Our recent 2015 ADP/TDC/NASPA Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Meeting in New Orleans, La. brought together a collection of faculty, students, administrators, community partners and representatives from our national sponsor and partner organizations committed to advancing civic learning and democratic engagement through higher education. Collectively, we considered one of higher education’s civic missions: to act as stewards of the communities they inhabit as well as to prepare students to be stewards of their present and future communities.
Highlights of our time together:
By The Numbers
662 participants, representing 205 colleges and universities as well as 41 other organizations.
- 83 AASCU Campuses of which 70 are participating in ADP
- 34 TDC Campuses
- 88 NASPA Campuses
- 125 Students
- 6 Sponsors
- 36 Partner & Friends Organization
Social Media Use and #CLDE15
Nathan Carpenter, Assistant Director for Convergent Media (email@example.com) and Steve Hunt, Interim Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org).) of Illinois State University’s Social Media Analytics Command Center (SMACC) analyzed the social conversation for the 2015 CLDE meeting using social media tracking software (NUVI). Their analysis revealed the following:
- There were 989 social mentions using the keyword #CLDE15 between June 4th at 7 a.m. (Central Daylight Time) and June 6th at 6 p.m. (Central Daylight Time).
- 166 unique authors contributed to the overall conversation, producing an average of 16 posts per hour for the duration of the conference.
- The #CLDE15 conversation was very viral. Of the 989 mentions using the conference hashtag, 630 were original mentions reaching a potential audience of 87,875. In addition, 67 unique profiles made a total of 359 reshares spreading the mentions to an additional 574,977 people.
- The peak of the social conversation occurred on June 5th at 9 a.m. (109 mentions) and included the following keywords: “student affairs,” “panel,” “campuses,” and “academic affairs.”
- In terms of social media sources, 94.84% (n = 938) of the mentions originated from Twitter. Facebook and Instagram accounted for 2.63% (n = 26) and 2.53% (n = 25) of the mentions respectively.
- Overall, the conversation was very positive about the conference. The top positive keywords in this conversation were “thanks,” “awesome,” “trust,” “engage,” and “helping.”
The most active Twitter accounts using the #CLDE15 hashtag were @VictorPiercy1 (116 mentions), @StocktonSL (106 mentions), @ADP_SU (97 mentions), @skhunt2 (60 mentions), @channelandrew (35 mentions), @drkj (24 mentions), @tzappile (16 mentions), @thauptli (15 mentions), @ADPaascu (14 mentions), and @NICDInstitute (11 mentions).
Most Popular Mention
The most popular mention appeared on June 5th at 9:27 a.m., posted by @ADPaascu, and as of June 17th at 1:22 p.m., was retweeted 12 times:
The mention with the most reach (the account with the largest number of followers, 21,840) was posted by @NASPAtweets on June 4th at 9:14 am:
The mention that generated the most spread (spread measures how many additional social accounts re-tweeted or shared the mention) was posted on June 4th at 3:58 pm by @NASPAvpd. This account has 830 followers and the mention spread to 24,993 additional people:
Stephanie Gordon: We need to fiercely defend the education of the whole person.” Chairman “Bro” Adams @NEHgov #clde15 @NASPAtweets
Most Shared Positive Mention
On Thursday (June 4th) at 2 pm, there was a spike of 41 positive mentions. The most shared positive mention was posted by @abbyik during this time period:
abbyik: We need to talk about moving beyond service-learning because colleges are failing at helping students learn to navigate democracy #clde15
Highest Volume by State
Of the social media accounts that were geotagged or listed a location in their profile description, those originating in New Jersey (237 mentions), Washington, D.C. (99 mentions) and Illinois (82 mentions) were the most active.
In addition to the official #clde15 conference hashtag, the next most frequently used hashtags were “#facesofclde” (25 mentions), “#stewardshipofplace” (14 mentions), “#adptdc” (13 mentions), “#pdf15” (10 mentions), “#nola” (10 mentions), “#civicengagement” (9 mentions), “#highered” (8 mentions), “#adptdcei” (7 mentions), and “#texttalkvote” (7 mentions).
