TDC Action Alert

Student Intern Opportunity For CLDE17

Our 2017 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE17) Meeting is a conference that will take place in Baltimore, Md. from June 7-10, 2017. The conference is a convening of higher education students, faculty, administrators, and civic engagement partners designed to build a movement of civic learning and democratic engagement across our colleges and universities. In order to encourage student participation in the CLDE17 meeting, the American Democracy Project, The Democracy Commitment, and the NASPA Lead Initiative are proud to offer the opportunity for three students to have a voice on the planning committee. These intern positions will enable students to do the following:

  • Organize a student symposium on Wednesday, June 7, 2017;
  • Actively promote student engagement in the CLDE17 meeting through blog posts and social media;
  • Coordinate student gatherings and programming at CLDE17;
  • Volunteer (e.g., at the registration desk) onsite at CLDE17;
  • Serve on the planning committee, participating in monthly conference calls, and work leading up to CLDE17; and
  • Additional opportunities will be made available.

We will select three students, one from each initiative as interns, and if chosen, each of the student interns will receive a complimentary registration to the CLDE17 meeting as well as transferable work experience.

Intern Expectations

The duration of this commitment will be remote from November 2016 to July 2017. Interns should expect to participate in monthly planning committee meetings as well as an increasing number of hours of planning as the conference approaches (e.g., program selection in February). All interns must be onsite from noon on Tuesday, June 6th through 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 10th.

Application Process

The process for selection requires the student to be nominated by a faculty or staff sponsor from an ADP, TDC, and/or NASPA campus. Applicants should complete the application form and secure endorsement from a sponsor,and forward the paperwork to Verdis Robinson, Interim National Manager of The Democracy Commitment for final selection by Tuesday, November 1, 2016 at The application can be found here. All applicants will be notified about their application by Friday, November 11, 2016. We look forward to receiving your application and hope to see you in Baltimore in June 2017!

For questions or concerns please contact:

Verdis Robinson
Interim National Manager, The Democracy Commitment | (202) 478-4656

Jen Domagal-Goldman
National Manager, American Democracy Project | (202) 478-7833

Stephanie Reynolds
Assistant Director for Knowledge Communities and CLDE Initiatives, NASPA | (2012) 719-1193

TDC Announces Calls for Participation to Member Institutions

Partnerships formed between TDC and national organizations give our members access to a myriad of opportunities to develop, participate, and communicate the results of their collaborative civic work and democratic learning efforts.  TDC is pleased to announce the following calls for participation to member institutions.  For more information, click on the links or contact: Verdis Robinson, interim National Manager of The Democracy Commitment.


TDC icitizen Pilot Program

icitizen is pleased to have the opportunity to partner with The Democracy Commitment for our Pilot Program during the 2016-2017 academic year. We are committed to revolutionizing the way students and their campuses interact—not only will icitizen make civic engagement simpler and more powerful for students, but participating campuses will have unprecedented access to their students’ interests and priorities in order to make better, more data-driven decisions.

Participants will be granted full access to icitizen’s client features and the opportunity to provide feedback directly impacting the platform’s continued development. Below is a summary of the features that will be implemented through the program and how they can be used to expand and enhance new or existing programs of democratic engagement.   Click Here for More Info.



TDC Walk 2 Vote Challenge

Join the Movement!!!

The Democracy Commitment is proud to partner with Walk2Vote to present TDC member institutions with a unique opportunity to civically engage community college students with their communities and neighborhoods.

Walk 2 Vote is a student created civic engagement initiative that has grown from a local campus program to a national model for student civic organizing. Student leaders from the University of Houston Downtown began the Walk2Vote initiative in 2012 and have continued it annually. Their model is a guide that walks students through the process of planning their own civic engagement program on their campus.

With TDC Walk 2 Vote Challenge, students become the social capitol of their communities by engaging not only campus communities, but their neighbors and neighborhoods in voter registration and education culminating in leading their communities to the polls on election day.  Click Here For More Info.


TDC Adopts National Voter Registration Day as a Special Day of Action

National Voter Registration Day, September 27, 2016

The Democracy Commitment adopts National Voter Registration Day as a Special Day of Action.  According to the coalition, in 2008, 6 million Americans didn’t vote because they missed a registration deadline or didn’t know how to register.   In 2016, the movement wants to make sure no one is left out.  On September 27, 2016, volunteers, celebrities, and organizations from all over the country will “hit the streets” for National Voter Registration Day (NVRD).  This single day of coordinated field, technology and media efforts will create pervasive awareness of voter registration opportunities–allowing us to reach tens of thousands of voters who we could not reach otherwise.  National Voter Registration Day is an opportunity to put our differences aside and celebrate the rights that unite us as Americans; democracy.

