By Owen Daugherty, NASFAA Staff Reporter
NASFAA today joined dozens of other higher education organizations and associations in a commitment to make learning democracy and civic principles a top priority for postsecondary education.
The Civic Learning and Democracy Engagement (CLDE) organization the coalition NASFAA is joining, which seeks to make institutions of higher education a training ground for civic leadership and community engagement.
“Urging ‘equity-committed civic learning,’ the ‘Shared Commitment’ signatories call for civic inquiry, practice in civil discourse, and collaborative work on real-world public problems to be part of each postsecondary student’s educational pathway,” stated a release announcing the additional partners.
Coalition leaders said more is needed to make teaching and learning about democratic principles expected, rather than possible, for students in higher education. The initiative is striving to advance the conversation beyond its current focus on skills and short-term training to a larger one incorporating all college students’ civic, historical, global, and intercultural knowledge to push for students’ work on pressing public issues.
Four key goals will guide the efforts to engage college students with democracy’s future: quality and equity; democracy engagement; collaborative problem solving; and policy commitment.
“Students want to help create solutions that transform lives. We owe all students a quality education that empowers them to learn and act, alongside diverse partners, to build a better future,” reads the coalition’s mission statement. “We owe them, as well, a strong foundation in civil discourse–the capacity and commitment to engage respectfully and productively with views and experiences different from their own.”
Those interested in learning more about the effort’s participants can do so here. Additionally, a website was created to serve as a hub for civic learning and democracy education, including resources for further engagement.
Publication Date: 9/27/2021