University of Nevada, Reno- Reno, Nevada

iLEAD Nevada: Focus on Entry Level Civic Engagement Pathways

Civic Action as lifelong practice: The capacity and commitment both to participate constructively with diverse others and to work collectively to address common problems; the practice of working in a pluralistic society and world to improve the quality of people's lives and the sustainability of the planet; the ability to analyze systems in order to plan and engage in public action; the moral and political courage to take risks to achieve a greater public good. (CLDE Meeting 2017 Call For Proposal)

The Center for Student Engagement at the University of Nevada, Reno is committed to civic engagement efforts that support the teaching and learning mission of the University through the co-creation and application of knowledge/action by students, community partners, service recipients and the university and through democratic processes that lead to self-governance.

Branded as the iLead initiative, our office promotes entry-level civic pathways for our first year students that include volunteer opportunities for students to engage in episodic volunteerism to encourage a more expansive view of community.  Students are introduced to the democratic process through encouragement to run for office, registering to vote, and engagement in public discourse.  In doing so, we encourage a connection between the individual and decision-making processes that impact the quality of life of the larger community.

By exposing our students upon arrival to a campus culture of civic learning and democratic engagement, we influence habitus -the future shared student lived experience, memories and expectations.  Providing immediate civic pathways that clearly articulate expectation and broaden student lived experiences we connect institutional structure and student agency in social and community interaction to produce a conscious action during the undergraduate years.

These entry-level civic pathways made available to incoming first year students encourage a long-term commitment to responsible citizenship.


The Center for Student Engagement has collaborated with an online system for students to find open volunteer opportunities in the community. GivePulse connects students, faculty, staff and community partners. Organizations on and off campus can post their upcoming volunteer opportunities where individuals (or other groups) can find them and sign up to participate. Additionally, individuals and groups who volunteer in posted opportunities can track their impact and recruit others. 


  1. Play video for all first year students during orientation
  2. Engage new student orientation guides, residential hall assistants, student government, student employees and club presidents on our model and shared language
  3. Paint the N - tradition for every first year student placed on GivePulse
  4. 100 hour challenge t-shirts & certificates
  5. Reiterate value volunteerism and self-governance during ACE 100 courses for first year students
  6. Court Ordered Community Service for MIP's and MIC's through local court system in the city
  7. 25- Passenger shuttle bus for free transportation to civic and community engagement projects

Democratic Engagement:

The Center for Student Engagement manages student elections on WebCampus (Canvas) and is working with the local voters office to promote local, state and national elections.


  1. Student Elections are a permanent part of 1st year student calendar with a student internship program
  2. Educate and encourage voting in all state, local, national and student elections. Early voting takes place in the student union
  3. Create programs that inform students about running for student government office such as Elect Her
  4. Work with our local voters registration office and school district to create a high school voter registration drives
  5. Student elections unfold on WebCampus therefore the "class" automatically appears in all undergraduate student portals
  6. Reiterate the value of volunteerism and self-governance during ACE 100 courses for first year students


Bourdieu, P. (1986). The Forms of Capital. In handbook of theory and research for the sociology of education. Edited by: Richardson J.  

Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and education.  

Ritzer, G., & Stepnisky, J. (2017). Modern sociological theory. SAGE Publications.

CLDE Framework at the University of Nevada, Reno

Student Engagement Model

Core Theme 1: Engagement Metrics For Accreditation

Civic Engagement Logic Model

Shared Language and Definitions for CLDE 

Campus Wide Assessment/data


Student Self Governance