TDC encourages all member institutions to join the national network of a thousand organizations operating on the ground and through social media to register voters on their campuses and communities while also receiving pledges to vote from those already registered.

Register to Vote using the TDC Register to Vote Tool powered by Rock the Vote:  Already registered? Share it with someone who is not!

TDC member institutions who have schedule events include:

  • Allegany College Of Maryland
  • Community College Of Allegheny
  • Cuyahoga Community College
  • Delta College
  • Glendale Community College
  • Lone Star College
  • Los Angeles Harbor College
  • Miami Dade College
  • Middlesex Community College
  • Northampton Community College
  • Palo Alto College
  • Paradise Valley Community College
  • Piedmont Virginia Community College
  • Santa Fe College
  • South Mountain Community College
  • Tarrant County College

Join them and take action!  Click HERE to sign-up.

For further information, visit their website:

Engage the Election: 2016 Webinar- This Wednesday!!!

Don’t Miss this week’s Engage the Election Webinar!

Webinar 6: Voter Registration & Campus Technology: Engaging Student Voters by the Thousands
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 | 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. EST

turbovote-logoOffered in partnership with TurboVote, this webinar will explore the research and subsequent implementation of an innovative (yet, easy!) voter engagement strategy: integrating voter registrati
on and resources into campus IT infrastructure. The TurboVote team and their campus partners will share success stories and their personal experiences with engaging the necessary stakeholders and turning web-based student portals and pass-throughs into “online voter registration tables.” Just in time for this fall’s election, we invite you to join us in raising the voter engagement bar and institutionalizing your registration efforts so voting can fit the way students live.

Speakers:   Matt Tharp and Emily Giffin, TurboVote Partner Support Leads will be joined by TurboVote Campus Partners


Engage the Election Summer 2016 Webinars: Recording & RSVP

Engage the Election Summer 2016 Webinars: Recording & RSVP

Webinar #5 | Walk2Vote: Student Empowerment through Civic Engagement | Thursday, July 28, 2016
Walk2Vote ( is a student led, student executed, non-partisan political engagement program created by students from the University of Houston-Downtown (Texas). It has grown from a local/campus-based initiative to what is now a national movement. We discussed how to host a Walk 2 Vote campaign on your campus.

  • Speaker: John Locke, Walk2Vote Co-Founder and former Student Body President, University of Houston-Downtown
  • When: Thursday, July 28, 2016 from 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. EST
  • Recording of webinar is available here (Time: 50:22)


Webinar #6 | Voter Registration & Campus Technology: Engaging Student Voters by the Thousands | Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Offered in partnership with TurboVote, this webinar will explore the research and subsequent implementation of an innovative (yet, easy!) voter engagement strategy: integrating voter registration and resources into campus IT infrastructure. The TurboVote team and their campus partners will share success stories and their personal experiences with engaging the necessary stakeholders and turning web-based student portals and pass-throughs into “online voter registration tables.” Just in time for this fall’s election, we invite you to join us in raising the voter engagement bar and institutionalizing your registration efforts so voting can fit the way students live.

  • Speakers:  Matt Tharp and Emily Giffin, TurboVote Partner Support Leads will be joined by TurboVote Campus Partners
  • When: Wednesday, August 24, 2016 | 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. EST
  • RSVP here

May 13 Deadline for NSLVE and Voter-Friendly Campus Designation

Campus Vote Project and NASPA are recruiting administrators to sign up to have their college designated as a Voter Friendly Campus. This program helps institutions develop a plan that will engage students, faculty, and administrators in civic and electoral engagement. After colleges and universities execute their plan to help students register and vote in the 2016 elections, campuses will be evaluated and designated as an official Voter Friendly Campus. There is no cost to sign up.

Why should my college or university sign up to be designated a Voter Friendly Campus?
In addition to educating students, fostering civic learning is a goal of many colleges and universities. By helping students register and vote, campuses will help students be active participants in our democracy. The Voter Friendly Campus designation helps administrators develop a plan using our checklist and set clear goals so a path can be created well in advance of November. These activities can be institutionalized for the following years, keeping students engaged as they enter, and move through their time at school.

For a Q & A about the program and more information visit CVP’s recent blog post.

Voter Friendly Campus Designation Interest Forms due May 13, 2016. Sign up today.

