Want to start your Elon experience before you arrive on campus?

First-Year Summer Experience (FSE) programs are designed to help incoming students feel confident and prepared as they enroll at Elon. The FSE programs embrace the university’s commitment to experiential learning, and use this guiding philosophy to help students develop self-awareness, enhance relationships, and define community in preparation for their Elon experience.

You will be able to access the registration system after you have paid your enrollment deposit and activated your Elon email account, which is required for registration.

STEM Adventures: Ecology or Engineering

Are you interested in science? Are you curious about what the experience of conducting scientific research might be like? Would you like to get to know Elon and make some friends before you arrive on campus this fall?

STEM Adventures: Ecology or Engineering is for students who identify as STEM-interested, or as potential STEM majors. Students will be mentored by faculty experts, and will conduct research in ecology or engineering. Each student should select either the Engineering or Ecology project as their first choice.

Additionally, this program will introduce students to social and academic experiences on and beyond Elon’s campus. A typical weekday will include collaborative research in the morning and social programming on- and off-campus in the afternoon/evening. On weekends, students will explore some of the great regional excursion opportunities.

  • The Ecology Adventures research project will focus on carbon sequestration as a strategy for mitigating climate change. Students in this project will work with Biology faculty member Dr. David Vandermast to census and measure trees in long-term plots within the Elon University Forest.
  • The Engineering Adventures research project, students and Engineering faculty member Dr. Jonathan Su will partner with a local t-shirt printing company to enhance their sustainable methods. Students will test methods for improving the permanence and efficacy of vegetable-based dyes.
  • Planned social experiences include: a trip to the NC Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh), poolside grill-outs/movie nights with students in other programs on the Elon campus, shopping at Alamance Crossing (Burlington), a trip to a minor league baseball game (Burlington), hiking at Pilot mountain or Hanging Rock, recreational games on campus, and other regional off-campus excursions.
  • Students will also explore and navigate the campus through activities with Elon student peer mentors during this program. They will obtain their Phoenix ID card and gain familiarity with key campus resources (e.g., Belk library, Konigsberger Learning Center, classrooms, dining halls, the Elon MakerSpace, Loy Farm, campus bookstore, Student Professional Development Center).
  • Students in this program will get to know a small cohort of peers with shared interests who they can connect with again in the fall semester.

Because conducting a research project takes time, this program runs for a longer duration (2-3 weeks) than the other summer programs. Elon faculty mentors/program leaders for Summer 2022 are Dr. Jon Su (Engineering) and Dr. David Vandermast (Ecology) each of whom will work with one sub-cohort of 12 students on a daily basis. The program coordinators are Dr. Jen Hamel (Biology) and Dr. Amy Overman (CAS Dean’s Office/Psychology). Lodging, meals, and programming costs are included in the cost of this first-year experience. Scholarships are available for those with financial need – reach out to Jen Hamel or Amy Overman for details. 

If you have any questions, contact Jen Hamel or Amy Overman via email at jhamel2@elon.edu or  aoverman@elon.edu.

Dates: July 5- 22, 2022

Program Cost: $1090 (scholarships are available, contact the program facilitators)

Capacity: 24

Developing a Growth Mindset Through Innovation and Entrepreneurship

This program focuses on developing a growth mindset through the lens of innovation and entrepreneurship. During this summer enrichment program students will engage in workshops and other programming with an emphasis on experiential learning and hands-on activities.

During the program, 15 rising first-year students will learn about the process of turning problems into solutions (ideas), and working through to a potential business opportunity. Students will meet with real-life entrepreneurs and subject-matter speakers, develop an understanding of the market their ideas fall within, understand who the customer is, prototype their ideas at the Maker Hub, and learn to pitch in a competitive but friendly environment. The program culminates with a final pitch competition and celebration. Participants will depart Elon in the morning of the 20th.

If you have any questions, contact Alyssa Martina via email at amartina@elon.edu or phone at (336) 278-5992 for more information.

Dates: July 15- 20, 2022

Program Cost: $325

Capacity: 15

Engage: Community Engagement in Alamance County

Engage provides a unique opportunity to support incoming first-year students in their transition to Elon through a community service lens. While participating in Engage, you will get to meet other first-year students who share similar interests, and get to know current student leaders, staff, and faculty members. Through Engage, you will:

  • Spend a week living in a residence hall and get time to explore campus
  • Volunteer with multiple community organizations
  • Explore parts of Alamance County that many students do not get a chance to see
  • Get to know the local community outside of Elon
  • Get advice on preparing for your first-year and beyond from current students, faculty, and staff

If you have any questions, contact Autumn Cox via email at acox23@elon.edu or phone at (336) 278-7129 for more information.

Dates: July 12- 15, 2022

Program Cost: $300

Capacity: 20

Learn more about Engage

Adventures in Leadership Session 1: Zipline, Hike, and Explore Western North Carolina

Participants on Session 1 will travel to western North Carolina and explore Nantahala National Forest. You’ll meet on campus and spend a day getting to know Elon before heading off to the mountains. We’ll spend a day ziplining through the canopy, getting a bird’s eye view of the trees. Then we’ll spend a few days hiking and exploring one-of-a-kind lakes and trails around Western North Carolina. Each night, we’ll camp in Nantahala. No ziplining or camping experience necessary–we’ll teach you everything! You can expect about 3-4 miles of hiking per day on this active session.

