Related Projects

Educating students to be responsible, informed, and engaged citizens in their workplaces and the larger community should be an expected goal for every major.

Through a grant from the Endeavor Foundation, AAC&U has launched a project that highlights different departmental and disciplinary designs that incorporate learning for civic and social responsibility into the requirements and pedagogy of a student’s major or specialized program.

In an age of fractious differences about this topic when finding common ground seems elusive, AAC&U and The Democracy Commitment are joining with seven community colleges to orchestrate a series of public forums, each with accompanying programs and educational resources to bridge the rifts. Organized under the common theme, Citizenship Under Siege and supported by a grant from The National Endowment for the Humanities, the events are framed through the powerful historic, ethical, and narrative lenses of the humanities.

The Bringing Theory to Practice Project (BTtoP) encourages colleges and universities to reassert their core purposes as educational institutions, not only to advance learning and discovery, but to advance the potential and well-being of each individual student, and to advance education as a public good that sustains a civic society.  While attending to context and relevant influences, BTtoP selects and supports the planning and offering of multiple means to achieve our mission. BTtoP funds and supports ongoing campus projects at institutions interested in taking steps toward realizing their missions for learning, well-being and civic development of their students. BTtoP has offered dozens of conferences, workshops, and other events related to the research and work we support on campuses. BTtoP is dedicated to increasing institutional attention and commitment to the linkages we address in our mission and to create systems of support, reward and maintenance that value them. We utilize the production of various forms of resources to achieve this. 

The Civic Working Group gathered a list of major instruments for assessing civic learning, and then invited practitioners to provide feedback to help create a detailed map of the state of civic learning assessment. AAC&U and American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) collaborated on the creation of an inventory of valid instruments to aid campuses seeking to assess student civic learning and engagement as part of their institutional or programmatic outcomes. Through funding from the Lumina Foundation, the two associations collaborated to assemble a national task force of experts on civic learning and engagement.

Core Commitments aims to reclaim and revitalize the academy’s role in fostering students’ development of personal and social responsibility. The initiative focuses national attention on the importance of students exploring their ethical responsibilities to self and others.

A Crucible Moment calls on educators and public leaders to advance a 21st century vision of college learning for all students—a vision with civic learning and democratic engagement an expected part of every student’s college education. The report documents the nation’s anemic civic health and includes recommendations for action that address campus culture, general education, and civic inquiry as part of major and career fields as well as hands-on civic problem solving across differences. 

An understanding of public health is a critical component of good citizenship and a prerequisite for taking responsibility for building healthy societies.  At its best, the study of public health combines the social sciences, sciences, mathematics, humanities, and the arts.  At the same time, it serves as a vehicle for the development of written and oral communication skills, critical and creative thinking, quantitative and information literacy, and teamwork and problem solving.  It incorporates civic knowledge and engagement—both local and global—intercultural competence, and ethical reaso

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and The Democracy Commitment: An American Community College Initiative (TDC) launched a three-year curriculum and faculty development project in 2012 supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Bridging Cultures to Form a Nation: Difference, Community, and Democratic Thinking.

Shared Futures: Global Learning and Social Responsibility is a multi-project, national initiative of AAC&U. The initiative was built on the assumption that we live in an interdependent but unequal world and that higher education can prepare students to not only thrive in such a world, but to creatively and responsibly remedy its inequities and problems.

As we move forward in an increasingly contentious global century and face a civic learning gap nationally, the United States must make civic and democratic learning for all students a top national priority. The future of our democracy and our shared futures depend on a more informed, engaged, and globally responsible citizenry.

AAC&U has been a member of the US Steering Committee of the International Consortium for Higher Education, Civic Responsibility and Democracy (IC) since the latter's inception over a decade ago.