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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.

Constitution Day 2015 | TDC Campuses Across the Nation Celebrate and Engage in a Big Way

Constitution Day 2015

Constitution Day can be seen as a celebratory event; and in many cases it is a celebration of an experiment in democratic governance that continues to balance rights to equality and liberty. On most of our campuses, however, Constitution Day is not (only) celebratory, but a day to spur people to think more deeply, to consider opposing perspectives, to spur citizens to action and to wrestle with complex issues facing our civic life and democratic institutions.

We hope you take the time to peruse the 2015 Constitution Day offerings of just some of our TDC campuses. They’ve been busy registering new voters and discussing infringements on voter rights. They are urging their communities to focus on race, racism and other inequalities and social injustices that persist in our country. We encourage you to do the same today and every day.

Here are a few examples of what our campuses are doing today:

Mount Wachusett Community College (Massachusetts)

Mount Wachusett is holding a trivia show, which will include questions on the constitution. They will also have a “voting is a piece of cake’ table where they can register to vote, pick up a pocket constitution and win a prize or get a free piece of cake. For more information click here.

Lone Star Community College (Texas)

Lone Star’s Student Government Association will be hosting an informative session on the United States Constitution. For more information click here.

Middlesex Community College (Massachusetts)

Middlesex Community College will celebrate Constitution and Citizenship Day with a special presentation by MA State Auditor Suzanne Bump. For more information click here.

SUNY Broome Community College (New York)

SUNY Broome to celebrate Constitution Day with a cosmic lecture. The lecture will be led by the interstellar political anthropologist and cultural historian Goud Ranrag, from Planet Bb of the Alpha Centauri Federation, located some four light years distant from Earth. The lecture will challenge the campus and the local community to think about what role American citizens have now and over the next 50 years in either witnessing the death of democracy or assisting in its revitalization. Young people are especially encouraged to come and hear a “cosmic voice” sharing his thoughts and observations about the future of the American experiment in democracy. For More Information click here.

The Alamo Colleges (Texas)

The Alamo Colleges is hosting an event with Mi Familia Voto Performance; Informational tables & Voters Registration; and Constitutional displays & games. For More Information visit here.

Yavapai College (Arizona)

In honor of Constitution Day Thursday, September 17th, the Prescott Campus Library of Yavapai College will have a display at the library’s InfoPortal Sept. 14 – 19. The Prescott Campus Library is a Government Depository library. The Library will offer free pamphlets that contain a copy of the constitution and pencils/post-it notepads. For more information visit here.

Cuyahoga Community College (Ohio)

Cuyahoga Community College Western Campus celebrated Constitution Day—or Citizenship Day on September 15 by commemorating the day with a game of Jeopardy, where contestants answered questions about the U.S. Constitution.

Cuyahoga Community College

Introducing our fall Civic Engagement Intern

Amanda Adams is the new AASCU Civic Engagement Intern for fall 2015, joining ADP and TDC from The Waamandashington Center. She is a senior at Stockton University, an ADP campus in New Jersey, studying political science and global studies, and will graduate in December. Before Stockton, Amanda attended Atlantic Cape Community College (N.J.) and earned an associate degree in business management. While at Stockton, Amanda has worked with the United Way by writing letters to political leaders and forming a petition to free Syrian refugees who were wrongfully held in an Egyptian prison. She held an internship at the Borough of Beach Haven, Long Beach Island, N.J. During her time interning at Beach Haven she worked with the local mayor, shadowed the city clerk, and did research for a new policy regarding abandoned property. Amanda was also a member and treasurer of Stockton’s Model United Nations club, which earned an honorable mention and distinguished delegation awards.

ADP/TDC Electoral Engagement Resources: Engaging Campuses

619-07799305As a part of the ADP/TDC Electoral Engagement Resources, we’ve created a document with ways in which colleges and universities can engage their students.

The document has resources to measure current areas of growth for individual universities’ democratic engagement efforts. It also lists suggested resources on how to approach expanding democratic engagement efforts on campuses as well as organizations and projects that can assist in the process.

