Dedicated to enhancing local democracy through improved public communication and community problem solving
Shaping Our Future Forum
The first Morrill Act, signed by President Lincoln in the midst of the Civil War, began far ranging changes in the landscape of higher education, previously the province of the wealthy. It democratized higher education by opening access, expanding the curriculum, and institutionalizing an ethos of public engagement. Today, in a time of breathtaking changes the American Commonwealth Partnership (ACP) believes that we need equally fundamental change. ACP is a coalition of colleges, universities and others dedicated to the practical work of building “democracy’s colleges” for the 21st century.
The first large-scale ACP campaign is a national conversation using materials developed by National Issues Forums Institute, “Shaping Our Future.” Shaping Our Future -- How Should Higher Education Help Us Create The Society We Want?
The Georgia College Public Voice partnership is working with campus and community partners to hold Shaping Our Future public forums to engage faculty, students, staff, and community citizens in discussing the role of higher education in America’s future and, more particularly, in Milledgeville and Baldwin County. These conversations hold promise to help develop a narrative of higher education’s purpose.
Georgia College hosts NIF Forum on Public Purposes of Higher Education
The Georgia College American Democracy Project’s Public Voice Partnership recently facilitated a “test forum” for a draft of a new National Issues Forum issue book, How Should Higher Education Help Us Create The Society We Want?
The forum was incorporated into a faculty workshop that explored how public deliberation methods can be used to enhance classroom discussion across the disciplines. Students, citizens, and faculty deliberated multiple options that offered distinctive actions aimed at imagining what we expect of colleges and universities with regard to creating the American society we want.
The issue book is related to the American Commonwealth Partnership mission of exploring higher education’s purposes and practices relative to civic life. The NIF authors observed the deliberation and participated in the workshop. The Georgia College forum is one of several forums being held on campuses and in communities prior to publishing the final version.
The Public Voice Partnership is the result of Georgia College’s participation with the Kettering Foundation research initiative, Organizing Centers for Public Life. Georgia College is the University System of Georgia’s designated Public Liberal Arts University.
Success in School: Ready For Life Community Forum
The Public Voice Partnership worked with the Milledgeville/Baldwin County Partners for Progress Education Committee to sponsor two public forums in November 2011. The forums focused on preventing students from dropping out of school and the 160 participants used a discussion resource titled "Success in School, Ready For Life: How Can We Help More Students Graduate from High School?"
Five common concerns emerged from the eight deliberation groups, including,
- Enhancing parent involvement
- Expanding mentoring programs
- Increasing student-teacher/counselor guidance relationships
- Providing vocation-oriented instruction
- Developing an educational enrichment resource communication plan