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The Democracy Commitment is the leading national organization focused on the civic education of community college students.   To such an end, TDC  is an excellent source of information on community college curricular change, how community colleges are educating and engaging students in our democracy, and ensuring that community college voices are heard and do matter in our society.  TDC National Office aims to expand public and student civic knowledge and understanding. Welcome to the National Newsroom

What's New with TDC

The quarterly newsletter from TDC’s National Office is published at least once every semester and contains updates on TDC’s latest work, announcements, opportunites, and news from member institutions.  See below for the most recent issues and archives of previous issues.

National Blog

Our national blog contains important news, updates, announcements, and opportunities from TDC National’s Office on a weekly basis.  Sign up for the mailing list to receive notifications when they posted and check it out frequently to stay up to date.  Contact the national director for opportunities to contribute.

RSVP Now: ADP/TDC Engage the Election 2016 Webinar on National Study of Learning, Voting & Engagement (NSLVE) |Wednesday, March 30th

This is the 2nd of our ADP/TDC Engage the Election 2016 webinar series powered by icitizen. There will be six total webinars between now and November 2016 — all will be open to faculty, staff, students and friends.

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ADP/TDC Engage the Election 2016 Webinar on National Study of Learning, Voting & Engagement (NSLVE) |Wednesday, March 30th

College students are turning out to support candidates at record numbers this year, but will they stay interested? In this webinar, researchers from Tufts University’s Institute for Democracy and Higher Education will share findings from the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE), a study of voting rates at the student and institutional level. More than 800 colleges and universities nationwide are participating in NSLVE, including 189 ADP/TDC institutions.

In this webinar, participants will learn not only data relevant to their campuses but also preliminary findings from visits to campuses with high levels of political and electoral engagement. Join this session to learn more about NSLVE and how to participate, how to leverage your campus report and how to increase political learning at your institution.

NSLVE is a free tool available to all U.S. colleges and universities. It is not a survey! To receive your student voting rates, you must submit an authorization form by April 15th. For additional information on joining the study, visit the NSLVE website.

  • Speakers:
    Ishara Casellas Connors, Associate Director, Institute for Democracy & Higher Education
    Nancy Thomas, Director, Institute for Democracy & Higher Education and
  • When:
  • Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at 2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. EST

RSVP here.

You can access a recording of the first Engage the Election 2016 Webinar on Becoming a Voter-Friendly Campus here: https://aascu.adobeconnect.com/p77vf4kyq1c/

ADP/TDC Economic Inequality Initiative Student Summit!

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A Ticket to the Middle Class: A Student Public Policy Summit on Higher Education

We welcome you to join us for the very first ADP/TDC Economic Inequality Initiative Student Summit! This event, coordinated by students, staff and faculty from both Keene State College (N.H.) and Mount Wachusett Community College (Mass.), will provide opportunities for students from across the Northeast region to participate in a mock Congress, hear expert perspectives on economic inequality, and network with their peers.

Over two days, students will come together to discuss, debate and learn about the proposals for free college. Ultimately, students will develop and vote upon a resolution, and will have the opportunity to submit their recommendations to their elected officials and institutions of higher education.

Students will examine the cost of higher education, including issues of student debt, and proposals for free college/free tuition/debt free college; the value of higher education, and what a college degree means for those who have it and those who do not; how to fund higher education more effectively, and specifically, if some form of higher education is made free; and, access to higher education, including such issues as placement testing and discussions of higher education as a right vs. a privilege.

When: Saturday, April 2 at 9 a.m. EDT to Sunday, April 3 at 3 p.m. EDT Where: Keene State College, Main St., Keene, NH 03435

Institutions may register up to 20 students each. All undergraduate students must be registered with an advisor from their institution. A registration fee of $85/participant will be due before the event.

Register and find more information here.  

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

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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.

#CLDE16: Sign up to be a Mentor/Mentee

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What does mentorship mean to you? #CLDE16

By Claire King, EdD, Assistant Professor, Experiential Education, Stella and Charles Guttman Community College at CUNY and CLDE 2016 Planning Committee Member

People always raise their eyebrows when I say that Martin Luther King and Gandhi were my mentors in college. Like, “You knew them?!” Now, I am “old” by some standards, but no, I’m not that old and neither Dr. King nor the Mahatma knew I existed.  But, I can say with emphatic certainty, I knew them and was—and continue to be– deeply influenced by their words and actions.

