Elon College Fellows

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Elon University is home to the Elon College Fellows Programs. Elon College Fellows, one of six fellows programs, deals with majors in the arts and sciences. This fellows program is the largest and is divided into three branches, arts and humanities, mathematical and natural sciences, and social sciences. Elon University, primarily Elon College Fellows, offers students the chance to be hands-on within their disciplines through the use of required courses and research. (Become an Elon Fellow 2008) This idea of excellence in engagement was noted in “Newsweek – Kaplan” where Elon University was ranked first in engagement of students. (Values and Value 2008) Overall, the Elon College Fellows program is designed for academically gifted individuals pursuing majors in the arts and sciences and who have a strong desire to succeed both inside and out of the classroom.

Branches and faculty members

Elon College Fellows is divided into three distinct branches of the arts and sciences by major. The student determines which branch he or she is in during the sophomore year.

The first branch is the mathematical and natural sciences. This branch is open to individuals who are majoring in areas such as biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, and computer science. If an Elon College Fellow is in the natural and mathematical sciences, the faculty member who is of most significance would be Dr. Todd Lee.

The second branch of Elon College Fellows is the social sciences. This branch consists of people whose majors are in areas such as history, human services, psychology, sociology, international studies, and anthropology. Faculty members who are particularly involved are Dr. Tom Mould and Dr. Cindy Fair.

The third, and final, branch is the arts and humanities. Majors in this branch include English, art, art history, religious studies, foreign languages, and various types of theatre and music. Important faculty members in this branch are Dr. Jessie Moore, Dr. Shawn Tucker, Dr. Andrew Perry, and Dr. Michael Fels.

All listed faculty members are good contacts in their particular fields. Dr. Todd Lee, Dr. Tom Mould, and Dr. Michael Fels are the heads of each of their respective branches. (B Elizabeth 2009) The other important faculty member to note when talking about Elon College Fellows is Dr. Nancy Harris. Dr. Nancy Harris is the director of the Elon College Fellows program. (Elon College Fellows Branches 2008)

Application process

All incoming freshman students wishing to apply for the Elon College Fellows program must first complete the application of Elon University. Upon completion of the Elon University application a separate application must be made declaring the desire of the individual to become an Elon College Fellow. In order to apply for the Elon College Fellows program the student must have a 3.7 GPA placing them within the top 15% of their graduating high school class. They must also have taken the SAT or the ACT and received a score of at least 1930 or 29 respectively. The applicant intended major must be in the arts and sciences. If an applicant fits all of these requirements they are able to begin the application process.

During this time there is a designated essay prompt that the individual must complete and submit to the University. After review of all applications and essays approximately 200 individuals are invited to attend fellow’s weekend. It is during this weekend that the second half of the application into the fellows program occurs. While at Elon for fellows' weekend, the student completes an interview with a faculty member as well as attends a designated class culminating with an essay response. After the weekend, interviews, essay responses, as well as the previous application are considered, and 50 individuals are chosen to join the Elon College Fellows program. (Elon College Fellows 2008)

The other way a student (non-freshman) can join Elon College Fellows is through a process called lateral entry. Lateral entry applicants must be currently enrolled at Elon University with a major in the arts and sciences. They must also have a minimum GPA of 3.2. The number of applicants accepted through lateral entry depends on the number of freshman who leave the program after a given year. Lateral entry is used to fill available spots in the program and balance out the number of students in each of the three branches. (Elon College Fellows Lateral Entry 2008)

Requirements

During the freshman year, an Elon college fellow student is required to take a global studies class specifically for College Fellows. This is in combination with Elon 101, a freshman seminar class, in which participants learn not only about Elon but the Elon College Fellows program. Along with the course load there are social events, such as the mentor picnic which one must attend as well as 3 colloquias. Colloquium is a night time event where a faculty member from each of the 3 branches of the arts and sciences comes and discusses their research. This allows students to have an understanding of what type of research is done in a particular discipline. The idea of research in a discipline is furthered through the mandatory winter term class, ECF 111 paths of inquiry into the arts and sciences. This class consists of two weeks at Elon and one week in Washington DC. As a team taught class, from three to four professors, at least one from each of the three branches, help students foster a research idea from two different branches. One while in Elon and a different branch in Washington DC, from the Elon portion a grant proposal is written and a letter to an expert results from the Washington DC portion.

As previously mentioned, Elon College Fellows is broken into three distinct branches: Arts and Humanities, Mathematical and Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences. During the sophomore year the Elon College Fellow must decide which branch his/her major falls into and must complete the appropriate seminar class. It is during this class that a deeper understanding of specific major and discipline research is established. Social and information events, as well as rites of passage, also happen during the sophomore year.

Sophomore year and seminar are followed by junior seminar, which similarly develops an individual’s specific research. In combination with junior seminar, an individual begins taking research credit hours. This process happens over the course of the fellow's junior and senior years, developing their research project. All research projects are monitored by a faculty member whom the Fellow has chosen and who has agreed. Work with the faculty member helps to ensure that the best quality research is done and the most knowledge is gained by the student. The mentor also serves as a sound board when determining a topic as well as assists with any problems that arise during research. Research culminates with the presentation of research at SURF, student undergraduate research forum, or an approved conference.

All seminars are taken during the fall of each year, whereas research is done throughout the junior and senior year. (Elon College Fellows Program Requirements 2008)

Benefits

There are many benefits to being accepted into the Elon College Fellows program. Accepted Elon College Fellows applicants are given a $1000 travel grant as well as $3500 to assist with tuition costs. Lateral entry students are given the travel grant and have to ability to get up to $3500 in tuition assistance. Other benefits of the College Fellows program include, but are not limited to, a 5 night stay in the nation’s capital while exploring research methods during the Winter term of freshman year, being surrounded by an atmosphere of individuals with similar interests and majors, and the ability to work hands-on with a faculty member during a two-year research project. (Elon College Fellows Program Benefits 2008)

References

  • "Become an Elon Fellow." Elon Admissions. 2008. Elon University. 08 Apr 2009 <http://www.elon.edu/e-web/admissions/fellows/>.
  • B, Elizabeth. "Elon College Fellows Information." E-mail to Nancy Harris. E-mail.07 Apr 2009.
  • "Elon College Fellows Application." Elon College Fellows. 2008. Elon University. 07 Apr 2009 <http://www.elon.edu/e-web/admissions/Fellows/default.xhtml>.
  • "Elon College Fellows Branches." Elon College Fellows. 2008. Elon University. 08 Apr 2009 <http://www.elon.edu/e-web/academics/elon_college/fellows/branches.xhtml>.
  • "Elon College Fellows Lateral Entry." Elon College Fellows. 2008. Elon University. 06 Apr 2009 <http://www.elon.edu/e-web/academics/elon_college/fellows/lateral.xhtml>.
  • "Elon College Fellows Program Benefits." Elon College Fellows. 2008. Elon University. 08 Apr 2009 <http://www.elon.edu/e-web/academics/elon_college/fellows/benefits.xhtml>.
  • "Elon College Fellows Program Requirement." Elon College Fellows. 2008. Elon University. 07 Apr 2009 <http://www.elon.edu/e-web/academics/elon_college/fellows/requirements.xhtml>.
  • "Values and Value." Rankings and Recognition. 2008. Elon University. 09 Apr 2009 <http://www.elon.edu/e-web/news/rankings/>.
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