This program is endorsed by our colleagues at the American Democracy Project, The Democracy Commitment, and Young Invincibles. We hope to have a long list of campuses participating in this effort and educating student voters on registration and voting.

Sign up for NSLVE by May 13, 2016
Tufts University’s National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) measures student registration and voting rates and provides each participating campus with a tailored report containing those rates broken down by age, class level, race/ethnicity, gender, voting method, and voting location. See a sample report. Signing up is free and will give you important measures that can catalyze improvements in academic programs and co-curricular experiences.

  • STEP 1: Download the authorization form here (it will be valid through August, 2018)
  • STEP 2: Sign the form and choose one person on your campus to be the report recipient
  • STEP 3: Email a scanned copy of the form to

Submit this authorization form. Submit your form by May 13, 2016.


Our 2016 Civic Learning & Democratic Engagement Meeting organized by AASCU’s American Democracy Project, The Democracy Commitment and NASPA (#CLDE16) is fast approaching from June 2-4, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Register here.

Attended by presidents, provosts, faculty, staff and students, this meeting is perfect for campus teams ready to prepare to apply or re-apply for the elective Carnegie Community Engagement Classification or to ensure that all students are prepared to be informed, engaged members of our campuses and communities.

Note: The group hotel rate expires on Tuesday, May 10th, but rooms are filling up — book your room online here!

RSVP Now: Becoming a Voter-Friendly Campus Webinar | Wednesday, March 2nd


Becoming a Voter-Friendly Campus Webinar | Wednesday, March 2nd

This is the first of our ADP/TDC Engage the Election 2016 webinar series powered by icitizen. There will be 6 total webinars between now and November 2016 — all will be open to faculty, staff, students and friends.

Offered in partnership with The Fair Elections Legal Network’s Campus Vote Project (CVP), this webinar will introduce participants to the Students Learn, Students Vote Checklist and seek early adopters to be part of an inaugural class of higher education institutions undertaking these efforts to foster more voter-friendly campuses. CVP will discuss promising practices from previous experiences with student electoral engagement, identify resources and materials to help campuses plan, execute, and evaluate their efforts, and create a system to enroll and support campuses in this program. We encourage you to participate in this webinar and to consider how your campus can become more voter-friendly!

  • Speaker: Mike Burns, National Director, Campus Vote Project
  • When: Wednesday, March 2, 2016 from 2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. EST

To RSVP click here.

[TDC Updates] February 2016 Edition

TDC Whats New

February 2016 Edition



  • 2016 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Meeting Pre-Conference Institutes
    The Pre-conference sessions to be held on June 1, 2016.Our hope is that colleagues will come together to share why they are a proponent of Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement work in higher education.
  • Economic Inequality Student Summit | March 4 & 5, 2016
    The Mount Wachusett Community College (Mass.) TDC in partnership with Keene State College (N.H.) ADP is planning a two-day regional Student Public Policy Summit on March 4 and 5, 2016 focused on funding for public higher education. This summit grows out of our work with on the ADP/TDC initiative on Economic Inequality.


  • 7 TDC Campuses and AAC&U Join Together to Launch a New Project on Citizenship
    The Democracy Commitment (TDC) and The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced on December 8, 2015, the receipt of a $200,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to sponsor a series of public forums around the country on “Citizenship Under Siege” in partnership with seven TDC community colleges. TDC and AAC&U, in partnership with these community colleges, will facilitate a tapestry of public dialogues exploring who counts as citizens and who has been accorded full rights to democracy’s promises. Learn more here.
  • #CLDE16 | The Top 10 Things to Make the Most of Your Experience
    Make sure to check out the, Top 10 Things to Make Most of your #CLDE16 experience, which includes how to submit your program proposal, early bird registration, etc. Learn more here.


  • The Democracy Commitment Civic and Community Engagement Survey
    We are now inviting all TDC member institutions to participate in the spring 2016 administration of the Civic Community Engagement Survey. Information on the Civic and Community Engagement Survey, including the annual administration timeline, links to survey instruments, related research and publications, and information about how to participate can be found here.
  •  Submit a Campus Event/Blog Post
    We encourage you to visit our website regularly for news here. If you would like us to spotlight your campus event click here, to submit a blog post click hereor if you would like to contribute to this e-newsletter send an email here.



  • Monroe Community College has been names a military-friendly school by G.I Jobs & US veterans magazines
  • Cuyahoga Community College hosted its 39th annual birthday observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Metropolitan Campus. For more information and pictures visit
  • Louis Community College received a generous $300,000 donation  from ExpressScripts to provide scholarships to 100’s of #STLCC North County students!


