Program Overview

What is Global Learning?

The Association of American Colleges and Universities defines global learning as “courses and programs that help students explore cultures, life experiences, and worldviews different from their own. These studies—which may address U.S. diversity, world cultures, or both—often explore 'difficult differences' such as racial, ethnic, and gender inequality, or continuing struggles around the globe for human rights, freedom, and power. Frequently, intercultural studies are augmented by experiential learning in the community and/or by study abroad."

What is Service Learning?

The university defines service-learning as “fundamentally an academic endeavor in which service is an integrated component of a course. It is a credit-bearing, experiential education approach that involves an established community partnership guided by the expertise of professors and community-based practitioners, working together with students to address community needs. The partnerships between Elon and the community engage students in service primarily with nonprofit organizations, schools and government agencies.

Elon University affirms the importance of engaged pedagogies as a foundation of our curriculum that advances our goal of developing global citizens and informed leaders. Toward this end, Academic Service-Learning courses contribute to a variety of personal, cognitive and social outcomes including enhanced self-awareness, improved critical thinking, and an increased understanding of social responsibility, diversity and societal structures.” 

Not all Global Learning Opportunities (GLO) will meet the university's definition of service-learning. For example, a GLO Clinical Education  may not occur primarily with a nonprofit, school or government agency nor will some GLO Volunteer experiences  be part of a credit bearing course. However, with the intention to create DPT and PA globally engaged learners through evidence-based "high impact” educational processes described by Elon’s Center for Engaged Learning, the SoHS views GLOs as very beneficial.

The Association of American Colleges and Universities defines service learning and community-based learning collectively as "field-based ‘experiential learning’ with community partners as an instructional strategy—and often a required part of the course. The idea is to give students direct experience with issues they are studying in the curriculum and with ongoing efforts to analyze and solve problems in the community. A key element in these programs is the opportunity students have to both apply what they are learning in real-world settings and reflect in a classroom setting on their service experiences. These programs model the idea that giving something back to the community is an important college outcome, and that working with community partners is good preparation for citizenship, work, and life.”