action involving large numbers of citizens working with government, community-focused "wikis" and social networking websites, and many other efforts that engage citizens directly in solving public problems. All kinds of leaders are initiating these efforts, from mayors, police chiefs, and school superintendents to community organizers and youth activists. Because of this explosion of civic experiments and innovation, we know more than ever before about how to create effective citizen government interactions, and how to begin to rebuild local civic cultures in which engagement becomes part of the "DNA" of community life. Citizen-centered work is robust, diverse, and sophisticated. It is addressing increasingly large-scale issues, from global warming to the reconstruction of the Gulf. And it is a subterranean movement that is renewing the sense of democracy as the work of us all. The November Fifth Coalition will draw public attention to this movement during the campaign season, propose policies that will support civic work, promote discussion of political reforms, and create better opportunities for citizens to interact with campaigns.
Project Pericles' mission is "to encourage and facilitate commitments by colleges and universities to include preparation for social responsibility and participatory citizenship as an essential part of their educational programs, in the classroom, on the campus and in the community." It is a multi-institutional network of 22 campuses that agree to adopt specific "policies" in five areas:
- Institutional commitment
- Constituency Involvement
- Central Administration
- Cooperation and Collaboration
The organization is not prescriptive: campuses do not need to pursue the same approaches or activities. Campuses collaborate to enhance their work (e.g., many of the campuses have centers for civic engagement; the member institutions' program directors meet to share ideas). Project Pericles is developing a co-curricular program, Debating for Democracy (D4D), in which Periclean students research, develop their own opinions and advocate their positions on current issues of public import.
Office of University Partnerships (in the US Department of Housing and Urban Development) (rumored to be discontinued soon)
Office of University Partnerships (OUP) facilitates the formation of campus-community partnerships through sharing information about community partnership development, in general, and about OUP's various funded programs (COPC grants). OUP’s web site provides many helpful resources, including funding, research, news, events, technical assistance, and highlights of campus-community activities nationwide.
OUP is committed to helping colleges and universities join with their neighbors to address urban problems—partnerships that enable students, faculty, and neighborhood organizations to work together to revitalize the economy, generate jobs, and rebuild healthy communities.
For over a quarter of a century, Public Agenda has been providing unbiased and unparalleled research that bridges the gap between American leaders and what the public really thinks about issues ranging from education to foreign policy to immigration to religion and civility in American life. Nonpartisan and nonprofit, Public Agenda was founded by social scientist and author Daniel Yankelovich and former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance in 1975. Public Agenda's two-fold mission is to help:
- American leaders better understand the public's point of view.
- Citizens know more about critical policy issues so they can make thoughtful, informed decisions.
Public Agenda is an objective explorer of public opinion and a scrupulously fair minded producer of citizen education materials. Public Agenda's unique research explains and clarifies public attitudes about complex policy issues. Public Agenda's work shows that when presented with accurate information and meaningful choices, Americans can and do make thoughtful decisions. PA has a listserv that distributes the results from their extensive polling efforts. To receive these fascinating updates, click here: http://www.publicagenda.org/register.cfm
Collaborative Democracy Network (Sacramento State University)
A network of over 100 interdisciplinary and international scholars has been established to focus on the need to enhance the role of deliberative and collaborative methods in democratic governance. The goal of the network is to collaborate on research and theory building to strengthen the capacity of democratic governance institutions to produce better public policy. The scholars are interested in research and practice in public policy, public administration, political science, and planning.
Center for Community Partnerships (University of Pennsylvania)
Since its founding in 1992, the Center for Community Partnerships (CCP) has been engaged in an effort to connect the academic mission of the University of Pennsylvania with the aspirations of the community in which it resides. The Center serves as the University’s primary vehicle for engaging with the community in mutually-beneficial, democratic partnerships, based on a belief that the future of the University and its community (West Philadelphia/Philadelphia) are intertwined. Through CCP, the University currently engages in three types of activities: academically based community service, direct traditional service, and community development. CCP draws on the perspectives of multiple disciplines and professions to address the enormously complex real-world problems of urban life. CCP primary focus areas include education, health and community development. The Center for Community Partnerships serves as a model for civic engagement and university-assisted community schools both nationally and internationally.
