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New Program to Help Add Civic Engagement Into Courses Across UMD

By Annie Krakower

The University of Maryland has launched a professional development program that supports faculty and staff seeking to integrate civic learning into their courses.

Civic Engagement Across the Curriculum at UMD is a joint effort from the Maryland Democracy Initiative, Office of Leadership and Community Service-Learning, Department of Resident Life and Teaching and Learning Transformation Center.

Funded through a $19,000 grant from the University System of Maryland, it invites instructors to either complete self-paced online modules or undergo in-depth training during an in-person summer seminar. Those completing the two-day seminar will receive support through the Spring 2025 semester from a team of instructors with expertise in teaching civics, and they’ll be eligible for a stipend of approximately $700 to aid their course design.

Both trainings will introduce frameworks and exercises to teach skills like gathering input, running a public meeting or speaking in plain language—tools that are useful whether an instructor’s course is in engineering, the arts or anything in between, said Courtney Holder, assistant director of leadership and community service-learning.

“We can’t just isolate civic learning experiences in gen ed, in res life, in clubs or in upper-level courses. We’ve got to give students and their faculty a variety of ways of building those on-ramps to civic engagement” said Lena Morreale Scott, principal investigator for the Maryland Democracy Initiative and faculty member in the College of Education.

To learn more about the program, join an online information session at 1 p.m. April 2. The session will be recorded for those who can’t attend.

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