Chapter 20: New Resources for Civic Engagement: The National Survey of Student Leaders, Campus Associational Life, and the Consortium for Inter-Campus SoTL Research
by J. Cherie Strachan, Central Michigan University and Elizabeth A. Bennion, University South Bend
Given increasing calls for higher education to promote students’ civic and political engagement, the Consortium for Inter-Campus SoTL Research (CISR) was established to facilitate cross-campus data collection for civic engagement and pedagogy research. CISR’s inaugural roject, the National Survey of Student Leaders (NSSL), is the first effort to rely on scholarly insights about the role associational life plays in political socialization to systematically assess the quality of the learning experiences provided by student clubs and organizations. The NSSL provides higher education institutions with the means to regularly assess whether civil society on campus promotes the priorities of the civic engagement movement. This article relays findings from the first wave of the NSSL while highlighting the types of campus-level data available from this new assessment tool.
About the Authors
J. Cherie Strachan is Director of Student and Civic Engagement for the College of Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Professor of Political Science at Central Michigan University. She is the author of High-Tech Grassroots: The Professionalization of Local Elections, as well as numerous articles and book chapters. Her recent publications focus on civility in democracy, as well as on college-level civic education interventions. Her applied research, which focuses on facilitating student-led deliberative discussions sessions and on enhancing the political socialization that occurs within campus student organizations, has resulted in on-going work with the Kettering Foundation. She also co-directs the Consortium for Inter-Campus SoTL Research (CISR), which facilitates cross-campus data collection for campus-wide civic engagement initiatives and political science pedagogy research.
Elizabeth Bennion is a professor of political science at Indiana University South Bend (IUSB). In addition to teaching American Politics courses, Bennion is the founding director of IUSB’s American Democracy Project and host of WNIT’s live weekly television program Politically Speaking. In these capacities she moderates political discussions, public issue forums, and candidate debates for local, state, and national candidates. Bennion has won numerous (national, state, and local) awards for her teaching and service, and has published widely in academic books, journals, and newsletters. Her teaching, research, and service promote civic education and engagement.
Teaching Civic Engagement Across the Disciplines / Copyright ©2017 by the American Political Science Association