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Institute for Democracy & Higher Education

Research

The Institute for Democracy & Higher Education’s research aims to create and disseminate new knowledge that will advance higher education’s role in the civic and political learning and engagement of their students.

Our research is divided into two main areas:

NSLVE

IDHE’s signature initiative, the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE), was established in 2013 as both a service to higher education—providing participating colleges and universities with their students’ registration and voting rates—and a significant database for research. NSLVE is the only objective tool to measure college student civic engagement and the only objective measure of college student voting. Learn more about NSLVE.

Campus Climate for Political Learning

“Politics 365” is our term for the ideal of student political learning as an ongoing, every-day-of-the-year imperative for college campuses. This work centers on our nine-campus qualitative study of institutional climates—specifically our analysis of the norms, behaviors, attitudes, and structures—for political learning and engagement in democracy. Our findings to date indicate that colleges and universities should be places where people with diverse social identities, ideologies, perspectives, and interests associate, coalesce, discuss problems, and share authority in decision-making. Read about Politics 365.