The ACC community is invited to attend a forum on higher education at St. Edward’s University on Friday, March 30 (11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.). Co-hosted by the Center for Ethics and Leadership and the New College at St. Edward’s, the event will explore this question: “Can Higher Education Help Solve our Toughest Problems?” This free, public forum will test a new issue guide being produced by the National Issues Forum (NIF) while bringing together students, individuals from the business sector, nonprofits, government, education and civic groups. They will explore the role higher education plays in helping respond to current economic struggles, growing gaps in society, loss of community and ability to work together.
Vicki Totten, associate professor of Counseling in New College, and Jack Green Musselman, director of the Center for Ethics and Leadership, will lead the university’s involvement with NIF, a network of practitioners who promote public deliberation.
This event is being designed and convened by undergraduate, New College, and graduate students at St. Edward’s who will learn how to plan and manage a community forum, understand the process of framing an issue for deliberation, and convene and moderate discussions. The dialogue will focus on how to increase the civic capacity of college students so they play a part in solving society’s problems.
The forum will utilize an issue discussion guide created by NIF. The discussion guide is framed in a way that is authentic to people’s experience with the issue, reflects alternatives that help people move out of deeply entrenched positions, encourages participants to talk through the gray aspects of the issue to find new ways of moving forward together, and is rooted in what people hold deeply valuable.
The forum will begin with a short panel presentation where local leaders will discuss the material highlighted in the NIF discussion guide. Panelists include:
Attendees will then participate in small-group, moderated discussions to identify issues and actions that they think are most important on this topic. Outcomes from the discussion will not only help inform local conversations regarding how higher education institutions can help positively impact communities, but will also inform a national discussion in 2012 about this critical issue.
The catalyst for the forum is a year-long national initiative entitled “For Democracy’s Future: Education Reclaims Our Civic Mission” which was launched in January 2012 by the White House Office of Public Engagement, American Commonwealth Project, Association of American Colleges and Universities and Department of Education. This initiative will examine the role higher education can play in deepening the civic identity of educational institutions in ways which more fully engage democratic communities.
This will be a unique opportunity for community members from different backgrounds to come together and contribute their thoughts and ideas on this important topic. It will also be a great opportunity to connect with local leaders, students and community members who are concerned with the role of higher education in communities.
The following St. Edward’s University students and recent alumni are planning the event: Sonya Apodaca MAHS; Christina Ceballos MSOLE; Diana Ford MLA; Raul Garza MLA, Laura Kelly, New College, Business Administration; Michael Kersey MSOLE; Cristina Lopez, Political Science; Marcus Nash MSOLE; and Robert Null, Political Science.
Lunch will be provided, so please register in advance. Registration information, including the registration form and a campus map, can be found at the Center for Ethics and Leadership web page.
posted in: Current Students, Faculty and Staff News