Northeastern University Launches Free Nonpartisan “U.S. Political Conventions & Campaigns” Online Course Module

New Web Resource Gives Voters In-Depth Look at American Political System

August 21, 2012

Campaign websiteBOSTON--Northeastern University today announced the launch of a new educational website and course module, "U.S. Political Conventions & Campaigns," designed to fuel excitement and understanding around the current presidential campaign and upcoming national political conventions in Tampa and Charlotte. Northeastern faculty developed the nonpartisan website with original video content and an open online course module for teachers, students and the general public. Each module offers rich, high-quality content that will help educate voters surrounding the processes, players and history of U.S. presidential campaigns and convention practices that have transpired over the last 50 years.


"For those teachers who are interested in online teaching, these open course modules are a chance to dip their toes in the waters of online instruction."

"The idea began in a discussion with faculty about the Democratic National Convention coming to Charlotte, the site of Northeastern's first new graduate campus, and the exciting opportunity for the young people of North Carolina to learn about conventions and politics at close range," explained John LaBrie, dean of the College of Professional Studies and vice president for professional education. "Our faculty developed this from an idea into a powerful educational tool that demonstrates Northeastern's commitment to the next generation of voters and their teachers, in North Carolina and across the country."

The website showcases in-depth interviews with more than 20 political insiders who provide candid perspectives rarely shared in modern political culture. Designed to show a new generation of voters how conventions, campaigns, and politics really work, the site highlights bipartisan insights from across the political spectrum from people such as Richard Tisei, a 1980 Reagan youth delegate and current Republican candidate for Congress in Massachusetts; Thalia Schlesinger, a 2008 Obama delegate; Richard Counts, a 2012 Romney delegate; and Michael Dukakis, former Massachusetts Governor and the 1988 Democratic nominee for President.

"We created the website and open course modules to inspire current and future voters, so they can understand the entire campaign process, today, in the context of its history," said Daniel Urman, J.D., a Northeastern University College of Professional Studies faculty member who runs the Law & Policy Doctorate program. "As teachers and college instructors look for ways to engage with, and educate, the new generation of voters, they seek interactive lesson plans that help students learn in a multi-faceted way. The overwhelming need for more engaging and compelling educational tools to explain political processes is at the heart of the 'Conventions & Campaigns' site."

Captivating and fun for students, the new site aims to inspire younger audiences to want to learn more about conventions and campaigns so they can make more informed, active decisions surrounding the pivotal election process.

"With all the buzz about open online courses for university students, this is a rare instance of open online course modules designed specifically with the high school student in mind," said Shaunna Harrington, Senior Fellow for Curriculum and Instruction at Northeastern University Graduate School of Education in the College of Professional Studies. "For those teachers who are interested in online teaching, these open course modules are a chance to dip their toes in the waters of online instruction."

Available 24/7 online, the premier course content is open to the public and any interested students seeking to experience 'straight talk' about conventions and campaigns in the context of political, historical, financial and current events. In addition, the fully-integrated Pearson OpenClass online courseware will be available to high school and introductory college teachers and instructors beginning August 27.

About Northeastern University

Founded in 1898, Northeastern is a comprehensive, global research university. The university offers more than 80 undergraduate majors and more than 165 graduate programs, ranging from professional master's degrees to interdisciplinary PhD programs. Northeastern's research enterprise is aligned with three national imperatives: health, security and sustainability. Northeastern students participate in co-op and other forms of experiential learning in 90 countries on all seven continents.

About Northeastern University College of Professional Studies

The College of Professional Studies (CPS) is committed to providing career-focused educational programs that are designed to accommodate the complex lives of motivated learners. Offered in a variety of innovative formats, CPS courses are taught by accomplished scholars and practitioners who have real-world experience. The result is an educational experience founded on proven scholarship, strengthened with practical application, and sustained by academic excellence. More information may be found at