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The Goal

The Civic Engagement, Family, and Community Policy program provides resources for community leaders and policy makers with the goal of enhancing civic engagement and strengthening families and communities. 


Our mission is to help strengthen families and communities across Oklahoma by empowering people to address the most pressing issues facing families through civic engagement programming, and by facilitating collaboration with leaders on the implementation of proposed solutions.


Civic engagement and strong democratic institutions are essential to creating communities that meet the needs of the people who live there. Extension programs are enhancing opportunities to involve all stakeholders in self-governance. In these programs, participants develop:

  • civic skills
  • learn effective methods of civic engagement
  • become active in their communities through working on community projects

Cooperative Extension programs partner with various cross-sector community groups to foster the development of informed and engaged citizens, and to adopt democratic approaches to community problem solving.


Public Deliberation

One strategy we believe in for helping communities to identify goals and take action is public deliberation. Public deliberation is a means by which citizens make tough choices about basic purposes and directions for their communities and their country – it is a way of reasoning and talking. Public deliberation helps participants explore policy options, weigh other people's views, consider the costs and consequences of various alternatives, and provide meaningful input into decisions on family and community issues.


What is a Community?

Our definition of a community includes a wide variety of groups – from a small member-run organization, to a neighborhood or small town, to entire regions of the country. All communities can benefit from leaders who serve their members in a constructive and ethical way. Everyone has something to contribute to a community.


Family Impact Seminars

Oklahoma State University is the sole provider of Family Impact Seminars for the state of Oklahoma. As such we are part of a network headquartered at the Family Impact Institute located at Purdue University. The ultimate goal of family impact seminars if to use research to build better public policies for families.



Dr. Stout teaches workshops on such topics as:

  • Public Deliberation
  • Community Social Capital and Civic Engagement
  • Communicating and Collaborating with Elected Officials
  • Nonprofit Data Collection and Program Evaluation
  • Data-Informed Decision Making
  • Family Impact Seminars for Policymakers
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