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.
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.
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!
Washington, DC—The Democracy Commitment (TDC) and The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced on Friday 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. This project builds on a previously NEH-funded initiative, Bridging Cultures to Form a Nation: Difference, Community, and Democratic Thinking. Seven of the community colleges in that aforementioned three-year curriculum and faculty development initiative will sponsor forums in the project.
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. These public forums will be grounded in the nation’s history and explore creative ways to use the power of the humanities to bridge differences and build strong communities.
In announcing the grants awarded as part of NEH’s new initiative, The Common Good: Humanities and the Public Square, William D. Adams, NEH Chairman, said, “We need the humanities, now more than ever, because they give us access to the most fundamental and consequential dimensions and forces of our experience.”
Co-Founder of The Democracy Commitment, President of De Anza Community College, and member of AAC&U’s board of directors Brian Murphy adds, “Community college students represent the broadest diversity of our nation’s students and our communities, and they are deeply interested in developing their own voice. Especially in a time of divisive, even xenophobic, political rhetoric, community college students seek to build more generous and caring communities, where one people is built out of many. This grant will enable us to expand and augment the excellent work already underway on so many of our campuses.”
Since the nation’s origins, who counts as a U.S. citizen has been hotly contested, and today those divisive debates are as intense as ever. AAC&U’s Senior Scholar and Director of Civic Learning and Democracy Initiatives Caryn McTighe Musil explains, “The forums will examine how the humanities can help people understand the successive re-imagining of American identity over time and the excruciating distinctions in one’s everyday life, depending on whether one’s citizenship has been deemed as full, partial, stratified, postponed, or denied.”
Tailored to issues of importance to their local communities, the public forums will explore critical questions about citizenship such as:
What historic struggles for full social justice, democratic rights, and recognition can illuminate a way through contemporary logjams over issues about citizenship, who belongs, and who should get full citizenship rights?
How can the humanities provide fresh understandings for our contemporary context of key principles and values embedded in our founding documents: equality, individual dignity, opportunity, liberty, and public happiness?
How can the humanities with their powers of narrative and imagination illuminate the human drama behind these political debates: the yearning, struggle, humiliation, resilience, despair, and triumph?
How can the humanities contribute to the constructive practice of democratic engagement across multiple differences in background and world view especially in the face of suspicion, mistrust, vulnerability, ignorance, and polarization?
Participating Community Colleges Include:
City University Kingsborough Community College, New York
Citizenship Under Siege: Promoting Religious Pluralism and Inclusive Citizenship
Middlesex Community College, Massachusetts
Citizenship Under Siege: A Culture in Transition
County College of Morris, New Jersey
Citizenship Under Siege: Stratified Citizenship
Lone Star College, Texas
Citizenship Under Siege: The Effects of Income Inequality
Santa Fe College, Florida
Citizenship Under Siege: Stratified Citizenship in Florida
Mount Wachusett Community College, Massachusetts
Citizenship Under Siege: Degrees of Citizenship
Miami Dade College, Florida
Citizenship Under Siege: Democracy for All?
The Democracy Commitment (TDC) will also host a series of webinars that will provide educational resources on how to organize public forums that offer a way to discuss these critical questions about citizenship and wrestle with associated hard choices and different viewpoints. AAC&U will devote a special issue of its quarterly Diversity & Democracy to serve as a print and online resource about how the humanities can provide content, process, and perspectives on these contentious debates and how others might replicate public forums on their own campuses with local communities.
AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises more than 1,300 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.
AAC&U functions as a catalyst and facilitator, forging links among presidents, administrators, and faculty members who are engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Its mission is to reinforce the collective commitment to liberal education and inclusive excellence at both the national and local levels, and to help individual institutions keep the quality of student learning at the core of their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges.
About The Democracy Commitment
The Democracy Commitment (TDC) is a national initiative providing a platform for the development and expansion of community college programs, projects and curricula aiming at engaging students in civic learning and democratic practice across the country.
The goal of TDC is that every graduate of an American community college shall have had an education in democracy. This includes all of our students, whether they aim to transfer to university, achieve an associate degree or obtain a certificate.
WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ (AASCU) The American Democracy Project (ADP) and The Democracy Commitment (TDC) announced their partnership with icitizen, a leading civic engagement app. Starting this January, the three groups will work to “Engage the Election 2016;” this project will include comprehensive activities throughout the year centered on enhancing student engagement through civic technology.
“We’re excited to further our partnership with icitizen,” said Anne Mandeville, director of corporate partnerships at AASCU. “Our missions couldn’t be more aligned in encouraging younger generations to take ownership of their civic lives and make their voices count. This is the civic tech component our organization is now able to provide to our members, and we’re grateful for this opportunity to work together during the election year.”
