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Civic Engagement Competency 2018-2019

Institutional Research and Analytics coordinated an assessment of undergraduate civic engagement competency in 2018-19. A faculty committee composed of representatives of the undergraduate schools wrote the definition, learning outcomes and standards for the assessment.

Civic Engagement Report (Opens PDF)


Students who are competent in civic engagement demonstrate a combination of knowledge, skills, values, motivation and habits to make a difference in the civic life of their communities. They work to promote quality of life in their communities through political and non-political processes.
(adapted from Civic Responsibility and Higher Education and AAC&U, Civic Engagement VALUE Rubric)

Student Learning Outcomes

A graduating fourth-year undergraduate at the University of Virginia will be able to:

  • Articulate their commitment to civic and social responsibility 
  • Understand the conditions that foster or undermine healthy societies
  • Seek, analyze and evaluate different points of view about civic issues
  • Demonstrate openness and curiosity about others, and empathy and humility when working with different people and communities
  • Work constructively with community partners to address important civic issues


The following standards have been established for graduating fourth-years:

  • 25% of undergraduates are expected to be highly competent;
  • 75% competent or above;
  • 90% minimally competent or above


Assessment Instruments
Primary sources include:

  • The CIRP Freshman Survey, administered by the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, provided information on incoming first-year students’ attitudes, values, aspirations, and experiences in 2016. UVA students’ responses were compared with those from 16,622 incoming first-year students at five other selective public universities. All incoming first-year students were invited to complete the CIRP Freshman Survey.  Of these, 1354 responded. 
  • The Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) survey asked undergraduate students in 2018 about the full range of their experiences in college. A research consortium of AAU institutions manages and administers the survey.  All undergraduate students were invited to complete the SERU survey. 3551 responded.
  • The Civic Engagement Survey, designed by IRA and the faculty committee specifically for this assessment at UVA in 2019, asked fourth-year students about their confidence and participation in civic and community endeavors. Some questions originated in the CIRP Freshman Survey (*) and the SERU survey (**) and were used with permission. All fourth-year students were invited to complete this survey. 980 responded.
  • The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) provides colleges and universities with information on rates of student registration and voting in federal elections from 2012 through 2018. NSLVE monitors federal election voting by all voting-eligible students at UVA
  • Instructors in a set of community-engaged and topical courses in spring 2019 assessed students’ knowledge and skills.

Committee Members

  • Colin Bird, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Brad Brown, McIntire School of Commerce
  • Camille Burnett, School of Nursing
  • Rose Cole, Student Affairs
  • Rebecca Coleman, Library
  • Christopher Colvin, Public Health Sciences
  • Nancy Deutsch, School of Education and Human Development
  • Frank Dukes,  
  • Bonnie Gordon, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Sally Hudson, Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy
  • Hannah Koizumi, student
  • Melissa Levy, School of Education and Human Development
  • Andrew Mondschein, School of Architecture
  • Suzanne Moomaw, School of Architecture
  • Kay Neeley, School of Engineering and Applied Science