About the CLDE Project

About the CLDE Project

In fall 2010, Global Perspective Institute Inc. (GPI), in collaboration with the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), was awarded a contract by the U.S. Department of Education to assess the state of civic learning and democratic engagement among two- and four-year colleges and universities. The project was charged with producing a national report and action plan with ambitious recommendations for strengthening these commitments.

Led by GPI President Larry Braskamp and AAC&U Senior Vice President Caryn McTighe Musil, the CLDE Project organized a set of activities in 2011 including:

  • Convening a National Task Force that would produce the report;
  • Commissioning a literature review on the impact of existing civic educational efforts on college students’ civic learning and agency;
  • Developing and circulating a draft of a national report that examines the state of the field and offers a national plan of action to enhance civic learning and democratic engagement; and
  • Organizing five national roundtables involving civic organization and community leaders, college presidents, students, faculty, student affairs professionals, policy makers, heads of funding agencies, higher education researchers, and directors of campus-based civic programs.

New and Noteworthy

The culminating report, A Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracy’s Future, is set to be released in January 2012.

AAC&U is sponsoring a national symposium, Reversing a Civic Recession: What Higher Education Can Do, on January 25, 2012 in Washington, DC. The symposium is designed to gather higher education leaders ready to mobilize the sector as one of the defining sites for learning and practicing democratic and civic responsibilities. It will challenge participants to think through how to make such learning expected, rather than optional, for every college student.