Founded in 2011 with 50 original signatories, TDC’s membership is comprised of community college campuses dedicated to ensuring that civic and democratic education and engagement are available to all students.  TDC’s membership, which currently stands at more than 233 campuses strong in 85 institutions in every region of the country, grows as the necessity for support in civic work becomes increasingly apparent.

Member institutions become “stewards of place” aimed at revitalizing democracy in the communities in which they are based and from which their students come.   TDC nationally supports the fact that community colleges are committed to and responsible for their communities, and assist in providing opportunities to achieve their missions rooted in democracy.

Why Join TDC?

TDC benefits, resources, programs, networking opportunities, and partnerships outlined below are distinctive and designed to advance democracy in community colleges and to be competitive for your membership dollars. These benefits include:
Universal Campus Benefits
Access to Relevant Resources
Professional Development Opportunities
Networking Opportunities
Campus Visibility

Universal Campus Benefits

Member institutions are automatically eligible for participation in programs including national initiatives, projects, and grant-funded opportunities.  Administrators, faculty, staff, and students alike can take advantage of member rates when registering for TDC and TDC-sponsored summits, workshops, and meetings.  Additionally, everyone within your campus community can take advantage of selected publication discounts and exclusive permission to copy and distribute selected publications at no additional charge for faculty development and other internal campus activities.

Access to Relevant Resources

TDC has amassed a national clearinghouse of program designs, curricula, and project development strategies for community colleges. Member institutions have access to these materials and ideas which extend beyond volunteerism embracing civic work broadly to include the democratic practice.  TDC membership provides ongoing access to resources in areas such as Electoral and Political Engagement; Civic and Democratic Education and Engagement;  Community Engagement; Global Citizenship; and Professional Training and Development. Members have exclusive permission to copy and distribute resources at no additional charge for faculty development and other internal campus activities.

Professional Development

TDC summits, workshops and meetings, programs, publications, and projects allow your institution to engage with the educational community at large.  Individuals on your campus can use these forums to share your institution’s experiences and accomplishments with others and learn best practices from our network of democracy’s campuses.  Additionally, TDC members can partner with other TDC campuses as well as in AASCU’s national initiatives focused on civic and democratic learning and engagement.

Networking Opportunities

Through workshops, regional summits, and national meetings, our members have professional opportunities to develop skills in civic learning and democratic engagement and to learn from others across the country exchanging ideas on best practices to advance this work.  From examples of local organizing endeavors to training in deliberative dialogues, TDC provides our members the platform to work collaboratively and across institutional boundaries to build seamless curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular opportunities for our community college students and their success. TDC members have the opportunity to develop regional and national programs that build civic skills among students, especially focusing on projects that support students in doing public work which has an impact on retention, completion, and ultimate student success.


TDC membership positions your institution to join with other campuses and organizations in AASCU’s sponsored initiatives such as Engage the Election powered by icitizen, ADP/TDC Economic Inequality Initiative.  Also, joint other grant-funded projects with organizations such as AAC&U such Bridging Cultures to Form a Nation and Citizenship Under Siege both funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Campus Visibility

Partnerships formed between TDC and national organizations give our members recognition and access to a myriad of opportunities for exposure. Because TDC is represented in our nation’s capital, our members are often spotlighted at national events along with our annual and regional meetings.  TDC and TDC-sponsored summits, workshops, and meetings provide numerous opportunities to share your institution’s best practices, innovations, accomplishments, and challenges with the higher education community at large.  Also, TDC members gain valuable exposure for their participation in TDC programs through TDC’s print and online publications and on TDC’s website. Additionally, TDC members can have institutional announcements, events, resources, and essays posted on our website and in our online member newsletter What’s New with TDC available to the entire educational community.

What’s the Commitment?

First, to ensure communication between TDC headquarters and each college, all member institutions are asked to designate a Campus Coordinator. The Campus Coordinator is a very important commitment we ask of each member institution. The Campus Coordinator is defined as: a faculty member, administrator, or staff person who believes in the value of a civic education and is committed to the success of The Democracy Commitment on your campus.  TDC Commitment Includes:

  • $500 initial membership dues per member institution upon joining and a pledge to commit $1,000 annually after the first year to aid in the continuation of TDC’s staff, scholarships, and to further the dedication to advancing civic learning and democratic engagement in America’s community colleges.
  • A public institutional commitment to and support of the central role of civic and democratic learning and engagement.
  • Participation in national and regional meetings and programs that build civic skills among students, especially focusing on projects that support students in doing civic and public work.


“The Democracy Commitment has helped refocus our civic work on the importance of preparing students to be involved in the democratic process—from volunteering on political campaigns to exploring the role of civility to working on skills needed to bridge differences. Our faculty, staff, and students are inspired with new ideas and best practices from the ADP/TDC annual meeting, and Miami Dade College’s Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy has become the driving force for service learning and engagement with our community.”

Dr. Eduardo Padron, President, Miami Dade College, FL

“Monroe Community College is honored to have been an initial signatory to the Democracy Commitment. TDC has been embraced by our faculty seeking a way to link the classroom to the community, resulting in increased participation by students in meaningful civic engagement and service projects. I would strongly recommend all community colleges join the Democracy Commitment; it has been invaluable for us.”

Dr. Anne Kress, President, Monroe Community College, NY

“Local, state, and national civic institutions are strengthened through a well-educated and engaged citizenry. The Democracy Commitment is doing its part to promote the education of democratic values and ideas on our campuses. The California Community Colleges embrace the initiative’s goal of instilling a greater awareness of this country’s democratic heritage and process among our students.”

Dr. Brice Harris, Former-Chancellor, California Community Colleges

“I was honored to be present at the launch of The Democracy Commitment back in the Fall of 2011, and I am, frankly, amazed at the traction this initiative has already achieved.  Both nationally and among our own Maricopa Community Colleges, it has given a renewed focus to our critical mission of educating all our students for lives of democratic citizenship and community engagement.”

Dr. Rufus Glasper, Former-Chancellor, Maricopa Community Colleges, AZ

Join TDC!

To join The Democracy Commitment, simply submit the following form to the National Manager:

New Member Application Form

  1. Please download / SAVE AS the membership application PDF to your desktop
  2. Once you fill out the information, please make sure to SAVE again and return the application to  E-signatures are accepted.
  3. You can also print the application and return by mail to:

The Democracy Commitment c/o Verdis Robinson
1307 New York Ave, NW | Fifth Floor
Washington, D.C.  20005