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Political Identity Development in College

The Big Question: How do students continue to develop their political awareness and democratic understanding while enrolled in higher education?

Why this initiative?: Beyond efforts at getting students to vote, it's unclear whether institutions help prepare students to be politically engaged. In response, this initiative focuses on how students continue to develop their political identities in college.


What's new?: Through a series of studies (see some examples below), this initiative builds on the Model of College Student Political Identity Development. The model helps researchers and educators think through the different ways that students experience college and how that influences their political awareness, democratic understanding, and subsequent actions.

What's the goal?: Former President Barack Obama said it best, "don't let them take away your democracy," which was a call to action for every person and every institution to do all we can to protect and safeguard the high ideals of democratic participation. Through this initiative, we hope to help promote the ways postsecondary education institutions can do their part to promote inclusive and equitable civic learning and democratic engagement 

Recent Publications*

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*If you're interested in accessing these and other publications but do not have an institutional subscription to the database, please reach out to us and we can work with you to get you access! 

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