Posts Tagged 'Partners and Friends'

Frontiers of Democracy conference 2014 – July 16-18 in Boston

Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, the Democracy Imperative, and the Deliberative Democracy Consortium present:

Frontiers of Democracy
July 16-18, 2014
Tufts University, Boston, MA

Register  |   Preliminary Agenda

Who’s on the bus, and where is it going? The state of the civic field
Civic work is proliferating: many different kinds of people, working in different contexts and issue areas, are expanding the ways in which citizens engage with government, community, and each other. It is increasingly clear that growing inequality, social and political fragmentation, and lack of democratic opportunities are undermining our efforts to address public priorities such as health, education, poverty, the environment, and government reform.

But attempts to label the responses – as “civic engagement,” “collaborative governance,” “deliberative democracy,” or “public work” – or to articulate them as one movement or policy agenda under a heading like “civic renewal” or “stronger democracy” – immediately spark debates about substance, strategy, and language.

Though it is clear we have many principles and practices in common, we differ on what we should call this work and where it is headed. In order for “overlapping civic coalitions”* to form, the potential  partners would have to work through goals, assumptions, and differences. Register now and join us July 16-18 for an invigorating, argumentative, civil discussion on the state and future of the civic field.

Visit the Frontiers of Democracy website for more information and a preliminary agenda.

* Peter Levine, We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For, chapter 7 (“Strategies”)

CIRCLE’s National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement webinar today!

Friday, March 21, at 2 p.m. EST.

CIRCLE (the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement) recently received a grant to study college student voting rates.  260 universities and colleges have already signed up including 43 American Democracy Project member institutions.

The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) presents an unprecedented opportunity for your campus to learn in aggregate numbers:

  • How many of your students are eligible to register to vote
  • How many registered and/or voted, and where (locally or elsewhere)
  •  The way your students voted (regular or absentee ballot)

By participating in this study, your campus will also help build a national database for future research. CIRCLE will be working with de-identified student lists, so your students’ privacy rights are fully protected. This is not a survey!

If you are interested, you can also correlate voting with specific demographic information such as age, gender, race/ethnicity, field of study, and class level. CIRCLE has also been able to provide peer comparisons by Carnegie classification.

To join the study, you must sign up by April 10th 2014.

NSLVE is offering ADP campuses the chance to learn more about what you can do with this data and share what information you would like to know in the future. Take advantage of this opportunity and join this conversation by attending a free webinar TODAY, Friday, March 21 at 2 p.m. Eastern.

To join the webinar:

For additional specifics, go to the NSLVE page and/or contact Nancy Thomas, NSLVE director, for more information.

eCitizenship Webinar Tomorrow | Project Management for Student Leadership

ecitizenship_color_smallProject Management for Student Leadership (eCitizenship Webinar #5) 
Thursday, March 20, 2014 @ 1:30 p.m. Eastern

Presented by: Tonyehn Verkitus, Executive Director of Community Citizenship at GiveGab

This is the fifth in a series of webinars related to the eCitizenship initiative occuring in the 2013-2014 academic year.

“Project Management for Student Leadership” will be presented by Tonyehn Verkitus, Executive Director of Community Citizenship at GiveGab. Within community and campus driven projects planning, implementation and monitoring is crucial in ensuring that projects achieve their outputs, objectives and desired impacts. Student engagement through the use of communication tools, empowerment, reflection and rewards promotes a participatory environment in which success is shared by everyone. GiveGab works as a social media and technical tool that can take a project from beginning to end and inspire continued community engagement while developing students’ skills for the post graduate world.

To join: You’ll need to connect via the URL below to see the presentation and call-in via phone for the audio portion of the webinar.
Please login to the URL as a guest and enter your name and institution/organization.
Audio Conference Details: 1-719-387-8317 OR 1-866-642-1665 (Participant code: 499385)

Note: A recording of the webinar will be made available in the week following the event.

If you have never attended an Adobe Connect meeting before:
Test your connection:
Get a quick overview:
Adobe, the Adobe logo, Acrobat and Adobe Connect are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.

