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CSU-Pueblo one of Colorado schools to lead civic initiative

Release Date: September 12, 2016

Cora Zaletel

Executive Director, External Affairs

Colorado State University-Pueblo

719.549.2810

Press Release

PUEBLO - Colorado State University-Pueblo is one of four Colorado higher education institutions selected to participate in the first phase of the higher education Civic Health & Equity Initiative led by Dr. Cecilia Orphan, assistant professor in the Higher Education Program at the University of Denver, in partnership with Colorado Compact Mountain West (CCMW).

Orphan was previously the director of the American Democracy Project and received a Public Good grant from the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning at the University of Denver to launch this initiative. CSU-Pueblo, the University of Colorado Denver, University of Denver, and University of Northern Colorado will participate in the Civic Health & Equity Initiative to better assess and share the story of how colleges and universities directly impact the civic health of local communities as anchor institutions.

In 2014, the inaugural Colorado Civic Health Index was published through a partnership of civic organizations, higher education institutions, and nonprofit organizations. Through that initial publication, the Colorado Civic Health Network was formed. Several working groups of the CO Civic Health Network emerged specific to increasing volunteerism, youth voter engagement, civic health in the Latino community, and P-20 pipelines for student learning and engagement (among others).

The four institutions involved in the first year of the Initiative will design and begin to test matrices based on the National Conference on Citizenship's Civic Health Index and the American Democracy Project's Civic Health Matrix. These matrices will be shaped to reflect the specific priorities, challenges, and contexts for the communities in which the selected campuses reside. Following the first phase, Orphan aims to incorporate additional CCMW member institutions in subsequent years to continue refining the matrices for sector-wide use.

Dr. David Volk, associate professor and chair of music, and Dr. Jane Fraser, professor and chair of engineering, will spearhead the initiative for CSU-Pueblo. Utilizing resources and support provided through the initiative, the University will work with community partners to develop both a campus civic action plan as well as a unique matrix for CSU-Pueblo to gauge and encourage community engagement.

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.

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