Innovative Teaching and Learning in an Era of Opportunity

Building upon decades of curricular innovation and national leadership in experiential learning, we will:

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: August 2022

Objectives

  • 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.

Progress Report

  • 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.

STEM, Engineering, Nursing and Data Competency

In response to the global demand for more engineers and STEM-related skills, BOLDLY ELON will advance a distinctive and cross-disciplinary STEM program. Graduates of these programs, grounded in the liberal arts and experiential learning, will be sought after as problem-solvers focused on the common good.

Objectives and Progress

Last updated: August 2022

Objectives

  • Develop a nationally known school of engineering distinguished by engaged learning and a strong foundation in the arts and sciences.
  • Launch nursing programs and related healthcare certificates with leadership from the School of Health Sciences and a program at the intersection of health communications and health administration led by the communications and business schools.
  • Develop curricula, short courses and certificate programs across the curriculum in all colleges and schools to ensure all students are prepared to access, analyze and manipulate complex data.
  • Build engineering and physics facilities to anchor a new STEM and innovation quad and promote collaboration and discovery across disciplines, design thinking and entrepreneurship.
  • Renovate McMichael Science Center and open a university-wide STEM Center to support students across all majors and expand industry connections.

Progress Report

  • Elon’s Engineering program is completing the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accreditation process and faculty are developing a new concentration in environmental engineering, adding to existing concentrations in biomedical engineering and computer engineering.
  • The first two buildings in Elon’s new engineering and science hub, the Innovation Quad, will open in Fall 2022 and provide a 70,000-square-foot, vibrant and creative environment for STEM students and engage those in the arts and humanities and professional programs.
  • The first undergraduate programs of Elon’s School of Health Sciences—the inaugural classes of Elon’s four-year BSN (bachelor of science in nursing) and 16-month ABSN (accelerated bachelor of science in nursing for those who have already earned a bachelor’s degree)—began with 47 students in Fall 2021, responding to the critical need for more nurses in North Carolina and across the country.
  • In November 2021, data competency was selected as Elon’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) as part of the university’s SACSCOC decennial accreditation. A faculty-staff working group began work in spring 2022.
  • Consultants have developed construction documents to expand environmental science, biology and chemistry spaces as well as upgrade building systems, furniture and equipment. Phase one renovation will be completed by August 1, 2022. Additional renovation phases are expected to be complete in Winter 2023.

Innovative Teaching and Learning Across the Curriculum and for a Lifetime

Elon’s rich intellectual community has been propelled by the strategic choice to place excellence in arts and sciences — central to the development of freedom of thought and liberty of conscience – at the core of the undergraduate curriculum and fully integrate it with outstanding professional schools and graduate education. Boldly Elon will deepen the arts and sciences, Core Curriculum and work across disciplines, ensuring that graduates are creative, culturally agile, ethically grounded and well-prepared to address questions of societal importance.

Objectives and Progress

Last updated: August 2022

Objectives

  • Deepen students’ engagement in the arts and sciences through cross-disciplinary programs, engagement with challenges facing our world, individual degree pathways and flexible study options.
  • Advance the College of Arts and Sciences, Martha and Spencer Love School of Business and Schools of Education, Law, Communications and Health Sciences, and grow graduate and professional education for alumni, adult and professional learners – in analytics, health sciences, education, arts, entrepreneurship and developing fields.
  • Develop 3+1 or 3+2 programs to provide interconnected undergraduate and graduate degrees.
  • Further develop Elon’s leadership in public policy research, expanding the scope of the Elon Poll as a national survey and reconceiving the Imagining the Internet Center as an interdisciplinary effort focused on the impact and evolution of digital life.
  • Achieve national recognition for the School of Law, a leading innovator in legal education, for its highly experiential and distinctive approach to preparing students for the legal profession.
  • Achieve top-40 rankings for the Love School of Business graduate and undergraduate programs.
  • Construct spaces for Elon’s nationally recognized theatre, music, dance, design and music theatre programs.

Progress Report

  • In January 2022, Elon received its highest ranking ever for undergraduate business programs, ranking #35 in the nation and #21 among private universities by Poets&Quants. Elon received its highest marks in “academic experience,” based on surveys of business majors alumni who reflected on the quality of their education.
  • Ongoing collaborations across academic units continue in creating interdisciplinary minors and programs, including:
    • Data analytics interdisciplinary major
    • Neuroscience co-major (with biochemistry, biology, chemistry, exercise science or psychology)
    • FinTech major (finance and technology)
    • Cybersecurity minor
    • 3+1 and 4+1 master’s programs in Interactive Media
    • Innovation in education master’s program (M.Ed.)
    • Concentration in Environmental Engineering
    • Engineering Design minor
    • Health communications minor
    • Food and Culture minor
    • Expressive Arts minor
    • Museum Studies & Public History minor
    • Islamic studies minor
    • Sustainable enterprises minor