From 2013 to 2019, the Center for Engaged Learning periodically convened a half-dozen Elon students for a non-credit seminar. These students met with CEL staff for a series of discussions about recent scholarship on undergraduate education and engaged learning. Our two-fold purposes for the seminar were (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 were not asked to pretend to be experts on educational research; rather, they were 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.


  • 2018-2019: Transitioning beyond college. Participants: Laurel Wind, Hannah Podhorzer, Isabel Treanor, Lucia-Maribel Craige, Kate Usry, Peter Felten, Jessie L. Moore, Sophia Abbot
  • 2017-2018: Undergraduate student resilience. Participants: Taylor Struck, Caroline Dean, Jessica Mohr, Alonzo Cee, Noah Dyson, Meredith Piatt, Jon Dooley, Jessie L. 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 was not designed to produce a particular outcome, but it occasionally yielded 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 the seminars, please contact Peter Felten,