June 21-22, 2020 | Elon University, North Carolina

The annual Conference on Engaged Learning showcases cutting-edge research on engaged learning. Each annual conference features multi-institutional research from a specific Center for Engaged Learning research seminar, invites research updates from past seminar participants and conference presenters, and encourages contributions from other scholars and practitioners studying engaged learning practices.

We invite scholars interested in capstone experiences and other engaged learning topics to join the culminating conversation of the 2018-2020 Research Seminar on Capstone Experiences at the 2020 Conference on Engaged Learning at Elon University, June 21-22, 2020.

capstone cornerstone keystone illustration
Image by Caroline Ketcham

Keynote Speaker

Nancy Budwig, Professor of Psychology at Clark University, will give a keynote address at the 2020 Conference on Engaged Learning.

Dr. Budwig received a B.A. from Vassar College in 1979 and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1986. She has been at Clark since that time. Dr. Budwig served in Clark’s Academic Administration in 2002- 2016 as Associate Provost as well as Dean of Graduate Studies and Dean of Research. She currently serves as a Senior Fellow at the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Dr. Budwig is co-author (with Jeffrey Ratliff-Crain and Michael Reder) of “Student engagement with and preparation for signature work” in Peer Review, Volume 20 (2018).

Learn more about her scholarship.


We invite proposals related to one of the following themes.

Capstone Experiences

Over the last 30 years, many undergraduate institutions have placed a greater emphasis on the development of the capstone experience as a high-impact practice. Although these experiences existed much earlier (Atchinson, 1993; Levine, 1975; Gardner, J., & Van der Veer, G. 1998; Wagenaar, 1993), a call by the Boyer Commission (1998) to reinforce the capstone experience as an integral component of a “new model of educating at the undergraduate research universities” was instrumental in clarifying the value and purpose of the capstone (p. 16). Since then, universities have committed to this culminating concept and developed unique opportunities for their students to demonstrate learning. The capstone experience has taken on many forms, including internships, senior-level courses, service learning projects, undergraduate research, and portfolios. The capstone has also grown beyond discipline-specific majors (usually in the form of a senior-level course or experience within the major) to university supported, multi-discipline experiences used as the final piece of the general education requirement (NSSE, 2014). The successful implementation of these experiences led the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) to label the capstone as one of several “high impact practices” that encourage transformative learning (Kuh, 2008). Although there is an ever-growing body of literature on the many successful strategies and outcomes of the capstone experience, valid questions and concerns still remain (Kinzie, 2013). 

  • What is the landscape of contemporary capstone experiences (CEs) and what will be important to the future of effective CEs?
  • What is the articulation between CEs and work, civic, and personal life for students, for faculty goals, for institutional missions?
  • What are shared and varied structures and characteristics of CEs for different student groups?

Previous Center for Engaged Learning Research Seminar and Conference Topics

We invite scholars and practitioners studying the following engaged learning topics to extend our previous conference conversations on:

  • Global Learning, Study Abroad, and Off-Campus Domestic Study
  • Mentored Undergraduate Research
  • Residential/Living Learning Communities
  • Teaching Democratic Thinking
  • Transfer of Writing Knowledge and Practices

Cross-Cutting Questions about Engaged Learning

We also invite proposals that share research on cross-cutting questions about engaged learning, including but not limited to: scaling up access to engaged learning experiences; attending to diversity, inclusion, and equity across high-impact practices; and supporting students’ integration of learning across multiple high-impact practices for engaged learning.

Presentation Types

  • Poster
  • Ignite Presentation
  • Individual Presentation
  • Panel Presentation
  • Pre-Conference Workshop
  • Concurrent Session Workshop

Proposals will be accepted October 7-December 16, 2019. 

Read the full call for proposals. (PDF version available here)

How to cite this post:

2020 Conference on Engaged Learning – Call for Proposals. 2019, October 7. [Blog Post]. Retrieved from https://www.centerforengagedlearning.org/2020-conference-on-engaged-learning-call-for-proposals/