The keywords that were most frequently used during the conference included “students” (31 mentions), “civic engagement” (28 mentions), “education” (19 mentions), “place” (18 mentions), “bro adams” (12 mentions), “whole person” (12 mentions), “thanks” (11 mentions), “violence” (11 mentions), and “people” (10 mentions).
The full program is available for download here (pdf).
Opening Plenary & First Day highlights:
- Thursday afternoon’s opening plenary session was kicked off by two powerful thought leaders on civic engagement, Nancy Cantor, Chancellor, Rutgers University Newark (N.J.) and William ‘Bro’ Adams, Chairperson, National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH). They each gave their own take on the power Colleges, Universities, and community partners can have on helping bridge the divides of today’s paradoxical social landscape. Cantor and Adams both emphasized the responsibility of higher education institutions and community partners to find ways to help our communities better dialogue across differences and help faculty find ways to spur the next generation to value engaged education for democracy.
- After such a powerful message from both speakers we moved on to a networking reception, where guests had the opportunity to mingle with other civic minded leaders while enjoying several campus and community projects at our poster session, campus and friends showcase, and Ashé Marketplace.
- The night didn’t end there; participants had the opportunity to watch a screening of the award winning documentary film from the National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH), “Freedom Summer,” which recounts the deadly summer of 1964 where over 700 student volunteers joined organizers and local African Americans in Mississippi to fight for the right to vote.
- Thursday’s concluding event was a student led workshop and meet-up that included a debate amongst themselves over President Obama’s proposal to grant students access to higher education through two years of tuition-free community college.
Friday morning, participants jump started their day with a panel discussion connecting Academic Affairs and Student Affairs as part of our “Making Collaboration Happen: Forging Partnerships Between Academic and Student Affairs for Democratic Student Engagement” plenary session. This session explored the possibilities for deeper and more effective collaboration to enhance a campus communities facilitation of civic learning and democratic engagement. Strategies, approaches, and models for moving beyond structural and attitudinal barriers were provided in a discussion format from moderator, Andrew Seligsohn, President, Campus Compact, and panelists Reva Curry, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Delta Community College, Vincent Ilustre, Senior Director of Development, Regional Program, Tulane University, and Frank E. Ross III, Vice President for Student Affairs, Northeastern Illinois State University.
- Friday evening, participants were treated to a set of performances coordinated by the Ashé Cultural Arts Center in New Orleans as part of our “Learning through Listening: Performance and Story Circles as Instruments for Community and Cultural Change” plenary session. The plays were developed through Story Circle methodology—a group facilitation process built around narrative and personal experience with longstanding traditions in African and African American cultural practices and community theater histories. Participants also learned story circle methodology by participating in a conference-wide Story Circle moderated by Carol Bebelle, Co-founder & Executive Director, Ashé Cultural Arts Center, and Adam Bush, Provost of College Unbound, based on the performances.
- In our closing plenary session on Saturday, participants were asked to examine our communities using #equity and #justice lenses based in large part on the language in one of our democracy’s foundational documents, the Declaration of Independence. Political Philosopher Danielle Allen — author of the 2014 book Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality — shared an important history lesson with #CLDE15 participants as she led us through a close reading of the Declaration. She presented the text as a coherent and riveting argument about equality: an animating force that could and did transform the course of our everyday lives. Challenging so much of our conventional political wisdom, she boldly made the case that we cannot have freedom as individuals (liberty) without equality among us as a people.
Comments from #CLDE15 participants:
- “I think these conferences on American democracy and civic engagement in higher ed are critical and am happy for their existence.”
- “Thanks for such a wonderful conference. It was a blast and I learned a great deal.”
We hope to see you in Indianapolis, Indiana from June 2-4, 2016, for the next ADP/TDC/NASPA CLDE Meeting where we will continue our important work of preparing informed, engaged citizens for our democracy.
PowerPoints and other handouts from the meeting are available through the meeting’s mobile app.
Finally, to see more pictures from the meeting, visit the ADP Facebook Page (#CLDE15 album); please send any photos you took to email@example.com so that we can upload them to Facebook/Twitter/Instagram.