Our Goals
CLDE Promotes:

Quality & Equity:  Build commitment and capacity—across postsecondary education—to make civic learning and democracy engagement an expected part of a quality college education for all college students, with equitable participation by students from underserved communities a top priority.

Democracy Engagement:  Engage students with democracy’s future in a diverse United States, in U.S. communities still struggling to reverse inherited disparities, and in a globally interdependent world where authoritarianism is on the rise.

Collaborative Problem Solving:  Prepare each postsecondary student, through creative combinations of general education, arts and sciences, and career-related studies, to work directly on selected public problems that society needs to solve—e.g., problems in racial healing, health, education, housing, climate, digital access, human rights, justice systems, interfaith cooperation, and more.

Policy Commitment:  Secure policy support for and investment in the goals listed above.
Achieving Our Goals
CLDE will advance these priorities for action:

Visibility, Voice, and Scale for Democracy Learning as a Postsecondary Priority:
Bring together the many organizations and hundreds of postsecondary institutions that already are working on different aspects of civic learning and collaborative community-based problem solving—in ways appropriate to their mission and students. Help postsecondary education move from islands of civic learning to democracy learning at scale for all college students; provide shared evidence about “what works” educationally; and vigorously promote public policy and civic learning investments in postsecondary democracy learning at the federal and state level.
Multiple Models for CLDE At Scale:
Showcase the growing number of postsecondary institutions where civic learning already is part of the curriculum in ways appropriate to mission, students, and programs— Democracy Learning at “Scale”—and mobilize to assist others. making CLDE a shared postsecondary priority across public, private, two-year, four-year, and career-related institutions.
Research Evidence:
Compile and expand extant research on “what works” to build students’ civic engagement, intergroup communication fluency, collaborative problem-solving skills, and democracy “know-how."
Completion Evidence:
Synthesize and promulgate existing evidence that students, including students from underserved communities, are more likely to persist in college and will be better prepared for employment when they participate actively in work on public questions and issues.
Alignment and Collaboration with K-12 Civics and History Reforms:
Work with P-16 organizations and leaders, including those involved in the Educating Americans for Democracy (EAD) Roadmap, to align the respective civic learning missions of both school and college so that democracy learning in postsecondary education reliably takes student’ democracy readiness to a higher and wider level— exploring democracy’s future in a context of societal and global change and involving students in public problem solving in ways related to their goals, interests, and intended careers.
Faculty, Teacher, Staff, and Leadership Development:
Provide direct professional development on the “how” of civic and democracy learning in postsecondary education through workshops, institutes, and toolkits developed by CLDE partner organizations committed to students’ civic learning. Showcase multiple models and resources relevant to different educational contexts and to both general education and college majors, including career-related fields. Foster leadership coalitions for democracy learning within states, regions, and across different sectors in higher education.
CLDE Indicators:
Build CLDE “Dashboard” indicators of students’ postsecondary levels of achievement. Help make reports on students’ democracy learning an expected part of educational accountability at all levels. Strongly support the improvement of civic and history proficiency indicators in the schools.

And, over time, we also seek to create an ongoing Civic Learning and Democracy Trust that will provide ongoing voice, visibility, and technical assistance to ensure the quality of civic learning at all levels in U.S. education—from school through postsecondary education of all kinds.