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The School of Civic Life and Leadership (SCiLL) provides an interdisciplinary home specifically for the study and practice of public discourse, civic life, and civic leadership. SCiLL provides students a grounding in the foundations and current state of American political experience and democracy. A wide range of courses build on this foundation to encourage thoughtful engagement with democracy and civility through a variety of disciplines. Students gain important skills for civil discourse on difficult issues, as well as increased scientific literacy. SCiLL hosts, supports and researches difficult and important conversations for the benefit of the campus, community, and broader public.

SCiLL’s Mission

  • Outward-facing. SCiLL builds on the acclaimed Program for Public Discourse‚Äôs model for showcasing and encouraging public discourse.
  • Campus-facing. SCiLL fosters skills and techniques essential to civic engagement and leadership, including oral presentation, resolution of misunderstanding, understanding scientific claims and navigating challenging conversations for faculty and students.
  • Student-facing. SCiLL’s interdisciplinary curriculum is designed by SCiLL faculty and fits the IDEAs in Action curriculum. The course list will continue to grow and include faculty from all parts of campus.
  • Faculty and Visiting Scholar focused. SCiLL hosts a high-profile fellows program for semester-long conversations on challenging topics with multiple, even contentious, perspectives.
closeup of the Old Well