Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Department of Educational Administration and Foundations: Educational Administration
Elizabeth T. Lugg
Students will be called upon as American citizens to be knowledgeable, engaged, contributing citizens, and higher education plays a part in the development of this role. Engagement must surpass simple volunteerism in order to more fully realize the potential benefit of democracy and democratic engagement activities. In turn, institutions must respond effectively and responsibly, making informed decisions about educating all students in the safest manner possible. This exploratory policy analysis, with embedded legal research, explores the policy issue, "Is higher education the appropriate venue for instruction on democratic engagement and, if so, do the benefits and rewards of instruction on democratic engagement outweigh the possible risks of incurring additional legal liability?" Through my own analysis of this issue, I find that democratic engagement is critical to the preservation of democracy in America, and because higher education is determined to be an ideal environment for civic learning, and because there is a compelling state interest which overrides potential increases in institutional risk and liability, democratic engagement as a priority in higher education should be prioritized nationally and supported through policy.
Gorham, Maegan, "A Democracy, If We Can Keep It: Democratic Engagement Policy in Higher Education" (2015). Theses and Dissertations. 386.