Policy Documents

Enlightened Citizenship: How Civic Knowledge Trumps a College Degree in Promoting Active Civic Engagement

American Civic Literacy Project –
November 1, 2011

This fifth report of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s National Civic Literacy Board repeats its annual exam of 2,508 randomly selected U.S. adults on their civic knowledge and participation. Its major findings in 2011 were: A college degree fails to improve civic engagement beyond voting, greater civic knowledge promotes civic engagement more than a college degree, and civic self-education increases civic engagement, while video games detract. It concludes that studying U.S. history and institutions is the best method to promote responsible citizenship.