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CCAC receives Gold Seal for Excellence in Student Voter Engagement

PITTSBURGH—The Community College of Allegheny County has received a Gold Seal from the All IN Campus Democracy Challenge for achieving a student voting rate between 40% and 49% in the 2018 midterm elections. The achievement is a result of college-wide efforts to promote voter registrations and participation at all CCAC campuses and centers. The average for college campuses in Pennsylvania participating in the challenge was 37%.
 
“CCAC is committed to increasing civic engagement and democratic participation by encouraging all members of the campus community—students, faculty and staff—to become engaged citizens in their respective communities and active in political participation through voting and other forms of activism,” said CCAC Professor and Civic Engagement Coordinator Jacqueline Cavalier. “Initiatives such as the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge and the Campus Vote Project provide a variety of resources in the hope of empowering colleges such as CCAC to achieve excellence in student democratic engagement and reduce barriers to student voting.”
 
According to the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement, an initiative of Tufts University’s Institute for Democracy & Higher Education, voter turnout at the more than 1,000 institutions participating in the study increased from 19% to 40% between the 2014 and the 2018 midterm elections. CCAC’s data reveals an increase of 23.1% to a voter turnout rate of 42.3%.
 
“We are excited to honor CCAC with an ALL IN Challenge Gold Seal in recognition of their intentional efforts to increase democratic engagement and full voter participation,” said Jennifer Domagal-Goldman, executive director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. “More institutions like CCAC are changing culture on campus by institutionalizing nonpartisan democratic engagement efforts that are resulting in the incredible student voter turnout rates that we’ve seen across the country.”
 
The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is a nonpartisan, national initiative recognizing and supporting campuses as they work to increase nonpartisan democratic engagement and full student voter participation. The Challenge encourages higher education institutions to help students form the habits of active and informed citizenship, and make democratic participation a core value on their campus.
 
Cavalier noted that Dr. Aaron Hoffman, the former coordinator for the Democracy Commitment at CCAC, and other team members were instrumental in moving the initiatives forward in the past. The former initiative is now part of “Community Colleges for Democracy” and, as a result, CCAC is in the process of revamping the college’s Civic Engagement plan.
 
“In my role as college-wide Civic Engagement Coordinator, I hope to reinforce the importance of democratic participation as a core value of our institution through a revision and expansion of our current civic action plan in hopes of earning the “Voting-Friendly Campus” designation and more accurately accounting for all civic engagement and democratic participation activities across the college,” said Cavalier.
 
More than 560 campuses, enrolling more than 6.2 million students, have joined the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge since its launch in the summer of 2016.
Gold Seal Award