What We’re Reading: Bringing Theory to Practice’s Civic Studies volume

civic studies

Civic Studies | Edited by Peter Levine and Karol Edward Sołtan

Bringing Theory to Practice’s Civic Studies, the third monograph in The Civic Series, is composed of nine scholarly but accessible essays written by scholars from diverse disciplines and nationalities who address such questions as, “What should good citizens know and do? What scholarly knowledge is useful to citizens?” More information about Civic Studies and The Civic Series.

PART 1 Overview

The Case for Civic Studies |  Peter Levine
The Emerging Field of a New Civics |  Karol Edward Sołtan

PART 2 The Art and Science of Association: The Bloomington School

Artisans of the Common Life: Building a Public Science of Civics | Filippo Sabetti
Citizenship, Political Competence, and Civic Studies: The Ostromian Perspective | Paul Dragos Aligica

PART 3 Deliberative Participation

Deliberative Civic Engagement: Connecting Public Voices to Public Governance | Tina Nabatchi and Greg Munno
The Challenge of Promoting Civic Participation in Poor Countries |  Ghazala Mansuri and Vijayendra Rao

PART 4 Public Work

Transforming Higher Education in a Larger Context: The Civic Politics of Public Work | Harry C. Boyte and Blase Scarnati
Citizen-Centered Research for Civic Studies: Bottom Up, Problem Driven, Mixed Methods, Interdisciplinary |  Sanford Schram
Public Sociology, Engaged Research, and Civic Education | Philip Nyden

View the full monograph here.

6th Annual Summer Institute of Civic Studies | Call for Applications

The sixth annual Summer Institute of Civic Studies will be an intensive, two-week, interdisciplinary seminar that considers civic theories and civic practices as part of an effort to develop the new field of civic studies. To date, more than 100 practitioners, advanced graduate students, and faculty from diverse fields of study have participated. The Institute is organized by Peter Levine of Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College and Karol Sołtan of the University of Maryland.

See for more information.


The idea of a field of “civic studies” was proposed in 2007 in a joint statement by Harry Boyte, University of Minnesota; Stephen Elkin, University of Maryland; Peter Levine, Tufts University; Jane Mansbridge, Harvard University; Elinor Ostrom, Indiana University; Karol Sołtan, University of Maryland; and Rogers Smith, University of Pennsylvania. See

The field can be seen as the intellectual component of the emerging movement for civic renewal.

Civic studies aims to develop ideas and ways of thinking helpful to citizens, understood as co-creators of their worlds. The field does not consider “citizens” as official members of political jurisdictions, nor does it invoke the word “democracy.” One can be a co-creator in many settings, ranging from loose social networks, local communities, and religious congregations to the globe. Not all of these venues are, or could be, democracies.

Civic studies asks, “What should we do?” It explores ethics (what is right and good?), facts (what is actually going on?), strategies (what would work?), and the institutions that we co-create. Good strategies may take many forms and use many instruments, but if a strategy addresses the question “What should we do?”, then it must guide our own actions–it cannot simply be about how other people ought to act.

Civic studies is not civic education. Nor is it the study of civic education. However, when more fully developed, it should influence how citizenship is taught in schools and colleges.

For more on civic studies, see:

o The new book edited by Peter Levine and Karol Edward Sołtan: Civic Studies: Approaches to the Emerging Field (American Association of Colleges and Universities, 2014), which is available free at

o The Good Society Symposium on Civic Studies, written and edited teachers and alumni of the Summer Institute

o The syllabus for the fourth annual seminar (in 2013): (The 2014 syllabus will be modified but will largely follow this outline.)


Sessions will take place weekdays from July 7-17, 2014, at the Tufts campus in Medford, MA. The seminar will be followed by a public conference—“Frontiers of Democracy 2014” that will conclude on July 18 at 6 pm. Participants in the Institute are expected to stay for “Frontiers” as well.

Tuition for the Institute is free, but students are responsible for their own housing and transportation. A Tufts University dormitory room can be rented for about $230-$280/week. Credit is not automatically offered, but special arrangements for graduate credit may be possible.


