MACC and CIRCLE Offer Campus Voting Data

MACC is partnering with the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement’s (CIRCLE’s) National Study on Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE). Through this partnership, MACC members can receive free information about campus registration and voting rates. More than 260 campuses have already signed up by simply signing one form (there are no surveys).

After signing up, campuses will receive a confidential and individual report with their registration and voting rates as well as how these rates break down by field of study, class level, age, gender. To check out a sample of this report, click here.

What are campuses doing with this data?

  • Adding it to their Carnegie Community Engagement Classification application.
  • Using this information as a baseline assessment for community, service-learning and civic programming.
  • Bringing this information to their student government and using it as a conversation starter for talks about civic engagement on campus.
  • Comparing their voting rates with their peers by Institutional Carnegie Classification.
  • If enough Massachusetts campuses sign up, campuses can receive information about their voting rates in comparison to the other campuses in the state.

What’s the process?

  1. Your institution sends student enrollment data to the Clearinghouse regularly (without participating in this study).
  2. Your institution signs up for NSLVE by signing an authorization form (click here to access).
  3. Signing this authorization form allows the Clearinghouse to match your institution’s student enrollment data (already in their possession) with publicly available voting records.
  4. Once this match is made, de-identified student voting data is sent to us at CIRCLE, the matched information is destroyed and never analyzed by any individual.
  5. CIRCLE cleans the data and generates a tailored report for your institution.
  6. Your institution is then enrolled in the study until 2018 and will receive reports regularly for every upcoming general election and presidential election.

What about student privacy?

  • The study is in compliance with FERPA (click here to learn more).
  • CIRCLE only receives de-identified student data. This means that if you have one student from Alaska attending your institution, the clearinghouse will not send us this student’s information to ensure students are not identified
  • Of the 260 campuses that participated in the first round, many brought the NSLVE to in-house attorneys to ensure that privacy laws were being upheld. In each case, the campus signed the next day.

How to sign up:

  1. Download the authorization form here.
  2. Sign the form (Form must be signed by a President, Vice-President, Provost, Chief Enrollment Officer or Director of Institutional Researcher)
  3. Send a scanned copy to charlotte.ringle@tufts.edu by April 14, 2014.

If you need to know more, here’s an FAQ on NSLVE. Questions? Join a call-in information session: check here for dates, times, and signup, or contact Margaret Brower at margaret.brower@tufts.edu.