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NKU Joins Two National Initiatives to Boost Civic Engagement, Financial Literacy

Northern Kentucky University will participate in two initiatives by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) designed to improve civic engagement and economic literacy among students, and to build campus-community partnerships.

Both year-long initiatives involve hundreds of colleges and universities sharing resources across the nation, an announcement said. 

One program, Re-Imagining Campus–Community Partnerships, will help colleges and universities deepen their engagement work with community partners, especially 
during ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the announcement said.

The initiative will identify engagement trends and patterns and allow to NKU learn from other institutions and share our most impactful  community engagement practices, unique educational goals as well as common objectives across participating institutions, the school said.

“This past year, we saw tremendous change with how citizens interact and become  civically engaged in their communities,” said Samantha Langley, vice provost for  graduate education, research and outreach. “It's important for us to take a deep dive into how civic engagement has changed within the past year to help us deepen and 
strengthen our regional engagement.”

In the second initiative, the Economic Literacy Project, NKU will work with other colleges to improve students' knowledge of the United States National Debt, fiscal policy and financial literacy. 

“Helping students understand the importance of money and finances is incredibly vital to  their societal roles after graduation,” said Dr. Abdullah Al-Bahrani, NKU economics professor at the Haile College of Business. “From understanding their personal budgets  to the fiscal policy of the United States, finances play a huge role in everyday life.”

NKU President Ashish Vaidya has been a long-standing and active member of AASCU. In addition to being appointed to AASCU’s board of directors, he also serves on the association’s committee on workforce and economic development and has also chaired its engagement and research council. Vaidya represented NKU at AASCU’s annual meeting in 2018, where he joined the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Keeping the Promise of Public Higher ED” podcast.

-Staff report