• Description

Key Points

  • There is widespread, bipartisan concern that American universities are not adequately preparing students for citizenship. The most ambitious efforts to attend to this problem to date have been undertaken by Republican-led state legislatures, which have mandated that state universities create new academic units for civic education.
  • While this innovation has been undertaken to meet political needs, its success or failure will be determined by academic standards. To meet those standards, these new academic units will need to define and execute a distinctive intellectual mission.
  • An intellectual mission in the fullest sense requires a coherent program of teaching and research in a specific and demanding discipline. This report sketches the outlines of such a program, which we call "Civic Thought." As its core elements are derived from a consideration of the intellectual demands of citizenship, it may be useful to all those working toward the renewal of university-level civic education.