In January 2012, A Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracy’s Future
was released at a White House convening and quickly became a rallying cry for educators and public leaders to
advance a 21st century vision of college learning--a vision with civic learning and democratic engagement as a
core purpose for all college students.
A decade later, hundreds of community colleges, four-year colleges and universities
now engage their students with civic learning and democracy practice in working on urgent public problems.
Concurrently, school educators also have moved forward with
Educating for American Democracy
, a bold plan to revitalize civic and history learning in P-12.
Dozens of national and state-based organizations continue to provide
vigorous leadership to make civic and democracy engagement both an educational priority and a national achievement.
Civic Learning and Democracy Engagement (CLDE) builds from—and works in
partnership with—these civic-minded educational leaders and organizations.
Together, we seek to make college students’ CLDE a shared priority across higher education and in public policy.
Higher education has made real progress in advancing democracy learning
as a postsecondary commitment, but much more is needed.
US democracy faces unprecedented perils both at home
and abroad. Yet with learning beyond high school now a widely embraced policy goal, we also have a new opportunity to
engage all Americans with democracy’s future, at home and in the wider world. Further, with practical experience now
widely recognized as a core part of college, we also have a new opportunity to build college learners’ readiness to
help create new solutions to systemic societal issues and help build a more inclusive and equitable future.
Together, we seek to move from “pockets of great civic learning practice”
to “democracy engagement for all,” with equity and inclusion our top priorities.
Together, we want to include all college students in civic inquiry, in civil
dialogue about challenging issues, and in collaborative work on real-world public problems.
To learn more, read the Shared Commitment
signed by dozens of leading organizations
and CLDE’s Take Action