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2019-2020 NASPA LEAD Initiative Institution Application

4/30/2019 - 8/9/2019


 NASPA LEAD Initiative Institution Application 

Application Deadline - June 30, 2019

The LEAD Initiative began in 2012-2013 with three primary goals.  First, the initiative was seen as a way to advance the institutionalization of Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) work in student affairs divisions and postsecondary institutions more broadly. Second, we wanted to facilitate peer-to-peer sharing and collaboration across the participating colleges and universities.  And finally, we sought to increase the awareness of student affairs’ overt contributions to students’ citizenship development, civic learning, and community engagement. After the first six years of our efforts, we can safely say we have made significant progress towards these goals. 

As we transition into year seven of this initiative, we are again seeking connection and engagement with NASPA members and NASPA institutions committed to CLDE work on their campus.  Whether you are just beginning efforts to stimulate campus work in this space, or are a seasoned nationally recognized campus leader in CLDE work, NASPA hopes you will consider joining the LEAD Initiative. 

Our objectives for the 2019-2020 year will facilitate exchanges of knowledge and develop a sense of community around our shared civic learning and democratic engagement work. The LEAD Initiative will evolve to incorporate our CLDE Theory of Change which poses four important questions:

  1. Purpose: What are the key features of the thriving democracy we aspire to enact and support through our work? 
  2. Learning Outcomes: What knowledge, skills, and dispositions do people need in order to help create and contribute to a thriving democracy? 
  3. Pedagogy: How can we best foster the acquisition and development of the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for a thriving democracy? 
  4. Strategy: How can we build the institutional culture, infrastructure, and relationships needed to support learning that enables a thriving democracy? 

The theory of change also suggests that campuses consider how best to construct campus cultures and contexts that foster:

  • Civic Ethos of campus: The infusion of democratic values into the customs and habits of everyday practices, structures, and interactions; the defining character of the institution and those in it that emphasizes open-mindedness, civility, the worth of each person, ethical behaviors, and concern for the well-being of others; a spirit of public-mindedness that influences the goals of the institution and its engagement with local and global communities.  

  • Civic Literacy & Skill Building as a goal for every student: The cultivation of foundational knowledge about fundamental principles and debates about democracy expressed over time, both within the United States and in other countries; familiarity with several key historical struggles, campaigns, and social movements undertaken to achieve the full promise of democracy; the ability to think critically about complex issues and to seek and evaluate information about issues that have public consequences.  

  • Civic Inquiry integrated within the majors and general education: The practice of inquiring about the civic dimensions and public consequences of a subject of study; the exploration of the impact of choices on different constituencies and entities, including the planet; the deliberate consideration of differing points of views; the ability to describe and analyze civic intellectual debates within one’s major or areas of study.   

  • Civic Action as lifelong practice: The capacity and commitment both to participate constructively with diverse others and to work collectively to address common problems; the practice of working in a pluralistic society and world to improve the quality of people’s lives and the sustainability of the planet; the ability to analyze systems in order to plan and engage in public action; the moral and political courage to take risks to achieve a greater public good. 

  • Civic Agency involves the capacities of citizens to work collaboratively across differences like partisan ideology, faith traditions, income, geography, race, and ethnicity to address common challenges, solve problems and create common ground; requires a set of individual skills, knowledge, and predispositions; also involves questions of institutional design, particularly how to constitute groups and institutions for sustainable collective action. 

Institutions selected to participate in this initiative will work collaboratively in cohorts to share resources, promising practices, and participate in professional networking opportunities. LEAD institutions receive support and continuing professional development from NASPA through this network as well as public recognition for their efforts.  Please see the summary document of participation below for more details as to what you and your institution can expect in the various levels of the LEADInitiative. For additional information about the Lead Initiative, please visit NASPA’s CLDE webpage at:

Applications are due June 30, 2019. 



LEAD Initiative Primary Contact General Information
First Name:  Required
Last Name:  Required
Institution Name:  Required
Professional Position / Title:  Required
Email:  Required
Phone:  Required
Institution's Logo:  Required
Provide short title (Institution's Logo):  Required
Institution's President's Contact Information
First Name:  Required
Last Name:  Required
Mailing Address:  Required
City, State, Zip:  Required
Chief Student Affair Officer's Contact Information
First Name:  Required
Last Name:
Professional Title:  Required
Email :
Phone Number:  Required
Indicate the level of NASPA LEAD Initiative participation desired

For more information about the NASPA Lead Initiative participation levels, please visit: 2019-2020 NASPA LEAD Initiative Participation Level Descriptions. 

LEAD Initiative Level of Participation  Required

 LEAD Initiative Institution  LEAD Consulting Institution
 LEAD Advisory Institution  
If applying to be a LEAD Consulting Institution, please indicate your institution's area of expertise.

 Alternative Break Programming.  Assessment
 Community Partnerships  Democratic and Electoral Engagement
 Dialogue and Deliberation  Media Literacy
 Public Policy  Social Justice and Inclusion
 Student Affairs and Academic Affairs Partnerships  Volunteerism and Civic Leadership
Statement of Institution's Current Civic Engagement Work
In 250 to 500 words summarize your institution’s current civic engagement work.
Statement of Current Institution's Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Work  Required

Areas of Institutional Focus for CLDE Work

Areas of institutional focus for CLDE work over the next academic year. Please include information on your institution’s goals, the primary themes of your work, and areas of your perceived strength and opportunities for growth within CLDE work.

Explanation of Institutional Focus for CLDE Work Over the Next Academic Year.   Required

2019 - 2020 LEAD Initiative Checklist

Please select all items that are currently functional at your institution.

2019 - 2020 LEAD Initiative Checklist (Select All That Apply)  Required

 CLDE Liaison or Director  Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Office or Center
 Provide Volunteer Opportunities  Engage in Voting Practices
 Assessment of CLDE Engagement  Participate in National Recognition Programs
 Offer Service-Learning Courses  Engage in Volunteerism as Part of Orientation Programming
 Support Ameri Corp / Vista Positions  Engage in Student Affairs and Academic Affairs Partnerships
Brief Summary of Areas of Focus in Regards to the 2019-2020 LEAD Initiative Checklist  Required

Renewal Process

If your institution participated in the LEAD Initaitive program, provide your end-of-year report here. This should include information detailing the growth of your institution's CLDE work throughout the 2017-2018 year. This report should include highlights, areas of engagement and participation, as well as continued areas of growth for the future. The report can be submitted in any format that meets your institution's needs. In this space, institution can also provide feedback on changes they'd like to see incorprated into the program. 


End-of-Year Report for 2018-2019 LEAD Campuses:
Provide short title (End-of-Year Report for 2018-2019 LEAD Campuses):
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