ADP and TDC campuses are encouraged to utilize these resources to engage students in upcoming elections.

Download Engaging Campuses (pdf)
Don’t forget:  National Voter Registration Day is September 22nd!

Partner Spotlight: Lyon Software’s White Paper on Community Impact Reports

Lyon Software Image

As part of a new series of AASCU Research and Strategy reports, AASCU corporate partners are providing important insights and data to our member institutions. Our latest report is a white paper from a company that TDC has worked closely with and that sponsored our 2015 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement meeting.

Lyon Software’s white paper on “The Importance of Reporting Community Impact in Institutions of Higher Learning,” provides a set of concrete arguments for why institutions of higher education should consider measuring and reporting their community impacts, including developing and maintaining community support; maintaining academic credentials; and institutionalizing community engagement. The white paper also identifies four general communities related to the educational arena that institutions might consider reporting on — including: campus, academic, local/global, and mission-specific domains — and offers examples of programs or measures for each area.

Special Note for TDC Blog readers:

Institutions interested in tracking their impact on the community are invited to join Lyon Software’s Stewards of CBISA user group. CBISA Plus for Higher Education is  a tool used to help you track your institution’s service-learning and community engagement programs in order to create your institutional impact report. Those joining the Stewards of CBISA user group will receive 50% off their first year’s subscription to CBISA.

If you’re not familiar with Lyon Software and their CBISA tool, be sure to check them out online or by contacting either  Brittany Younts or Crystal Randolph at 419-882-7184 or at byounts @ lyonsoftware.com or crandolph @ lyonsoftware.com, respectively.

ADP/TDC Electoral Engagement Resources: Voter Education Websites

619-07799305The ADP/TDC Electoral Engagement Resources now features a document on voter education websites to help college students better inform themselves in preparation for Election Day.

Listed websites will assist students in finding factual information about the candidates on the ballot. Other websites feature voting information.  One source students may find to be particularly useful is the candidate matching quiz.  This website asks users to take a quiz about their beliefs and then matches the responses to the best fit candidate of the 2016 presidential election.

ADP and TDC institutions are encouraged to promote these educational resources on their campuses.

Download Voter Education Websites (pdf)
Don’t forget:  National Voter Registration Day is September 22nd!

ADP/TDC Economic Inequality Initiative Updates

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By Amanda Adams, AASCU Civic Engagement Intern and Stockton University (N.J.) student

For more information on the joint ADP/TDC Economic Inequality Initiative, go here.

New Economic Inequality Grants
We are excited to announce that thanks to Weber State University’s (Utah) overwhelming generosity under Provost Emeritus Michael Vaughan’s leadership, we are able to offer campus mini-grants of up to $1,000 to ADP/TDC Economic Inequality participating campuses for the purpose of advancing the work of this initiative.
Applications are due by Monday, October 19, 2015 for best consideration. To apply, EI campuses must complete the following two Google forms:

•The ADP/TDC EI Campus Grant Application Form can be found here.
• The ADP/TDC EI Campus Reporting Form can be found here.

Keene State (NH) Professor Receives Award for Work on Economic Inequality Initiative
Patrick Dolenc, professor of economics, received the 2015 Barbara Burch Award for Faculty Leadership in Civic Engagement from the American Democracy Project. Dolenc’s goal for his students is not for them to just graduate and get good jobs, but to care about and know how to make a difference in their communities through civic engagement, one of the many reasons he was chosen for this award. To read more about Dolenc and the impact of this award click here.

Weber State (Utah) Provost Michael Vaughan to Study Economic Inequality’s Effect on Democracy
Under Vaughan’s leadership, Weber State University will offer a new course this fall focused on helping students understand economic inequality. A team at Weber University is working on producing educational videos that will be used to promote and circulate information on the topic. Weber State is participating in the ADP/TDC Economic Inequality Initiative and Michael Vaughan is a member of the initiative’s advisory council. Learn more here.

