Civic Participation Project
The goal of the project is to promote the development of an informed and contributing citizenry for the United States in the 21st century. The University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) is a metropolitan university with a mission to disseminate knowledge through teaching and research, and by offering public service to the citizens of the state, particularly the residents of the Omaha metropolitan area. The American Democracy Project's goals compliment UNO's own goals, which recognize our particular responsibility to be not only in the community, but of the community.
Defining Civic Engagement
Key issues of the American Democracy Project (ADP)
AASCU at UNO
Student Learning Outcomes
How to get involved
Civic Participation Grantees
Using Thomas Ehrlich's words, civic engagement is:
- "Working to make a difference in the civic life, our communities, and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference."
- Promoting the quality of life in a community through both political and non-political processes
- Social capital" (provided through interaction with others, the development of trust, a sense of linkage between people, participation in community) is on the decline
- Primary and secondary civics education is declining
- A sense of personal entitlement is on the increase
- The politics of polarization is increasing
- Rates of political participation are decreasing
- Support for higher education is declining
- The interest in democracy is increasing abroad
The Civic Participation Project provides opportunities for the campus to:
- Focus on issues related to citizenship and civic engagement at an institutional level (the distinction between engaged students and an engaged campus)
- Integrate civic engagement with our planning and accreditation processes through our strategic plan
- Research, describe and celebrate the breadth and depth of civic engagement activities already present on our campus
- Engage in broad conversations about the role of civic engagement in our undergraduate and graduate programs
- Enhance and extend curricular and co-curricular engagement activities
Additionally, the Civic Participation project is unique at UNO. While there are many examples of activities on campus that fit the definition of student civic engagement, the Civic Participation Project focuses at an institutional level where the chancellor, vice chancellors, and the entire university community become involved. Additionally, AASCU encourages the development of linkages between those on campus who are "engaged" as well as forming or deepening relationships with the broader local community and with other campuses.
- To increase the understanding of democracy's conceptual and historical roots
- To create an understanding of contemporary issues and events
- To provide opportunities to learn and experience core processes of civic engagement
- To develop a commitment to take action and become involved in the life of the community
Faculty, staff and students are invited to learn more and to get involved at whatever level they wish. This website is an excellent place to begin.
Each campus is asked to:
- Year one: Undertake a campus audit of civic engagement, begin campus conversations and identify possible projects
- Years two and three: Undertake activities designed by the campus based on institutional mission, local circumstances and campus-generated initiatives
Presentations at the ADP national and regional meetings address:
- Innovative teaching/learning strategies
- Model voter education and registration strategies
- New national programs
- Assessment ideas
Other opportunities for action:
- First year programs
- General education
- Faculty development
- Campus culture
- Service Learning
AASCU provides important non-monetary support. Campus resources or other public or private sources must provide funding for activities initiated by the campus. UNO's Office of Academic and Student Affairs has provided small seed grants for such initiatives.
Our Campus. Otherwise Known as Omaha.
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