Engaged Learning and Mentoring
BOLDLY ELON will magnify the transformative power of student- and learning-centered relationships. With Elon’s characteristic drive for continual improvement, we will deepen engaged learning, providing every student with access to high-impact experiences. Through a groundbreaking mentoring model, students will learn to build developmental networks that include peers, staff and faculty, as well as others beyond the university.
This lifelong constellation of mentors will emerge as a hallmark of an Elon education, engaging all students in developing essential skills and fluencies – writing, speaking, creative problem solving, collaboration, intercultural learning, data competency, media literacy, ethics and personal and professional agility.
Objectives and Progress
Last updated: March 2023
- Create a four-year mentoring model, teaching every student to build a network of mentors, including peers, faculty, staff and others beyond the university.
- Provide financial resources to ensure all students have access to internships.
- Achieve 100 percent participation in course-embedded undergraduate research and engage one-third of undergraduates in one-on-one, deeply mentored undergraduate research.
- Deepen our #1-ranked study abroad program, making it accessible to all students and increasing students’ acquisition of second languages.
- Advance a national model of civic engagement that prepares all students to be active participants in local communities.
- Promote leadership development through peer mentoring, student employment and student organizations.
- Provide all students the opportunity to work closely with faculty or staff members to design and complete deep and culminating signature projects.
- Endow the Center for Engaged Learning as it becomes the leading international center for research on engaged learning.
- In spring 2022, a team led by Dr. Maureen Vandermaas-Peeler, professor of psychology and director of the Center for Research on Global Engagement, completed an 18-month mentoring self-study and report as part of a Learner Success Laboratory grant from the American Council on Education (ACE). Based on extensive research, surveys and interviews, the report will serve as a launchpad for an implementation design team to develop infrastructure to provide all students with multiple pathways, skills, and agency to build their networks of mentoring relationships. This will become an Elon signature program.
- In summer 2022, President Book appointed a 35-member Mentoring Design Team, comprised of staff and faculty from across the university, to design, pilot and suggest next steps for a multi-year plan, including support mechanisms, resources and budgets, integration with campus programs and initiatives and scaffolded structures across the student experience.
- Elon received its 17th straight #1 study abroad ranking in November 2021 from the Institute of International Education.
- Following pandemic travel restrictions, student interest in study abroad and Study USA programs surged. Applications for January 2022 Winter Term study abroad were the highest on record, with a total of more than 900 students, faculty and staff participating in study away programs. Enrollment in Spring 2022 semester study abroad returned to pre-pandemic levels and registration for summer, fall and Winter 2023 programs are at high levels.
- The Global Strategic Planning working group is working on a report in summer 2022 on methods for deepening study abroad, including:
- A 52-point diversity, equity, and inclusion plan
- Expanded faculty development
- Study away hardship funds
- Student immersion, language and discipline-specific learning
- Strengthening pre-departure and reentry to foster deeper integration of learning
- Integration of other forms of experiential learning into study away (e.g. research, service and internships).
- A working group developed characteristics for Elon course-embedded research and will develop recommendations to expand to 100 percent participation in course-embedded undergraduate research.