Elmhurst College Training for Student Leaders

The Elmhurst College Division of Student Affairs supports students in becoming responsible critical thinkers who are engaged in the community and the world. The office supports their physical and spiritual wellness while also raising awareness of each student’s role and responsibility in an intercultural world.


It was very surprising how helpful I found this training session. I thought I had a good idea coming into this session about how to facilitate reflections but I realize now that my knowledge beforehand was very basic. This session helped me to expand and highlight key concepts in planning and executing reflective discussions.


--Elmhurst College Student Leader


Engaging Elmhurst College students in reflection has made a big impact on learning through service. Participants have the opportunity to critically reflect on their work and to explore the question ‘why serve.’ Whether in a student organization meeting or during alternative break, reflective discussions have deepened the student experience and provided opportunities for student leadership in a very empowering way.


--Laura Wilmarth Tyna

Director of Leadership, Service and Engagement at Elmhurst College


As we opened up the world of civic reflection to the Elmhurst College community and student organizations, people became much more aware of why we do all the things we do, as individuals and communities.


--Amanda Ceaser

Elmhurst College Alum and Leader of Elmhurst Habitat for Humanity

Audience Focus

Student leaders at Elmhurst College


  1. Build a cadre of student leaders to lead reflective discussions and other reflection activities within campus service organizations and at service events and activities
  2. Build reflection into the culture of student service and social action
  3. Integrate substantive and ongoing reflection into the Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter Alternative Break Program
  4. Provide ongoing facilitation training to develop students’ leadership and personal growth
Elmhurst College Habitat for Humanity group poses for a picture

Project Description

In 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, the Center for Civic Reflection trained 20 student leaders to facilitate dialogues with their peers, including a half-day advanced training workshop for experienced Habitat for Humanity Site Leaders. At the trainings, students learned to develop and lead reflective discussions and to integrate these discussions into their Habitat for Humanity alternative break activities. Participants were also encouraged to lead or engage in reflective discussion during the meetings and activities of service organizations, such as Alpha Phi Omega (a co-educational service fraternity), the Community Outreach Program and Elmhurst's environmental service group, the Greenjays.


  1. Reflective discussion has become an established part of the Habitat for Humanity alternative break experience.
  2. Student leaders embrace reflection as a key part of their work and develop reflective activities to build community among their peers.
  3. Student site leaders have led reflective discussions with over 200 students through the Habitat for Humanity alternative break program.
  4. In post-training surveys, 100% of student participants reported improved listening skills and increased ability to communicate their own values and beliefs.
  5. In post-training surveys, 100% of student participants reported increased confidence and desire to lead reflective discussions with others.
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