HAYS, Kan. -- The nation's leading association
for the advancement, health and sustainability of the student affairs profession
has listed Fort Hays State University among the top 50 colleges and universities
committed to civic learning and democratic engagement.
Other notable institutions in the top 50 list, which was released earlier
this month, include: Stanford University, Davidson College, Wake Forest, Wellesley
College, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Illinois State University, Oregon
State University, the Art Institute of Chicago, the University of Central
Oklahoma, the University of Miami and Weber State University.
NASPA cited the engagement and support
student affairs staffs at the institutions give to making civic learning and
democratic engagement a part of every student’s college education.
designation illustrates Fort Hays State University as a national leader in the
area of civic engagement and citizenship development. As a university
community, we are currently involved in a comprehensive assessment and
strategic planning process to enhance and expand our work in this area,"
said Dr. Curt Brungardt, Voss Distinguished Professor of Leadership Studies.
Dr. Tisa Mason, vice president of student affairs,
cited the cooperation between her division and academic departments as key to
the recognition by NASPA. "The Division of Student Affairs is excited to
work collaboratively in engaging our students and the community in mutually
beneficial programs and activities designed to deepen students' sense of civic
responsibility while encouraging self-reflection, exploration and discovery,"
The 50 selected
institutions make up NASPA’s Lead Initiative on Civic Learning and Democratic
Engagement. They include public and private four-year and two-year colleges and
universities that have committed to a series of strategies to work in
partnership with on- and off-campus constituents to influence students' ongoing commitment
to civic learning and democratic engagement, including:
Building clear and tangible civic
learning and democratic engagement activities into student affairs division
strategic goals and learning outcomes;
Collecting and reporting data on the
efficacy of campus efforts using tools that measure gains in civic learning and
democratic engagement; and
Creating strategies in collaboration
with students that increase civic learning and help solve community problems
through collective action.
The announcement was made by Dr. Kevin Kruger, president at NASPA, and Dr. Gwendolyn Jordan Dungy, executive director
emeritus at NASPA.
"NASPA has long been committed to ensuring that a college
education embeds in students a commitment to civic engagement and
citizenship," Dr. Kruger said. "Through the Lead Initiative, NASPA
will highlight the unique contributions that student affairs professionals are
making to democratic engagement and will develop tools for sharing the
important lessons that will surely emerge from the work of these
"As a member of the Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement
Action Network Steering Committee, NASPA has made a commitment to supporting
the critical work of student affairs in making civic learning and democratic
engagement a part of every student's college education," said Dr. Dungy.
"The Lead Initiative recognizes and brings together a strong and
purposeful network of NASPA institutions that are making democratic engagement
Affairs Administrators in Higher Education is the leading association
for the advancement, health and sustainability of the student affairs
profession, serving a full range of professionals who provide programs,
experiences and services that cultivate student learning and success in concert
with the mission of member colleges and universities. Founded in 1919, NASPA
comprises more than 13,000 members in all 50 states, 29 countries and 8 U.S.
Territories. Through high-quality professional development, strong policy
advocacy and substantive research to inform practice, NASPA meets the diverse
needs and invests in realizing the potential of all its members under the
guiding principles of integrity, innovation, inclusion and inquiry.
For additional information on the NASPA
Lead Initiative, please contact:
Brian A. Sponsler, Ed.D.
Vice President for Research and Policy
202-265-7500, ext 1191
Laura E. Sponsler, Ph.D.
NASPA Fellow for Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement
202-265-7500, ext 1177