Civic Impact Project

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Increasing civic participation among community college students.

The California Community Colleges Civic Impact Project is a non-partisan initiative to engage community college students in issues that affect the community, state, and nation as a means to promote lifelong civics-related skills, career paths, and volunteerism. In partnership with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, colleges, researchers, and youth advocacy groups, the project aims to incorporate civic engagement and civic literacy into the broader framework of students’ education.   

This project began in the fall of 2016 with a cohort of 25 pilot colleges who conducted student voter registration and outreach. Participating students assisted in registering voters and educated their peers on absentee voting, ballot measures, finding their polling place, and other elements relating to elections. Students who excelled during this portion of the project will join the California Community Colleges Civic Impact Scholars Program. Scholars complete a robust series of civic engagement activities that foster a greater understanding of the democratic process and the roles of individuals in a democracy.

The project also leads a “Be a part of it all” campaign which encourages community college students to ensure their voices are heard when communities make decisions.

Colleges looking to implement this civic impact program on their campus should contact the Foundation for current partnership opportunities. In addition to grant funds, participating colleges will receive nonpartisan resources and materials for implementing effective voter registration and engagement events.

This project is made possible through the support of NextGen Climate America, a 501(c)3 organization.

Civic Engagement Summit

Over 100 faculty, administrators, students, and community members attended the inaugural California Community Colleges Civic Engagement Summit on October 5th and 6th in 2017. Together, participants will share methods to prepare community college students to be active, informed citizens in a democracy. 

The Summit was held at College of the Canyons and is being organized in partnership with the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges. Learn more about the event here >

Civic Impact Scholars Program 

The inaugural cohort of the Civic Impact Scholars Program began in the spring of 2017. 20 scholars from across the state committed to participating in a four-month leadership development and service-learning program. Under the supervision of a campus adviser, scholars complete a robust series of civic and community engagement activities that foster a greater understanding of the democratic process and the roles of individuals in a democracy while directly engaging with their own community through volunteerism and advocacy.

Scholars meet with civic leaders and shared the impact of civic engagement activities on their campuses in Sacramento in June of 2017.  

Project Goals

  • 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. 


Contact Us

Carly Smith
Civic Engagement Specialist
T: 916.498.6708 

Fact Sheet

Civic Impact fact sheet >


Foundation for California
Community Colleges

1102 Q Street, Suite 4800
Sacramento, CA 95811

Toll Free: 866.325.3222
Fax: 916.325.0844

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Who we serve

The Foundation serves as the official foundation supporting the Board of Governors, Chancellor’s Office, and the entire California Community College system, including 114 colleges and 72 districts, serving 2.1 million students.

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