Center for Community Engagement
Search CCE

The Civic Learning Institute

Civic Learning Institute CoverSince the late 1980s, two powerful but largely unconnected movements have been gaining momentum in American higher education. The first of these focuses on the public purposes of higher education, and includes initiatives related to such things as student political participation, deliberative dialogue, the engaged campus, and community-based teaching and learning. The second focuses on the special needs of first-year students and includes programs located in offices as diverse as admissions and enrollment management, student development, academic affairs, and residence life. These two efforts have common goals - developing interactive teaching strategies, advancing institutional approaches to student development, and developing engaged and motivated students - and a program that is built on a vision of shared values has the potential to transcend existing educational practices.

In June 2006, motivated by the convergence of these efforts, the Office of Community Service Learning at the California State University (CSU) Chancellor's Office hosted an Institute on Civic Learning and the First Year experience (CLI). CSU teams from 11 campuses interested in making civic skills, knowledge, and values a contributing part of their first year programs came together for a 2 days to develop implementation plans for a new approach to the first year experience. The participating campuses, embracing the premise that civic engagement is a valuable way to achieve first year objectives, grappled with one of the academy's big questions: is civic engagement in the first year a distraction from more important first year work, or is it a valuable way to achieve key first year objectives in the first year?

The participating campuses are: CSU Bakersfield, CSU Chico, CSU East Bay, CSU Fresno, Humboldt State, CSU Monterey Bay, Cal Poly Pomona, CSU Sacramento, CSU San Bernardino, San Jose State, and Cal State Stanislaus.

Campus teams will spend the 2006-2007 academic year seeking ways to help students integrate their work inside and outside the classroom. See current CLI initiatives.

More information about the June 2006 Institute can be found below:

For questions about the Institute, please contact Judy Botelho at 562-951-4749.

This material is based upon work supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service under Learn and Serve Grant Numbers 03LHHCA003 and 03LHHCA004. Opinions or points of view expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Corporation or Learn and Serve America.

Content Contact:
Judy Botelho
(562) 951-4749
Technical Contact:

Last Updated: October 15, 2012