Please email your resume, an electronic copy of your graduate transcript (if applicable), and a cover email about your interests to Peter Levine at For best consideration, apply no later than March 15, 2014.  You may also sign up for occasional announcements even if you are not sure that you wish to apply:

Campus Programming: Text, Talk, Act to Improve Mental Health

Text, Talk, Act is back! This April 24th, gather together to help end the silence on mental health.

Text, Talk, Act to Improve Mental Health is an hour-long event that uses text messaging to get people talking about mental health and encourage them to take action. Through this event, young people can have a conversation with their peers and give voice to an issue that can otherwise be difficult to speak about. Using a technology that is ubiquitous with their lives, this is a fun event that reaches youth through text messages.

Text, Talk, Act helps impact the way people think and talk about mental health. Participants in a previous event said:


This event is geared toward young people, but people of all ages can participate and benefit from it. It’s very simple:

  1. At any time on April 24th, gather 3-4 of your friends, family, classmates,  students, and/or colleagues;
  2. Text “start” to 89800; and
  3. Receive polling questions and discussion questions via text messaging while having a face-to-face dialogue with your group.

The process takes one hour. The result can last a lifetime.

Please join us this April 24th! Visit to learn more, sign up to receive reminders for the event AND make a statement by adding a pin to our map – showing that a conversation will be happening in YOUR  community!


Partner Spotlight: NERCHE’s Spring 2014 Virtual Think Tanks


Spring 2014 Community Engagement Virtual Think Tank Series

This was my first NERCHE webinar and it was a great experience. It was very well planned and executed, with helpful follow-up….I look forward to participating in more NERCHE webinars and sharing with my colleagues.”– Virtual Think Tank Participant

NERCHE’s Virtual Think Tanks are webinars designed for higher education practitioners engaged in collaborative change processes which address social justice in a diverse democracy. Participants have utilized Virtual Think Tanks for faculty and staff training, initiative development, and deepening reflection and discussion on their respective campuses.   Virtual Think Tanks are valuable whether participants are developing long-term strategic change efforts or thinking about immediate programming and teaching issues.

The Center’s spring 2014 Virtual Think Tanks will focus on community engagement in teaching and learning, research, and institutional structures within higher education. 

Spring 2014 Virtual Think Tank Session Descriptions
4/2/14 The New Faculty Majority and Civic Engagement
The majority of all college faculty now work on part-time or full-time temporary contracts, and many lack sufficient access to the institutional support that is necessary for quality education. In many fields, the majority of adjuncts are no longer simply traditional “second career” or “teaching professionals” but rather trained academics who are encountering a starkly downsized tenure-track job market.This virtual think tank will explore how campuses can advance student civic learning and democratic engagement when a faculty majority lacks a full voice in campus governance and is treated as second class institutional citizens; how campuses sustain long-term relationships with formal obligations in community partnerships while not providing the institutional support for a majority of faculty; how faculty can pursue community engaged teaching and learning on public issues without the protections of academic freedom. How can campuses advance civic engagement without advancing the professional working conditions of faculty who do not have the rights and protections of tenure?
Maria Maisto (New Faculty Majority)
Register Here
4/23/14 The Politics of Community Engagement: Engaging Values Beyond Partisan Posturing
There is a contradiction at the heart of the higher education civic engagement discourse–that we may be objective and neutral while we engage in an act as overtly political as building democratic citizens. This webinar will briefly review the theoretical bases of democracy and its requirements while illuminating the ways in which those requirements express political actions and values choices. The webinar discussion will then turn to applied approaches to rigorously engaging values discourse in the classroom without falling into partisan bickering or ideological straightjackets.
Eric Hartman (Providence College)
Register Here
5/7/14 Becoming Stewards of Place: Strategies for Institution-Community Engagement
At a time when traditional institutions feel besieged by a rapidly changing landscape, defining themselves as “stewards of place” offers new possibilities. Collaborating with communities and thinking of the border between campus and community as a permeable boundary provide new insights and opportunities for teaching, research, and service. This webinar will focus on AASCU’s two 2014 monographs in the Stewards of Place series, both of which demonstrate that stewardship of place can make institutions stronger and more relevant in the 21st century.
George Mehaffy (AASCU)
Register Here

Registration and Cost:

The registration fee for participation in each real-time Virtual Think Tank session is $195.  For more information on payment methods, please see our Virtual Think Tank FAQs.


