Leadership: Wyoming

The 14-week Gap Experience begins with three and a half weeks at the National Outdoor Leadership School in Lander, Wyoming. Students explore the wilderness while camping, refining leadership skills, and examining environmental ethics.


Leadership: Wyoming

Gap students earn four credit hours: two credits in Natural Resrouces Learning and two credits in Wilderness Studies during their National Outdoor Leadership School expedition. Credits for NOLS will be granted through the University of Utah.


Service-Learning: South Dakota

The Gap Experience continues with four weeks of service-learning at locations across the country. Begin by traveling to Eagle Butte, South Dakota to learn about the Oglala Lakota tribe and serve on the Cheyenne River Reservation.


Service-Learning: Missouri

The second week of the service-learning experience takes students to Gateway Greening in St. Louis, Missouri where they focus on increasing access to fresh food for inner city neighborhoods.


Service-Learning: West Virginia

For the third week of the service-learning, we’ll travel to Mullens, West Virginia in the Appalachian Mountains. Here we’ll serve with the Rural Appalachian Improvement League, an organization dedicated to enacting positive social change for community members in the Southern West Virginia coalfields.


Service-Learning: North Carolina

The fourth week of service-learning brings students back to Alamance County, North Carolina where they’ll be able to connect what they’ve learned in South Dakota, Missouri, and West Virginia with social justice issues in the greater Elon community.


International: Spain

The Gap Experience concludes with six weeks in Spain. Students live with a local family while studying in Alicante. 


International: Spain

Students will earn four credit hours toward their Core Curriculum Requirements in Spain, two in Spanish Language and two in Spanish Culture and Society. All levels of Spanish language will be offered. 


Elon Gap Semester

 Academic Coursework

Students will earn nine credits during the Elon Gap Experience. The breakdown of academic credits earned is listed below:

  • National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS): During NOLS, Gap students earn four credit hours: two credits in Natural Resources Learning and two credits in Wilderness Studies. Credits for NOLS will be granted through the University of Utah. Students will need to have their University of Utah transcripts sent to Elon after the completion of NOLS in order for the credits to transfer. Only grades of a C- or higher will transfer. These four credits can count toward the Society Core Curriculum Requirement or Civilization Core Curriculum Requirement, but not both. This choice is up to each student and will be discussed with their Academic Advisor.
  • Service-Learning: During service-learning, Gap students earn one credit hour in a Service-Learning & Communities course.  This course will also satisfy one of the two required units of Elon's Experiential Learning Requirement. The grade earned will count towards the students' Elon GPA.
  • Spain: During the study abroad portion of Gap, students earn four credit hours: two credits in Spanish Language and two credits in Culture & Society of Spain. All levels of Spanish language will be offered. At this time, the Spanish Language course does not count toward the Core Curriculum World Language Requirement. The grades earned will count towards the students' Elon GPA. These four credits count toward the Civilization Core Curriculum Requirement. 

Students who complete the Gap Experience also earn: 

  • Four academic credits toward the completion of the Adventure Based Learning minor. Students who decide to minor in Adventure Based Learning will receive academic credit toward the minor's course requirements for their completion of the National Outdoor Leadership school coursework.

  • 10 service hours that count toward the completion of the Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Program. All students who enroll in the LEAD Program, including Lateral Entry Leadership Fellows who join the program in January, are required to complete a minimum of 10 service hours in order to complete the first tier of the program. Gap's service-learning fulfills this requirement. 

  • 50 hours toward El Centro's travel program. Students who complete 140 Spanish-language hours in El Centro, Elon's Spanish language and culture center, over the course of 2 years can earn up to $650 toward a plane ticket to the Spanish-speaking country of their choice. They can use their ticket for spring break travel, a Winter Term course, or study abroad. Students can earn additional hours by joining El Centro's Spanish conversation classes, attending Spanish-language cultural events, and participating in Spanish-speaking service opportunities. 

Academic Restrictions

At this time the Elon Gap Experience is not compatible with requirements for recruited athletes, Bachelor of Fine Arts students and engineering students.