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Public Affairs and Civic Engagement
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Organizations & Initiatives

Compendium

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Sections

Membered Organizations

General Organizations

Initiatives & Projects

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This part of the compendium identifies a wide range of organizations that are related to civic engagement or that are involved in activities and research that is broadly relevant to different aspects of student engagement and civic learning. There are three sections to this page, directly linked in the navigation box at right. Membered organizations includes academic and professional organizations which faculty may join and pay dues to in return for a range of benefits. General organizations includes any organization that engages in programs and research that are relevant to civic engagement topics. Finally, initiatives and projects is a listing of specifically aimed programs that deal with civic and community engagement.

Membered Organizations

American Association for Public Opinion Research
“The American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) is the leading professional organization of public opinion and survey research professionals in the U.S., with members from academia, media, government, the non-profit sector and private industry. AAPOR members embrace the principle that public opinion research is essential to a healthy democracy, providing information crucial to informed policymaking and giving voice to the nation's beliefs, attitudes and desires. It promotes a better public understanding of this role, as well as the sound and ethical conduct and use of public opinion research.”
Fee Range: $50-200
Benefits: Subscription to Public Opinion Quarterly and the Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology; AAPOR mailings; networking; conferences; research support

American Political Science Association
“Founded in 1903, the American Political Science Association is the leading professional organization for the study of political science and serves more than 13,000 members in more than 80 countries. With a range of programs and services for individuals, departments, and institutions, APSA brings together political scientists from all fields of inquiry, regions, and occupational endeavors within and outside academe to deepen our understanding of politics, democracy, and citizenship throughout the world.”
Fee Range: $75-325
Benefits: Access to all ASPA publications; networking; conferences; research support; office supply discounts

American Society for Public Administration
“Since 1939, ASPA has been the nation's most respected society representing all forums in the public service arena. It is an advocate for greater effectiveness in government, agents of goodwill and professionalism, publishers of democratic journalism at its very best, purveyors of progressive theory and practice and providers of global citizenship. ASPA leaders believe that by embracing new ideas, addressing key public service issues and promoting change at the local, federal and international levels, the society can enhance the quality of lives worldwide.”
Fee Range: $95-120
Benefits: Subscription to Public Administration Review; networking; conferences; research support

Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management
“APPAM is dedicated to improving public policy and management by fostering excellence in research, analysis, and education.”
Fee Range: $75-135
Benefits: Subscription to the Journal of Policy Analysis & Management; reduced rates for APPAM events; networking

Consortium of University Public Service Organizations
“CUPSO provides a forum for networking and information exchange among university colleagues who provide training, technical assistance, policy research, and/or other related services to state and local governments and non-profit organizations. CUPSO will connect you with peers who understand the public service missions and work of organizations that combine academic knowledge with practical applications.”
Fee Range: $500+
Benefits: Grants and initiatives; networking; conferences

John Dewey Society for the Study of Education & Culture
“The John Dewey Society grew out of a series of discussions held in 1934 and 1935. Originally called "The Association for the Study of Education in its Social Aspects," the name was changed to the John Dewey Society in early 1936. The John Dewey Society exists to keep alive John Dewey's commitment to the use of critical and reflective intelligence in the search for solutions to crucial problems in education and culture.”
Fee Range: $15-100
Benefits: Subscription to Education and Culture; two John Dewey books; reduced fee for Educational Theory subscription

NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education
Fee Range: $50-242
Benefits: Subscription to Leadership Exchange; online access to NASPA journals; member rate on NASPA publications; conferences; workshops; networking

General Organizations

The Andrew Goodman Foundation
“The Andrew Goodman Foundation was created in 1966 by Robert and Carolyn Goodman to carry on the spirit and the purpose of their son Andy’s life. Today, our work harnesses the legacy of courageous civic action and coalition building to grow today’s hero citizen: the young adult bitten by the spirit of activism (like Andy), the mid-career professional leading a results-driven change organization, and the advanced career or retiree interested in sharing the lessons and legacy of the Civil Rights Movement. We advance civic engagement via initiatives and opportunities that link social change work to citizen empowerment, democratic participation and innovative government interventions. To complement and strengthen our civic engagement work, we advance intergenerational coalitions, connecting young change agents with experienced activists, entrepreneurs and social justice rock stars.”

Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement
“CIRCLE, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement, focuses on young people in the United States, especially those who are marginalized or disadvantaged in political life. CIRCLE’s scholarly research informs policy and practice for healthier youth development and a better democracy.”

CivicLEADS
“Researchers from a wide variety of disciplines study civic education, civic action, and the many relationships between the two. Civic Learning, Engagement, and Action Data Sharing (CivicLEADS) provides infrastructure for researchers to share and access high-quality datasets which can be used to study civic education and involvement. Funded by a grant from the Spencer Foundation and part of ICPSR's Education and Child Care Data Archives at the University of Michigan, CivicLEADS provides a centralized repository for this multi-disciplinary research area, with data being created across education, political science, developmental sciences, and other disciplines. Researchers can access quantitative and qualitative data on a broad range of topics for secondary analysis as well as sharing their own primary research data. CivicLEADS includes datasets from other ICPSR archives and seeks out emerging data collected by studies still in the field.”

Ford Foundation
“We believe in the inherent dignity of all people. But around the world, too many people are excluded from the political, economic, and social institutions that shape their lives. In addressing this reality, we are guided by a vision of social justice—a world in which all individuals, communities, and peoples work toward the protection and full expression of their human rights; are active participants in the decisions that affect them; share equitably in the knowledge, wealth, and resources of society; and are free to achieve their full potential. Across eight decades, our mission has been to reduce poverty and injustice, strengthen democratic values, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement.”

The Herb Block Foundation
“The Herb Block Foundation is committed to defending the basic freedoms guaranteed all Americans, combating all forms of discrimination and prejudice and improving the conditions of the poor and underprivileged through the creation or support of charitable and educational programs with the same goals. The Foundation is also committed to providing educational opportunity to deserving students through post-secondary education scholarships and to promoting editorial cartooning through continued research. All efforts of the Foundation shall be in keeping with the spirit of Herblock, America's great cartoonist in his life long fight against abuses by the powerful.”

MacArthur Foundation
“The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. MacArthur is placing a few big bets that truly significant progress is possible on some of the world’s most pressing social challenges, including over-incarceration, global climate change, nuclear risk, and significantly increasing financial capital for the social sector. In addition to the MacArthur Fellows Program, the Foundation continues its historic commitments to the role of journalism in a responsible and responsive democracy; the strength and vitality of our headquarters city, Chicago.”

Open Society Foundations
“The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people. We seek to strengthen the rule of law; respect for human rights, minorities, and a diversity of opinions; democratically elected governments; and a civil society that helps keep government power in check. We help to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights. We implement initiatives to advance justice, education, public health, and independent media. We build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as corruption and freedom of information. Working in every part of the world, the Open Society Foundations place a high priority on protecting and improving the lives of people in marginalized communities.”

Project Pericles
“Project Pericles is a not-for-profit organization that encourages and facilitates commitments by colleges and universities to include social responsibility and participatory citizenship as essential elements of their educational programs. Founded in 2001 by philanthropist Eugene M. Lang, Project Pericles works directly with its member institutions, called Pericleans, as they individually and collaboratively develop model civic engagement programs in their classrooms, on their campuses, and in their communities.”

Rita Allen Foundation
“The Rita Allen Foundation seeds new ideas and approaches in the field of civic engagement, believing that aware, informed and engaged citizens are our greatest assets for solving the most critical problems in our communities.”

Robert R. McCormick Foundation
“The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is committed to fostering communities of educated, informed and engaged citizens. Through philanthropic programs, Cantigny Park and museums, the Foundation helps develop citizen leaders and works to make life better in our communities. The Foundation was established as a charitable trust in 1955, upon the death of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is one of the nation's largest foundations, with more than $1 billion in assets.”

