The News Service
Higher Education Leaders To Launch Civic Learning Campaign
Campus Compact’s Presidents’ Leadership Colloquium, a national meeting of leaders in higher education, is launching a campaign to promote civic learning in college. The Colloquium will take place in Carmel Valley, Calif., Oct. 5-6, 2004.
CARMEL VALLEY, Calif. – More than 100 college and university presidents, chancellors, trustees and legislators from across the country will gather Oct. 5-6, 2004, at the Carmel Valley Ranch to launch The Campaign for Civic Learning in College. Mark Gearan, president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, former director of Peace Corps under President Clinton, and current chairman of the board of Campus Compact, will host the event with Peter Smith, president of the California State University, Monterey Bay and a former legislator from Vermont.
Former congressman Leon Panetta, Rep. Doug Hart (R-Mich.), John Laird, Democratic member of the California State Assembly, and others will address the need to strengthen the citizenship skills and practices of college students, such as voting, civic dialogue and community service.
Higher education’s top leaders will be asking the presidential candidates what each would do to support the civic mission of education. Eugene Hickok, deputy secretary of education in the Bush administration, and Robert Shireman, author and advisor to the Kerry-Edwards campaign, will present statements from the candidates.
The Campaign for Civic Learning in College is a collaborative initiative by a powerful set of groups including The New York Times, Campus Compact, the Association of American Colleges and Universities, The Center for Liberal Education & Civic Engagement, The American Democracy Project, Jumpstart, Project Pericles, the Institute for Higher Education Policy, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and California State University.
“The Campaign for Civic Learning in College will address the crisis of growing disenchantment with politics among college students,” said Gearan, the Campus Compact chair. “If students do not learn in college how to constructively participate in their communities, both the quality of life and the future of our democracy is at stake. Studies show that 36 percent of college students participate in volunteerism, but it is also important that they exercise their right to vote. This issue is particularly timely as there is a major effort occurring now on campuses nationwide to register college students and get out the vote.
“Higher education is uniquely positioned to lead a national effort to inspire and educate a new generation of community, national and international leaders,” Gearan continued. “Just as every sector of American society will benefit from improving the civic competencies of students, every sector must contribute to make it happen. How that message is communicated, both within and beyond the academy, will be a major focus of the campaign and a topic for discussion at the colloquium.”
Founded in 1985, Campus Compact is a national coalition of more than 900 college and university presidents committed to civic engagement among college students. Campus Compact’s national office, based at Brown University in Providence, R.I., and 30 state offices, promote service initiatives that develop student’s citizenship skills, help campuses forge effective community partnerships, and provide resources and practical guidance for faculty seeking to integrate civic engagement into their teaching and research.
For more information on Campus Compact and the Presidents’ Leadership Colloquium, visit www.compact.org.
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