This spring North Carolina Campus Compact offered two trainings to develop moderators of deliberative dialogues. Deliberative dialogue is a technique used by the National Issues Forums Institute (www.nifi.org) to explore diverse views and experiences related to a specific issue.
The trainings were offered to member institutions as follow-up to a deliberative dialogue integrated into the February 12 Civic Engagement Institute. “Shaping Our Future: How Should Higher Education Help Us Create the Society We Want?” was facilitated at the Institute by NIFI President, William Muse, and Wake Forest University professors Katy Harriger and Jill McMillan.
An April 24 training was held in partnership with Warren Wilson College’s Environmental Leadership Center, and a May 10 training was held in partnership with Elon University’s Division of Student Life, Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning and Office of Leadership and Professional Development at Elon University. Trainers included Harriger and McMillan, as well as Wake Forest Professor John Llewellyn. All told, nearly 100 students, faculty, staff, administrators, and community partners from 12 campuses participated in the two events.
Feedback from participants was positive, and several faculty now plan to integrate deliberative dialogues into their academic courses. At least two campuses are planning to host their own dialogues, with one creating a committee to frame the dialogue around current campus issues. Other campuses expect to host a dialogue using NIFI-prepared framings.
NC Campus Compact plans to offer more deliberative dialogue trainings in future. In addition, participants of our recent trainings will have a chance to meet again to share their progress and connect with deliberative dialogue experts at the 2014 Pathways to Achieving Civic Engagement conference.