EI Initiative at SUNY Cortland to pose EI Questions on Democracy Wall
SUNY Cortland, an EI campus, is facilitating a community dialogue about democracy and economic inequality via a “democracy wall” — a blackboard that invites community participation by posing questions. Learn more about their efforts here.

Please see also our earlier post on the Economic Inequality and Civic Engagement Conference being held by EI and our TDC campus, Lone Star College – Kingwood (Texas).

ADP/TDC Electoral Engagement Resources: U.S. Political Parties & Organizations

619-07799305As a part of the ADP/TDC Electoral Engagement Resources, we’ve compiled a list of the notable political parties and organizations, breaking down the beliefs, ideas, and platforms.

This document is meant to help students see the platforms in a side-by-side comparison in addition to provide more ways to connect further with the organizations for more information. Campuses are encouraged to provide this information to students who may not be familiar with all of the political parties, primarily first-time voters.

Download U.S. Political Parties & Organizations (pdf)
Don’t forget:  National Voter Registration Day is September 22nd!

Partner Spotlight | Campus Vote Project Webinar on Voter Registration

national voter registraiton day
As we kick off the 2015-2016 term we would like to invite you all to participate in a conversation with our colleagues at the Fair Elections Legal Network who run the Campus Vote Project.

With National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) and Constitution Day both coming up in September we wanted to invite you to a discussion on Tuesday, September 15 at 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET regarding democratic engagement in higher education.  We will hear from the Fair Election Legal Network’s Campus Vote Project on several ways to incorporate nonpartisan voter registration activity into your campus’ cultural.

To join us simply register for this event by Friday, September 11 by visiting this link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8807905444442151682

During the call we will also address common election administration questions that students may ask and resources to find out the answers to those issues in your jurisdiction.  We will close with an open discussion of lessons learned from previous and current democratic engagement programs conducted by call participants.

For more information prior to the webinar you can check out:

www.campusvoteproject.org/administrators for several resources.

Also make sure to sign-up by September 1st to be a partner for NVRD and have receive materials to help with your event: http://nationalvoterregistrationday.org/partners

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Partner Spotlight | NCoC’s 2015 Annual Conference on Citizenship in DC October 9th

NCOC November

The 2015 Annual Conference on Citizenship will be held on October 9 in Washington, DC. The theme for this year’s Conference is “Civic Innovations in Action.”

In this in-depth, strategy-building event, our community of civic thinkers and leaders will inspire each other by sharing civic innovations that empower action and strengthen our country.

Senator John McCain and Walter Isaacson, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute will keynote the conference. Other featured experts include: Michaela Pereira, news anchor for CNN’s “New Day;” Jake Brewer, senior technology advisor at the White HouseMarnie Webb, CEO of Caravan Studios; Adam Conner, Vice President of Politics for Brigade; Perla Ni, entrepreneur; Mandi McReynolds, Director, Community Engagement and Service–Learning at Drake UniversityJay Mangone, Director for the Franklin ProjectAmy Baker, Managing Director of ServiceNation; Matthew H. Roy, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Civic Engagement, UMass Dartmouth. 

NCoC is excited to feature the Service Year Exchange (SYx) and Campaign at this year’s conference. Service Year is a multifaceted effort to promote national service as means to greater civic participation. Additionally, the conference will focus on the state of America’s civic health and civic education.

Thanks to the generous support from KPMG, LLP and Michael Weiser & Julie Greiner-Weiser limited registration scholarships are being provided to students who wish to attend the Conference.

Conference Registration Provides:
-Access to 1 full day of programming and networking including focused, in-depth breakout sessions, panel discussions, and high-level speakers
-Breakfast, lunch, and coffee and tea service 

Lodging Information:
Until September 3, NCoC has reserved a block of rooms at $299/night at the Mayflower Hotel. Follow this link, or call 877.212.5752 and ask for the National Conference on Citizenship room block.