Elon University is a national leader in Civic Engagement, serving as one of the model campuses for the Carnegie Classification on Civic Engagement and being recognized as one of the nation’s top three universities for community service by earning a Presidential Award in the first President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.  Elon’s civic engagement programs include the Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement, Periclean Scholars, Civic Engagement Scholars, the Center for Leadership, the National Campaign for Student Political and Civic Engagement, North Carolina Campus Compact, the Elon Academy, the Elon Poll, the Elon Environmental Center at Loy Farm, and the Elon Student Government Association

Elon University defines civic engagement as the process of learning about the assets, needs, and concerns of the larger communities of which we are a part and the willingness to collaborate with others to help define and achieve the common good.  This theme is central to the Elon University mission of preparing civically engaged graduates who are "global citizens and informed leaders motivated by a concern for the common good." As a university, we emphasize our responsibility to live in community, acknowledging our interdependency with others.

 Elon students, faculty, staff and alumni join in an intentional and progressive educational process to create a culture that:

  • Recognizes its responsibility, as a member of the larger community, to actively address social conditions through mutually beneficial and reciprocal relationships with community partners.
  • Offers opportunities and programs that deepen students' awareness and understanding of social and political issues and challenges students to develop a framework for responsible citizenship. 
  • Provides increasingly complex learning experiences that enhance the development of the skills needed to be effective citizens, including communication, collaboration, critical analysis, problem solving and leadership. 
  • Celebrates and rewards the accomplishments of students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners who demonstrate good citizenship, live lives of civic engagement and support the civic life and programs of the university.
In an effort to support faculty and staff who conduct scholarship in the areas of civic engagement and community based research, the following statement was developed by the Council on Civic Engagement on the Civically Engaged Scholar at Elon University. The Civically Engaged Teacher-Scholar: Council on Civic Engagement Position Statement