Center for Democracy and Citizenship (Humphrey Institute, University of Minnesota)
The Center develops concepts, practices, and methods to deepen civic agency, the collective power and wisdom of people to address common challenges and to build flourishing democratic societies. Its core framework is called "public work," understood as the sustained, visible efforts of a diverse mix of people to create things, material or cultural, of lasting civic value. Public Achievement, the civic education initiative based on these ideas, has spread to more than a dozen countries, including South Africa, Northern Ireland, Turkey, Poland, Palestine and Israel (www.paunite.org; www.publicachievement.com). The Jane Addams School for Democracy is a public work initiative that brings together immigrant families with college students and other community members to engage in dialogue, public work, and democratic education http://www.publicwork.org/jas/ and http://www.westsidelearning.org/).
Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) (University of Maryland's School of Public Policy)
CIRCLE promotes research on the civic and political engagement of Americans between the ages of 15 and 25. Although CIRCLE conducts and funds research rather than practice, its projects have practical implications for increasing young people’s engagement in politics and civic life. CIRCLE is also a clearinghouse for relevant information and scholarship. CIRCLE's website contains more than 100 working papers and fact sheets on various aspects of civic education, youth service, and civic engagement
Civic Practices Network (Brandeis University)
The Civic Practices Network (CPN) is a collaborative and nonpartisan project that connects a broad organizations and perspectives in the civic renewal movement. The group includes community organizers, civic leaders, teachers, university centers, health care professionals, librarians, youth organizers – anyone who is interested helping to "empower families and develop community capacities for solving problems in a diverse and complex society undergoing rapid change." CPN is primarily an on-line initiative and its "collaborators" are encouraged to use CPN web space to "share tools" and "tell their stories." The information on the web site is open source and provides all who access it with opportunities to learn from each other.
Fielding Graduate University
Fielding Graduate University offers doctoral degrees in human and organizational development and in clinical psychology as well as a Masters degree in educational leadership. In addition, it offers a continuing education course in "Dialogue, Deliberation, and Public Engagement." This program is for mid-career professionals and practitioners who need additional skills and knowledge about ways of engaging that are more constructive. Public participation practitioners, organization development consultants, public policy consultation and communication officials, individuals working with communities, groups and organizations to create more constructive conversation and collaborative action all will benefit from this program.
Imagining America (formerly at the University of Michigan, moving to Syracuse University)
Imagining America: Arts and Scholars in Public Life, is a national consortium of colleges and universities committed to public engagement and public scholarship in the arts, humanities and design. Consortium members commit to
- Scholarly, creative, and educational work jointly planned and carried out by university and community partners;
- Artistic, critical, and historic work that contributes to public
- Efforts to integrate public engagement, public scholarship, and community-based teaching in higher education
- Integrating the research, teaching, service, and public engagement missions of higher education
Nearly 20 universities now have institutional programs to sponsor Intergroup Dialogues, Intergroup dialogues are defined as facilitated, face-to-face meetings between students from two or more social identity groups that have a history of conflict or potential conflict. This approach was initially developed at the University of Michigan and has subsequently been implemented, with thousands of students participating each year, at Arizona State University, the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the University of Washington, Seattle, among others.
The New England Resource Center for Higher Education(NERCHE) (University of Massachusetts Boston)
The New England Resource Center for Higher Education is a center for inquiry, research, and policy. NERCHE supports administrators, faculty, and staff across the region in becoming more effective practitioners and leaders as they navigate the complexities of institutional innovation and change.
NERCHE focuses on higher education institutions as complex workplaces. We provide resources for practitioners who are exploring innovative ways to shape higher education and create opportunities for learning and applying their collective knowledge and experience.