NERCHE also offers recordings of  its spring 2014 Virtual Think Tanks for $100. Recordings will be made available on the NERCHE website to registrants one week after the real-time sessions. Purchase a recording here.
For an archive of NERCHE’s past Virtual Think Tanks available for purchase, click here.

Call for Nominations: 2014 Lynton Award for Early Career Faculty


2014 Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement for Early Career Faculty

Sponsored by the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE) and the Center for Engaged Democracy (CED) at Merrimack College

The annual Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement for Early Career Faculty recognizes a faculty member who is pre-tenure at tenure-granting campuses or early career (i.e., within the first six years) at campuses with long-term contracts and who connects his or her teaching, research, and service to community engagement.

Community engagement describes the collaboration between faculty and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.

-Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

The Lynton Award emphasizes community-based scholarly work across faculty roles. The scholarship of engagement (also known as outreach scholarship, public scholarship, scholarship for the common good, community-based scholarship, and community-engaged scholarship) represents an integrated view of faculty roles in which teaching, research/creative activity, and service overlap and are mutually reinforcing, is characterized by scholarly work tied to a faculty member’s expertise, is of benefit to the external community, is visible and shared with community stakeholders, and reflects the mission of the institution. In addition, NERCHE and CED conceptualize scholarly engagement in terms of social justice in a diverse democracy.

This year’s award will be presented at the 20th Annual Conference of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU), “Universities as Anchor Institutions: Driving Change”, which will be held from October 5-7, 2014, at Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY.  CUMU is a co-sponsor of the Award.

The recipient of the award will have several opportunities to disseminate his or her community-based work, including presenting at the CUMU conference, presenting at the annual Lynton Colloquium, publishing in the Metropolitan Universities Journal, and participating in one or more webinar focused on community-based scholarly work.

Award Eligibility:

  • Only full-time faculty from U.S. public and private not-for-profit colleges and universities are eligible for the Award.
  • A faculty member who submits tenure materials for review prior to the Lynton Award application deadline is not eligible to apply for the Award.

2014 Lynton Award Nominations:

  • Nominations can be made by academic colleagues, administrators, students, and community partners.  Each nominator should aim to present a comprehensive account of the nominee’s publicly engaged teaching, research, and service. To this end, the application provides for the inclusion of the names and affiliations of additional nominators. Further, endorsements from individuals familiar with one or more aspects of the nominee’s work can be included in the supporting documentation of the application.
  • In cases in which multiple individuals submit a single application for the nomination of a faculty member, one person should be designated as the primary nominator responsible for completing and submitting the application. Additional nominators can be noted in the appropriate section of the application.
  • More than one faculty member from a single college or university may be nominated. Please complete separate applications for each nominee.

Nominators will submit nominations via an online application.  To submit an application, please see the Application Instructions.

Application Deadline:
Friday, May 16, 2014, at 5:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)

Questions regarding this framework should be addressed to the Lynton Award Coordinator, Dr. Elaine Ward, at Merrimack College’s School of Education and Social Policy by email at (subject line: “Lynton Award Help”) or by phone at (978) 837-3572.

Learn more about the Lynton Award

CIRCLE Working Paper Examines Civics, Digital Badges and Alternative Assessments

CIRCLE LogoWith support from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, CIRCLE published “New and Alternative Assessments, Digital Badges, and Civics: An Overview of Emerging Themes and Promising Directions” (March 2013) which explores digital badges and alternative assessments for civic skills, knowledge, and dispositions. This working paper also considers ePortfolios, rubrics, games, simulations, and other assessment and learning tools that might expand options for those committed to improving civic education.

States are, to a greater extent, using multiple-choice-only tests that focus primarily on memorizing information, rather than demonstrating civic skills. Furthermore, assessments focus mostly on the history and geography of the United States; far fewer states assess students in world affairs or economics. Are we preparing and assessing students to be engaged citizens?

CIRCLE explores this question and the broader landscape of alternative assessments, here, in an online presentation.

For more information, go here.

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