The Experiential Learning Requirement (ELR) prepares students for lives of meaningful work and service. By engaging students in opportunities that integrate knowledge and experience, the ELR fosters an understanding and life-long appreciation for learning. Students engage in a process that includes preparation, action, and reflection to develop the habits of mind required to learn effectively from experience and the commitment to put knowledge into action as responsible global citizens.
Students may complete this requirement by being an intern, studying abroad, (or through Study USA) conducting independent research, taking part in a service-learning project, or holding a mentored leadership position. For more information on each option, click on the links above to contact the respective office, or talk to an academic advisor.
Experiential Learning Shared Learning Goals: Communication, Critical Thinking
Two units of experiential learning are required to fulfill this requirement. Units may be obtained in the following ways:
A student may satisfy Elon’s ELR through participation in global engagement in the following ways as articulated in the Elon University Academic Catalog:
- Designated 4 credit hour Study Abroad/Study USA course = 1 unit
- Designated 8 or more credit hours of Study Abroad/Study USA = 2 units
A diverse range of Study Abroad/Study USA experiences is available through application in the Isabella Canon Global Education Center:
- Dual degree programs encompassing two years abroad,
- Semester- and year-long programs through approved affiliates and exchanges,
- Center-based semester programs with an Elon faculty member,
- On-campus semester courses with travel embedded (minimum of 45 instructional hours across the semester, including a minimum of 8 travel days),
- Cohort-based programs and open programs,
- Faculty-led short-term programs in winter and summer (minimum of 45 instructional hours across no fewer than 18 travel days),
- Other petitioned, individually vetted and specially approved curricular programs from accredited colleges or universities.
A student may satisfy Elon’s Experiential Learning Requirement through participation in mentored undergraduate research in the following ways as articulated in the Elon University Academic Catalog:
- Enroll in 1 credit hour of research (courses numbered 4988 or 4999) = 1 unit
- Elon’s Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) = 2 units
One semester hour of undergraduate research credit requires a minimum of 40 hours of work over a number of days appropriate to the specific research setting, to be determined by the faculty mentor. The length of the SURE program is 8 weeks in length and is non-credit hour bearing.
- Sophomore, junior, or senior standing
- Minimum 3.0 GPA
- Approval of faculty mentor and department chair
A student may satisfy Elon’s Experiential Learning Requirement through participation in a professional development experience in the following ways as articulated in the Elon University Academic Catalog:
- Internship – 1 credit hour of internship= 1 unit
- Individual Professional Development Workbook- 40 hours= 1 unit
For students in the College of Arts and Sciences, one semester hour of internship credit requires a minimum of 40 hours of work over a number of days appropriate to the specific internship setting to be determined by the faculty mentor in collaboration with the on-site supervisor. For students in the Love School of Business and School of Communications, one semester hour of internship credit requires a minimum of 80 hours of work at the internship.
Individualized Professional Development Experience Workbook
These are non-credit bearing experiences with 40 hours equating to 1 unit that take place in a professional workplace. The number of hours per day is determined by the staff supervisor in conjunction with the on-site supervisor.
- Minimum 2.0 GPA
- Completion of departmental prerequisites
- Approval by Faculty Mentor/Internship Director
The university does not award retroactive credit. Students must be registered for academic credit or ELR units at the time they are working their internship hours.
Service (Community-Based Learning)
- Designated community-based learning course = 1 unit or 4 credit hours
- Pre-approved service or civic engagement experience mentored by the Kernodle Center = 1-2 units (40+ hours per unit)
The Elon University Community-Based Learning Faculty Advisory Committee requires a minimum of 15 days for students engaged in direct service. The number of hours per day is determined by the faculty mentor.
Service ELR Workbook
The committee recommends that students completing the service ELR workbook, have a minimum of 15 days of direct-service with one community partner. The number of hours per day are to be determined by the advisor and community partner.
Once the workbook is completed, the Director of the Kernodle Center reviews and evaluates the materials and decides if it meets the ELR requirements before submitting a pass/fail notification to the Registrar’s Office.
Community-Based Learning Designated Courses
For class-based (project-based) courses, in order to receive Community-Based Learning course designation and Experiential Learning Requirement credit, the project must engage students in at least 40 hours of experiential learning. For community-based courses, 40 hours are also required; it is recommended that 15 to 30 of these hours be completed through on-site, direct service.
Students engaged in project-based or indirect service work over a number of days to be determined by the faculty mentor.
A student may satisfy Elon’s Experiential Learning Requirement in Leadership in the following ways as articulated in the Elon University Academic Catalog:
- Taking a 4 credit hour course that has the Leadership ELR designation= 1 unit
- Completing a leadership experience that has been pre-approved by the Center for Leadership and mentored by the Center for Leadership or faculty/staff member = 1-2 units (40+ hours per unit)
- The Common Good (change maker) project. This involves a proposal and execution of a project that is advised/mentored by a faculty or staff member and at least 40 hours in planning and implementing the project.
- The Leadership ELR workbook. Students who complete the ELR workbook must have an approved leadership position*, a faculty/staff advisor through the process, and finish all assignments in a satisfactory manner as determined by the advisor and Director of the Center for Leadership.
One Leadership ELR credit requires a minimum of 40 hours of work over a number of days appropriate to the specific leadership role, to be determined by the Center for Leadership in collaboration with the leadership mentor.
* Approved leadership positions include a role/title within an organization, campus program, or classroom where the student has direct responsibility in the oversight of other peers or the execution of functions necessary for success in the context within which they are involved. The student must complete at least 40 hours within that role/title.
Other courses or experiences with ELR designation, approved by the Core Curriculum Council
Examples of ways a student could complete the ELR include the following:
• Two credits of internship or research (in one term or across two terms)
• Two winter term study abroad courses
• A semester study abroad program
• One community-based learning course and one credit of research
• One leadership experience and one credit of internship
• Many other combinations