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

  • Engagement and Employability examines the central role student affairs plays in helping students gain and articulate career skills through cocurricular experiences. It focuses on the…


  • 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

  • Hello from the Other Side:  Pick up the Phone and You Might be Surprised!

    Community Partnerships. A connection to the “other side” typically begins with a phone call and taking a risk to see if non-profits in the community are willing and interested in hearing us out and taking a chance. Hopefully, their interactions with representatives from our institution in the past were positive and we don’t end up apologizing for students who did not have the organization’s needs at the forefront of their engagement. But we won’t know if they are willing to partner if we don’t take the risk and pick up the phone and call.

    Posted on April 28, 2017 at 03:20 PM by Lead Initiative
  • Q & A with the CLDE17 Student Interns

    Hello, readers! We are the 2017 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement student interns, and we are happy to be working with the planning committee this year to create the wonderful CLDE17 conference. In addition to helping with the ideas for the conference as a whole, we are also tasked with planning a student symposium where we will be discussing important and relevant topics with the student attendees. Before this happens, however, we would like all attendees to get to know us better, so we created a Q&A between the three of us where you get to learn more about our views on civic and community engagement. We hope you enjoy it!

    Posted on April 28, 2017 at 01:11 PM by Lead Initiative
  • Top 10 Things to Make the Most Out of #CLDE17

    Be sure to join us for the 2017 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting (#CLDE17) in Baltimore, Md. from June 7-10th. Early-bird rates end on Monday, May 1 and our group rate at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront is good through Tuesday, May 16.

    Posted on April 24, 2017 at 09:32 PM by Lead Initiative
  • From Campus to Career: A spotlight on the Spring issue of Leadership Exchange

    In the Spring edition of Leadership Exchange, Dr. Michael Baston, vice president for student affairs at LaGuardia Community College, discusses how "student affairs practice must respond to the prevailing shifts in learner consciousness, interests, and goals as well as employer expectations. As architects of experiences, student affairs can help students and other key stakeholders— including faculty, employers, and peers— recognize the value proposition of student engagement, particularly related to developing skills to increase the likelihood of favorable post-graduation employability."

    Posted on April 24, 2017 at 05:58 AM by NASPA Blog

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