Civic Engagement in South Dakota High Schools

Document Type


Publication Date



Political Science


The youth population of the United States has one of the most unique and important voices in this country; however, they often do not provide their input through certain civic acts like voting. Specifically, in South Dakota, the number of those age 18-24 is substantially larger than those within that age range who are registered to vote. Many wonder why the younger generations are not voting across the nation, but there is a theory that may explain this exact phenomenon. High school students in the state of South Dakota make up a vulnerable population because of their age and their available mental capacity. High school is one of the most important and influential times in an individual's life, especially when it comes to civic engagement. Research has shown that the earlier individuals get involved in the political process such as voting, the more engaged they are in the future politics of the United States. This study has been created to measure the amount of civic engagements that are available at the different school districts across the state of South Dakota and compare those results to the impact it has had on South Dakota high school graduates further in life. The purpose of this study is to measure the effect that civic engagement in South Dakota high schools will have on high school graduates to see if there is a correlation between those who were given the opportunity to civically engage in high school and those who civically engage later down the road.

First Advisor

Shane Nordyke

Second Advisor

Julia Hellwege

Research Area

Political Science

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