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 designed to:

  • promote greater awareness of these opportunities among our students, faculty, and staff;
  • coordinate, extend, and ensure access to distinctive educational opportunities to all IWU students; and,
  • foster faculty and staff development opportunities that enhance and extend the provision of these opportunities across academic and student affairs programs.

The Center for Engaged Learning coordinates, promotes, and strengthens opportunities for students to participate in distinctive educational 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 Center for Engaged Learning brings members of the Illinois Wesleyan University community together to support student success, innovation in teaching and scholarship, and a commitment to the value of a liberal education.


The Center for Engaged Learning is guided by its commitment to the values of:

  • Applied Learning
  • Collaboration
  • Community Engagement
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • Innovation
  • Inquiry
  • Lifelong Learning
  • Social Justice

The Center for Engaged Learning pursues this mission and vision through three major program areas:

  • The Center for Engaged Learning coordinates, promotes, and ensures access to peer tutors and other learner support services provided by academic and student affairs programs across campus;
  • The Center for Engaged Learning promotes collaboration and community among faculty in support of, as well as awareness among students of, distinctive educational experiences available in departments across the university, including, but not limited to: First-Year Experience; Applied and Experiential Learning; Undergraduate Research; and other Signature Experiences
  • The Center for Engaged Learning coordinates, promotes, provides, and supports faculty in pursuing professional development in each of its other program areas in order to foster greater opportunity for these programs to be reflected in individual courses and degree programs across the university.

The Center for Engaged Learning is currently building a comprehensive web site designed to ensure awareness and access to all “engaged learning” programs at the university, as well as “applied learning” opportunities available on campus and in the community.

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