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ERIC Number: EJ1113347
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Sep
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0897-5264
The Elon Gap Experience: A Transformative First-Year Experience
Morrison, Stephen T.; Burr, Katherine H.; Waters, Rexford A.; Hall, Eric E.
Journal of College Student Development, v57 n6 p755-757 Sep 2016
The Elon Gap Experience (EGE) was conceived out of Elon University's most recent strategic plan, the Elon Commitment (Elon University, 2009). One theme calls for "strategic and innovative pathways in undergraduate and graduate education," specifically "to launch a service program as part of a gap-year program" (Elon University, 2009; p. 6). The experience was founded with the theoretical understanding that many young adults seek to become more self-aware and independent prior to their formal undergraduate studies, experiencing the world and reflecting on their life goals through what many researchers identify as "high-impact" practices (Kuh, 2008). The EGE selects 15 first-semester, first-year students to participate in a highly engaging and educational transition experience. Students self-select into the application process. After evaluation of their application and an interview, the cohort is formed and preparation begins for the experience. The experience emphasizes three areas: leadership, service-learning, and global study. Students focus on leadership through a 26-day wilderness expedition with the National Outdoor Leadership School. Students earn four academic course credits for this experience. After completing the leadership school experience, students begin the service-learning part of the EGE. After a fall break, students head off to the last area of focus for the EGE: a 6-week study-abroad homestay program in Costa Rica. During Winter term, students enroll in a four-credit class as well as Elon 101, a one-credit transition course intended to help students successfully integrate into life on campus. This brief article details the elements of EGE and describes how the program is assessed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A