Skip Maine state header navigation

Agencies | Online Services | Help

Skip First Level Navigation | Skip All Navigation

Home > Promising Approaches in Higher Education > "Voice Your Choice" UMFK and the American Democracy Project

Printer Friendly Version

Archived material. This page is no longer maintained.

“Voice Your Choice” UMFK and the American Democracy Project

Promising Approaches

Incorporate discussion of current local, national and international issues and events into the classroom, particularly those that young people view as important to their lives.

Encourage student participation in leadership and campus and community governance.

Encourage students’ participation in forums that model democratic processes and procedures, both curricular and extracurricular.

"Voice Your Choice" program was part of the American Democracy Project sponsored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

The American Democracy Project is a multi-campus initiative that seeks to create an intellectual and experiential understanding of civic engagement for undergraduates enrolled at institutions that are members of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). The goal of the project is to produce graduates who understand and are committed to engaging in meaningful actions as citizens in a democracy. (AASCU Website)

For a full description of activities associated with UMFK’s “Voice Your Choice” project, please refer to the attached news releases on the subject or visit our web site at www.umfk.maine.edu/valleyvision/ and type “American Democracy Project” in the keyword search.

Special Features

Civic Learning Goals

The University of Maine at Fort Kent was one of hundreds of higher education institutions to participate in the first year of the American Democracy Project. The focus of the first year of the project was to begin a national dialogue on the subject of civic engagement among American college and university students.  UMFK’s students started their academic year with an orientation program that celebrated democracy and civic engagement and that emphasized student involvement in their campus community.  The goals and objectives of the American Democracy Project as stated on the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) web site are as follows:

  1. to increase the number of undergraduate students who understand and are committed to engaging in meaningful civic actions by asking participating institutions to review and restructure academic programs and processes, extracurricular programs and activities, and the institutional culture; and
  2. to focus the attention of policy makers and opinion leaders on the civic value of the college experience. This project uses the definition of civic engagement proposed by Thomas Ehrlich and his colleagues in Civic Responsibility and Higher Education:
  3. to create a national conversation among many campuses about the theory and practice of civic engagement;
  4. to develop institutional commitment by involving senior administrators, faculty, staff and students; by addressing core institutional mission and purpose; and by focusing on civic engagement as a learning outcome for undergraduates;
  5. to initiate new projects, courses and teaching strategies, extracurricular programs, and other programs to increase civic engagement, supported by the national project office;
  6. to measure the civic engagement outcomes of undergraduates on participating campuses, and assess the impact of this project in contributing to greater civic engagement outcomes; and;
  7. to disseminate the models that result to a wide audience of higher education institutions, individuals, and policy makers.

Contact Information

Voisine, UMFK Director of Student Services at 207-834-7513 or at Voisine@maine.edu

Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools: Education for Democracy