Kellogg Honors College

Honors Engaged Learning Experience

What is an Engaged Learning Experience?

Kellogg Honors College (KHC) students must complete an engaged learning experience (ELE), a mentored investigation or creative inquiry that seeks to make a scholarly or artisistic contribution to knowledge. The goal is for students to demonstrate a deep understanding of a topic, issue, or problem in academic interests of their choosing. The experience can coincide with faculty-led research, labs, senior projects, internships, and/or CPP research programs (e.g., O.U.R., McNair, etc). The topic does not have to be novel or original, but be of upper-level complexity and mentor-led. Experiences should be near a semester's length (summer programs can be exceptions) and can be done any semester except the student's final spring semester. Students must develop a medium-such as a poster or video-to present their experience at a research conference, such as the CPP RSCA or any other approved event.

Getting Started!

Engaged Learning Experience Proposal Form

Use this form to propose an experience/project for approval by the KHC director. This form requires input from the faculty mentoring the research experience. This form is due the semester prior to conducting the research. Once this proposal is approved, students will enroll in CPU 4990H for the semester of the research/project. CPU 4990H applies toward the minimum honors course graduation requirement.

  • Honors Engaged Learning Experience Experience Form (fillable PDF)
    • The completed form is due in the semester before the start of the project:
      • Fall semester projects: Submit the form by the end of spring semester (May)
      • Spring semester projects: Submit the form by the end of fall semester (December)

Past Convocation Materials

Frequently Asked Questions for Students

All KHC students must have a learning experience that is faculty mentored, senior-level complexity, and independent. Students will produce a poster or other medium to present at CPP’s RSCA event held every March. Alternatively, students can present projects at CARS held every August, or any approved external conference. The project can be from any major discipline, so long as it is within the student's academic interests.

Students may apply projects from their major (senior project), faculty labs, research programs (McNair, etc),  and/or internships to earn KHC learning experience credit. Students must request (using the project proposal form) and receive approval from the KHC director the semester before starting the project. 

The research proposal/idea does not need to be original. Students must conduct data collection, analysis, and conclusion.

The project can be done any semester except students’ final spring semester. Since the project must be presented around the 7th week of spring semester, students must conduct the project in the fall semester before. Students graduating in a fall semester can do the project that same fall semester and present in the following spring.

Frequently Asked Questions for Faculty Mentors

  • Remember that KHC students are students in your department typically, and we encourage them to use senior culminating projects in their major.
  • Your main responsibilities are to guide the student(s) in coming up with an independent research or creative activities project, meet with the student regularly to monitor progress, provide guidance, and /or help trouble shoot. Help the student prepare their Honors Capstone Contract Form.
  • Communicate with the KHC Director if any support is needed or difficulties occur.
  • Respond to requests for information by the KHC Director. These will largely be limited to a mid-semester check in and a request for final grade on the project. However, if necessary the KHC director may reach out more often. The goal is to provide support to you and your mentee.

  • The project should show the ability of a student to conduct independent research or creative activities.
  • The project should show deep learning, an understanding of research ethics, an understanding of appropriate methods, data collection, and results reporting and/or synthesis.
  • The project should reflect disciplinary standards for a senior project.
  • For examples of previous projects by students in your college or your department please see our archive of Capstone projects.
  • If you need further guidance, please contact the KHC Director.

  • This work is a form of one-on-one mentorship of students in independent research. Your DRTP document will provide you with guidance on how to report it for your specific department.
  • The KHC Director will provide a letter accounting for the service provided to the student and Honors College. This letter can be used to document specifically the amount of work you did with the student and provide clear documentation to use for your RTP evaluations, annual report or other necessary documentation of service.
  • In addition, you will receive an invitation to our Annual Convocation Ceremony where we will honor our graduates and their faculty mentors!