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Academic Policy and Program Changes


Signature Learning Definitions

Elizabethtown College is committed to engaging its students in real-world learning opportunities that complement classroom learning and provide pathways to productive careers and lives beyond college.  All Elizabethtown College students will complete at least two Signature Learning Experiences (SLE) as part of their graduation requirements. In consultation with their academic advisor, students will select at least two of the following five Signature Learning Experiences: supervised research; community-based learning; cross-cultural experiences; internships, field experiences or practicums; and capstone experiences. More information can be found on the “Core and Real World Learning Requirements” form.

  • Supervised Research
    Undergraduate research actively engages students in scholarship at an advanced level under the close supervision of a faculty mentor or approved disciplinary expert.  Results from the research should be disseminated publicly in a way that is appropriate to the discipline (presentation, in writing, performance, exhibition, prototype development, etc.).
  • Cross-Cultural Experience or Exchange
    Cross-cultural experiences allow students to engage meaningfully with diverse cultures, experiences, and worldviews, by living and studying in a culture different from their own. These experiences can be domestic or abroad and include traditional semester study abroad programs as well as short-term faculty-led programs.
  • Internship, Field Experience, or Practicum
    An academic internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting that can be transcribed. Field experience is a learning opportunity that takes place in the field of practice, is embedded in an associated course, and supervised by faculty.
  • Community-Based Learning
    Community-Based Learning (CBL) is an instructional strategy that gives students opportunities to apply knowledge and skills from the classroom to analyze and address community problems. In so doing, students achieve a deeper and more integrated understanding of their studies while benefitting the community.
  • Capstone Course, Projects, or Development Portfolio
    Culminating experience near the end of the college career in which students integrate, synthesize and apply what they have learned in the major or program. Capstone experiences can include courses, projects, performances, exhibits, and/or portfolios. Portfolios should include artifacts and narratives, sampled during the college career under faculty review, that demonstrate competencies or learning outcomes in the major or program.


Social Work degree changes from BA to a BSW

Faculty Assembly approved a proposal from the Social Work Department to change the degree earned by those completing the Social Work major program requirements from a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BA) to a Bachelor’s of Social Work (BSW).

  • Current seniors (G’ 2013) will earn a BA .
  • Students currently enrolled and graduating in years 2014, 2015, 2016 will have the option of earning a BA or BSW.
  • For the incoming cohort Fall 2014 (G’ 2017) and all future cohorts the degree awarded will be a Bachelor’s of Social Work (BSW).

Core Program

Faculty Assembly approved a proposal by the Mathematical and Computer Sciences Department to remove MA 105, MA 117, CS 121 and HMA 270 from the list of courses satisfying the Mathematics area of understanding in the Core curriculum.

  • Effective for the class entering in Fall 2013 the set of courses that satisfy the Mathematics Area of Understanding in Core include: MA 251 and MA 121.
  • Students enrolled prior to Fall 2013 can continue to register into MA 105, MA 117, CS 121 and HMA 270 in order to satisfy the Mathematics Core Area of Understanding.

Real World Learning

An important component of Elizabethtown College Real-world Learning is the high impact practices which supplement classroom learning. Real-world Learning is so significant that, completing at least two of these five Signature Learning Experiences (SLE) is a graduation requirement for all Elizabethtown College students. The student’s academic adviser will assist in choosing two of five SLEs: Supervised Research; Cross Cultural Experience or Exchange; Internship, Field Experience or Practicum; Community-Based Learning; and Capstone Course, Projects or Development Portfolio.

All students are encouraged to discuss these opportunities with their peer mentors, first-year seminar adviser and professors and explore the College website to see how other students have personalized a Real-world Learning experience that is just right for them.


No Academic Policies were amended by Academic Council and Faculty Assembly for inclusion in the Fall 2012-2013 catalog.


The following Academic Policies were approved by Academic Council and Faculty Assembly to be incorporated into the Fall 2011-2012 catalog. The policy changes affect all students actively enrolled at Elizabethtown College. 

For a detailed explanation of each policy, please see below, or read more about the Core Program Changes.

Revised: Early Participation Policy

Senior students who are not actually graduating may petition to indicate their desire to participate in Commencement and for verification of their status as a “member of the class.” To be eligible for early participant (“EP”) status, students must have a 2.00 grade point average in both the major and overall at the time of the ceremony and have no more than eight credit hours of course work remaining, regardless of total number of credits completed. Students in an education program who have not yet completed their student teaching are not eligible for EP status. Students approved as “early participants” take part in Commencement with their class, have their name listed in the official program, and are called to the platform for recognition as members of the graduating class. They are not graduates and do not receive a diploma until they have successfully completed all requirements. Early participation applications are due to the Office of Registration and Records by March 1st and must include what, when, and where the remaining requirements will be completed. Following approval, students have two years from when they participate in commencement to complete the requirements and earn their degree and cannot change their major(s) declaration during this time from what was approved for EP status. Students not completing their degree during this grace period or as specified on the EP application will need to follow the Catalog requirements in effect during the year they complete their degree (see “Other Requirements”). 

New: Emergent Scholars Program

Awarded to those undergraduate students who demonstrate strong academic achievement at the end of three semesters of full-time study at Elizabethtown College. Such early academic achievement is indicative of habits of mind that embody the Elizabethtown Educational Philosophy and Learning Goals. Recognition at this point in a student’s college career seeks to encourage deeper academic engagement on the path to achieving the promise of a transformative Elizabethtown College education. 

Qualifying students are full-time students who have not previously attended another college or university for full-time study and have earned at least 42 credits in three consecutive semesters of study at Elizabethtown College or one of its affiliated programs (or, by petition, a non-affiliated program). Students must have attained at least a 3.75 cumulative grade point average at the end of their first three semesters. Students will be identified after their third semesters at Elizabethtown and recognized during a ceremony at the start of their third, or junior, year at the College. 

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