Patterns of college attendance are evolving as students seek to save costs, pursue online degree opportunities and find alternate routes to higher education. For example, more Elon students are entering the university with advanced placement college credits, and a greater percentage of our undergraduate students are planning to go immediately to graduate school. Students and their parents are expecting greater flexibility in their degree options, and The Elon Commitment features several initiatives to respond to those demands.
Through innovative 4+1 and 4+2 programs, Elon will provide attractive options for prospective students who wish to pursue two Elon degrees – a great undergraduate experience followed by a professional master’s degree. We already have a good model in place for this through our interactive media master’s program launched this year in the School of Communications.
In line with one of society’s greatest needs, Elon will investigate creating a School of Health Sciences, including a new physician assistant master’s degree. This school will provide great synergy with Elon’s existing health-related programs, including physical therapy and exercise science.
Elon will also expand its portfolio of graduate programs with one or two additional offerings, aligned with the university’s strengths and meeting the needs of today’s students, who understand that their career goals will require study at the graduate level.
We also understand that many young people want to spend time growing and maturing prior to their formal undergraduate studies, experiencing the world and reflecting on their life goals. Through an innovative gap-year experience, Elon will partner with students to defer traditional courses and participate in a semester or yearlong Elon service or internship experience. We believe this will be an attractive alternative for many students and a good fit with the university’s mission and strength in service and experiential learning.