The kickoff event, headquartered at Illinois State University, will be a live-stream of President Obama’s 2016 State of the Union address. Member institutions can host a viewing party on their campuses, and students and faculty can participate via www.icitizen.com if they are unable to attend a watch party. This event will feature interactive polling, live tweeting, and pre- and post-speech coverage designed entirely around advancing the non-partisan political engagement of students. Members of all political parties are encouraged to participate.
“This is a monumental opportunity for all of our organizations,” said Russell P. Reeder, CEO of icitizen. “We’re so happy to be able to work with ADP, TDC and their member schools. We are all dedicated to driving civic engagement and providing all the resources we can to help prepare the next generation of responsible, active citizens. This is only the beginning.”
To participate in the State of the Union live-stream event, sign up here.
The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of more than 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development.
The American Democracy Project (ADP) is a multi-campus initiative focused on public higher education’s role in preparing the next generation of informed, engaged citizens for our democracy. The project began in 2003 as an initiative of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), in partnership with The New York Times.
The Democracy Commitment (TDC) is a national initiative providing a platform for development and expansion of community college programs, projects and curricula aiming at engaging students in civic learning and democratic practice across the country. Our goal is that every graduate of an American community college have had an education in democracy. This includes all of our students, whether they aim to transfer to university, achieve an associate degree or obtain a certificate.
icitizen is a community where you connect with your peers and elected officials to be heard on the civic issues you care about. With icitizen, you create change at the local, state and federal level. icitizen also partners with organizations and government officials to provide valuable insight into what matters most to their stakeholders. The company is dedicated to bringing openness and accountability to democracy.
In order to encourage student participation in the 2016 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) 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. CLDE student interns will:
Organize the student symposium on Wednesday, June 1, 2016;
Have an active presence on social media regarding the #FacesofCLDE and #CLDE16 campaigns;
Contribute blog postings for ADP, TDC, and the NASPA Lead Initiative;
Coordinate student gatherings while in Indianapolis;
Volunteer on site at the 2016 CLDE Meeting in Indianapolis;
Be on the planning committee conference calls leading up to the meeting;
Aid in organizing mentor and mentee meetings; as well as
Additional opportunities will also be made available.
Each of the student interns will receive a complimentary registration to the 2016 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (#CLDE16) as well as transferrable work experience. To apply for this intern position fill out the application by Friday, January 29, 2016. The application can be found here. The duration of this commitment will be remote from March – July 2016. Expected work load will be about five hours per week and onsite from June 1-4 in Indianapolis, In.
All applicants will be notified about their application in late February 2016.
For questions or concerns please contact:
Assistant Director for Knowledge Communities and CLDE Initiatives, NASPA
Sreynolds@naspa.org | (2012) 719-1193
National Manager, American Democracy Project
email@example.com | (202) 478-7833
National Manager, The Democracy Commitment
firstname.lastname@example.org | (202) 478-4675
We are excited to invite you to join the The Democracy Commitment (TDC), American Democracy Project (ADP), and icitizen, our civic technology partner, for a live-streamed State of the Union (SOTU) event on the evening of Tuesday, January 12, 2016. This event, headquartered at Illinois State University, will feature interactive polling, live tweeting, and pre- and post-speech coverage designed entirely around advancing the non-partisan political engagement of students.
Community Colleges interested in participating are encouraged to organize a watch party on campus, and any students not able to attend will be able to stream the coverage on their devices from anywhere with an internet connection! This event marks the beginning of a year-long ADP/TDC partnership powered by icitizen called “Engage the Election 2016.”
Join us as we pilot icitizen, an innovative app that will enhance our campus political engagement and polling efforts, inspire students to actively participate and connect them with their peers on trending civic issues. We look forward to your participation!
You are cordially invited to participate in Keene State College‘s (N.H.) Town Hall Meeting with Presidential Candidate Senator Bernie Sanders. Senator Sanders will visit Keene State College on Saturday, December 5th at 1 p.m. Eastern. If you are interested in watching a live-stream of this event, please RSVP to Kim Schmidl-Gagne at email@example.com for the link.
Central to Keene State College’s mission as the public liberal arts school of New Hampshire and its commitment to academic excellence and public service, Keene State College has partnered with the American Democracy Project (ADP) to develop the “Participating Candidates” program. We developed the Participating Candidates Program in collaboration with our community partner, The Keene Sentinel, to invite candidates to come to the Keene State College campus in order to engage our students, faculty, staff and Keene community members in the political process.
We hope that this will be one of many opportunities for ADP/TDC institutions to share in New Hampshire’s “First in the Nation” primary status!
