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Experiential Learning Initiative (ELI)

Experiential Learning Initiative (ELI)

The Experiential Learning Initiative (ELI) at Messiah University

Not just experience for experience's sake.  ELI is about experience that fosters meaningful connection and story-telling with impact. 

All Messiah students participate in an approved experiential learning activity that involves goals of meaningful career development and community engagement.  We define Experiential Learning as occurring when students engage in a guided process where they are challenged to learn, apply and integrate knowledge and skills in an authentic context.

What Makes ELI Distinctive?

There is a common reflection component that gets at the primary outcomes of career development and community engagement. As a result of engaging in the ELI, students will be able to articulate the tangible impact of their experience on their academic learning, personal and professional development, and community contributions.  This will occur through a "career application" that is contextualized for an external audience relevant to the students' future goals (employer, graduate school, etc.).  Sample career applications include a resume, ePortfolio, personal website, and LinkedIn profile.

Students must complete at least one of the following approved experiential learning opportunities to fulfill their ELI requirement:

All credit-bearing internships that are supervised through the centralized Internship Program in the Career & Professional Development Center may fulfill a student’s ELI requirement.  Academic departments interested in offering practica as ELI must submit an ELI Practica Proposal Form.

Faculty interested in offering a service learning course must complete the ELI Service Learning Proposal Form.  By registering for a service learning course, a student may fulfill the ELI requirement. 

All semester-long programs, as well as cross-cultural courses that are managed through the Agape Center for Local and Global Engagement, may fulfill a student’s ELI requirement.

Approximately 160 leadership positions at Messiah University are eligible for meeting a student's ELI requirement.  These positions are available through offices such as Residence Life, College Ministries, Student Involvement & Leadership Programs, Intercultural Office, Office of Alumni & Parent Relations, The Collaboratory, Agape Center, The Pulse, and Sustainability Office.  For information on pre-approved positions and how to register, visit the Office of Student Involvement & Leadership Programs

Students must communicate to their supervising faculty member their interest in having their research project fulfill the ELI requirement.  Faculty who are interested in supervising an ELI-approved research experience must complete the ELI Research Application Form