Washington, D.C.—The Corporation for National and Community Service
recently awarded the American Association of State Colleges and
Universities (AASCU) a $433,874 Learn and Serve America Higher Education
grant to design and implement a new civic minor in urban education.
The minor will integrate K-12 service-learning experiences with urban
public policy coursework, offering pre-service teachers and other
undergraduates a coherent understanding of the larger context of urban
“This project reflects AASCU’s historic commitment to teachers, urban
schools and civic engagement,” said AASCU President Muriel Howard.
“Our members are uniquely positioned to undertake this initiative and to
enhance the preparation of students who, as teachers, can have a
profound affect on the learning experiences of K-12 students in the
vital area of civic education.”
The minor seeks to instill a deeper commitment to civic engagement
and democratic professionalism, and AASCU's work in this arena and
robust framework of existing partnerships and national programs make it
the ideal coordinator of this 3-year pilot project. Five AASCU campuses
will be selected to participate through an RFP process, and faculty in
liberal arts and sciences and teacher education from each participating
campus will partner with local K-12 urban educators to create the minor.
In addition, internationally recognized experts—including The
Washington Center and the Center for Democracy and Citizenship—will
provide educators with training and ongoing professional development in
service-learning and urban public policy.
Responding to the grant announcement, James Votruba, president of
Northern Kentucky University and chair of the AASCU board of directors,
said, “If we are going to thrive as a nation, our cities must help lead
the way. Strong cities require strong educational systems, and strong
education systems require teachers who combine a passion for their work
with a deep understanding of what it means to teach in an urban
environment. This project will help advance that goal.”
At the conclusion of the project, participating institutions will
disseminate the civic minor models they have created to the more than
400 member institutions of the American Association of State Colleges
AASCU is the leadership association of 420 public
colleges and universities Delivering America’s Promise through their
common commitments to access, affordability and educational opportunity.
Enrolling more than 3.8 million students, these institutions fulfill
the expectations of a public university by working for the public good
through education, stewardship and engagement, thereby improving the
lives of people in their community, their region and their state.