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…


  • This updated set of Professional Competency Areas is intended to define the broad professional knowledge, skills, and, in some cases, attitudes expected of student affairs professionals regardless of their…

  • 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

  • Food Insecurity and How You Can Help at #CLDE16

    Food insecurity is a prevalent issue regardless of the college or community that we live in. We come from different neighborhoods, schools, and states; however we see similar problems in students being able to access healthy food. Therefore, as part of the 2016 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Meeting we’d like to put this issue on the forefront of our agendas. As the inaugural CLDE Student Interns, we invite you to read our experiences below and to engage in dialogue in Indianapolis during the food insecurity session on Saturday, June 4th. We’re also proud to partner with IUPUI’s campus food pantry – Paw’s Pantry – by hosting a food drive throughout #CLDE16. You can bring non-perishable food and monetary donations to the registration desk for donation.

    Posted on May 6, 2016 at 01:55 PM by Lead Initiative
  • #CLDE16 Reminder: Book Your Hotel Room Now

    Don’t forget to book your hotel room for the 2016 Civic Learning & Democratic Engagement Meeting organized by ADP, TDC, and NASPA (#CLDE16) on June 2-4, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

    Posted on May 6, 2016 at 12:30 PM by Lead Initiative
  • Notes & Coffee: May 2-6

    Catch up on this week’s student affairs and higher ed news that includes harsh lessons in cash flow for small colleges; the Justice Dept tells UNC that it is violating Title IX by complying with new state bathroom legislation; the role race plays in college debt; and an editorial look at what can really stop kids from dropping out.

    Posted on May 6, 2016 at 08:21 AM by NASPA Blog
  • #CLDE16: Democracy Plaza Tour at IUPUI

    After the “hanging chad” incident during the 2000 presidential election, students at IUPUI vocalized that there must be a place on our campus where our community’s constituents can come together (formally and informally) to discuss the most pressing political issues of our time. What manifested from these students’ passion and voices is the public landmark of Democracy Plaza (DP): 22 large chalkboards in the middle of IUPUI’s urban campus.

    Posted on May 4, 2016 at 08:18 AM by Lead Initiative

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