We need a 21st century vision of what is college learning for students. Attitudes towards college often feel that students attend only to gain education or training to help them with the best possible career choices. Many administrators and educators are trying to change this attitude, certainly that was the purpose behind the founding of both the national and the state campus compacts as well as institutional civic engagement centers in recent years. We at Utah Campus Compact (UTCC) promote college as both an institution of higher learning and as an institution of learning citizenship.
This civic learning, we believe, is necessary for students today to solve the problems of inequality, social injustice, and apathy they encounter in their communities, whether those communities are local, state, national, or global. It is no longer enough to simply provide students with an education in how the government of the United States functions and its basic history. Students also need “to understand the cultural and global contexts in which democracy is both deeply valued and deeply contested” (A Crucible Moment, p. 3). Therefore UTCC works closely with its member institutions to provide training and opportunities in civic engagement for students, faculty, and staff.