September 26, 2018 | Bringing It #1

Dear friends of BTtoP,

Welcome to the first number of “Bringing It,” our new, biweekly letter to the BTtoP community. You may have noticed that since the summer, we’ve been sending you regular communications: David’s “call to community,” the announcement of our Advisory Board, a notice honoring our late friend and colleague Lee Knefelkamp, and the Survey Monkey questionnaire. (By the way, nearly fifty of you filled out the feedback survey, for which many thanks; click here to add your voice.)

Alongside our triannual Newsletter, Bringing It will provide you with shorter, more frequent, less formal opportunities to hear from us and from one another. It will offer a flexible mix of information about BTtoP programs, links to resources, news of partners and projects, and (we hope) your own brief posts and thoughts. Eventually we want to grow Bringing It into a full-scale, digital platform, a place to think, work, and argue together.

But for now, Bringing It #1 comes with an offering and two announcements.

The offering is a sampler of sixteen pieces from past publications of BTtoP. Since 2011, we’ve published seven books, from Transforming Undergraduate Education: Theory That Compels and Practices That Succeed (2011) through the five volumes of our Civic Series (2012-2014) to Well-Being and Higher Education: A Strategy For Change and the Realization of Education’s Greater Purposes (2016). We’ve also co-sponsored special issues of the AAC&U journals Peer Review, Liberal Education, and Diversity & Democracy. All in all, Bringing Theory to Practice has published more than 120 articles—essays, case studies, research, reflections—exploring our mission, values, and projects. We’re proud of the depth, range, and influence of these writings, and we wanted to point you back to them.

This sampler is by no means a “greatest hits” compilation. We could have included any of the pieces from our library—and we will include others in future offerings. Here we simply wanted to offer a smorgasbord of themes and approaches from all of our books and to invite you to explore further in each of them. Clicking on each of the sixteen titles in the master list will send you to a pdf of that article. Clicking on the book title associated with each piece will take you to the Table of Contents for that volume. Please enjoy—and send us your thoughts.

In addition, here are two important announcements about timely civic engagement work from our partners:

  • Make sure to join the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ (AAC&U) webinar, “Civic Prompts in the Major: Disciplinary Knowledge, Democratic Culture, and the Public Good,” to be held on Tuesday, October 16th at 1:00 PM EDT. Moderated by AAC&U Senior Scholar (and BTtoP Board member) Caryn McTighe Musil, the webinar will address the designing of democratic engagement pathways in students’ specialized fields of study. Caryn will be joined by three colleagues leading civic-pathways initiatives on their own campuses: Anita Tesh of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Cindy Koenig Richards of Willamette University; and Douglas Crews of The Ohio State University. Click here to register: free for AAC&U members and $100 for non-members.
  • Check out Election Imperatives, a partnership between the Institute for Democracy in Higher Education at Tufts University and a coalition of national civic-engagement partners, including BTtoP. Prompted by low student voter turnout during the 2014 midterm elections, IDHE has committed years of research to developing ten implementable recommendations meant to “increase college student voting and improve political learning and engagement in democracy.” In advance of the 2018 midterms, there is still time to create programming that fosters student and campus involvement. The Election Imperatives website and resources can help.

As always, we invite you to send us your thoughts and any suggestions for future Bringing It letters.

All best,

Caitlin, Mercedes, and David