A new book edited by Nicholas V. Longo and Cynthia Gibson, entitled From Command to Community: A New Approach to Leadership Education in College and Universities (Tufts University Press, 2011), explores the intersection of leadership education and civic education in twelve wide-ranging chapters. Chapter 8, by Elizabeth Hollander, Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Peter Levine, Duncan Pickard, and Jonathan Zaff, evaluates the impact of the campus-wide civic culture at Tufts University on Tufts students.
Because the Jonathan M. Tisch College at Tufts has sponsored a longitudinal survey of Tufts students, it is possible to assess change in students (or “value-added”), not simply their rates of engagement, which may be high because engaged young people elect to enroll at Tufts.
The survey samples students enrolled in the Tisch Scholars for Citizenship and Public Service (an intensive leadership program); other students who had especially strong records of civic engagement in high school; and students who had unusually low rates of engagement before matriculation.
As the figure above shows, some forms of civic engagement increase steadily for the Tisch Scholars and less substantially for other engaged students. That pattern is consistent with the theory that the Tisch Scholars program adds value for its participants and (through their leadership) for other Tufts students. Developmental trajectories vary for different forms of engagement. The chapter concludes with recommendations for strengthening Tisch College programs based on these data.