Setting the PACE: An Assessment of Political Engagement and Motivations Among Students at Indiana University

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Elliott Beach
Ryan Carlberg
Abigail Gschwend Harris
Jacob Henry
Shelby Kuepker

Abstract

In the months leading up to the 2020 U.S. presidential election, researchers surveyed IU students in the Political and Civic Engagement (PACE) certificate program in order to understand how PACE students were engaged politically, what motivated them to engage politically, and how those motivations were shaped by the changing political landscape. Using primarily quantitative methods, researchers utilized Cabrera et al.’s (2017) ten student activism and engagement premises as a foundation for their research. Researchers further worked to establish a spectrum of political engagement which ranged from slacktivism to activism, a scale that became more evident and applicable throughout the analysis. Through both a quantitative and qualitative analysis, researchers found that there was not a strong connection between the years of involvement in the PACE program and the number of ways a student is politically engaged. Additionally, researchers found that there was a wide array of motivations for students joining the PACE program which could be leveraged by PACE administrators in programming or curriculum. Our findings revealed that PACE students are very altruistic in their vision and hopes for society.

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How to Cite
Beach, E., Carlberg, R., Gschwend Harris, A., Henry, J., & Kuepker, S. (2021). Setting the PACE: An Assessment of Political Engagement and Motivations Among Students at Indiana University. Journal of the Student Personnel Association at Indiana University, 53–67. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/jiuspa/article/view/32519
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