Elms College has been awarded a three-year $240,000 grant from the Davis Educational Foundation in support of its ELMS (Experiential Learning Mastering Success) – Real World Ready! learning initiative. 

“Experiential Learning, through the ELMS-Real World Ready! learning initiative, will provide all of our students with the framework to be career-ready, community-minded graduates,” said Joyce Hampton, Ed.D., associate vice president of academic affairs, strategic & global initiatives. The overall goal is to provide at least one high-impact experiential learning opportunity to every student during their college career. 

Experiential learning is one of the five pillars of the college’s 2020-2023 Strategic Plan. Students can participate in internships, research, study abroad trips, and service learning opportunities.

“In making the award, the trustees of the Davis Educational Foundation recognized the merits of the proposed project, in particular the commitment from institutional leadership, the strong link to the strategic plan, and the clearly articulated assessment framework,” said Edward MacKay, chair of the foundation’s board of trustees. The Davis Educational Foundation was established by Stanton and Elisabeth Davis after Mr. Davis’s retirement as chairman of Shaw’s Supermarkets, Inc. 

The first-year grant disbursement will support hiring a director of Experiential Learning, providing professional development for faculty and staff, and broadening the scope of the college’s third annual Innovation Challenge (IC). Formerly a three-day event in which 60 students worked in teams to explore the intersection of social relationships, business economics, public education, and social justice, the IC is now part of First Year Seminar and includes the entire first-year class. Past ICs have resulted in Elms students developing creative ideas to alleviate homelessness and address bullying.

Photo of a student in the Center for Student Success
Tyla Risucci ’21, a biology and chemistry double
major, plans to become a physician. To strengthen her
applications to medical school, she has gained valuable
experience by volunteering as an EMT, as a teaching
assistant for undergraduate biology classes, and as a
science tutor in the Center for Student Success.

This story was published in the Fall 2020 issue of Elms Magazine.