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Association of College and University Educators
Private Higher Education
Date Approved

Higher education’s service to democracy depends on civil discourse. As pragmatist Richard Rorty argued: discussing important matters, with reasons that justify beliefs, mindful of fallibility, to persuade others and expand our deliberative community, pretty much is the democratic project (Pragmatism as Anti-Authoritarianism, 59). A college education, if nothing else, must model these deliberative norms, among educators creating conditions necessary for civil dialogue. ACUE proposes a first-of-its-kind Civil Discourse course and credential to strengthen faculty, staff, and students’ ability to engage in civil deliberation. Developed with experts and private and other colleges, a pilot will reach ~300 faculty and ~36,000 students. An evaluation is expected to show: credential holders better engage in deliberative skills that colleges and the country need. ACUE is uniquely positioned to lead this work. Nationwide, 33,000 educators have earned ACUE certificates in effective instruction through demanding online courses. Studies show: ACUE faculty are more purposeful teachers; their students learn more, more equitably. ACUE counts hundreds of institutions as partners. Initiatives with CIC, NASH, and TMCF, funded by Carnegie, Strada, Gates, and others, take our impact to scale.