Center for Civic Engagement

Oakland University joins in celebrating 20 years of AASCU’s American Democracy Project

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Oakland University joins AASCU’s American Democracy Project in celebrating 20 years of advancing democratic principles across U.S. higher education
As a member of the American Democracy Project network, OU collaborates on creating meaningful and engaging methods of preparing students to participate in a thriving democracy.

Oakland University has joined the effort to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ (AASCU) nonpartisan American Democracy Project© by recommitting to the initiative's guiding principles of civic and democratic engagement.

The nonpartisan initiative has engaged thousands of campus leaders, faculty, staff, and students around the country to equip college graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary to be informed and engaged global citizens.

As a member of the American Democracy Project network, OU is part of a growing number of AASCU campuses collaborating on creating meaningful and engaging methods of preparing students to participate in a thriving democracy.

Principles of the American Democracy Project include:

  • Making civic learning and democratic engagement an expectation for every student.
  • Integrating civic inquiry across the curriculum.
  • Modeling open, democratic engagement from multiple perspectives.
  • Fostering an ethos of civic mindedness.
  • Advancing civic action through democratic processes and practices.

"Oakland continues to be a proud member of the American Democracy Project, and we continue to lead by example and advocate for the kind of democratic engagement and civic mindedness the program embodies," said Dave Dulio Director of the Center for Civic Engagement and Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Oakland University. “Our president, and AASCU Board member, Ora Hirsch Pescovitz has been ultra-supportive in our work to encourage student voting and creating dialogue opportunities that help our students develop civic-minded skills that stimulate critical thinking and action.”

“College and university leaders are committed to advancing thoughtful and constructive dialogue rather than polarized debate,” said Cathy Copeland, American Democracy Project director. “By recommitting to the guiding principles of the American Democracy Project, we encourage information literacy, responsible stewardship of our nation’s resources, and relationships that acknowledge America’s commitment to a healthy global society.”

The American Democracy Project was established in 2003 in partnership with The New York Times.

Key benefits for American Democracy Project campuses include access to an array network of leaders, faculty, staff, and students, all of which foster collaborative research and resource-sharing opportunities. Additionally, the project offers regular gatherings such as the annual Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement meeting, professional development opportunities for leaders across all levels, and an extensive national partner network. Participating institutions also have the chance to engage in grant-funded national projects, workshops, and initiatives aligned with their missions.

To learn more about the American Democracy Project recommitment initiative and to see the growing list of institutions that have also made the commitment, visit


About OU:
Oakland University is a doctoral, Carnegie Classification R2 “High Research Activity” university and offers bachelor's degrees, graduate degrees and certificate programs. It is organized into the College of Arts and Sciences with a School of Music, Theatre and Dance, the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine and the Schools of Business Administration, Education and Human Services, Engineering and Computer Science, Health Sciences, Nursing, and Honors College. The rich campus atmosphere is complete with residence halls, Greek life, Division I athletics and more than 300 student groups that lend to the total college experience. Learn more at

About AASCU:
The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of 350 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. These are institutions Delivering America’s Promise. Visit us at


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