Promoting Civic and Political Engagement

NCCE seeks to improve civic life by actively engaging our member institutions in initiatives that develop and promote practices and habits of democracy.

2022 Funding Opportunities Available!

Funders and Partners

Thank you to the funders who have supported these efforts over the years: 

  • Campus Election Engagement Project (now Civic Influencers)
  • Puffin Foundation
  • Students Learn Students Vote Coalition
  • NC Counts Coalition. 

We are especially grateful to the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation who, in 2020 and 2022, awarded funds to NCCE for the NC Collegiate Civics Project (NC-CCP), an initiative to promote election engagement and civil discourse dialogue.

NCCE is a partner organization of the Ask Every Student Initiative. This initiative provides a framework to integrate voter participation efforts broadly across campuses with the goal of full participation.  

NCCE is also a proud partner organization for the four major election holidays: National Voter Registration Day, National Voter Education Week, Election Hero Day,  and Vote Early Day.

What is Civic Engagement?

Civic engagement is any activity that involves or is intended to affect not only the interests or work of a particular group of faith or affinity, but those of a broader community (whether defined locally, nationally, or globally).

What is Political Engagement?

Political engagement is any activity or set of activities driven by a desire to influence government, policy-making, and/or elections, such as participating in a protest, joining a party, volunteering in a campaign, running for office, testifying at public hearings, or advocating on public issues through social media.

  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Our Common Purpose: Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century (Cambridge, Mass.: American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2020).

Nonpartisan Political Engagement 

Since 2008, NCCE has supported efforts to register, inform, and mobilize student voters. In addition to sharing information and facilitating training on key election-related topics, we have disseminated nearly $100,00 in mini-grants to campuses throughout the state and facilitated Election Engagement Fellows programs.

In 2016, we trained and supported student Election Engagement Fellows on 11 of our member campuses. In 2020, we supported Election Engagement Sustainability Fellows, faculty and staff members on three member campuses charged with forming an election coalition and developing a three-year election engagement plan. 

Recent Grantees:

In fall 2021 we awarded $750 mini-grants to three campuses – Bennett College, Queens University of Charlotte, and Wake Forest University – to support student election engagement. 

Ongoing initiatives: 

Civil Discourse and Dialogue

NCCE launched our civic discourse and dialogue efforts in 2013, and since that time, we have trained over 800 faculty, staff, and students to moderate the National Issues Forum deliberative dialogue method, introduced our network to 12 additional discourse and dialogue models, and provided funding to campuses to promote and facilitate dialogue. 

Learn more 

Student Leadership Development for Public Service & Social Change 

In 2017, we partnered with the NC Institute of Political Leadership to host two Pathways to Civic Leadership workshops for students to explore how to make change through different methods, including politics, service, and community organizing. In spring 2023, we will pilot the Collegiate Public Service Leadership Academy at part of the NC-CCP.  

Starting in 2018, we launched 4C, a biennial competition to help students explore solutions to daunting public issues. The 2019 topic was food insecurity and the 2021 topic was political polarization. We are launching the Redesigning Democracy Student Competition in 2023 to help students examine one component of our democracy and propose ideas to improve or enhance it. 


Learn more: 

  • Community Change Collegiate Challenge (4C)
  • Redesigning Democracy Student Competition (coming in Spring 2023)


Information Literacy 

Coming Soon!


Previous Civic and Political Engagement Initiatives

2020 Census Mobilization

As part of our efforts to strengthen democracy, NC Campus Compact helped mobilize our member institutions to ensure a complete 2020 Census count in North Carolina. We provided information and funding to support this work throughout the state.  

In partnership with the NC Counts Coalition, we also sponsored Census Fellows at 11 member colleges and universities. The Fellows targeted communities historically identified as hard-to-count communities to ensure they have the information they need to complete and submit their Census form. This program complemented the state-wide efforts of the NC Complete Count Commission and the NC Counts Coalition.

We also partnered with the NC Counts Coalition to sponsor the #MakeNCCount Video Contest. These videos, targeting college students, provide information about the census in creative and fun ways. There were two categories for contest submissions: Informational and Inspirational. Each winner received a cash prize.

The winners were:

  • 1st place Informational category: Deja Mayfield, North Carolina A&T State University
  • 2nd place Informational category: Love Cesar, NC A & T State University
  • Inspirational category winner: Lauren Bagby, Winston-Salem State University

Featured Civic and Political Engagement Media

2021 SLSV PEG Roll Call 


NCCE was invited to create the North Carolina video featured during the state roll call that occurred at the opening of the 2021 SLSV Post-Election Gathering (PEG).Thanks to the following campuses that participated: Davidson-Davie Community College, Elizabeth City State University, Meredith College, NC A & T State University, UNC Asheville, UNC Charlotte, UNC Wilmington, and Wake Forest University. 


NC portion only:

Full State Roll Call:

2020 WEINSPIRE Podcast Featuring NCCE

According to their website, WeINSPIRE began in 2014 as one day dedicated to spreading positivity and inspiration to people all over America. Today, it has grown into a worldwide community powered by people doing good, for people seeking joy. This organization was founded by NCCE AmeriCorps VISTA alum, Jamarl Clark. In October 2020, Executive Director, Leslie Garvin, spoke on the WeINSPIRE podcast about NCCE’s political engagement work.