National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement
NOTE: Deadline to sign up for participation extended to May 15, 2013. See FAQ for details.
CIRCLE’s National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, NSLVE, offers colleges and universities an opportunity to measure student registration and voting rates and to study the effectiveness of educational programs designed to increase civic learning and engagement in democracy. By participating, your institution can join an innovative national research initiative.
Why NSLVE is important In January 2012, the U.S. Department of Education issued a “call to action” challenging colleges and universities to support academic programs and experiences designed to increase student civic learning and engagement in democracy. Many campuses already support service learning, community-based research, programs in intergroup dialogue, deliberations on pressing public issues, certificate programs in public service, and opportunities to study leadership for public engagement, social change, and policy making. Studying voting rates of students offers one way to measure the effectiveness of these programs and provides an important baseline that can lead to improvements in academic programs and co-curricular experiences.
Voting is by no means the only indicator of civic engagement, but it is fundamental. Despite this, there are currently no reliable estimates of student voting rates on individual campuses. NSLVE will fill that gap.
How NSLVE works Whether an individual registers and votes is a matter of public record. (How an individual votes is not.) We’re working with an organization that collects state and local records into one national database that is widely used for academic research. We’ve developed a secure, confidential system for matching your enrollment lists with public records to obtain voting rates for your student body and any specified subgroups. CIRCLE will never see individual students’ names or any other personally identifiable information. For specifics, please read our FAQ.
You can also read about NSLVE in the January 2013 Association for Institutional Research newsletter.
Download a handy one-page NSLVE Handout.
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How to get involved
3. Questions? Email Nancy Thomas, Director of Initiatives for the Study of Higher Education and Public Life and NSLVE.