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How the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement Can Help Your Campus

Civic Engagement Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement
Ishara Casellas Connors

This presentation seeks to help educators better understand how campuses can partner with Tufts University to be part of the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE) report that is published every two years.  NSLVE is the first and only study to objectively examine student and institution-level data on student voting and to share these data with participating campuses.

In the report A Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracy’s Future by The National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement they called on the nation’s higher education institutions to advance a vision of civic learning and democratic engagement for every student’s college education.  According to this Crucible Moment, the United States was ranked 139th in voter participation of the 172 world democracies in 2007.  Just recently, the Pew Research Center reported that 55.7% of the United Stated voting-age population cast ballots in the 2016 election with Belgium being the highest country in the world with their election turnout at 87.2%.

In order to maintain an engaged democracy, higher education institutions must put in place mechanisms of assessment and engagement programming around democratic engagement. The Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Knowledge Community was formed in NASPA to talk about this engagement and provide resources.   We believe by being part of national studies, such as NSLVE allows institutions to examine how they can increase civic literacy on their campus.  We believe it is everyone’s job to get students talking and participating in CLDE.    

We will begin by sharing an overview of the CLDE Knowledge Community.  Next, Ishara Casellas Connors, associate director, Institute for Democracy & Higher Education at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life within Tufts University will share an overview of how campuses can be involved in the study, how to read a recent institution report, and national takeaways from the 2016 data.  We will provide participants with examples of Voter Engagement on two campuses and how these institutions are using their 2016 report. 

We also invite attendees to participate in a follow up NASPA Webinar that is explore the cross comparison of NASPA LEAD Initiative Campuses, American Democracy Project Campuses, and The Democracy Commitment Campuses compared to national trends in Voter Engagement and Education. This session will be held in February 2018.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • identify ways to partner with the NSLVE to understand student voting rates on their campus;
  • discuss the 2016 campus report and national takeaways;
  • compare what other campuses are doing with their reports and with Voter Engagement initiatives; and
  • identify the benefits of joining the CLDE Knowledge Community.
Course Length
Course Type
On Demand

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