Political Science Now

The Essential Role of Campus Planning in Student Civic Education

Chapter 4: The Essential Role of Campus Planning in Student Civic Education

Andrew J. Seligsohn, President of Campus Contact and Maggie Grove, Vice President for Strategy and Operations at Campus Compact

The authors argue for the necessity of campus planning for the achievement of student civic and democratic learning and development through two central contentions. The first is that a campus climate characterized by a thoroughgoing commitment to the public good is essential for effective student civic education and development. The second is that colleges and universities must develop comprehensive plans in order to create such a climate. Through a review of Campus Compact’s 30th Anniversary Action Statement and the Civic Action Planning it initiates, the chapter illuminates the key elements of a public good commitment, aspects of planning to put the commitment into practice, and the evidence showing that a campus climate manifesting the commitment is necessary for the attainment of civic learning and development outcomes for students.

Download the book & read the full chapter.

About the Authors

Andrew J. Seligsohn is president of Campus Compact, a national coalition of more than 1,000 colleges and universities dedicated to the public purposes of higher education. He previously served as associate chancellor for Civic Engagement and Strategic Planning at Rutgers University, Camden and director of Civic Engagement Learning at Princeton University. Seligsohn has taught at Rutgers, Princeton, Hartwick College, St. Olaf College, and Macalester College and has authored articles and chapters on student civic learning, institutional engagement, urban politics, constitutional law, and political theory. He holds  a BA from Williams College and a PhD in political science from the University of Minnesota.

Maggie Grove is the Vice President for Strategy and Operations at Campus Compact. For the past twenty years, her work has focused on the development of partnerships between colleges and community-based nonprofits as an independent contractor and as the executive director of Rhode Island Campus Compact. Grove holds a BA from Oberlin College and a master’s degree in philanthropic studies from Indiana University.


Teaching Civic Engagement Across the Disciplines / Copyright ©2017 by the American Political Science Association / pp: 47-53