|The study of the workings of the national and local government, especially as the subject of a secondary school course suited as training for citizenship.
Education for civic engagement and responsive governance were founding objectives of the political science profession at the beginning of the 20th century and remain essential for the 21st century. Supporting and sustaining quality civic education has been an important theme throughout the history of the American Political Science Association. We encourage political scientists to share information with their students and communities to increase awareness of public issues and to inform deliberations by sharing disciplinary knowledge on engagement.
Registering to vote is an important step toward an engaged and participatory citizenship. Therefore, APSA encourages ongoing campus voter registration efforts and student participation in the electoral and civic life of their local communities, state, and national government.
APSA offers a range of resources related to civic engagement, which you can find here, along with a collection of resources compiled from other organizations and sources.
Teaching Civic Engagement Across the Disciplines (2017), edited by Elizabeth C. Matto, Alison Rios Milltett McCartney, Elizabeth A. Bennion, and Dick Simpson, explains how campuses can promote high quality education for civic engagement, providing a wealth of examples of successful practices, techniques, and assessment strategies.
Also, check out the ONLINE SUPPLEMENT to the book which provides additional materials and resources on civic education related to assessment and evaluations, course materials, syllabi, and working with the community.
Civic Engagement: From Student to Active Citizen (2013), edited by Elizabeth C. Matto, Alison Rios Millett McCartney, Elizabeth A. Bennion, and Dick Simpson, provides an exploration of key theoretical discussions, innovative ideas, and best practices in educating citizens in the 21st century. Find out more and read a printable version of the book here.
The Alma Ostrom and Leah Hopkins Awan Civic Education Fund was established in honor of Elinor and Vincent Olstroms' mothers. It supports the promotion of democratic engagement through research, outreach, and seminars that promote the study of the critical role of citizens in a democratic policy.
- Learn more and apply here
- Donate to the fund here
APSA has assembled a list of resources to guide teachers through campaign and election season, and to encourage student civic engagement more broadly.
- Best Colleges Student Voting Guide: A comprehensive guide for students on voting, including a state-by-state directory and FAQ section.
- Campus Election Engagement Project: Resources on creating and distributing candidate guides, using athletic departments to engage students, how work study students can help campus nonpartisan election engagement efforts, campus-community election engagement partnerships, hosting civil dialogues on gun issues.
- Campus Vote Project: Works with universities, community colleges, faculty, students, and election officials to reduce barriers to student voting. Offers state by state voting guides for students and resources for administrators to increase students' registration and voting rates.
- CIRCLE, The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement: Conducts scholarly research that informs policy and practice for healthier youth development and better democracy, with particular attention to young people who are marginalized or disadvantaged in political life. A helpful resource for data and analysis related to youth voting.
- The Federal Election Commission
- Institute for Democracy and Higher Education (Tufts University) 2018 Toolkit, "Election Imperatives": A guide for higher educational professionals interested in promoting student political learning and engagement, including ten key recommendations, actions to take, and resources.
- League of Women Voters
- National Association of Secretaries of State
- NSLVE, the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement at Tufts' University's Institute for Democracy & Higher Education: Offers institutions of higher education to learn their student registration and voting rates, as well as the potential for a closer examination of their campus climate for political learning and engagment.
- Rock the Vote: A nonpartisan nonprofit offering state registration guides, and helping students to register online.
- TurboVote: An app that can help register voters in all 50 states, as well as send text and e-mail reminders to vote in upcoming elections, request an absentee ballot, or update voter registration.
If you have a civic engagement resource that you would like us to highlight here, please email [email protected]