CCE program featured as case study in AAC&U series on civic learning

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) recognizes the Maxwell School’s Citizenship and Civic Engagement program as a leader among programs that intentionally and successfully integrate civic responsibility in their majors. The CCE program is one of 12 departments at institutions across the country featured as online case studies of how to structure the design, expectations, and experiences for their majors to achieve greater civic impact while deepening students’ learning in the discipline. 

“CCE was thrilled when AAC&U chose to include us as a case study,” said Anne Mosher, chair of the program and professor of geography. “As a collection, the cases highlight a shared commitment to bringing theories of citizenship into civic practice in some way. They also help us see clearly the value-added of being in the Maxwell School, where deliberative and participatory citizenship and our commitment to interdisciplinary evidence-based social science research shine.” 

The case study provides an in-depth look into the CCE curriculum that centers on Maxwell’s signature, team-taught MAX courses and resulting Action Plan. It also explains the process that led to the development of the CCE major, the internal and external factors that influenced the process, evidence of impact, and words of advice to those seeking departmental redesigns.

The CCE program itself is relatively new to the Maxwell School, though themes of citizenship and civic engagement have coursed throughout the School for more than 80 years. The program saw its first graduating class in May 2016. The CCE major culminates in the Civic Engagement Action Plan Workshop, where students select and analyze a real-world problem, develop an idea to address it, and work with decision makers from a government, nonprofit, or business organization to take action. Channeling civic engagement into real impact is the ultimate point.

Kate Canada, CCE program coordinator, said the experience was eye opening. “It was great to see the amazing work happening around the country and how our program, and our students, fit into a culture of civic and community engagement throughout the United States.” She added, “It is easy to forget that we are part of a national movement to engage and education the next generation of leaders. Being a part of this exciting project will give our students and faculty an even great network to learn from and connect with across the country.”