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ERIC Number: ED494028
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Oct
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Civic Engagement among 2-Year and 4-Year College Students. Fact Sheet
Lopez, Mark Hugo; Brown, Benjamin
Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), University of Maryland
There is a strong link in the United States between education and political and civic participation, though little data exists focusing on the large group of Americans who study in community colleges, either finishing their education with associates' degrees or moving on to bachelor's degree programs. This fact sheet uses one relatively recent dataset to look closely at community college students. It uses the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS:88). NELS:88 provides a nationally representative large sample of young people who were 8th graders in 1988 and followed up subsequently in 1990, 1992 (when they were high school seniors), 1994, and 2000 (at the age of 26). While this is not a recent dataset (young people in this data collection were in college in the mid 1990s), it does provide a detailed account of the post-secondary experiences of students. It offers information on three main forms of engagement: voting, volunteering, and following the news. Findings include: (1) Those who have attended 4-year institutions report higher levels of volunteering in both 1994 and 2000 than young people with other college experiences--Those with no college experience also reported volunteering, but at rates that are lower than either group that attended college; (2) Across all groups, there is a high-level self-reported voter registration that appears to be higher than that observed in the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey November Supplements in 1994 and 2000--Self-reported levels of voter registration may be inflated, but some differences are again evident across young people by the type of institution they attended; (3) Newspaper consumption, regardless of the post-secondary experience of a young person, is low--On average, 27 percent of young people reported that they read a newspaper or magazine daily in 2000. However, some significant differences in daily television news viewership are evident. Those with no college experience report the highest levels of daily television news watching in 2000, while those with the greatest level of college exposure report the lowest levels of television news viewership. (Contains 4 endnotes, 3 table, and 4 figures.) [This Fact Sheet was produced by CIRCLE (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement).]
The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). University of Maryland, School of Public Policy, 2101 Van Munching Hall, College Park, MD 20742. Tel: 301-405-2790; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A