SENCER-ISE is an outgrowth of the signature program of the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement, SENCER (Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities). SENCER’s primary focus is the improvement of undergraduate teaching and learning through the framework of civic engagement.

In March 2011, with funding from the NSF (DRL1001795) and the Noyce Foundation, the National Center convened an invitational conference with participants from the SENCER higher education community and informal science educators from 19 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, Chile and Israel. Participants discussed the feasibility of forming long-term partnerships over issues of civic consequence and agreed that there was a continued need for both sectors to build an awareness of the benefit of using civic engagement as a framework to advance science understanding. Conference proceedings, an executive summary, and an evaluation of the conference by Randi Korn & Associates are available online.  We are continuing these efforts through the Civic Engagement Partnership Support Awards program.