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Civic Learning Initiative

What do we mean by Civic Learning?                                               

At CSU San Marcos, our objective is to demonstrate our civic responsibility and to inspire our communities to take action.

Students volunteering

Civic Learning at CSUSM

Check out the CSUSM Civic Action Plan. The Civic Learning Initiative at CSUSM includes the following programs:

American Democracy Project at CSUSM

The American Democracy Project increases opportunities for CSUSM students to practice good civic leadership and encourage spaces to openly dialogue about the health of our American democracy, through programs like Speaking of Democracy and César Chávez Day of Service.

Democracy in action

Democracy in Action

In Democracy in Action, CSUSM faculty and students partner with a local city government to conduct research benefitting city projects. Students learn about city government become more civically engaged, and ideally consider the prospects of working in local government.

The Town Hall Meeting

The Town Hall Meeting provides students a public arena for discussing current policy issues with other students, faculty, administrators, and community members. On November 15, 2017, the Town Hall Meeting was framed around global issues that are of particular concern to our regional community. 


Civic Learning Nationally

Civic Learning has broad meanings in the context of higher education.  Both the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) have defined a role for universities with regard to Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement

Cal State San Marcos is part of a movement among institutions of higher learning that share a commitment to make civic and democratic learning for all students a top national priority.

In keeping with a 21st century vision of civic learning in higher education, CSUSM celebrates the notion that “the competencies basic to democracy cannot be learned only by studying books; democratic knowledge and capabilities are honed through hands‐on, face‐to‐face, active engagement in the midst of differing perspectives about how to address common problems that affect the well‐being of the nation and the world … Civic learning should prepare students with knowledge and for action in our communities.”  -- A Crucible Moment:  College Learning and Democracy’s Future

A Crucible Moment