Being a mentor or a mentee doesn’t always have to assume a relationship—it can be a unilateral study of character, values, works and example. But imagine how much more powerful that type of mentorship would be if I were really able to have sat down with King even one afternoon for coffee or had the chance to ask Gandhi a single question about his practice. Mentorship doesn’t have to be a lifelong balance on a tall pedestal, nor does a mentee have to assume the role of a supplicant naïf to an all-knowing oracle. Sometimes the best “ment-ing” (both “or” and “ee”) happens when we arrive at a shared destination with a question or an experience and the open disposition to respond or receive.

In recognition of the fact that the Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) meetings have been known to attract some of the best thinkers and doers in civic engagement in higher education around, let’s think globally and act locally on our belief in collective wisdom.

Become a Mentor / Mentee at the #CLDE16 Meeting in Indianapolis this June 2-4, 2016.  Mentorship is a reciprocal relationship built between two individuals – one possessing knowledge and experience in a particular field who is willing to share and one who has the enthusiasm and awareness of the need to gain such experience and knowledge. Much like our relationships with community partners, a successful relationship is one that is meaningful, reciprocal, sustainable, and equitable.

To be a mentor or mentee at the 2016 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) meeting in Indianapolis, submit your interest below. The #CLDE2016 Planning Committee will do its Match.com-best to link questions to experience, mentor to mentee.

Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Mentor/Mentee Interest Form

TDC Partners & Friends | ADP’s 2016 Faculty Seminar in Yellowstone National Park

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Announcing the American Democracy Project’s
2016 Faculty Seminar in Yellowstone National Park:
Stewardship of Public Lands:
Politics and the Yellowstone Ecosystem
August 1 – 6, 2016

How does a democracy manage competing but often equally legitimate positions over public resources? How are the rights of all citizens protected in conflicts over public lands? How do universities design courses and programs to help undergraduates develop the understandings and skills necessary to think about, and become engaged in, conflict management and resolution? How do we help undergraduates become more thoughtful, more engaged citizens for our democracy?

The American Democracy Project (ADP) is creating new strategies to answer these questions.

2015 marks the 11th summer of our Yellowstone seminar, part of the American Democracy Project’s Stewardship of Public Lands Initiative. The seminar, a partnership with the Yellowstone Association, is open to faculty members from any academic discipline.

For the last 11 summers, we expanded the focus of the program to examine a variety of conflicts in the entire Yellowstone region, including bison and brucellosis, winter use, wolves, and grizzly bears. Our program is entitled Politics and the Yellowstone Ecosystem. In this program, we spend six (6) days in Yellowstone National Park in a combination of activities, beginning with a study of the science and history of the controversies, listening to scientists and Park rangers. Then we interview local citizens on both sides of the issues, including political activists, business people, ranchers, and other citizens.  At the end of the week-long program, we consider ways that faculty might develop programs on their own campus that focused on (1) national public resource issues such as wolf re-introduction and (2) local public resource issues such as oil drilling on national seashores, wind turbines in state parks, and restoration efforts in wetlands.

The goal of this project is to develop new strategies and new approaches that colleges and universities can use to help undergraduates become thoughtful, informed, and engaged citizens. In a political environment where special interest groups tend to push people to polarized positions, we often try to seek common ground.

The program begins late afternoon on Monday, August 1st and ends at noon on Saturday, August 6th. The program will be held at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel in Yellowstone National Park. The cost of the program is $1,465, which includes five (5) nights individual room lodging at Mammoth Hotel (each participant will have a separate hotel room or cabin); all instruction and instructional materials, AV rental, classroom rental; in-park transportation; and several meals, including reception and dinner the first night, lunch Tuesday, and breakfast Wednesday. Space does not allow for guest participation in the full program. However, guests and family members are welcome to attend some classroom lectures, a few field trips, and evening films and presentations.

Seminar Highlights
• Participate in a study of political conflict in the world’s first national park
• Examine the political controversies over wolves, grizzlies, snowmobiles, and bison
• Meet and listen to stakeholders on all sides
• Learn how to design courses to help prepare students to understand and engage in conflict management and resolution over national and local public resources

To learn more, please visit http://www.aascu.org/programs/adp/SPL/.

Register online here: https://www.etouches.com/yellow16.

