Elon University Experiential Learning Requirements: Internships, Study Abroad/Study USA, Research, Service-Learning, Leadership

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 internstudying 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.

Two units of experiential learning are required to fulfill this requirement. Units may be obtained in the following ways:

Global Engagement (Study Abroad/Study USA)

A student may satisfy Elon’s ELR through participation in global engagement in the following ways as articulated in the Elon University Academic Catalog:

Study Abroad / Study USA

  • 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.

Undergraduate Research

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 498 or 499) = 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.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Sophomore, junior, or senior standing
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Approval of faculty mentor and department chair

Internships

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

Internship

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.

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.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Minimum 2.0 GPA
  • Completion of departmental prerequisites
  • Approval by Faculty Mentor/Internship Director

Academic Service-Learning

  • Designated service-learning course = 1 unit or 4 credit hours
  • Pre-approved service-learning experience mentored by the Kernodle Center = 1-2 units (40+ hours per unit)

Direct Service

The Elon University Academic Service-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. Students participating in a one-credit Alternative Break Course are required to volunteer with a local community agency related to the issue topic that they will focus on during their Alternative Break in order to receive ELR credit.

Service-Learning Workbook

The committee recommends that students completing the service-learning 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.

Academic Service-Learning Designated Courses

For class-based (project-based) courses, in order to receive Service-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.

Leadership

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.