Central to the Elon University mission is preparing civically engaged graduates who are “global citizens and informed leaders motivated by a concern for the common good.” As a university we emphasize our responsibility to live in community, acknowledging our interdependence with others. Our goal is to help students develop the knowledge, understanding, values and skills to sustain a commitment to community well-being and civic action throughout their lives. Elon University defines civic engagement as the process of learning about the assets, needs, and concerns of the larger communities of which we are a part and the willingness to collaborate with others to help define and achieve the common good. Elon students, faculty, staff and alumni join in an intentional and developmental educational process to create a culture that:
- Provides increasingly complex learning experiences that enhance the development of the skills needed for effective leadership and civic engagement, including communication, collaboration, critical analysis, media literacy, problem solving, and cultural competence
- Offers opportunities and programs that deepen students’ awareness and understanding of social and political issues and challenges students to develop a framework for responsible citizenship
- Assists members in recognizing their responsibility, as part of the larger community, to actively address social conditions through mutually beneficial and reciprocal relationships with community partners
- Celebrates and rewards the accomplishments of students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners who demonstrate good citizenship, lead lives of civic engagement and support the civic life and programs of the university
Over the next ten years, Elon will continue to be a national leader in civic engagement and fully prepare students for lives of engaged citizenship. We will continue an integrated focus on civic engagement efforts both in and out of the classroom, to support student learning across their entire university experience. As we think strategically about the year 2025, when Elon will once again apply to renew its Community Engagement Classification with the Carnegie Foundation, the Council on Civic Engagement looks forward to reporting progress in the five areas highlighted on the following pages.