Baylor Announces Engaged Learning Group Topics for Fall 2012

February 24, 2012
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Baylor Engaged Learning Group (ELG) students study for final exams at Kokernot Hall.

Incoming Baylor freshmen can apply now for academically and socially nurturing academic community

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Incoming Baylor University freshmen are invited to apply now for Fall 2012 >Engaged Learning Groups (ELGs), which offer a unique living/learning opportunity for incoming students, combining a challenging interdisciplinary academic program with a supportive residence community. Topics for the next round of ELGs are Hispanic Families in Transition, Medical Sciences and Scriptures and Heritage.
"This year's topics are powerful, engaging, and relevant to today's world," said Wes Null, Ph.D., vice provost for undergraduate education and associate professor of curriculum and foundations of education in the School of Education and the Honors College at Baylor. "I am excited about these unique learning opportunities for incoming freshmen, and we look forward to talking with our new students about what we have planned."

Hispanic Families in Transition

With minorities fast becoming the majority communities of the future, freshmen in the Hispanic Families in Transition ELG will have a chance to take a close, personal look at these minority communities, especially those comprising recent Hispanic immigrants, who struggle with poverty, literacy and the challenge of learning English as a second language, as they attempt to survive and succeed in American culture and society. This ELG group also will have the opportunity to travel together to heighten their understanding of immigration issues in Waco and outside of Texas.
The Hispanic Families in Transition ELG is directed by Randy Wood, Ph.D., professor and director for Center for Christian Education in Baylor's School of Education. Faculty partners are Lane Murphy, part-time lecturer in English, and Daniel Train, doctoral candidate in English.

Medical Sciences

The Medical Sciences Engaged Learning Group (MSELG) is a multi-disciplinary learning community designed for freshmen who are interested in pursuing a career in medicine. Medical schools prefer an enriched academic program of study that provides students with a strong foundation in the physical sciences, social sciences and the humanities. Medical schools also value students who have highly developed communication skills and who have demonstrated a commitment to the profession through student activities and shadowing experiences. The MSELG will afford participating students the means to deepen their comprehension of the medical profession through specialized coursework and events coordinated by the Office of Prehealth Studies. Additionally, Baylor's biology and chemistry departments will provide the academic theme, curricular elements and scientific guidance that are fundamental aspects of this program. MSELG students will have opportunities to engage in medically related extracurricular activities that will prepare them for a career in medicine.
The MSELG is directed by Linda Haynes, MSEd, program manager of health professional advising, and Rich Sanker, Ph.D., director of the Prehealth Science Studies Office. Faculty partners are David Pennington, Ph.D., professor of chemistry and biochemistry and Master Teacher, and Marcie Moehnke, Ph.D., lecturer in biology and genetics.

Scriptures and Heritage

The Scriptures and Heritage ELG is designed specifically for incoming freshmen majoring in religion. The two courses offered through this ELG are Christian Scriptures (REL 1310) and Christian Heritage (REL 1350), which are the gateway courses for all religion majors before taking upper level classes in the department of religion. The Scriptures and Heritage ELG applies the concepts of a living/learning environment to the religion major's freshman year by enhancing the experience in the initial religion courses with an intentional community experience outside of students' common coursework.
The Scriptures and Heritage ELG is directed by Eric Holleyman, Ph.D., senior lecturer in religion. Faculty partner is Doug Weaver, Ph.D., associate professor of religion and director of undergraduate studies in the department of religion.

Kokernot Residence Hall is the home to all ELGs and includes one female building and one male building connected by a shared lobby, a "smart classroom," enhanced study/community space and faculty offices. Laine Scales, Ph.D., professor of higher education and associate dean of the Graduate School, serves as Kokernot's faculty member in residence, furthering Baylor's commitment to integrating learning in and out of the classroom.

For questions about ELGs, call Terri Garrett, associate director for academic initiatives, at (254) 710-6650 or

About Baylor University

Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions.

Media contact: Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, (254) 710-6275