Established in 2003 as a nonpartisan initiative of AASCU in partnership with The New York Times, the American Democracy Project (ADP) is a network of nearly 300 state colleges and universities collaborating to deepen the impact public higher education institutions have on preparing students who:
- Are empowered to be engaged and to lead in the future of our democracy
- Directly contribute to a more competitive workforce and a stronger local and national economy
- Have knowledge of the structures and processes of democracy and reflect on those processes
- Learn to develop civic skills of critical thinking, deliberation, thoughtful listening and dialogue, particularly with opposing views and perspectives
- Engage with their community
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. ADP serves this new American majority.
ADP participation amplifies campus leaders’ efforts to strengthen democracy through community.
Who should participate?
- Senior Administrators
How will you benefit?
- Supportive and inclusive community
- National and regional meetings
- Professional development opportunities for all levels of leadership
- National programs, institutes, and projects
- Critical and relevant webinars and workshops
- Visibility for your campus initiatives
- Voter education and engagement materials
- Award programs
Our national initiatives support a well-rounded education rooted in local and global community.
Our members are fulfilling their commitment to develop civically engaged students.
70% student voting rate
The youth voter rate has been steadily increasing and most college voting rates are hovering at 50%. ADP campuses generally average much higher, with some campuses seeing 70+% turnout.
Our community extends throughout the U.S. and abroad; we believe in a global commitment to strengthening democracy.
“ADP not only offers great resources for anyone in the field of civic learning and democratic engagement but also creates many intentional opportunities to connect meaningfully with faculty, practitioners, and students with a vested interest in the civic health of the United States and the world. I developed many powerful and lasting intra and cross-campus collaborations as a result of my participation in the ADP network.”
“ADP provides a national network of colleagues who want to explore, understand, and invest in democratic education. It’s a network that people participate in because they believe in the work. I appreciate the á la carte quality, where we are encouraged to find what interests us and what works in our contexts. Contrast this with groups that mandate initiatives, or demand reporting. ADP is a support, not an imposition.”
“ADP offers faculty and administrators who are committed to democratic engagement the opportunity to grow together. The countless initiatives we have tackled over the years have provided a forward-thinking foundation for student engagement across the country. The connections I have made through my involvement in ADP are invaluable; we are truly a family of scholars!”
Find resources designed to promote equitable, inclusive democracy on campus.
Upcoming and recent ADP events
- 2024 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting
Jun. 5-7, 2024
ConferenceSave the date.
- All-ADP Meeting: Community Building
Dec. 8, 2023
- All-ADP Meeting: Voter Engagement and Education
Nov. 10, 2023
- All-ADP Meeting: Leading for Democracy
Oct. 13, 2023
- National Constitution Day Conversations
Sep. 15, 2023
- 2023 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting
May 31-Jun. 2, 2023
- 2023 Bridging Wicked Divides Project: Deliberative Forums for College Students
Apr. 17-21, 2023
Five Online Deliberative Forums
- 2022 International Education Week
Nov. 14-18, 2022
- 2022 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting
Jun. 21-24, 2022
Civic learning and democratic engagement is at the heart of our work.
In partnership with NASPA, we co-organize annual Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) meetings for administrators, faculty, staff, students, and community partners focused on institutionalizing and advancing civic learning and democratic engagement work on campus.
Explore other ways our network empowers students to shape and lead a more equitable future.
ADP institutions strategize with partners and support and celebrate each other to create a stronger, more just democracy.
Coalition and Program Partners
AASCU and ADP work with partners and supporters on program initiatives and rely on their expertise and thought leadership on a range of civic learning and democratic engagement issues in higher education.Learn more.
The ADP Steering Committee is comprised of talented and thoughtful individuals who guide the design and development of programs and practices that are integral, relational, organic, and generative.Learn more.
Is your institution an AASCU member? Contact us to learn how to participate in the American Democracy Project.
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