Student Seminars

Each year, the Center for Engaged Learning convenes a half-dozen Elon students for a non-credit seminar. These students meet with CEL staff for a series of discussions about recent scholarship on undergraduate education and engaged learning. Our two-fold purposes for the seminar are (1) to learn more about undergraduate students’ perspectives and experiences related to current research, and (2) to provide a reflective experience for students to think about their own learning and education.

Students in the seminar are not asked to pretend to be experts on educational research; rather, they are invited to bring their own critical perspectives and their life experiences into conversation with the scholarly literature to illustrate, illuminate, and complicate our understandings of engaged learning.

Previous years’ topics:

  • 2018-2019: Transitioning beyond college. Participants: Laurel Wind, Hannah Podhorzer, Isabel Treanor, Lucia-Maribel Craige, Kate Usry, Peter Felten, Jessie Moore, Sophia Abbot
  • 2017-2018: Undergraduate student resilience. Participants: Taylor Struck, Caroline Dean, Jessica Mohr, Alonzo Cee, Noah Dyson, Meredith Piatt, Jon Dooley, Jessie Moore, Randy Williams, Peter Felten
  • 2016-2017: Janice M. McCabe, Connecting in College: How Friendship Networks Matter for Academic and Student Success (U of Chicago Press, 2016)
  • 2014-2015: Integrative learning
  • 2013-2014: Threshold concepts


The student seminar is not designed to produce a particular outcome, but it occasionally yields unexpected results including:

  • Elon’s 14th annual Teaching and Learning Conference plenary session, Empowered Learning: The Impact of Asking Students, presented by CEL Student Seminar participants Greg Honan and Jared Allen (August, 2014).
  • Peter Felten, Executive Director of the Center, delivered a keynote at the 5th Biennial International Threshold Concepts Conference (9th – 11th July 2014, Durham, England) titled “On the Threshold with Students” based on the 2013-14 seminar’s discussions.
  • The 2014 keynote was turned into this chapter: Felten, Peter. “On the Threshold with Students.” In Threshold Concepts in Practice, ed. by R. Land, J. Meyer, & M. Flanagan. Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense (2016), 3-9.

If you have questions about or suggestions for the seminar, please contact Peter Felten,