Civic Engagement

In 2017, the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) announced that the School of Communication was selected as one of 12 departments “across the country that are providing models for how to make civic learning and democratic engagement an expectation for all students who major in a given discipline.” You can read more about this designation here:


The School of Communication’s (SoC) mission is to enhance the State of Illinois’ societal and economic conditions by providing comprehensive undergraduate and graduate degree, research, and service initiatives that are at the leading edge of theory and translate into viable applications. One critical way that we advance this mission is through our work with civic engagement. Faculty and staff in the SoC have integrated civic learning and democratic engagement into the curriculum and co-curriculum for some time. In 2009, they formalized their commitment to civic learning by adopting the following learning outcomes for each of the majors:

  • Public Opportunities: Students will identify the resources and subsequent value of civic and community engagement;
  • Responsible Citizenry: Students will develop the ability to function as responsible participants in the social, economic, technological, and political dimensions of life within local, national, and global communities;
  • Knowledge Formation: Students will foster an understanding of the social and collaborative nature of knowledge and learning related to civic engagement;
  • Diverse and Global Perspectives: Students will be exposed to diverse and global perspectives by developing and communicating an appreciation for the impact made in personal and professional lives; and
  • Democratic Awareness: Students will improve their knowledge and understanding of the democratic process.

Students analyze social media activity during a tweet-up of the 2016 State of the Union address.

Students tweet their opinions during the 2016 State of the Union address.