Our communities face tremendous challenges, and universities have a responsibility to develop the next generation of active citizens who will address them. For 15 years, Tisch College has answered that call.
Today, as the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, we move forward with a new plan to carry out our mission and prepare young people for a lifetime of effective engagement in civic and democratic life.
We educate students and help them develop the knowledge, skills, and values needed to address our most pressing social problems. Through groundbreaking research, we study civic life and the institutions that shape it. And we utilize that knowledge to promote practices that support the efforts of individuals and communities who seek the greater good.
Our work is grounded in a deep understanding of civic life and in a commitment to constantly expand and refine our knowledge of how to strengthen it. By more vigorously creating, sharing, and applying that knowledge, Tisch College will take on a stronger role in the academic life of Tufts University while helping citizens address society’s most pressing problems in communities near and far.
Tufts students should graduate with more than expertise in their chosen fields of study; they must also emerge prepared to contribute to civic life as informed, ethical, and engaged citizens. To strengthen our work with students across all Tufts schools and academic disciplines, we will:
Tisch College conducts, supports, and applies research that helps us foster civic learning and
engagement locally, nationally, and globally. We also forge strong partnerships across Tufts University with more than 50 faculty members who incorporate civic engagement in their teaching and research. To bolster both areas we plan to:
Tisch College applies knowledge to improve democracy and civic life, and to engage citizens in addressing shared problems. We strive for impact in communities and in higher education:
While much of our strategic plan builds on existing efforts, we propose two major new initiatives that will take Tisch College and Tufts University in new directions.
Civic Studies is an emerging interdisciplinary field that studies civic life and helps citizens improve it. It includes scholarship that combines ethics, knowledge, and strategies to guide citizens in shaping their communities. Already home to students and faculty engaged in Civic Studies, Tisch College will make Tufts a leading intellectual center in this field by:
Institute for Democracy & Higher Education
Tisch College is building the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education to be a leading venue for research, resources, and advocacy that will shape how colleges and universities foster political learning and engagement. The institute will:
Its signature initiative is the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE). The only objective study of student voting rates in the nation, NSLVE offers more than 800 colleges and universities:
Our strategic vision charts a clear, ambitious plan for the future. It builds on our strengths and adds important new dimensions. It will allow us to better understand how citizens participate in civic life and tackle challenges in their communities. It will shape a new generation of leaders, strengthen civic life and democracy, and support lasting change at Tufts University and beyond.