NERCHE's research projects, programs, and activities draw upon the practitioner perspective to improve practice and to inform and influence policy, moving from the local to regional and national levels.
NERCHE's work is informed by a grassroots approach to developing collaborative leadership, oriented to building diverse and inclusive communities. Committed to higher education's responsibility to the public realm, it values the principle of equal respect for the wisdom and experience of everyone involved in discovering new knowledge, improving practice, and providing leadership for institutional change.
NERCHE strives for the widest possible inclusion of diverse voices—from underrepresented individuals, across role and position, and across institutional types—to foster authentic learning.
Since 1988, NERCHE has sponsored an annual series of Think Tanks, forums that allow college and university leaders to engage in cross-institutional, in-depth dialogues on pressing issues in the academy. Think Tanks offer venues for exchanging information and resources, and for translating theory into practice as members consider policy implications from their discussions.
National Center for the Study of University Engagement (Michigan State University)
The National Center for the Study of University Engagement (NCSUE) seeks a greater understanding of how university engagement enhances faculty scholarship and community progress. How do scholars engage most effectively with their communities, and how, in turn, does such engagement enhance their scholarship?
The Center convenes scholars and community fellows to explore ways of creating institutional support for building truly collaborative arrangements. NCSUE supports research studies and dissemination through publications, a speaker series, conferences, presentations, and workshops.
Its ongoing activities include:
- Developing measurement and benchmarking criteria for outreach and engagement locally, nationally, and internationally
- Defining outreach and engagement and seeking national alignment on the meaning and scope of the nomenclature and typologies
- Assessing faculty perceptions of their outreach and engagement work and how this work enhances their scholarship
- Examining faculty reward policies and procedures and the effectiveness of revising promotion and tenure guidelines
- Investigating policies and practices that enable institutions to weave engagement into their culture
- Providing incentives for faculty to evaluate their work as engaged scholars
- Evaluating graduate and undergraduate learning outcomes related to engagement involvement
- Studying processes and impacts of university-community collaborations
- Analyzing community contributions to engagement and scholarship
National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good (University of Michigan)
The mission of the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good is to significantly increase awareness, understanding, commitment, and action relative to the public service role of higher education in the United States. The National Forum seeks to bring together higher education professionals, legislators/policy makers, and the public, and engage them through deliberative dialogues, conferences, research publications, presentations, and policy briefs.
The National Forum has conducted projects both nationally and at the state level in Michigan. Specific focuses of the work of the organization have been: access to higher education, immigration and higher education, diversity issues and civic engagement on college campuses, leadership at Minority Serving Institutions, the scholarship surrounding the public role of higher education, and deliberative dialogue as a method for change.
Public Policy Research Institute (University of Montana)
The Public Policy Research Institute is designed to bridge the gap between two common types of centers affiliated with universities: those that focus on natural resources and environmental law and policy, and those that focus on dispute resolution and consensus building. Our mission - to promote sustainable communities and landscapes through collaboration and conflict resolution - compels us to embrace the best of both worlds. We help citizens and officials solve tough public policy issues by creating forums that bring together the right people with the best available information. We help participants understand the issues, examine the options, and seek solutions that integrate as many interests as possible. We also inform and invigorate public policy by conducting applied research, and train future leaders through our Natural Resources Conflict Resolution Program.
Pew Partnership for Civic Change (University of Richmond)
The Pew Partnership for Civic Change is a civic research organization that provides consulting and program support to communities, governments, foundations, and nonprofit agencies. We help clients identify and implement solutions and strategies crucial to making communities stronger.
The Pew Partnership for Civic Change was established in 1992 as a civic research organization with primary funding from The Pew Charitable Trusts. In 2004 the Partnership moved from an intermediary organization for the Trusts to a stand-alone nonprofit consulting firm as an administrative unit of the University of Richmond.