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Guidance for the Release of the 2016 NSLVE Reports

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At the end of August, 2017, the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE) at the Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University released National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) reports to each of their 1000+ participating campuses. The reports contain student voting data, including information about the number of students eligible to vote on a campus, the number and percentage registered, and the number and percentage who voted in the 2012 and 2016 elections.

The Students Learn Students Vote Coalition (SLSV) has compiled a list of “next steps” for campuses to follow after they receive their NSLVE reports (For more information see the FAQ below):

  1. Make the report easily and publicly available (i.e, on the institutions’ website).
  2. Share the report with the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge (if participating).
  3. Plan a meeting with the campus’s democratic engagement working group to evaluate efforts implemented in 2016 for effectiveness.
  4. Use the data in the institution’s NSLVE report to inform the development of a democratic engagement action plan for 2017 and 2018.
  5. Actively inform other campus stakeholders, such as faculty, student government, student organizations, and community partners of the availability of NSLVE reports for the institution by writing an executive summary, and/or holding events and forums about the report’s findings.

FAQ

How can I find out if a campus I’m working with participates in NSLVE?
Over 1,000 campuses across all 50 states participate in NSLVE. You can find the list of participating campuses here.

Why should a campus make its report public?
Making an NSLVE campus report public increases the transparency and accountability of a campus’ democratic engagement efforts. It also allows campuses to easily compare their reports with their own past performances and with the performances of other campuses from year to year. Faculty, students, and community partners can also all access the data they need to improve efforts to engage in our democracy.

Many campuses have made their NSLVE reports public and you can find the list of some of those campuses here.

Where is the best place on a campus’ website to post their NSLVE reports?
The best place to post a link to the campus NSLVE report is on a page dedicated to the campus’ democratic engagement efforts, but if such a page does not exist then you should post it wherever it makes the most sense for the campus, whether that be on a page dedicated to a center for service learning or institutional research.

Who is typically the report recipient on campus?
Participation in NSLVE must be authorized by someone with signing authority for an institution, which means that typically a President, Vice President, Dean of the college, Dean of Students, Provost, Registrar, or Institutional Research Director receives the report. The authorizer may also designate another person to receive the report.

How do I help connect my campus contact with their campus’ NSLVE report recipient?
All inquiries regarding a campus’ participation in NSLVE will be referred to the individual discussed above. IDHE does not release the contact information or identity of any campus’ report recipient, and a campus faculty or staff member must complete NSLVE’s campus report inquiry form to have the request shared with the campus’ report recipient. NSLVE will then contact the report recipient with the requester’s role on campus and contact information and the report recipient can then decide how to proceed. Students who wish to see the report must work with a faculty or staff member to submit the inquiry form, which can be found here.

What if a campus is concerned about student data privacy?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) allows colleges and universities to share student lists and certain identifying information, which is often used for research purposes. NSLVE complies with FERPA requirements. Find more information about NSLVE student data privacy here.
For more information, visit the Students Learn Students Vote (SLSV) website.

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