Initiative for Civic Engagement

About ICE

Learn all about how Armstrong's Initiative for Civic Engagement got rolling, what we've done so far, and what the rest of the nation is doing!

How it Started

The Initiative for Civic Engagement (ICE) began in the summer of 2009 through the support and generosity of the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, though it has always been and will continue to be a program for the entire university community.  ICE derived its initial inspiration from the American Democracy Project's Annual Meeting in Baltimore, MD, which focused on civic engagement and diversity.  Subsequently, ICE continued its association with the ADP by joining its Civic Agency Institute, a project affiliated with the Center for Democracy and Citizenship at Augsburg College.  ICE and ADP are fundamentally concerned about one thing: the role of higher education in fostering societal change through engaged citizenship.  This, of course, is fundamental to the mission of Armstrong State University.

Recognizing that civic engagement is occurring in classrooms and programs throughout the university, the Initiative for Civic Engagement assists in coordinating such efforts and introduces new projects to the university community. To accomplish these goals, the initiative will:

  • Support courses that focus on domestic and global issues, especially as they foster an awareness of civic responsibility in the student body
  • Encourage curricular development that emphasizes concepts of civic engagement and promotes the creation of service-learning classes
  • Establish strong ties, or strengthen existing ones, between the university and community programs
  • Promote student volunteerism and, in conjunction with community agencies, coordinate our efforts with the Division of Student Affairs
  • Provide educational resources and training to faculty and local educators through programs such as the American Democracy Project, developed by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, in conjunction with The New York Times

National Presence

As described on the American Democracy Project (ADP) website, ADP "is a multi-campus initiative focused on higher education’s role in preparing the next generation of informed, engaged citizens for our democracy.  The project began in 2003 as an initiative of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), in partnership with The New York Times.

The goal of the American Democracy Project is to produce graduates who are committed to being active, involved citizens in their communities.   The over 220 participating colleges and universities, as members of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, have been described as “Stewards of Place.”  As today’s undergraduates complete their studies and return to their communities, universities must prepare the next generation of citizens to become tomorrow’s “Stewards of Place.” 

Since its inception, ADP has hosted five national and eleven regional meetings, a national assessment project, and hundreds of campus initiatives including voter education and registration, curriculum revision and projects, campus audits, specific days of action and reflection (MLK Day of Service, Constitution Day), speaker series, and many recognition and award programs."

Armstrong State University is implementing the ADP ideals through our local program ICE.

Visit the ADP website for more information.