Assessing Political Science Civic Engagement and Pedagogy Initiatives: The Consortium for Inter-Campus SoTL Research, the National Survey of Student Leaders
J. Cherie Strachan & Elizabeth Bennion
The Consortium for Inter-Campus SoTL Research
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Political science’s pedagogy and substantive expertise are becoming increasingly relevant to the outcomes prioritized by academia overall. Failure to participate in the civic/democratic engagement movement represents a lost opportunity to situate our discipline at the center of a liberal arts education. It would also mean that those who lack our discipline’s expertise will assume responsibility not only for defining, but also for teaching and assessing, engaged citizenship, democratic decision-making, and effective political leadership. In short, political scientists should be actively involved in developing, assessing, and promoting well-documented best practices for civic and democratic engagement. Doing so requires that we extend our assessment and teaching/learning scholarship not only beyond our own programs, but also beyond our individual campuses. New resources in the discipline help advance this work. The National Survey of Student Leaders (NSSL) provides an example of how political science insights can be used to assess political socialization in the campus version of civil society – student life. The NSSL is the inaugural and on-going project of the Consortium for Inter-Campus SoTL Research (CISR), which was founded to facilitate member-initiated, multi-campus research projects designed to identify and promote best practices for civic and democratic engagement. Participants in the short course will learn about these new resources, including how they personally can join the Consortium and submit a proposal for consideration by CISR’s advisory board as well as how their campuses can participate in future waves of the NSSL.
**All Short Courses will take place on Wednesday, August 31 at the APSA 2016 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA.