By Joel Delgado ’12 MS ’17
FIU was one of only 73 institutions chosen by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) to take part in the Lead Initiative on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (Lead Initiative), which recognizes and supports a network of colleges and universities with strong commitments to civic learning and democratic engagement.
In an effort to promote civic knowledge and engagement of college students in order to become engaged citizens, NASPA — which is a professional association of student affairs administrators in higher education — created the Lead Initiative, which involves the formation of a network of universities to study, practice and evaluate the best practices in civic learning and democratic engagement.
“NASPA is pleased to welcome Florida International University to the Lead Initiative,” said Laura Sponsler, who is NAPSA’s content director for Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement. “FIU was selected because of its institutional offerings related to civic learning and democratic engagement and its commitment to serving a diverse student body and community.”
As part of the initiative and being named a “Lead Institution” FIU will continue to encourage students’ civic development through thoughtful community partnerships, engaging leadership opportunities and democratic participation while being mentored through the program during the 2013-14 year.
“Participating in the Lead Initiative will not only enhance the work of the Center for Leadership & Service as we focus on developing active citizen leaders, but it will also give us the tools to engage the university community in this important dialogue,” said Beverly Dalrymple, executive director of the Center for Leadership & Service.
In addition to gaining access to resources such as assessment tools and learning materials, FIU will also be part of a national network of institutions called the CLDE Network, which develops strategies to enhance civic learning and democratic engagement. NASPA will assist in sharing information with institutions in the network and will publicize work accomplished by program participants using its national and international platforms and annual conference.