If you have any questions, contact Evan Small via email at esmall@elon.edu or phone at (336) 278-7529 for more information.

Dates: July 10-14, 2022

Program Cost: $400

Capacity: 30

Learn more about AIL: Zipline, Hike, and Explore Western North Carolina

Adventures in Leadership Session 2: Paddling on the Outer Banks

Participants on Session 2 will travel to eastern North Carolina and explore NC’s beautiful beaches. You’ll meet on campus and spend time getting to know Elon before heading off to the coast. Once there, you’ll  kayak, surf, sandboard, spend time on the beach, camp, and experience all the local town has to offer. No camping or paddling experience necessary–we’ll teach you everything! You can expect about 3-4 miles of hiking or paddling per day on this moderately active session.

If you have any questions, contact Evan Small via email at esmall@elon.edu or phone at (336) 278-7529 for more information.

Dates: July 10-14, 2022

Program Cost: $400

Capacity: 20

Learn more about AIL: Paddling on the Outer Banks

Adventures in Leadership Session 3: Local Adventures

Participants on Session 3 will explore the local Elon area and stay in a residence hall for part of the program. You’ll also spend time camping at a local park. You’ll be able to spend time getting more familiar with campus resources and participate in a variety of adventures around the local area. Participants should expect to hike, paddle, explore and enjoy nature throughout the week. We’ll introduce you to local ways to get outside and enjoy natural spaces near campus. No experience necessary-we’ll teach you everything you need to know! You can expect about 2-3 miles of hiking or paddling per day on this moderately active session.

If you have any questions, contact Evan Small via email at esmall@elon.edu or phone at (336) 278-7529 for more information.

Dates: July 17-21, 2022

Program Cost: $200

Capacity: 32

Learn more about AIL: Local Adventures

Adventures in Leadership Session 4: Standup Paddleboarding and Fishing

Participants on Session 4 will travel to western North Carolina and explore NC’s beautiful mountains and lakes. You’ll meet on campus and spend time getting to know Elon before heading off to the woods. Once there, you’ll learn how to paddleboard, practice your fishing skills, and enjoy some great hikes around the local area. No paddling or fishing experience necessary–we’ll teach you everything! You can expect about 3-4 miles a day on this active session.

If you have any questions, contact Evan Small via email at esmall@elon.edu or phone at (336) 278-7529 for more information.

Dates: July 17-20, 2022

Program Cost: $350

Capacity: 14

Learn more about AIL: Canoe Camping and Fishing

Adventures in Leadership Session 5: Whitewater Rafting and Rock Climbing

Participants on Session 5 will travel to western North Carolina and explore beautiful Pisgah National Forest. You’ll meet on campus and spend a day getting to know Elon before heading to Pisgah. We’ll spend a day on the river, learning how to whitewater raft and practicing skills. Then we’ll spend a day rock climbing and canyoneering in one of the best climbing spots in the Southeast before hiking and exploring waterfalls around western North Carolina. No rafting or climbing experience necessary–we’ll teach you everything! You can expect about 4-5 miles of hiking per day on this active session.

If you have any questions, contact Evan Small via email at esmall@elon.edu or phone at (336) 278-7529 for more information.

Dates: July 24-29, 2022

Program Cost: $500

Capacity: 32

Learn more about AIL: Whitewater Rafting and Rock Climbing

Adventures in Leadership Session 6: Backpacking

Participants on Session 6 will meet at Elon before heading off to Pisgah National Forest in western North Carolina for a week of backpacking. We use our time on campus to introduce you to Elon and teach you the skills you’ll need while on the trail. We will spend 3 days and nights backpacking and camping on the Art Loeb trail before returning to campus. No backpacking experience necessary–we’ll teach you everything! You can expect about 5-7 miles of hiking per day on this very active session.

If you have any questions, contact Evan Small via email at esmall@elon.edu or phone at (336) 278-7529 for more information.

Dates: July 24-29, 2022

Program Cost: $400

Capacity: 24

Learn more about AIL: Backpacking

Adventures in Leadership Session 7: Backpacking in New Hampshire

Session 7 is focused on participants from the Northeast, although those from other regions are welcome to register. Participants on Session 7 will meet in New Hampshire before heading off for a week of backpacking in the White Mountains. We’ll meet each other, teach you the skills you’ll need on the trail, and help get you excited for Elon. We will spend 3 days and nights backpacking and camping while enjoying the beautiful scenery. No backpacking experience necessary–we’ll teach you everything! You can expect about 6-8 miles of hiking per day on this very active session.

If you have any questions, contact Evan Small via email at esmall@elon.edu or phone at (336) 278-7529 for more information.

Dates: August 1-5, 2022

Program Cost: $350

Capacity: 18

Learn more about AIL: Backpacking in New Hampshire

Beginning in March 2022, registration will be available until June 13 or when each experience is full, whichever comes first. A deposit is acceptable for registrations up to June 6, and the remaining cost is due by June 20Registrations after June 6th must be paid in full.

To inquire about program status or to ask general questions, contact New Student Programs (nsp@elon.edu) or phone (336-278-7000). For questions pertaining to a specific program we encourage you to reach out directly to the program facilitators.

Upon program acceptance, participants will receive further information directly from their respective program. Some need-based scholarships are available; contact the program facilitators for more information.

For assistance with accessing your login information, please contact the Information Technology Service Desk at 336-278-5200.