Service Experiential Learning Requirement (ELR)

Students may satisfy their Experiential Learning Requirement (ELR) through one of the following options:

  • Designated Community-Based Learning (formerly Academic Service-Learning) course
  • Pre-approved community-based learning experience mentored by the Kernodle Center (40 hours)

Designated Community-Based Learning (formerly Academic-Service Learning) Courses

Community-based learning is fundamentally an academic endeavor in which engagement in projects and activities takes place through reciprocal and mutually beneficial partnerships with the greater community designed to advance the public good. It is an experiential education approach that involves collaborative relationships, guided by the expertise of professors and community-based practitioners, to combine student learning with community needs as an integrated component of a course. The partnerships between Elon and communities engage students with entities such as nonprofit organizations, schools, government agencies, or locally owned businesses. There are many Community-Based Learning courses offered each semester in a variety of departments – each is labeled as “CBL/SL” in the list of course offerings each semester. If the “CBL/SL” is not listed, the course does not qualify for the ELR.

Work with your advisor to identify Community-Based Learning courses that are labeled with the “CBL/SL” designation. For additional information, contact Phillip Motley, Faculty Fellow for Academic Service-Learning and Community Engagement, at

Pre-approved Service Experience Mentored by the Kernodle Center

Students may also satisfy their Service ELR through individual community-based learning projects. These students must develop a customized service experience that includes specific learning outcomes, a minimum of 15 days of direct service totaling a minimum of 40 hours, and intentional research and reflection activities.

All students are eligible to complete this requirement using the Service ELR Workbook and must follow this process:

  1. Meet with a Kernodle Center staff member for an orientation at the beginning of the fall or spring semester when the Service ELR will take place (students cannot begin their direct service hours prior to this meeting). Email to request a meeting with a Kernodle Center staff member about the Service ELR.
  2. Students may not begin their Service ELR after Fall Break or Spring Break.
  3. Complete ALL of the following by the day before Reading Day (email all documents to
  • A minimum of 15 days of direct service totaling a minimum of 40 hours with a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, government agency, or locally owned business.
  • Submit all requirements listed in the Service ELR Workbook including a log of direct service hours.

Service ELR Resources