The University of North Florida's mission statement expresses a core commitment to community involvement, reinforced in the Academic Affair's goal of civic relevance. In Fall 2006, the University joined the American Democracy Project (ADP) in order to publicly acknowledge and further institutionalize this commitment. Over 144 institutions belonging to the American Association of State Colleges and Universities have joined the ADP to promote civic engagement on their campus. This is done by sharing information and resources that will raise the level of civic awareness and engagement among UNF students.
The American Democracy Project is a non-partisan initiative that seeks to create an intellectual and experiential understanding of civic engagement for undergraduates. The goal of the project is to produce graduates who are committed to engaging in meaningful actions as citizens in a democracy. The ADP seeks to raise student awareness about public and international affairs, promote and facilitate student political participation, and encourage civic engagement.
This project uses the definition of civic engagement proposed by Thomas Ehrlich and his colleagues in Civic Responsibility and Higher Education: “Civic engagement means working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes” (Preface, page vi).
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