American Democracy Project

The E-Citizenship Initiative is part of the American Democracy Project, multi-campus initiative that seeks to create an intellectual and experiential understanding of civic engagement in the United States in the 21st century. The project targets undergraduates enrolled at institutions that are members of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). The project grows out of a concern about decreasing rates of participation in the civic life of America in voting, in advocacy, in local grassroots associations, and in other forms of civic engagement that are necessary for the vitality of our democracy.

The role of institutions of higher education is to instill a sense of agency, efficacy, and capacity in students. Citizenship inherently involves skills that can be fostered in institutions of higher education including the ability to articulate one's preferences in speaking and writing, to organize, and to be able find common ground when differences of opinion occur.

E-Citizenship Goals

The main goal of the e-citizenship initiative to provide insights into and strategies for engaging undergraduates in the use of social networks and technology tools for civic purposes.  E-citizenship is an examination of how the role of citizens is shaped by the new technology environment. This includes:
1. Understanding and learning about the social networking tools students use
2. Understanding how to harness those tools to build connections
3. Engaging in and discussing research related to the use of social networking tools
4. Encouraging civic engagement
5. Using students as co-creators
6. Merging what is happening in class with what is happening outside of class

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse E-Citizenship Goals

1. Engage in research and encourage undergraduate research related to e-citizenship
2. Promote awareness of the American Democracy Project
3. Profile the use of social networking tools on campus using an interactive website
4. Profile and coordinate speakers and events that are already happening at UWL using the interactive website
5. Profile examples from individual courses using the interactive website
6. Coordinate links with community
7. Hold workshops for faculty on how social networking tools are related to student learning and citizenship