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Civic Engagement (PAF 112)

Civic Engagement (PAF 112)

Identity, Service and American Democracy

Have you ever read the news or overheard a conversation about politics and felt helpless? You are not alone! Many people ask questions like: Does my vote matter? How do federal policies affect me? How can I make a difference? American Democracy is defined by its people participating, voicing their opinion, and making a difference.

In this course, you will learn about civic engagement and how people like you shape the world. You will also gain insight into how you can become an active and engaged member of your own community. You will interview public service leaders, investigate local issues, and form the what, why, and how of civic engagement, which you will use to create a civic action portfolio.

This course was designed through a unique partnership with Service Year Alliance and Arizona State University. This course is ideal for those looking to identify pathways to civic action, such as corps members working in their year of service, individuals who would like to get more involved in their neighborhoods and cities, or those interested in creating change in their community.

Service Corps members and alumni

Service Corps members and alumni who wish to receive academic credit for this course may use their Eli Segal Education Award to cover the $400 course fee. To use the Eli Segal Education Award, sign up for the course here, and select the “Credit; Segal” option during the sign up process.

What you’ll learn

  • Examine the concepts of civic engagement, identity, political engagement, social engagement, democracy, government, social capital, federalism, voting processes, nonprofit organization, civil society, interest groups, mobilization, and lobbying.
  • Explain why American democracy is unique and the contribution of social capital in American society.
  • Examine cultural diversity in the US and contemporary concepts of multiculturalism, cultural relativism, and cultural subordination.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of current and historical social and political movements based on culture, including race, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual identity, and generational culture.
  • Compare and contrast the types of political engagement and social engagement.
  • Describe how the tensions in American society related to identity (i.e., gender, race, class, sexuality, religion, (dis)ability, employment type) have influenced political action.
  • Explain the critical role that social service organizations play in American democracy.
  • Analyze the role of culture and cultural elements in identity formation and associations with others of similar identity and the social contributions of these associations.
  • Discuss how service work creates an identity and contributes to community building
  • Evaluate your identity based on the categories discussed in this course and demonstrate how it influences your pathway to civic engagement.
  • Create an action plan of community service based on your identity using at least one of the six public service pathways.
  • Based on concepts such as identity, civic engagement, political engagement, social engagement, social capital, and mobilization, analyze a public service organization.

What to expect in class

Video lectures, readings, discussions, live meetings with the instructor, quizzes. an ePortfolio, and a final paper.

Exams and grading

  • 40% - ePortfolio
  • 30% - Quizzes (5)
  • 30% - Final Exam

University Credits: 
3 credits
CMASAS Credits: 
1 credit (CTE)
Instructor-led (8 weeks)
Start Dates: 
Oct. 10, 2023