What steps can political science faculty take to encourage their students to register, vote, and otherwise engage in the political process?
Responding to calls from APSA¹ members for more direct support of faculty civic engagement efforts, APSA has introduced the RAISE the Vote campaign, where RAISE stands for “Resources to Amplify and Increase Student Engagement.” The campaign’s main goal is to increase college student registration, voting, and civic engagement through two key mechanisms:
- Provide concrete steps and best practices that faculty can use in the classroom and on-campus to encourage student engagement;
- Highlight the research, teaching, and service of APSA members related to civic engagement and voting, and encourage faculty to use these resources in their classrooms.
The RAISE the Vote campaign draws on APSA’s strength, as a membership association comprised of political science experts. In the lead up to the 2020 election, the RAISE the Vote campaign will share the research, teaching practices, and campus engagement strategies of these experts in the form of accessible blog posts and articles² that faculty interested in encouraging student civic engagement can draw on and share with their students. In doing so, the campaign will provide concrete steps and best practices for faculty to encourage student engagement.
Each month of the campaign will feature a different theme. Some months will focus on broader strategies and models for civic engagement, while others will delve into specific research areas related to electoral and participatory politics, like “Polling, Forecasting, and Information” or “Voter Suppression, Voter Fraud, and Voter Engagement.”
The theme for November 2019 is “Best Practices in Encouraging Student Registration, Voting, and Democratic Engagement,” and includes contributions from students and faculty from a range of institutions. Their blog posts summarize important research on how best to mobilize college students, describe innovative teaching techniques for encouraging students to engage in the political process, and discuss the various ways that faculty, students, and college/university staff, through campus action plans and other means, are encouraging student civic engagement.
More information about the campaign, including recent blog posts and articles, and instructions for how to join the campaign, can be found on the RAISE the Vote campaign website.
¹ The American Political Science Association (APSA) is the leading professional organization for the study of political science and serves more than 11,000 members in more than 100 countries. With a range of programs and services for individuals, departments, and institutions, APSA brings together political scientists from all fields of inquiry, regions, and occupational endeavors within and outside academe to deepen our understanding of politics, democracy, and citizenship throughout the world.
²APSA thanks Cambridge University Press and Taylor & Francis for providing free access to all campaign-related journal articles through December 2019.