Leadership in Action
According to the American Psychological Association website, "One useful definition of civic engagement is the following: individual and collective actions designed to identify and address issues of public concern. Civic engagement can take many forms, from individual voluntarism to organizational involvement to electoral participation. It can include efforts to directly address an issue, work with others in a community to solve a problem or interact with the institutions of representative democracy."
The government of this country was founded on the idea that informed citizens would be involved in selecting our leaders to create our laws. Civic engagement includes the responsibility to remain informed about the important issues which impact these decisions and understand our rights as citizens. This section includes resources on how you can participate more in this process. It also includes resources on becoming a citizen and information for others who reside in the country.
Voting and Elections
Exercise your right to vote. While there are some national voting standards, each state has its own particular rules for registration and voting you need to follow. Use the resources below to learn more about where you should vote, as well as information about issues and candidates:
Search to find out all you need to know about the electoral process in your state (registration deadline, identification requirements, voting machines, and more).
National League of Women Voters
Learn about campaign finance reform, civil liberties, voting rights, election administration, ethics and lobbying reform.
Find biographical information of elected Representatives, voting records, issue positions, interest group ratings, public statements, campaign finances, voter registration, ballot measures, issues and legislation, and political resources.
Minnesota Secretary of State Election Center
This site includes information on where you can vote election rules, elections results, and related topics. Similar sites for surrounding states are included on the links below:
- Iowa Elections and Voter Information
- North Dakota Elections and Voting Information
- South Dakota Elections and Voter Information
- Wisconsin's Elections and Voting
Presentations on Electoral Process
This site hosts free PowerPoint Presentations on voting, the electoral process, American Government and History and more. The presentations include activities, lesson plans, and educational information.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services
This is the official US government website for information on applying for citizenship. You can apply and track the process through here as well.
Study Materials for the Naturalization Test
This sub-section of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services provides materials to prepare for the naturalization test for U.S. citizenship. If you would like to test your knowledge on this topic, take the Naturalization Self Test.
Center for Democracy and Citizenship
This organization is focused on promoting an active involvement in civic and public work and is housed at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities.
Constitution Day is a federal observance each September 17 to celebrate the day the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in 1787. Federal law requires every school that receives federal funding, including universities, to show a program on the Constitution. Below are some resources that can be helpful in learning more:
Teaching with Documents for Constitution Day
This site is hosted by the National Archives and includes activities and lessons that can be implemented to learn more about our Constitution and government.
National Constitution Center
Additional resources including video clips and podcasts are available on this site which is hosted through partnerships of education and non-profit organizations.
Your campus may have resources to assist you with developing your GPS LifePlan. Be sure to take advantage of their valuable services.