Education For Democracy
As polarization and disaffection threaten to damage our democratic republic permanently, we must prepare students to engage effectively and constructively in public life. Education for Democracy is an important new non-partisan initiative designed to help heal and reinvigorate our democracy.
Our goal is to establish an expectation that every student of higher education will engage in courses, programs, and activities that build the knowledge, skills, and motivations that will lead to effective and responsible participation in democracy–now and throughout students’ lives.
We also believe that this goal is aligned with the goal of educating students for workforce readiness and career success. Read more below about how member campuses, nonprofits, students, and employers can get involved.
Student Civic Leadership
We offer a variety of opportunities each year for students to build civic agency and leadership.
Civic Action Academy
Every fall, we host a two-day conference for student leaders interested in learning new ways of making a difference and building skills through civic and community engagement. Sessions offer skill-building in civic action including philanthropy, nonprofit leadership, dialogue, advocacy and more. Students also have a chance to learn what others are doing on other campuses and network with peers. See our events page.
Civic Agency Workshops
Through our partnership with Minnesota Campus Compact we offer a curated series of experiential workshops supports development of civic agency through strategies and skills related to “self,” “us,” and “now,” all available for free download. Our staff can also to come to your campus or organization and facilitate these experiences with your students or colleagues. Learn more.
Through our programs and partnerships, we have opportunities available to students during the semester and summer to build their skills. These positions all come with pay or education awards to make them more accessible.
- Campus Compact AmeriCorps
- Tyson Community Internship Program
- Principal Community Scholars
As a part of our commitment to educating students for active citizenship, Iowa Campus Compact supports campus action to engage students in elections. We are partners in the national, nonpartisan Campus Election Engagement Project to provide information and resources for these efforts. Contact Election Engagement Coordinator Samantha Bayne.
Constitution Day Dialogue Initiative
Given that 93% of the public agrees that the nation has a civility problem, supporting dialogue and deliberation is a critical piece of the public purpose of higher education. Our member colleges and universities recognize this and are increasingly incorporating the theory and practice of dialogue across different dimensions of the curriculum, co-curriculum, pedagogy, and administration and governance. Dialogue equips students, faculty, and staff with the skills to build a shared understanding of challenges and create positive change, can enhance student learning, feelings of belonging, and skills for a globalized workforce, and impacts students’ post-college civic and community engagement.
All educational institutions that receive Federal funds are required to hold an educational program about the U.S. Constitution for its students. We provide resources and support for campuses to use this obligation as a day for dialogue and to spur more long-term dialogue initiatives. Access resources here and contact Emily Shields for more information.