SPC hosted a civics education workshop in the Collaborative Labs at the EpiCenter on Tuesday, April 2.
Representatives from other colleges, universities and state organizations, as well as SPC students, met to assess the status of civics education in the Florida State College System and to identify any best practices, practical applications, incentives and impediments to the promotion and expansion of civics literacy on the state college level. They also discussed an action plan through which to accomplish these goals and help students and citizens become more engaged.
“It was a great lab,” said Jeff Kronschnabl, Instructor in Charge for the College of Policy, Ethics and Legal Studies. “It provided structure and an exciting exchange between the participants. It also provided the collaborative networking and partnership required to make this an effective initiative.”
The idea for the meeting stemmed from meetings last year with former Florida Gov. Bob Graham, who served on the state’s Education Committee and has always had a strong interest in education. SPC Policy Consultant Tom Furlong, whose long-term relation with Graham goes back many years, was instrumental in helping the event come together.
“There is a renewed interest in civics education in this country,” Susan Demers, Dean, College of Policy and Legal Studies, who referred to man on the street-styled interviews where adults appear to lack an understanding of the country’s political system. “As a result, it is of particular interest to Gov. Graham that we have a civics initiative here in Florida.”
“It was a really great discussion because we had people at all levels and with all kinds of interests represented,” she said. “It provided a nice checklist of things to do and how we’re going to partner in the future.”
The discussion has led to the idea of a statewide conference that will include all 28 state colleges, Demers said. The conference will be headed up by SPC’s Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions in collaboration with Julie Alexander, Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, Florida Department of Education.
Civics Education Workshop participants included: