CIRCLE (Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement)

On July 1, 2008, CIRCLE, The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, moved to Tisch College. Founded in 2001, CIRCLE is the leading source of authoritative research on civic and political engagement of Americans between the ages of 15 and 25 and serves as a clearinghouse on related information and scholarship.

Visit the CIRCLE Web site

“This is an exciting and natural move for CIRCLE. Tisch College and Tufts University have taken an innovative approach to civic education and making active citizenship a defining strategic commitment of the University,” said CIRCLE director Peter Levine. “Working together will strengthen and broaden CIRCLE and Tisch, opening up new doors and resources for civic and political engagement research initiatives that will influence scholarship and practice and thereby help to renew democracy.”

“We are delighted to have Peter Levine joining us as director of research at Tisch College,” said Robert M. Hollister, dean of Tisch College. “Peter and CIRCLE are leaders in research on civic engagement, and their expertise will greatly enhance and strengthen our work at Tisch.”

“Research on civic engagement is vital for increasing understanding of the bases of healthy, positive development among today’s adolescents and young adults. Having CIRCLE here will be a great resource for the research that my colleagues, students, and I conduct. In fact, CIRCLE will be an invaluable asset for all Tufts faculty concerned with the health and welfare of contemporary youth and with their role in civil society,” added Richard Lerner, the Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development and the director of the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development.

As a new research arm of Tisch College, CIRCLE plans to expand the breadth of its research on civic and political engagement. Some future areas of study will include:

  • The changing nature of life between ages 20 and 30 and what that means for civic and political engagement
  • The relationship between volunteering and political engagement among young Americans
  • The civic and political activities of groups often ignored in studies on civic education, such as young people who do not attend college

“As political participation by young Americans surges,” said Bill Galston, CIRCLE’s founding director, “there could not be a better time for CIRCLE and Tisch College to join forces. Peter Levine will continue his outstanding leadership in civic engagement, and Tisch will provide the best possible environment for bringing together scholarship and practice in this vital field.”

Tisch College was founded in 2000 to support the core Tufts mission of promoting civic engagement. Today, Tisch College is a national model for integrating active citizenship into higher education. A true university-wide organization, Tisch engages students, alumni and faculty to become civically involved in their communities and beyond. In the 2007-2008 school year, Tisch College facilitated nearly 150 community-based student projects, coordinated alumni mentoring programs in six major cities, and fostered collaboration among the 12 faculty members who hold endowed chair positions with a public service emphasis.

“CIRCLE has been path-breaking in its research on young people as voters and Pew is proud to have played a role in its creation,” commented Rebecca Rimel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pew Charitable Trusts. “It is indeed exciting that CIRCLE’s important contributions will be able to grow in its new home at the Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service. This election year is sure to provide a fascinating opportunity to examine youth civic engagement. The combined efforts of CIRCLE and Tisch will no doubt be critical in helping increase young people’s participation in our most important civic liberty.”

Originally published August 2008