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GC American Democracy Project
Active Citizenship in the Curriculum

Student Civic Learning Outcomes

Active Citizenship means building stronger, healthier, and safer communities. Active citizens who invest their personal time and energy in working for change come from every sector and field of study. They are citizen bankers, citizen scientists, and citizen educators to name just a few. Active citizens come from all backgrounds and experiences, but share a commitment to actively promoting the rights of all people, seeking just solutions to problems, and working with others to improve community life and culture.

1. Knowledge/ Comprehension
Recalls information, concepts, and theories that are essential to public deliberation, community engagement,  human rights, justice, and equality; internalizes this knowledge to create meaning.

2. Analysis
Practices critical thinking as a guide to beliefs and actions that lead to insuring community well-being, human rights and just societies.

3. Synthesis
Thinks creatively to generate effective strategies towards community well-being,  human rights, justice, and equality.

4. Planning/ Implementation   
Applies civic knowledge to build just and equitable societies and work for community improvement.

5. Communication   
Effectively communicates ideas and concepts in order to engage with others to achieve effective active citizenship

6. Leadership   
Inspires, facilitates, or collaborates with others to build community life and just societies.

7. Cultural competency   
Functions effectively in a pluralistic society.

8. Evaluation   
Assesses the value of civic engagement, service learning, and leadership education initiatives.

9. Grounding   
Considers ones own values, motivations, and passions when working to create change in society.

10. Responding   
Builds and maintains interpersonal relationships in order to achieve the goals of effective citizenry

11. Committing.  
Utilizes ones own personal value system towards insuring community well-being, human rights and the building of a just world.



Q: What are the purposes of this list?
A: To provide supplementary information to students when they are selecting courses. Additional purposes may include: helping faculty to attract students to their courses and/or to strengthen the fit between the professors' objectives and those of students; and informing curriculum development efforts. Finally, the list will be very helpful in planning a Civic/Community Engagement, Applied Scholarship Showcase to be scheduled for April 2011 to coincide with the Undergraduate Research Conference.

Q: Who designed this effort?
A: It has been developed by members of the GCSU American Democracy Project Civic Agency Initiative Planning Group in consultation with the Tufts University Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service.

Q: What is the Civic Agency initiative?
A. The Civic Agency Initiative is one of seven national ADP multi-year research efforts. Twenty-one ADP universities, including GCSU, are participating and focusing on two primary goals, 1) Incorporate civic learning across the curriculum and 2) Build on and establish effective university-community partnerships.

Q: Do courses have to include community service activity or any experiential element?
A: No. Many courses that are entirely based in the classroom and that focus entirely on texts contribute significantly to education for active citizenship.

Q: What is the deadline for adding courses to the list?
A: We will post an initial list of those courses that are submitted by Wednesday, September 1, 2010. Thereafter, courses may be added throughout the year in advance of registration periods for subsequent semesters.

Q: What is an "active citizenship course"?
A: In keeping with the broad definition of "active citizenship," we encourage faculty members to interpret this phrase in terms that fit their own interests and disciplinary backgrounds.

Q: Who decides which courses will be included?
A: This list is developed entirely by self-nomination. Inclusion does not require approval by a committee.

Q: Can one include courses that present a critical perspective on active citizenship?
A: Yes.

Q: Can I list a course even though I do not agree with aspects of the Student Civic Learning Outcomes list?
A. Yes.

Q: Is there an implication that courses that are not on this list somehow do not contribute, or contribute less, to education for active citizenship?
A: No. It is likely, perhaps inevitable, that some courses that contribute powerfully to education for active citizenship will not be included (because the faculty member happens not to list them).

Q: Virtually all of the courses in my department teach civic knowledge, skills or values. Which of them should be included in this list?
A: This is entirely up to the individual faculty member. For those departments where the entire curriculum teaches active citizenship, it may be most useful to emphasize a subset of courses that make especially strong contributions to active citizenship.

Q: I question whether it is desirable for students to seek out courses that emphasize active citizenship. The best education for active citizenship is a broad liberal arts education.
A: We intend for this list to expand the information that is available to students.

Q: What role does this list play in the Georgia College Quality Enhancement Plan that is focused on "learning beyond the classroom?"
A: The list is one of many endeavors to gather information and examples of how professors help students apply their scholarship and connect classroom to beyond-the-classroom contextual learning.

Q: How will this information be used by the American Democracy Project?
A: The national ADP will seek contributions to a Civic Agency Initiative monograph that will be published and distributed to the 230 ADP universities and other interested institutions. We will submit written material describing the Georgia College Active Citizenship project, as well as several other GCSU Civic Agency initiatives over the past several years.


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