During the 2016 election cycle, the California Community College Civic Impact Project built interest in civic engagement and expanded non-partisan voter registration efforts on community college campuses. The project was a collaboration between the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, the Foundation, a cohort of 25 community colleges, researchers, and youth advocacy groups. The project sought to:
- Ensure California Community College students have a voice in government
- Encourage student civic engagement and community service
- Help California Community Colleges train informed and active citizens
- Foster opportunities for community-based or service learning.
Building Capacity for Civic Engagement Education
25 colleges were awarded mini-grants for student groups to assist in student voter registration and outreach through a “Be a part of it all” campaign. The campaign spurred community college students to ensure their voices are heard within community decision making processes. The project also encouraged all colleges to nudge students to register to vote through student messaging platforms and other outreach best practices.
In spring 2017, 20 students were selected to join the California Community Colleges Civic Impact Scholars Program. The four-month leadership development and service-learning program culminated in scholars meeting with civic leaders in Sacramento to share the impact of their campus civic engagement activities.
The project continued to build interest and capacity for civic education by organizing the first-ever California Community Colleges Civic Engagement Summit in fall 2017. A partnership with the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges and held at College of the Canyons, attendees shared strategic and tactical information about preparing community college students to be active, informed citizens in a democracy.
The California Community College Civic Impact Project was made possible through the support of NextGen Climate America, a 501(c)3 organization. With additional support, the Foundation has the capacity to operate student outreach and engagement projects.