Jun 21, 2021  
College Catalog 2013-2014 
College Catalog 2013-2014 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academics at Elizabethtown College

Overview and Accreditations

Elizabethtown College is a selective, private, residential, co-educational college located on 220 acres in historic Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The campus is near Harrisburg, Lancaster and Philadelphia, which are rich with cultural, athletic and social opportunities.

Elizabethtown offers 44 majors and 93 minors and concentrations, which lead to degrees in liberal arts, fine and performing arts, science and engineering, business, health and social services, and education. This array of programs allows our students to prepare for a broad spectrum of graduate programs and careers. The College is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. In addition, Elizabethtown has specialized accreditations from ABET; the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association; the American Chemical Society Committee on Professional Training; the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs; the Council on Social Work Education; the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences; and the National Association of Schools of Music.

Currently, almost 1,900 full-time students are enrolled at the College. These men and women come from more than half of the states in this country and 20 other nations. Educating our students are 130 full-time faculty members whose qualifications, achievements and dedication are to be admired. In addition, more than 500 adult learners also are pursuing a degree through Elizabethtown College School of Continuing and Professional Studies.


Molded by a commitment to educate for service, Elizabethtown College is a community of learners dedicated to educating students intellectually, socially, aesthetically and ethically for lives of service and leadership as citizens of the world.

As a comprehensive institution, the College offers academic programs in the liberal arts, sciences and professional studies. Combining classroom instruction with experiential learning, these programs advance independent thought, personal integrity and social responsibility as the foundations for a life of learning.

Founded by members of the Church of the Brethren, the College believes that learning is most noble when used to benefit others and affirms the values of peace, nonviolence, human dignity and social justice.

Educational Philosophy

Elizabethtown College engages students in a dynamic, integrated learning process that blends the liberal arts and professional studies. Challenged to take responsibility for their education, students at Elizabethtown embark on a journey of self-transformation that involves intellectual, social and personal growth.

The College is committed to educating the whole person within a relationship-centered learning community, where common goals are achieved through engagement in a rigorous academic curriculum and thoughtful co-curricular experiences. Students are encouraged to develop and challenge their own values, while seeking to understand and appreciate alternative perspectives. Embedded in an ever-changing global context, the College promotes the developmental, collaborative and complex nature of learning.

In seeking to “educate for service,” Elizabethtown College believes that students can perform no greater service than they do when sharing knowledge and creativity with others. Opportunities to strengthen scholarship and leadership extend beyond the classroom, and students learn actively through practical experiences and civic engagement.

The impact of an Elizabethtown College education is long lasting and far-reaching because it is deeply transformative. Students acquire new habits of mind and heart – some in the course of the undergraduate experience, others as students grow beyond college.

Learning Goals

At Elizabethtown College, students are inspired and challenged to:

  • assume responsibility for their intellectual development, personal growth and well-being. Students will learn to sharpen their curiosity and become aware of the capabilities, strategies and resources needed to learn.

  • reason, analyze and engage in critical thinking. Students will make, systematically evaluate, and, if necessary, refute arguments and claims – both their own and those of others.

  • demonstrate thoughtful and articulate communication by applying knowledge in a variety of contexts, including writing, speaking, listening and interpretation.

  • understand the creative process and its role in human expression, and cultivate the ability to make informed aesthetic judgments.

  • navigate diverse cultural worldviews and perspectives, with the realization that differing frames of reference influence analysis, communication and behavior.

  • make reflective ethical decisions and act with integrity to seek just outcomes with relationships, communities and society.

  • apply and integrate different strands of learning and comprehend interconnections in the process of gaining knowledge and experience.

  • identify and cultivate a sense of purpose that inspires a commitment to meaningful work in service to society.

The Qualities of Our Education

Our educational experience blends a high standard of scholarship with four signature attributes, which include commitments to educate our students in a relationship-centered learning community, to foster in our students international and cross-cultural perspectives, to complement classroom instruction with experiential-learning opportunities, and to prepare our students for purposeful lives and meaningful work.

Relationship-Centered Learning

Our educational programs engage students in ways that capture their most profound attention, confront them with learning experiences that are compelling, and call out from them responses that reach beyond what even they thought possible. In this learning community, our faculty members and other employees demonstrate their passion for their subjects and for continued learning so that our students see how compellingdeep engagement is. Students receive personal attention, as all employees commit to expressing sincere and genuine interest in the educational success of our students. Our College’s classes deliberately are kept small to support our students’ individual needs and challenge them to grow.

