Civic engagement encompasses citizenship and the rights one gains as a community member. These include at a minimum civil liberties, civil rights and the opportunity and right to participate in the construction of that community through voting, civic conversation, and other forms of participation. Civic engagement involves the values, duties, skills, and responsibilities that are part of positively shaping our communities. It is important to recognize that we are all both shaped by and shapers of the communities of which we are part.
Civic engagement is a concern because there is considerable evidence of disengagement, from politics, community action and public life, particularly among young people. Since civic engagement and participation are grounded in patterns of belief and behavior formed early in life, it is important that students understand the significance of civic engagement. Students should both learn to act on their values and accept responsibility for them as they affect self, others and society.
Required Course Characteristics
A course in this area will meet three of the following four requirements
- explore and critically evaluate the nature and definition of civic engagement and citizenship
- foster knowledge of important issues in civic and political life
- explore and critically evaluate pathways to social change
- examine historic or contemporary groups or individuals who model civic engagement and active citizenship
Area of Engagement Learning Objectives
Through completion of a CE course, students should be able to
- demonstrate an understanding of information, values, processes and theories that are essential to building just and democratic societies
- evaluate historical and current political and social issues in local, national and global contexts
- apply the perspective of an academic discipline to civic initiatives
- articulate the importance of being civically engaged individuals throughout their lives