#iSOTU16 Update | icitizen is live in the Apple App Store — download before Tuesday’s SOTU event!


We are incredibly excited to announce icitizen is now live in the Apple App Store! Download it for free here.

The icitizen app is the civic engagement tool that will play an instrumental role in our State of the Union live-stream event on Jan. 12th with polling before, during and after the address and Republican response.

Download it now to get acquainted with the app before Tuesday!

Your participation is essential to making this nationwide event a success. As a friendly incentive, schools participating in the live-event polling on icitizen will have access to data and results gathered during the SOTU address. Encourage students to make their voices count and take part in the conversation surrounding issues affecting their campus and our democracy.

Join us and sign up here if you haven’t already done so, or tune in via YouTube Live for coverage on Jan. 12th starting at 7 p.m. CST.

Here is a link to the toolkit with information on how to use icitizen and how to host a watch party. This nationwide, interactive event is a great nonpartisan way to actively engage students around a political event. Equipped with icitizen’s civic tech and the power to make our voices count, we can make history together during the live-stream event next Tuesday.

Be sure to join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #iSOTU16. See you then!


ADP/TDC Joint Initiative | Achieving the American Dream – Economic Inequality in the 2016 Presidential Election


By Renee Baharaeen, AASCU Civic Engagement Intern and Truman State University Student

With the upcoming 2016 presidential election approaching, several politicians have recently declared their candidacy for President of the United States. Although it is still early, it is important to pay attention to the ideas each candidate holds in regard to their vision for the country.

A pressing issue facing America is economic inequality. ADP and TDC recently launched their joint Economic Inequality initiative, making this a timely issue. Although some argue economic mobility is not of public concern, others say the issue is gaining attention and that Americans believe there is a problem with the wealth gap (Nyhan, 2015; Blake, 2015). In past years, this issue has not received a lot of focus by a majority of candidates; however, current presidential candidates from both major political parties have recently addressed the topic.

The following information is an overview of some of the front runners’ thoughts from each major political party in regard to inequality, which is likely to remain a key topic in the 2016 presidential race.


Republican Candidates:

Jeb Bush has taken a stance on the economic inequality that differs from the usual Republican position. Instead of citing unemployment statistics, Bush’s approach has been discussing the economic advancements in the country and how they have only been working for the more affluent families (Martin, 2015). His website discusses issues of poverty as a concern. He believes if Americans are working harder, then the government leaders need to offer a plan to fix the situation, or step aside. Voters should be aware of the rhetoric in Bush’s approach. When asked about specifics of his policies, he did not offer a clear explanation as to if he would work to develop policies focused on assisting those at the bottom or favor cutting taxes across the board.

Donald Trump, currently leading in the Republican polls, has made comments in response to his opponents’ platforms relating to economic inequality. However, Trump has not released any information regarding his own economic platform other than these brief comments. In his announcement speech he claims, if elected, he will be “the greatest jobs president that God ever created.” It is important voters pay attention for details about how Trump plans to improve the economy and address issues of inequality if elected president.


Scott Walker has been running his campaign thus far on his previous experience as the Wisconsin Governor. His website currently has no information on where he stands on any issues. However, as he has been on the campaign trail, Walker has referenced his policies for the state of Wisconsin as a success and therefore believes he can bring his skills to the table as president. While Walker emphasizes the success of his policies, others in Wisconsin disagree with the success (Bauer, 2015). Voters should pay attention to the results of how his economic policies in the state of Wisconsin turn out and if the economic platform he creates for his presidency addresses any of the concerns.


Democratic Candidates:

Hillary Clinton believes the economy is stacked in favor of those at the top. In order for Americans to get ahead, Clinton has developed ideas on how to improve the economy to provide Americans with a strong foundation that leads to social mobility. Some of these economic changes include raising the minimum wage, making college more affordable, providing quality childcare, and lowering health costs. Additionally, Clinton’s platform indicates wanting to rein in Wall Street after the bailout of 2008. An important note that voters should pay attention to is Clinton’s past work with Wall Street in recent years.

Bernie Sanders is focusing heavily on economic inequality, as his platform currently shows the issue to be one of his top concerns. Currently, there are no developed ideas listed on his website about specific ways he intends to address the economic inequality issue. However, as a senator, his economic agenda has included raising the minimum wage, taking on Wall Street, making college affordable and making healthcare a right for all. Sanders is also currently working on a bill to break up big banks. It is important for voters to watch for specific ideas on how Sanders plans to achieve economic equality if elected as president.