[TDC Updates] February 2016 Edition

TDC Whats New

February 2016 Edition

ANNOUNCEMENT

SAVE THE DATE

  • 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.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE BLOG

  • 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.

OPPORTUNITIES

  • 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.

WHAT WE’RE READING

CAMPUS SPOTLIGHT

  • 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!

2016 DATES FOR YOUR CALENDAR

#CLDE16 Update | Call for Proposals EXTENDED to 2/8

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Call for Proposals EXTENDED
Proposals Now Due February 8, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time

There is still time to be a part of the 2016 ADP/TDC/NASPA Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Meeting.

The proposal submission deadline has been extended to February 8, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Submit your proposal(s) online.

We especially seek proposals on the following topics:

  • Partnerships between Academic and Student Affairs;
  • Civic Pathways;
  • Engaging Diverse Students;
  • Developing Community Partnerships;
  • Assessment of Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement; and
  • Political Engagement.

Also note:

We look forward to seeing you at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown on June 1 – June 4th!

#CLDE16 | The Top 10 Things to Make the Most of Your Experience

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  1. Encourage a student to apply to be a CLDE Intern.
    In order to encourage student participation in the annual Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Meeting. The American Democracy Project, The Democracy Commitment and the NASPAs Lead Initiative are proud to offer the opportunity for three students to have a voice on the planning committee.  Each of the student interns will receive a complimentary registration to the 2016 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (#CLDE16) Meeting as well as earn transferrable work experience.  To apply for this intern position, fill out the application by Friday, January 29, 2016.  The application can be found here.
  2. Submit a Program Proposal by February 1, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
    This year’s Civic Learning & Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Meeting promises facilitate learning and engagement while fostering a sense of community around our shared civic learning and democratic engagement work. This meeting will consist of outstanding plenary sessions, informative concurrent sessions, engaging teaching demonstrations, as well as interactive institutes and I3 (Information, Ideas, and Innovation) conversations.  Be a part of this substantive programming by submitting your ideas and sharing your expertise with your colleagues. You can fill out the Call for Proposals here.
  3. Volunteer to be a Program Reviewer by February 12, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
    This is an opportunity to share your insights as to which sessions you are interested in seeing at the #CLDE16 Meeting. This is also a valuable chance to give feedback through the peer-review process for all potential presenters. If you are interested in this role, fill out the interest form here.
  4. Become a Mentor / Mentee at the #CLDE16 Meeting
    Mentorship is a reciprocal relationship built between two individuals – one possessing knowledge and experience in a particular field who is willing to share and one who has the enthusiasm and awareness of the need to gain such experience and knowledge. Much like our relationships with community partners, a successful relationship is one that is meaningful, reciprocal, sustainable, and equitable.  To be a mentor or mentee at the Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) meeting, submit your interest here.
  5. Register Online | Early-bird deadline is April 25, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
    Registration Fee includes all program sessions and materials; reception on Thursday; and breakfasts on Friday and Saturday. Register Online by April 25th for our best rates. Please register early to help us best plan this conference! Individuals from AASCU/ADP/TDC member campuses or with individual membership to NASPA have the following registration rates: Individual: $525 early bird / $595 regular; Team Member: $465 early-bird / $545 regular; Student Registration Fee: $350; Non-Member Registration Fee: $625 early-bird / $725 regular; and Guest Registration Fee: $95.
  6. Register for a Pre-Conference Institute
    This year we are excited to offer a set of pre-conference institutes on Wednesday, June 1st on topics from assessment to political engagement, dialogue and deliberation, and economic as well as one especially for students. When you register for the meeting, you’ll also have the opportunity to choose to participate in one of our pre-conference institutes – we hope you’ll join us!

