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

  • Notes & Coffee: August 22 - 28

    Catch up on this week’s trending student affairs and higher ed news including a judge in Texas’ block of Obama’s transgender bathroom rules; NLRB ruling that graduate students at private universities may unionize; a Dean of the U of Chicago sets incoming freshmen’s expectations on safe spaces; parsing the ‘free’ in free community college; and a Twitter recap on our live briefing “Leading from Joy, Not Pain”.

    Posted on August 28, 2016 at 09:13 AM by NASPA Blog
  • Campus Profile #7: University of Missouri St. Louis

    This election year will be an exciting one for University of Missouri St. Louis (UMSL). They have been working over the summer planning election-specific activities for students that will begin almost as soon as they arrive on campus. Throughout the fall semester, there will be voter registration drives held by members of the League of Women Voters and the Associated Students of the University of Missouri, a nonpartisan and nonprofit student lobbying organization made up of students enrolled in any University of Missouri campus. Having organizations with no political affiliation conduct voter registration makes it more likely that students from a variety of political perspectives will be encouraged to register. These two groups will work together to have several registration drives leading up to the general election.

    Posted on August 25, 2016 at 02:15 PM by Lead Initiative
  • Thoughts on the Importance of Stewardship in Student Affairs

    Often in higher education, we think of the concept of stewardship from a perspective rooted strictly in philanthropy: cultivating and caring for a donor or prospective donor and then ensuring their gift is used responsibly and consistently with their intent. We continue to see the importance of campus as public square daily through, among other examples, increasing student activism related to the current presidential campaign and other critical emerging and re-emerging social and societal issues.

    Posted on August 25, 2016 at 09:28 AM by NASPA Blog
  • Campus Profile #6: Miami University Hamilton Campus

    Miami University’s regional campus in Hamilton, Ohio provides diverse civic opportunities for students, geared toward preparing them for life outside college and connecting them to the Butler County community. The Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) trains student volunteers who do voter registration drives at least once a week until the registration deadline. Students hand out sample ballots and encourage students check their registration status on laptops. The CCE then delivers all local registration forms to the Butler County Board of Elections.

    Posted on August 24, 2016 at 07:30 AM by Lead Initiative

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