IUPUI’s expertise in service learning and civic engagement has earned the campus a key role in a national co-curricular community and civic engagement initiative led by NASPA, the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.
The campus is one of 10 selected as a Lead Consulting Institution in NASPA’s Lead Initiative on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement. In that role, IUPUI will provide mentoring, support and resources for other Lead Initiative campuses, and work closely with NASPA officials in the civic engagement program.
IUPUI was named to the Lead Initiative network for a second consecutive year. The 92 NASPA member colleges and universities encourage and highlight the work of student affairs in making civic learning and democratic engagement an integral part of every student’s college education.
IUPUI’s role as a Lead Consulting Institution “recognizes our long and well-respected history of implementing educationally meaningful service,” said Lorrie Brown, the associate director of the Center for Service and Learning.
“The designation complements the IUPUI Strategic Plan and builds upon our ongoing collaboration between the IUPUI Division of Student Affairs and the Center for Service and Learning, focusing on co-curricular student development outcomes,” Brown added.
As part of its expanded role, IUPUI’s presentations and consultations to other colleges and universities may deepen its work on assessment and research related to civic outcomes for student engagement.
NASPA was established to shine a light on the unique contributions that student affairs professionals make to democratic engagement. On the organization’s website, NASPA President Kevin Kruger said that “in a time of concern about our civic society, it is critical that college administrators are doing all that they can to present students with opportunities to help them develop as productive and engaged citizens.”
The goals of the program are to:
- Build clear and tangible civic learning and democratic engagement activities into student affairs division strategic goals and learning outcomes.
- Create strategies in collaboration with students, faculty, and community partners that increase civic learning and help solve community problems through collective action.
- Collect and report data on the efficacy of campus efforts using tools that measure gains in civic learning and democratic engagement.