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Elmhurst Learning and Success Academy

ELSA alumni talk about finding full-time employment after the program.

The Elmhurst Learning and Success Academy (ELSA) is a four-year, post-secondary certificate program for young adults, ages 18-28, with differing abilities.

  • Please note: As part of the campus’ effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, both ELSA Preview Day and ELSA-Palooza 12 have been canceled. Please email us with any questions you might have about these events or the ELSA program.

ELSA is an on-campus program following the academic calendar of the University. You may take courses in the fall, January, spring and summer terms, and may attend on a full-time or part-time basis.

Elmhurst University provides an inclusive environment with opportunities for students to interact with their peers in various activities. Students are able to participate in clubs, organizations, events and other activities on campus along with their degree-seeking peers. As a student, you will continue to grow as an individual and build your skills for lifelong-learning opportunities, with the goal to work productively and live as independently as possible.

Focus Areas

The program consists of three focus areas, challenging the personal growth of every student:

Students take courses to enhance their literacy skills and abilities in writing, mathematics, purposeful reading and reading for pleasure. Students job shadow, take career exploration courses, and participate in internships and other field experiences. Instruction in personal finance and use of technology are also integrated throughout the program. Additionally, students have the option to take ELSA electives, beginning in their second year of study, pending necessary approvals.

Students learn valuable strategies to enhance their skills in budgeting, menu preparation and cooking, shopping, use of public transportation, household management, personal care, and other functional life skills.

Students are part of the Elmhurst University community and can participate in a wide variety of clubs, organizations and intramural sports on campus. Volunteers from other programs at the University can assist as peer mentors, job and life coaches, community advisors and education coaches, to engage students in a range of planned activities and encourage peer interaction and social skills.

ELSA in the News

The ELSA program made me come out of my comfort zone. I have made lifelong friends in the ELSA program.

—Madison D. ’20

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