Today, most college students in the United States do not attend a single institution in pursuit of their college degrees. Accordingly, the successful attainment of a degree or other credential often depends on a smooth transfer process, as students move between and among higher education institutions. Many states and institutions are working to develop policies and practices that ensure that students can successfully and efficiently make their way from one institution to another and move from one level of learning to another. As these policies and practices are developed, however, we must ensure that we attend not only to the efficiency of these guided learning pathways, but that we map them against common frameworks for quality learning outcomes. Campus models and tools featured here highlight ways that we can advance transfer student success both in learning and completion of degrees of real value.
In November 2015, Carrie Kisker, Director of the Center for the Study of Community Colleges, and Dayna Weintraub, Doctoral Candidate at UCLA, presented results from the Civic Outcomes Survey national pilot at the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) in Denver, Colorado. The Civic Outcomes Survey is a collaborative effort between TDC and the Center for the Study of Community Colleges. An abstract of the 2015 national pilot can be found here:
Ideally, community colleges both democratize opportunity and develop in students the civic skills necessary to participate meaningfully in a democratic society. Yet scholars know very little about the ways or the extent to which community colleges develop the civic capacities of their students. Thus, the Center for the Study of Community Colleges and The Democracy Commitment developed a new survey to assess civic learning. In spring 2015, nine community colleges from across the nation participated in a pilot administration of this survey, allowing for the first national examination of community college civic outcomes. Utilizing factor analysis and multiple stepwise regression, the study identifies the individual and institutional variables associated with greater civic agency, capacity, behavior, and knowledge. Results indicate that student behaviors while in college, as well as certain college characteristics such as institutional intentionality toward civic engagement, have powerful implications for the development of students’ civic outcomes. Furthermore, this study suggests that those programs and practices which are intended to develop students’ civic learning and democratic engagement—such as courses focused on inequality, racial/ethnic organizations, student elections, and so forth—are effective in doing so. Thus, the more community colleges work to establish policies and programs that encourage these behaviors, and the more they create opportunities for students to interact with one another, wrestle with thorny social or political issues, and engage in their communities, the more likely it is that their students will display the civic outcomes necessary to participate meaningfully in a democratic society.
Click here to read the entire paper, which was also co-authored by Mallory Newell, Director of Institutional Research at DeAnza College.
NICHOLAS KRISTOF is inviting University Students to go overseas with him and blog for him on The New York Times website.
Here is what Kristof has to say about the contest:
Read the full rules here. The contest is open to students enrolled in an American college or university, either as an undergraduate or graduate. You can submit an essay or video or both, essentially explaining why I should pick you. Please don’t gush about my reporting — just explain what you bring to the table. It might be that you’re a great writer or photographer, or it might be that you grew up poor and know something about poverty, or grew up rich and don’t know a thing about it. I’m not looking for expertise but for intelligence and great communication skills so that your blogs, videos and social media will make other students interested in these issues and generate some conversations. If you blog or have other writing or video experience, mention it and send links.
To enter, use this form at the Center for Global Development website. The center will help me winnow down the applicants to a much smaller pool of finalists, and then with the help of my assistant, Liriel Higa, I’ll choose the winner. Probably the aim will be to travel for about 10 days or two weeks in the late spring or early summer. I’ll try to work around your schedule, but if you know for sure you won’t be able to take the time off, then please don’t apply. Your expenses will be covered, but there’s no cash award, and you may have to pay taxes on the value of the trip. I’m not sure just where we’ll travel, but the two Congos are a possibility. If you speak French, mention that but it’s certainly not a requirement.
If you want to get a sense of the issues I cover and care about, subscribe to my free email newsletter. But don’t feel you need to agree with me to apply or win!
One other suggestion. Only one person will win this trip, but you can always try to make your own trip. Africa is relatively expensive, but traveling around Nicaragua or India/Bangladesh, or Vietnam/Cambodia is more affordable. You may also be able to get a job or volunteer position teaching English. And for that matter, there are many opportunities to leave your comfort zone without leaving this country — tutor in a prison, or in an inner city school. Over the years, I’ve heard from a number of win-a-trip applicants who, disgusted by my poor judgment in failing to pick them, went off on their own journeys and had life-shaping experiences. So if you don’t win my trip, win your own! You may also find ideas for places to volunteer abroad at omprakash.org or idealist.org.
Details on the grant amount, area funded, deadlines, and geographic location
Funding for a wide variety of issue areas including youth empowerment, education, strengthening democracy, sustainability, immigration, art and media projects, poverty, and more.
Direct links to more information about the requirements
If you’re looking for external funding to boost your community change efforts, this list is the perfect place to start. This list has compiles all the important details in one place, making it easy to decide whether to pursue the opportunity further.