About the Center for Engaged Learning

Undergraduate education at Illinois Wesleyan University is distinguished by its commitment to student success and student engagement, and by its vision of the lifelong value of a liberal education to the individual and to our society.

By “student engagement,” we refer to our students’ investment in, active participation in, and commitment to their learning both in and beyond the classroom. We demonstrate our commitment to student engagement though our promotion of the curricular and co-curricular opportunities, also known as “high-impact educational practices,” that research has shown to have a positive impact on student success, persistence to degree completion, and transition to further education or career opportunities. At Illinois Wesleyan, these practices form the foundation of programs including, but not limited to: first-year experience; course clusters; writing-intensive courses; information literacy instruction; undergraduate research; study abroad; community engagement and experiential learning; and other signature experiences.  We recognize student engagement in these programs as a strong foundation for the pursuit of post-baccalaureate opportunities, and pursue these practices within the broader context of a liberal education designed to “[foster] creativity, critical thinking, effective communication, strength of character and a spirit of inquiry” that will last a lifetime.

The Center for Engaged Learning is a strategic initiative of the Office of the Provost and Dean of the Faculty. Our mission is to promote and strengthen opportunities for students to participate in distinctive programs in the classroom and the community while also ensuring access to faculty, staff, and peers who can help to support their success in the classroom and beyond. The guiding questions for our work are:

  • How do students become engaged learners?
  • How do we create engaged classrooms for all students?
  • How do students engage with our communities, from local to global?

Our goals focus on three major program areas:

  • Promotes and ensures access to peer tutors, librarians, and key learner support services provided by academic and student affairs programs across campus;
  • Promotes awareness of distinctive educational experiences available across the university, including, but not limited to: community-based learning, study abroad, internships, and undergraduate research opportunities;
  • Partners with CETAL and FDC to support faculty in pursuing professional development for student engagement in the programs listed above across the university.

For more information on the Center for Engaged Learning, please contact Stephanie Davis-Kahl, University Librarian, or Deborah Halperin, Director, Action Research Center.