    • 9am – 5pm | CLDE Assessment Institute with ETS (encouraging teams): $85 team members / $150 individual
    • 10am-4pm | Political Engagement Institute with icitizen (encouraging teams): $85 team members / $150 individual
    • 1-4pm | Dialogue and Deliberation Institute (half-day): $75
    • 1-4pm | Student Pre-conference Symposium (half-day, students only): No cost
    • 1-4pm | ADP/TDC Economic Inequality Initiative Institute (EI campuses only): $75
  7. Donate to the IUPUI Campus Food Bank, Paws Pantry at CLDE 2016
    In an effort to give back to the community, we are asking that participants/participating institutions consider making a donation of non-perishable food items and/or monies for the purchase of needed food items to the  Paws Pantry at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). We will collect the items at the onsite meeting registration desk. You can indicate your intent to donate when you register!  Paw’s Pantry is a food pantry for IUPUI. They are open to all students, faculty, and staff in need of food assistance. Since opening in September of 2013 through January 1st of 2015, Paw’s Pantry has had over 1000 visits and has distributed over 12,500 items.
  8. Sign up for a Table at the Campus & Friends Showcase at #CLDE16
    On Thursday, June 2nd from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. we will host our Networking Reception and Poster Session/Campus & Friends Showcase. This is a wonderful opportunity to share and celebrate your work and help others learn how to promote civic learning and engagement on their own campuses. The Showcase is designed as an exhibit area with tables available for presenters. People love to see what other campuses are doing with ADP/TDC/NASPA, and the Showcase also serves as an important opportunity for sharing information, networking, and collaboration with national leaders in the civic engagement movement. If you are interested, don’t forget to sign up for a table when you register for the meeting! (Note: posters require a proposal through the normal proposal process.)
  9. See What the Buzz is all About @IUPUI’s Democracy Plaza
    Take part in a walking tour of Democracy Plaza (DP) at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).  Established in 2004 by students and staff, Democracy Plaza at IUPUI gives their community a place to write, listen, watch or deliberate with peers on political ideas or issues. Many other campuses have adopted democracy walls as a similar place for such dialogues.  During this opportunity, attendees will interact with the questions posed on the chalk boards that makes up DP.  This tour will include a history of the project, examples of current issues, and an overview of how IUPUI uses the space for events. Tour is scheduled for 5-6:30 p.m. on Friday, June 3rd as part of the conference; reserve your spot when you register online.
  10. Book Your Hotel Room by May 10 | Indianapolis Marriott Downtown
    The CLDE 2016 meeting will take place at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown (350 W. Maryland St. Indianapolis, IN 46225). The special conference rate is $175 for a single/double room, $185 for a triple room, and $195 for a quad, plus applicable state and local taxes (currently 17%). To obtain this rate, you must book your room by Tuesday May 10, 2016. You can reserve your room online here. Please Note: You must choose first what type of room you need (single/double, triple, or quad occupancy) and then the link will take you to choose the dates and enter your information.

And We’re Live! | Registration For CLDE Now Open

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Register today to be a part of the 2016 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Meeting organized by the American Democracy Project (ADP), The Democracy Commitment (TDC), and the NASPA Lead Initiative. There are many ways to participate in this meeting, as we strive to advance our shared civic learning and democratic engagement work, such as:

When you register, you’ll be able to map out your conference experience:

  • Attending a Pre-Conference workshop on Wednesday, June 1st;
  • Signing up for the Campus & Friends Showcase on Thursday, June 2nd;
  • Indicating which featured events you’re interested in participating in; and
  • Learning about all the happenings of #CLDE16.

More details about the conference can be found online.

We look forward to seeing you at the Indianapolis Marriott on June 2 – 4, 2016!

#CLDE16 Update | Meeting Pre-Conference Institutes & Program Proposals

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As we continue to shape the 2016 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Meeting organized by the American Democracy Project, The Democracy Commitment, and NASPA Lead Initiative to be held June 2-4, 2016 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown in Indianapolis, IN, we’re elated to announce the introduction of pre-conference sessions to be held on June 1, 2016.  These topics were identified through the CLDE Planning Committee and feedback received through the 2015 CLDE Meeting.

The topics include:

  • Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Assessment Workshop with ETS;
  • Electoral and Political Engagement Institute with icitizen;
  • Workshop for the ADP/TDC Economic Inequality Initiative;
  • Democratic Dialogue and Deliberation Institute; and a
  • Student Pre-Conference Institute.

Members of the CLDE community are invited to join in dialogue prior to the conference on social media using #FacesofCLDE.  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.   In turn, spreading the work of the great work that happens on each of your campuses.

Learn more about the #CLDE16 Meeting and submit your Program Proposal by February 1, 2016 by visiting here: 2016 Civic Learning & Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Meeting. Registration will open next week.  Don’t forget to register by April 2016 to get the best rates.  We hope you will take advantage of this year’s conference to continue to advance our civic missions!