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Academic opportunities

2024-25 Academic Catalog Page edits in-progress 

Special academic opportunities include faculty-student research projects, international study, summer language programs, exchange programs with foreign universities, internships and more.

Students interested in such experiences should contact the Augustana Careers, Opportunities, Research and Explorations (CORE) offices.

Many fieldwork experiences and individual studies also are available through academic departments. College-wide, academic resources and opportunities are described here.

NOTE: While the senior audit, program evaluation, academic support resources, as well as academic guidance from faculty and advisors are all available to every student at no additional cost, these resources are provided for use in planning only. It is the responsibility of the student to report any printed error to the Office of the Registrar within three terms. The responsibility for understanding and meeting degree requirements rests entirely with the student.

CORE: Careers, Opportunities, Research and Exploration

Augustana Careers, Opportunities, Research, and Exploration (CORE) assists students to bring together knowledge from the classroom and real-life experience in ways that increase their learning and meet the needs of the community. CORE is committed to enhancing students' articulation of the connection between what they know and how that knowledge interacts with the real world. 

CORE is designed to build a more active and robust community of alumni, parents, and employers; lead students through vocational discernment; assist students to develop skills for employment and internships; and integrate a student's professional development with opportunities for a wide range of experiences that enhance and deepen their educational experience. These experiences may relate to career development and internships, international and off-campus programs, student research, and community based programs. CORE's comprehensive approach will better position Augustana graduates to pursue meaningful careers that honor their aspirations and investments in their education.

Offices and functions in Augustana CORE include:

Augie ChoiceThe Augie Choice program provides individual sophomore, junior or senior students up to $2,000 to support a high-impact learning experience in an area such as faculty-student research, internships and international study. This one-time funding can apply to a wide variety of expenses related to these experiences, such as airfare and travel fees, a stipend for an otherwise unpaid summer internship or materials needed for a project. For more information and specific policies, see the Augustana CORE office or Augie Choice FAQ page.

Careers Development: The career development staff helps students link their exploration and accomplishments in college to meaningful lives of professional achievement and contribution. From the first year to beyond graduation, the staff helps students with career advising, internships and job search, interviews, resumes and graduate school preparation. The office also works to create a community of alumni, parents and friends to expand career opportunities and potential sources of useful career-related information.

Internships: Internships combine classroom theory with a structured, supervised work experience. CORE helps students in all aspects of internships, from helping with site placement to providing a supervised work experience. To register an internship, meet with your Career Coach in CORE, which can be done through Handshake.

International & Off-Campus Programs: Augustana College offers an array of domestic and international study opportunities. These experiences are designed to be a part of a general liberal arts education and are not limited to regional language or cultural specialists. Programs range from two weeks to a full semester in many different locations. International and Off-Campus Programs provides support and information about both Augustana and non-Augustana study-abroad programs. Students should check with the financial assistance office regarding eligibility for financial assistance for international study programs approved by Augustana. 

Note: Participation in international study programs is on a select basis, and is available to a limited number of students. By nature these programs allow students a large degree of independence with less supervision than on campus. The college may therefore deny participation to students with a history of disciplinary issues or needs that cannot be adequately accommodated abroad.

Types of international and off-campus programs include:

  • Academic Spring or Fall  Semester Programs
  • Faculty-led Programs (January/June)
  • International and domestic summer internship programs (Fall, Spring, Summer)

Student Research and Creative Scholarship

“A mentored investigation or creative inquiry conducted by undergraduates that seeks to make a scholarly or artistic contribution to knowledge." (From the National Council on Undergraduate Research)

The Office of Student Research will work with the following groups on campus to collect names, ID #s and project titles of students whose projects will count as research under this definition:
•    Student Research Committee
•    Faculty Research Committee
•    Freistat Center
•    Augie Choice coordinator
•    Department/Program chairs

In addition, the Office of Student Research keeps track of students who present at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research and will include these projects as well. 

Toward the middle of the Spring semester, the coordinator of student research will reach out to the chairs of the two committees, the Freistat Center and the AC coordinator, to ask for the names, ID numbers and project titles of students who have been funded to conducted their own research (mentored by a faculty member) or to work with faculty on a collaborative research project. 

In addition, during the Spring semester the coordinator will attend a chairs meeting (with a follow-up email) requesting information on students working with faculty on research projects.

Community Based Learning: includes the following departments

Upper Mississippi Center: The Upper Mississippi Studies Center uses Augustana's resources to help communities solve sustainability challenges facing urban and rural working landscapes of the Upper Mississippi River. The center creates unique learning opportunities for students to acquire a collective set of knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to solve 21st century sustainability challenges.