Rockefeller Foundation
“The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission—unchanged since 1913—is to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world. Today, we pursue this mission through dual goals: advancing inclusive economies that expand opportunities for more broadly shared prosperity, and building resilience by helping people, communities and institutions prepare for, withstand, and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses. To achieve these goals, we work at the intersection of four focus areas—advance health, revalue ecosystems, secure livelihoods, and transform cities—to address the root causes of emerging challenges and create systemic change. Together with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation strives to catalyze and scale transformative innovations, create unlikely partnerships that span sectors, and take risks others cannot.”

Spencer Foundation
“The Foundation is intended, by Spencer's direction, to investigate ways in which education, broadly conceived, can be improved around the world. From the first, the Foundation has been dedicated to the belief that research is necessary to the improvement in education. The Foundation is thus committed to supporting high-quality investigation of education through its research programs and to strengthening and renewing the educational research community through its fellowship and training programs and related activities.”

W.K. Kellogg Foundation
“We believe that people have the inherent capacity to solve their own problems and that social transformation is within the reach of all communities. We act on this belief by partnering with diverse communities, amplifying their voices and helping them to create conditions in which their children can thrive.”

Initiatives & Projects

American Democracy Project
“The American Democracy Project (ADP) is a network of more than 250 state colleges and universities focused on public higher education’s role in preparing the next generation of informed, engaged citizens for our democracy. ADP was established in 2003 as an initiative of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) in partnership with The New York Times.“

Engaging News Project
“The Engaging News Project envisions a vibrant American news media that more effectively empowers the public to understand, appreciate, and participate in the democratic exchange of ideas. We work to accomplish this goal by testing web-based strategies for informing audiences, promoting substantive discourse, and helping citizens to understand diverse views. At the same time, we analyze business outcomes, such as clicks and time on page. Systematic testing provides valuable information about what works, and what doesn’t. And by advancing both journalistic and business goals, the techniques are designed with contemporary newsrooms in mind. The Engaging News Project is housed at the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life, part of the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin.”

Imagining America
“By the late 1990s, the national conversation about higher education’s civic purpose was well established, reinvigorated during the previous decade. Newly created centers for service‐learning and community partnerships were advancing higher education’s commitment to engagement. However, values of reciprocity and mutual benefit sometimes went unrealized, and humanities, arts, and design were underrepresented. Imagining America was launched at a 1999 White House Conference initiated by the White House Millennium Council, the University of Michigan, and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. The name Imagining America reflected the theme of the White House Millennium Council that focused on renewing participation in all walks of U.S. life: “Honor the Past – Imagine the Future.””

National Survey of Student Engagement
“Through its student survey, The College Student Report, NSSE annually collects information at hundreds of four-year colleges and universities about first-year and senior students' participation in programs and activities that institutions provide for their learning and personal development. The results provide an estimate of how undergraduates spend their time and what they gain from attending college. NSSE provides participating institutions a variety of reports that compare their students' responses with those of students at self-selected groups of comparison institutions. Comparisons are available for ten Engagement Indicators, six High-Impact Practices, and all individual survey questions. Each November, NSSE also publishes its Annual Results, which reports topical research and trends in student engagement results. NSSE researchers also present and publish research findings throughout the year.”

Science Education for New Civic Engagements & Responsibilities
“SENCER applies the science of learning to the learning of science, all to expand civic capacity. SENCER courses and programs connect science, technology, engineering, and mathematics content to critical local, national, and global challenges. Students and faculty report that the SENCER approach makes science more real, accessible, "useful," and civically important. SENCER improves science education by focusing on real world problems and, by so doing, extends the impact of this learning across the curriculum to the broader community and society. We do this by developing faculty expertise in teaching "to" basic, canonical science and mathematics "through" complex, capacious, often unsolved problems of civic consequence. Using materials, assessment instruments, and research developed through SENCER, faculty members design curricular projects that connect science learning to real world challenges.”

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