• American Democracy Project

    Since 2003, ADP has organized more than 15 national and 18 regional meetings, implemented more than 100 campus initiatives and engaged more than 255 colleges and universities, reaching millions of students nationwide.

    2019 ADP Infographic

    Project News

    May 15, 2020
    Due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, ADP and NASPA will present the 2020 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting (CLDE20) in a virtual format. Join us on June 4–5, July 24, and September 11 as we foster deep connections and practice deliberative dialogue and responsible scholarship in an online format. The changes to higher education in the midst of the coronavirus crisis have been extraordinary, and we recognize that our roles in civic learning and democratic engagement will continue to change. The purposeful and practical approach of the Virtual CLDE20 offers a space to explore with our colleagues, strengthen our institutions, and design for the future. 

    January 6, 2020

    A Tribute to Dr. Burch

    We are saddened by the passing of Dr. Barbara Burch on January 4, 2020. Barbara served as provost at Western Kentucky University (WKU) from 1996-2010 and was one of initial group of provosts who helped launch ADP in 2003, showing extraordinary national leadership in the design, creation and ongoing development of ADP. In 2014, ADP created the "Barbara Burch Award for Faculty Leadership in Civic Engagement", which recognizes exemplary faculty leadership in advancing the civic learning and engagement of undergraduate students and advancing the work of ADP on campus and/or nationally. Barbara was an exceptional leader and mentor to so many on the WKU campus and across the ADP network. She was a champion of democracy and we are eternally grateful for her leadership. WKU has established a tribute page to share memories and to donate in her memory. Read more

    December 9, 2019
    We're excited to announce the winners of our 2019 Student Writing Contest with The New York Times! Caitlyn N.E. Moore from Indiana University South Bend won first place for her essay, " The Voice of the Silenced ." Shamecqua Moore of Farmingdale State College (N.Y.) won second place for her essay, " Nobody’s Game: Gun Violence While Politicians Play the Blame Game." Read more

    August 22, 2019
    The American Civic Collaboration Awards (Civvys) announce the American Democracy Project (ADP) as a 2019 finalist. Read more


    The Future of America’s Democracy Lies in its State Colleges and Universities

    Public college and university students will shape the future of America and our democracy. Students who attend public colleges and universities far outweigh those who attend private institutions. However, this sizeable and influential majority of students are not adequately equipped with the tools they need to graduate as engaged and informed citizen leaders.

    ADP, established in 2003 as a nonpartisan initiative of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) in partnership with The New York Times, was created to ensure that all students receive a quality civic  education.

    Students must have knowledge of the structures and processes of democracy. They must learn to develop civic skills of critical thinking, deliberation, thoughtful listening and dialogue, particularly with opposing views and perspectives. Students must have experiences with democratic processes, and they need to be able to reflect on those experiences. Civic education is particularly important for non-traditional students and those who do not come from privileged backgrounds, including women, students of color, and economically disempowered students.    

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    American Association of State Colleges and Universities
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