Center for the Advancement of Community Health and Wellness: This new interdisciplinary center, led by Dr. Kimberly Murphy, strengthens campus and community well-being through applied student research, internships, community service and other experiential learning opportunities. The center’s focus aligns with the six dimensions of wellness developed by Dr. Bill Hettler of the University of Wisconsin. These are occupational, physical, social, intellectual, spiritual and emotional. The center's mission connects broadly with the Augustana's curricular and co-curricular programs.

Entrepreneurial Center (EDGE): The Entrepreneurial Center connects students with community organizations in need of communications, marketing and creative services, including web design. The students gain real experience to enhance their portfolios and résumés. Businesses and not-for-profit organizations gain a low-cost resource for their marketing needs.


Special research and learning facilities

Augustana maintains a number of on- and off-campus facilities that support specialized research and learning opportunities for our students and the community.

Augustana Center for Visual Culture

The Augustana Center for Visual Culture serves the college and community through art collection, preservation and exhibition. It provides a valuable component to an Augustana liberal arts education through study, teaching and research using original art.

Center for Speech, Language, and Hearing

The Center for Speech, Language, and Hearing is the on-campus internship site for undergraduate students majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Faculty and student interns provide assessment and intervention services to people with a variety of speech, language, and hearing disorders. The center offers both speech and audiology services. Located in Augustana's Brodahl Building, 851 34th St., Rock Island.

Environmental Field Stations

Augustana College owns and manages ecologically significant habitats divided among three field stations in northern Illinois. The mission of the college field stations is to promote the understanding and protection of Illinois native ecosystems through field-based education, research and other scholarly activities.

The 420-acre Green Wing Environmental Laboratory south of Dixon in Lee County is a mosaic of forests, wetlands and grassland remnants, with permanent buildings to house students and faculty during summer classes and field research. It is owned by the Illinois Audubon Society but the college has retained 15 acres and buildings for student and faculty use.

Encompassing 80 acres of upland forests and two high quality hill prairies, the Collinson Ecological Preserve in Milan was purchased from The Nature Conservancy in 1992 with a gift from the Collinson Stone Company. In 2007, the hill prairies were formally dedicated as the Josua Lindahl Hill Prairies Nature Preserve by the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission.

The 98-acre Beling Ecological Preserve was a gift to the college from the Earl Beling family in 1998. Located on the north shore of the Rock River at the junction of Rock Island and Moline, this wetlands preserve includes tiny William Carr Island.

Fryxell Geology Museum

The museum, named after Dr. Fritiof Fryxell, has become one of the largest and finest collections of rocks, minerals and fossils in the Midwest. Begun in the late 1880s with a modest natural history collection, the museum now boasts over 1,500 rock, mineral, and fossil specimens. The museum is free and open to the public. Museum staff also host free school field trips for K-12 students.

John Deere Planetarium

The John Deere Planetarium and Carl Gamble Observatory are used for various classes as well as community programs. Featuring a Celestron C14 computer-driven 14-inch reflector telescope, the observatory is open to the public for special occasions such as the annual open houses for viewing Comet Hyakutake, Comet Hale-Bop and lunar eclipses. In December the planetarium is open to the community for the annual Season of Light program.

Student research grants and fellowships

Student research grants and fellowships

Augustana College offers funding for students to do independent research, summer research fellowships, faculty-student projects, undertake special projects and participate in professional conferences. These funds are available to students in all disciplines, including the arts and humanities. Deadlines vary.

Freistat Grant opportunities

Freistat Grant opportunities

The William F. Freistat Center provides funding for student-faculty research fellowships; student in-country language and cultural enhancement grants; student on-site intensive language study grants; student fellowships in public health, peace, and justice hosted at Baylor College of Medicine’s Center for Globalization; and student awards to present papers at undergraduate and professional conferences. Support is for student research and work connected to the various initiatives encouraged by the Freistat Center, including peace studies and research about and/or carried out in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.

For more information visit the Freistat Grant Center.

National fellowships and external scholarships

External scholarships and fellowships are available to current students and students that will allow you to pursue graduate study, research at some of the world's finest universities, and explore the world.  Each scholarship or fellowship opportunity has different application and eligibility requirements and deadlines. Most disciplines and concentrations are represented. They are all highly competitive, and require careful preparation and consultation with faculty mentors.

The Fellowship Research Guide provides expanded information for awards from Carnegie, Jack Kent, Rhodes, Ford Foundation, Fulbright, Mitchell, Boren, Gilman, Udall, Barry M. Goldwater, Marshall, Mellon, National Science, and National Security Education to name just a few.

Symposium Days

Once per term, Augustana devotes a full day to an alternative approach for learning and opens its doors to the entire community. Symposium Days include invited speakers, alumni, advising sessions and opportunities to practice the liberal arts and be involved with our community.

Fall Symposium has a rotating theme connected to Augie Reads; Winter Symposium's theme is Social Justice; Spring Symposium is Celebration of Learning featuring original research and scholarship by Augustana's students and faculty.