Relationships, learning, and belonging at university

Explore how relationship-rich experiences at university ensure every student feels welcomed and inspired to learn 

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The Scientia Education Academy is delighted to welcome guest speaker Professor Peter Felten, Executive Director of the Center for Engaged Learning and assistant Provost for Teaching and Learning at Elon University.

Decades of research demonstrate that the quality of student-staff and student-student interactions influence motivation, learning, belonging, and achievement for all university students, and are particularly significant for students from groups that have been excluded from or marginalized in higher education.

Drawing on more than 400 interviews with students and staff across U.S. higher education, we will consider how relationship-rich experiences can be a flexible, scalable, equitable, and humane approach to ensure that all students experience welcome and care, become inspired to learn, and explore the big questions that matter for their lives and our communities.


About the Speaker

Professor Peter Felten Headshot

Peter Felten is a professor of history, executive director of the Center for Engaged Learning, and assistant provost for teaching and learning at Elon University. Peter has published six books about undergraduate education including (with Leo Lambert), Relationship-Rich Education: How Human Connections Drive Success in College (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020). His next book, a student guide to relationship-rich education, is co-authored with Isis Artze-Vega, Leo Lambert, and Oscar Miranda Tapia, and will be published by Johns Hopkins in early 2023 (with an open access online version free to all readers). He has served as president of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) and the POD Network, the U.S. professional society for educational developers. He is on the advisory board of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and is a fellow of the Gardner Institute, a foundation that works to advance equity, justice, and upward social mobility through higher education.

Photo by Martin Springborg, appearing in the book 'What Teaching Looks Like'