Political Science Now

“The National Survey of Student Leaders and the Consortium for Inter-Campus SoTL Research”

J. Cherie Strachan, Elizabeth A. Bennion

Higher-education institutions are in the process of reprioritizing two historic goals: (1) improving student-learning experiences to bolster graduation rates, and (2) improving civic education to cultivate active citizenship. The intertwined responses to these calls for reform—the student-engagement and the civic engagement movements—are underway. The underpinning goal of the student-engagement movement is to transform students into active learners who are eager to assume responsibility for their own education. The goal of the civic-engagement movement is to transform them into citizens with equal enthusiasm for participation in public life. Awareness of these lasting trends should motivate political scientists to extend our assessment endeavors—beyond not only our own curricular programs but also our own campuses. Doing so will establish our discipline as a valuable campus resource; failure to do so will ensure that others step into this role. In this piece, Strachan and Bennion explain how to use new multi-campus assessment resources to bolster student graduation rates, enhance student learning, and promote civic engagement. The Consortium for Inter-Campus SoTL Research and the National Survey of Student Leaders are examples of new resources available to political scientists interested in helping our discipline to meet these new challenges.

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PS: Political Science & Politics / Volume 49 / Issue 01 / January 2016, pp 111-115

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