• Programs and Initiatives

    2019 ADP Infographic  

    ADP’s work is a combination of national multi-campus initiatives managed by its national office at AASCU in Washington, D.C. and uniquely local activities developed and managed by individual member campuses. ADP’s national office collaborates with ADP institutions and partners to design campus-centered activities and materials for the larger network’s use in promoting civic learning and democratic engagement. Since its founding in 2003, ADP has launched programs and initiatives that are collaboratively developed and piloted by working group of cross-campus faculty and staff and then scaled to the full network of ADP campuses. Current programs and initiatives include: 

    • Digital Polarization: The Digital Polarization Initiative (DigiPo) is a national, cross-institutional effort to improve student civic and digital literacy by teaching students to fact-check, annotate and contextualize information they encounter online, including emergent news stories promulgated by social media.

    • Global Civic Literacy with World101: Global Civic Literacy is a one-year ADP initiative in partnership with World101 from the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) designed to help students increase their knowledge of our global society and understand how global issues influence lives of everyday citizens.

    • Measuring the Campus Civic Climate: With leadership from the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE) at Tufts University, ADP is undertaking a research-to-practice initiative to improve student political learning and participation in democracy. Through this two-year initiative, 12 campuses are testing tools with which to assess campus climates for political learning and engagement. 

    • Reframing Political Discourse: The Political Ideology Diagnostic is designed to break down the ideological stereotyping that students and others do about themselves and about others in terms of public-policy issues, and offers a guide to productive political discourse. Together with other ADP initiatives, this effort will ensure that undergraduates have the knowledge, skills and attributes to be actively and responsibly involved in public-policy issues and politics. 

    • Science for Citizens: Science for Citizens is an online curriculum designed to enhance scientific literacy. Developed in collaboration with Smart Sparrow with funding from the Teagle Foundation in 2018, the course uses a series of case studies to engage students in the practice of evaluating claims, both ordinary and extraordinary, by introducing students to scientific concepts, scientific processes and the differentiation of science from non-science (or pseudoscience).  

    • Stewardship of Public Lands: Stewardship of Public Lands, ADP’s oldest ongoing initiative, engages faculty in an annual professional development seminar in Yellowstone National Park designed to help them teach students how conflicts are adjudicated, managed and resolved in a democracy.

    • Voter Education and Engagement: In the lead up to the 2018 elections, ADP partnered with the James Madison Center for Civic Engagement at James Madison University (Va.) to support campuses engaged in nonpartisan voter registration, education and engagement efforts. The Madison Center created a website for election-related and other resources, and an archive of webinars. In advance of the 2020 Census and presidential election, ADP seeks to increase the collective capacity of campuses to prepare students for meaningful and informed engagement in civic and political life.

    To learn about ADP's prior work, please visit our Past Programs and Initiatives page.