Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement

Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) means promoting the education of students for engaged citizenship through democratic participation in their communities, respect and appreciation of diversity, applied learning and social responsibility. The CLDE focus area supports discussion, educational programming, and professional development to help student affairs professionals provide students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to make a difference in their communities. To enhance and develop your understanding of CLDE, this focus area shares information from NASPA’s Lead Initiative, knowledge communities, NASPA conferences and events, and research and publications.

Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement
Constituent Groups

The CLDE focus area draw expertise from NASPA's members through the Lead Initiative as well as the Student Affairs Partnering with Academic Affairs Knowledge Community's working group: Service-Learning and Community Engagement (SLCE).

Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement

  • 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…

  • Responding to Campus Protests (Legal Links Vol 1, Iss 2)
    By Robert Axmacher, Leslie Banahan, Rhonda Beassie, Fernando Gomez, Neal H. Hutchens, Kerry Brian Melear, Brian A. Sponsler, and Jeffrey C. Sun

    This Legal Links issue on responding to campus protests offers student affairs professionals a resource for addressing campus protests while honoring First Amendment principles of free speech, promoting inclusion, and maintaining…

  • Cool Passion: Challenging Higher Education
    By Arthur W. Chickering and Associates

    Arthur W. Chickering is one of the leading researchers in student development theory and its implications for higher education. In 1969 he published Education and Identity, which posited seven…


  • Leadership Exchange magazine helps prepare chief student affairs officers for the most complex management challenges in higher education today. The magazine delivers expert news and analysis on the latest…


  • The mission of Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice (JSARP) is to publish the most rigorous, relevant, and well-respected research that makes a difference in student affairs practice.…

  • The Game of Oppression
    By Lamara Warren and Colette Cummings

    While college campuses are becoming increasingly diverse, many students still find it difficult to step outside of what is familiar and interact with students of different races, religions, classes,…

  • The First Amendment on Campus
    By Lee E. Bird, Mary Beth Mackin & Saundra K. Schuster, Editors

    What should college and university administrators do when the First Amendment seemingly conflicts with tightly held institutional values? Should administrators block, discourage, or attempt to adjudicate speech because it…

  • Student Freedom Revisited: Contemporary Issues and Perspectives
    By Robert L. Ackerman, William B. Werner & Louis C. Vaccaro, Editors

    During the late 1960s and early 1970s, a powerful new force, student activism, appeared on the campuses of America's colleges and universities. Student Freedom In American Higher Education brought…

  • Building a Culture of Evidence in Student Affairs: A Guide for Leaders and Practitioners
    By Marguerite McGann Culp and Gwendolyn Jordan Dungy, Editors

    Developed by experienced student affairs leaders who have successfully implemented cultures of evidence on their campuses, this tutorial offers practical advice and concrete examples of how to plan, create,…


Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement
Initiatives & Awards

NASPA recognizes its campuses for promoting civic learning and democratic engagement with the following awards and initiatives:

NASPA's Lead Initiative
The Lead Initiative recognizes a network of 73 institutions for their commitment to civic learning and democratic engagement.

Related Posts

  • Home for the Holidays: Help Homeless and Foster Youth during Academic Breaks

    Most students experiencing homelessness and students from foster care don’t have families to return to during academic breaks. Instead of enjoying the warmth of home and family, they scramble for a place to stay, often hiding their situation due to embarrassment. The fear of homelessness during breaks creates tremendous stress, preventing students from focusing on schoolwork.

    Posted on November 9, 2015 at 10:02 AM by Socioeconomic and Class Issues in Higher Education
  • How You Too Can Help DREAMers, DREAM

    NASPA Community Colleges Division Task Force Member, Michelle Roman-Garcia responds to the newly released report from the U.S. Department of Education entitled, “Resource Guide: Supporting Undocumented Youth: A Guide for Success in Secondary and Post-Secondary Settings." Read more to learn how the guide will not only serve to inform, but also strengthen the Latino/a educational pipeline.

    Posted on November 9, 2015 at 09:43 AM by Community Colleges Division
  • Living Faith

    Alejandro Magaña is an Assistant Director of Multicultural Student Affairs at Northwestern University. In his current role, Alejandro is responsible for managing, developing and assessing programs and activities focused on Identity Engagement. Prior to joining Northwestern, Alejandro worked at DePaul University for eight years, where his primary role was providing opportunities for students to engage with the universities Catholic and Vincentian identity. “Living Faith” is a digital story Alejandro created in early 2013 as a part of a Vincentian Storytellers workshop series sponsored by the Office of Mission and Values and DePaul University. This story was written months before the birth of his son, as a way to reflect on his faith journey and how it may influence his son’s faith journey. This story also played a healing role in Alejandro’s spiritual journey. The process of creating the story was especially helpful in working through anger, confusion and a sense of loss while at the same time feeling hopeful and appreciative over the impending birth of his son.

    Posted on November 5, 2015 at 10:15 AM by Spirituality and Religion in Higher Education
  • Tip Tuesday – Connecting with the Community

    Peer education groups should explore ways to connect with the larger community, outside of campus. Here are some suggestions.

    Posted on October 12, 2015 at 04:55 PM by BACCHUS Initiatives of NASPA

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