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Illinois State named a lead institution in civic engagement

Civic Engagement

Reprinted form Media Relations at Illinois State University.

Illinois State University is taking its place as a lead institution in a national initiative on civic learning and democratic engagement. The University has been named one of only two dozen colleges in the nation as a Civic Learning Leadership Institution by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), the leading voice for the student affairs profession.

As a national leader for the NASPA association, Illinois State will continue to develop partnerships to increase student commitment to being engaged and active citizens, serving their communities through volunteerism and leadership roles.

“Illinois State has always embraced the idea that the college experience encompasses life beyond the classroom. Civic engagement is one of the core values of the University as stated in its Educating Illinois plan,” said Vice President of Student Affairs Larry Dietz. “Being recognized as a national leader in civic engagement is a reflection of the University’s commitment to inspiring students to challenge themselves through leadership and community service. At Illinois State, students are encouraged to develop the ethics of giving and service, which will enrich communities across the country as our students find their place as citizen leaders in those communities.”

The designation as a Leadership Institution comes as the University kicks off a new leadership and community service-based certification program for students called ISULeads. An outgrowth of Illinois State’s participation in the American Democracy Project, the new certification program joins the Civic Engagement and Responsibility minor as an opportunity for students to develop a well-rounded view of leadership.

ISULeads is a campus-wide effort that will require students to complete the program’s three pillars – civic engagement, global perspectives and leadership. Those in the civic engagement pillar will explore becoming conscientious and active citizens through volunteering and service leadership opportunities with the goal of working for positive change. Those in the global perspective pillar will explore what it means to be a global citizen and develop a sense of social identity and social justice. Those in the leadership pillar will form an identity of leadership through the development of critical, creative, communication and relationship-building skills.

“The goal of ISULeads, simply put, is for students to learn, get involved and be leaders,” said Dietz, who noted students can choose to complete any of the pillars, but must fulfill requirements of all three to be awarded an ISULeads certificate.