International and Cross-Cultural Perspectives

Elizabethtown offers a globalized curriculum and co-curriculum. Programs of study and development help students understand and effectively engage with other cultures and the globalization of life and work. Our staff includes faculty members and other employees who are citizens of countries from around the world, who speak a multitude of languages, and who have had myriad study and residential experiences on other continents. Students study alongside classmates from other cultures. Additionally, they encounter our international world when they visit, study in or live in cities as diverse as Harrisburg, Philadelphia, London, Beijing and Quito.

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

Investigate, test and study big questions under the supervision of a faculty mentor.

Internships, Field Placements, Practicums

Students become immersed in a professional setting in their chosen field of study or career interest.

Capstone Course, Project or Development Portfolio

Students are encouraged to integrate, apply and demonstrate what they’ve learned through a project, exhibit, performance or showcase.

Community-Based Learning

Students engage in service projects in communities locally and beyond that are related to their field of study.

Cross-Cultural Experience

Students explore different cultures by living and studying in a different culture either abroad or in the U.S.

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.

Purposeful Life Work

In both the curriculum and co-curriculum, the College’s educational program fosters an understanding of education for a life of purpose based on a holistic model of student development that integrates career development; reflection on vocation, meaning and life; and a commitment to civic engagement. As a result, graduates of Elizabethtown are prepared to make the world a better place. They do so, in part, by living in ways that reflect their individual commitments, respond to the needs of others, and value personal and ethical integrity.


Elizabethtown College was established by representatives of the Church of the Brethren on September 23, 1899. As outlined in our charter, the purpose of the College was “to give such harmonious development to the physical, mental and moral powers of both sexes as will best fit them for the duties of life.” On November 13, 1900, classes began for six students in the A. Heisey Building, located in downtown Elizabethtown.

During the early years, the institution operated as an academy, offering a limited curriculum. In 1921, the Pennsylvania Department of Public Instruction accredited the College and authorized it to grant bachelor’s degrees in the arts and sciences. In May 1948, Elizabethtown was accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Since the late 1940s, Elizabethtown has grown significantly – in our student and faculty population, in our academic and co-curricular offerings, and in the number and quality of our facilities.

Our Campus

To provide the superior classrooms and cutting-edge technology necessary to prepare our students for their future, the College has significantly enhanced our facilities over the past several years. Today, our campus is a beautiful marriage of stately 1900s architecture – symbolic of the College’s century-old heritage – and state-of-the-art academic and co-curricular buildings.

Located at the heart of campus, the Baugher Student Center is the hub of student activity at Elizabethtown. With the Brossman Commons addition, the Center offers comprehensive academic and career support through its Center for Student Success. Students who wish to get involved with activities or religious life on campus can visit the Center for Student Involvement. Additionally, the facility includes our Tempest Theatre, home to the College’s theatrical performances; the College Store; dining facilities; and an on-campus post office.

At the edge of campus sits Leffler Chapel and Performance Center, a beautiful venue for showcasing the talents of world-class performers and speakers who are hosted by Elizabethtown College. Highlighting the year are the annual Ware Lecture on Peacemaking, which has presented speakers such as former President of Ireland Mary Robinson and Nobel Peace Prize winners F.W. de Klerk and Jody Williams, and performances by the College’s talented musical ensembles. Also, through our partnership with Gretna Music, Elizabethtown hosts music performers of international renown.

The James B. Hoover Center for Business opened in fall 2006 as the new home for the College’s perennially strong business program. In these modern facilities, our business faculty members create a learning environment in which students gain the knowledge and experience necessary to handle real-world business issues with expertise and integrity. This building also houses the Elizabethtown College School of Continuing and Professional Studies, which provides a variety of programs for adult learners, and the S. Dale High Center for Family Business, which provides support to area family businesses.

Completed in fall 2008, the Masters Center for Science, Mathematics and Engineering provides the classrooms, modern laboratories and research facilities that are essential for a 21st-century science education. It features state-of-the-art learning centers and facilities, including the Lyet Wing for Biological Sciences, the Masters Mineral Gallery and the Occupational Therapy Kid Zone.

The Jay Walk athletics complex, which features offices for the College’s coaching staff and a Hall of Fame area, opened in January 2009. The building highlights a collection of outstanding athletic facilities, including a softball field; an outdoor track and field facility; Wolf Field, our artificial turf surface for lacrosse and field hockey; and the Kevin Scott Boyd Memorial Stadium for baseball.

In fall 2010, the College dedicated the Bowers Writers House at 840 College Hill Lane in Elizabethtown, which is within a short walking distance from the campus. An interdisciplinary venue for presentation, performance, expression and study, the Bowers Writers House supports a culture of creative curiosity and fosters a sense of excitement and enthusiasm for intellectual diversity. Bowers Writers House programs—from dramatic readings to interactive panels to musical performances—offer a dynamic variety of enjoyable and informative experiences.