By Cecilia M. Orphan, National Manager, American Democracy Project.
I am pleased to announce ADP’s involvement in an important research project called “Pathways to Civic Engagement of College Alumni.” The two principal researchers for this project, Alberto Cabrera of the University of Maryland and David Weerts of the University of Minnesota, will conduct a longitudinal study that views adult civic behaviors as the result of a pathway. This pathway considers how family background, academic and co-curricular experiences in high school and college, and career outcomes/choices collectively shape civic behaviors in adulthood.
The researchers will hold a special informational meeting about the research student at the ADP National Meeting in Orlando on Friday, June 3, 10:45 am – 12 pm. RSVP is required for this meeting. To RSVP, please send an email to me.
The research proposed by Professors Weerts and Cabrera fits squarely with ADP’s goal of producing graduates who are committed to being active, involved citizens in their communities. Their work promises to provide important insights into the role that college plays in facilitating civic participation among our students and future alumni. Through their research, we hope to make more informed decisions about ways that campuses can promote civic involvement for future generations.
We have a multi-year plan to engage ADP participants with the work of Professors Weerts and Cabrera. As part of our new partnership, I have invited Professors Weerts and Cabrera to share the scope and goals of the project at the ADP National Meeting in June. At this meeting, they will solicit feedback from participants about analyses that would be most useful to ADP campuses. In subsequent years, the researchers will return to annual ADP meetings and share findings from their research. Most importantly, these forums will be used to dialogue with campus leaders about practical steps that might be taken to improve the civic outcomes among our graduates.
I would like to invite participants of the ADP National Meeting in June to join this special meeting with Professors Weerts and Cabrera. Space is limited for and RSVP is required. To RSVP for the meeting, send me an email. Please see below for additional details.
To register for the ADP National Meeting, please visit this website.
Special Meeting at #ADPS11: Pathways to Civic Engagement of College Alumni: RSVP Required
Friday, June 3
Presenters: Alberto Cabrera, University of Maryland and David Weerts, Associate Professor and Co-Director, Jandris Center for Innovative Higher Education, University of Minnesota
10:45 a.m. – Noon
In this session, presenters engage the audience in a discussion about their new research project underway entitled, Pathways to Civic Engagement of College Alumni. The purpose of this project is to examine pre-college, college, and post-college behaviors, attitudes, and experiences that best explain civic behaviors among college and university alumni. Drawing on data from American College Testing (ACT), this longitudinal study consists of 17,000 records of individuals who hold degrees from 267 colleges and universities. The majority of institutions in the sample are AASCU members.
Preliminary research questions driving this study include:
1) To what extent are civic behaviors among college graduates correlated with pre-college, college, and post-college behaviors, attitudes, and experiences?
2) How and to what extent do academic and co-curricular experiences in high school and college explain civic engagement after college?
3) How do students from diverse economic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds vary in their pathway to civic engagement after college?
The professors seek input from participants about the project and how they might proceed with their research. Have the researchers captured key questions that are of interest to leaders of civic engagement? What have they missed? What studies from the data would be most helpful to you in your role?