Civic and Global Learning


U.S. higher education acknowledges an obligation to prepare graduates for knowledgeable and responsible participation in a democratic society. The DQP reaffirms and upgrades that commitment. But the DQP further recognizes that graduates face a social, economic and information world that knows no borders, that is buffeted by environmental changes, and that requires both the knowledge and the experiences that will enable them to become genuinely interactive and productive. The DQP therefore envisions both global and domestic settings for civic engagement and outlines proficiencies needed for both civic and global inquiry and interaction.

Civic and Global Learning proficiencies rely principally on the types of cognitive activities (describing, examining, elucidating, justifying) that are within the direct purview of institutions of higher education, but they also include evidence of civic activities and learning beyond collegiate settings. Such activities may of course take the form of service learning, in which community engagement prompts reflection and explication. These proficiencies also reflect the need for analytic inquiry and engagement with diverse perspectives. Together, they underscore the interplay of proficiencies from the major components of higher learning presented previously in the DQP.

At the associate level, the student

  • Describes his/her own civic and cultural background, including its origins and development, assumptions and predispositions.
  • Describes diverse positions, historical and contemporary, on selected democratic values or practices, and presents his or her own position on a specific problem where one or more of these values or practices are involved.
  • Provides evidence of participation in a community project through either a spoken or written narrative that identifies the civic issues encountered and personal insights gained from this experience.
  • Identifies an economic, environmental or public health challenge spanning countries, continents or cultures, presents evidence for the challenge, and takes a position on it.

At the bachelor’s level, the student

  • Explains diverse positions, including those representing different cultural, economic and geographic interests, on a contested public issue, and evaluates the issue in light of both those interests and evidence drawn from journalism and scholarship.
  • Develops and justifies a position on a public issue and relates this position to alternate views held by the public or within the policy environment.
  • Collaborates with others in developing and implementing an approach to a civic issue, evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the process, and, where applicable, describes the result.
  • Identifies a significant issue affecting countries, continents or cultures, presents quantitative evidence of that challenge through tables and graphs, and evaluates the activities of either non-governmental organizations or cooperative inter-governmental initiatives in addressing that issue.

At the master’s level, the student

  • Assesses and develops a position on a public policy question with significance in the field of study, taking into account both scholarship and published or electronically posted positions and narratives of relevant interest groups.
  • Develops a formal proposal, real or hypothetical, to a non-governmental organization addressing a global challenge in the field of study that the student believes has not been adequately addressed.
  • Proposes a path to resolution of a problem in the field of study that is complicated by competing national interests or by rival interests within a nation other than the U.S.