College Hosts Gathering to Discuss New Civic Education Effort

June 30, 2022

New York State Seal of Civic Readiness conference

Hudson Valley Community College hosted representatives from nearly 20 school districts and seven local colleges and universities on Thursday, June 30 to discuss the New York State Seal of Civic Readiness, a new effort by the State Education Department to foster meaningful civic engagement among students.

The Seal of Civic Readiness curriculum was piloted this year in about 100 school districts across the state, including Shenendehowa, Greenwich and Ballston Spa. The guiding principle is to develop knowledge and build passion among young people on how they can engage with and make a difference in their communities.

The conference that was held the Bulmer Telecommunications Center this week, “Creating Opportunities for Civic Learning,” is a way to bring together teachers from school districts in the greater Capital Region with faculty and staff at the area’s colleges and universities who are working in civic engagement.

“We’re trying to maximize community engagement opportunities for students, and we hosted this conference to allow educators to come together, learn about this new initiative and network to see how we can enhance civic learning,” said Peter Sawyer, a professor at Hudson Valley, who has been at the forefront of the college’s efforts to embrace service learning and civic engagement. “The hope is that secondary school teachers and college staff and faculty can build networks around civic learning that can bridge high schools and colleges.”

According to the State Education Department, the Seal of Civic Readiness distinction on a high school transcript shows the student’s understanding of a commitment to participatory government; civic responsibility and civic values; demonstrates to universities, colleges, and future employers that the student has completed an action project in civics or social justice; and recognizes the value of civic engagement and scholarship.

For additional information, contact Professor Peter Sawyer at or (518) 629-4737.

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