Why you should register and attend ACPA’s ICA – Institute on the Curricular Approach (RCI – Residential Curriculum Institute)

The Institute on the Curricular Approach (formerly the Residential Curriculum Institute) is a professional development opportunity offered by ACPA-College Student Educators International and co-sponsored by its Commission for Housing and Residential Life and the Commission for Assessment and Evaluation. The Institute provides an overview and training on how to start and grow a residential curriculum and, since its inception, has drawn thousands of participants from across the United States and around the world. The Institute is the only event of its kind where schools can learn how to implement this model.

The curricular approach to residential education is an intentional process of promoting student learning in the residence halls. Although focused on residence life, it is applicable and has been adopted by entire student affairs divisions at a number of colleges and universities. There are 10 “essential elements” that are hallmarks of a residential curriculum and differentiate it from other approaches:

  1. Directly Connects to the Institutional Mission
  2. Learning Goals and Outcomes Developed and Based in a Defined Educational Priority
  3. Basis in Developmental Theory and Research
  4. Educational Strategies are Developed to Advance Learning Outcomes
  5. Educational Strategies Go Beyond Programmed Events
  6. Student Staff Are Utilized in Roles Appropriate To Their Skill Development
  7. Learning is Scaffolded and Sequenced To Follow Time-Based Development
  8. Key Stakeholders are Identified and Involved
  9. Peer-Review is Accomplished Through an Intentional Process
  10. Assessment Occurs at All Levels: From Educational Priority to Learning Goals and Outcomes

Designed as a learning community, the Institute on the Curricular Approach (ICA) (formerly the Residential Curriculum Institute (RCI)) is a three day series of educational sessions and workshops that guide participants through these 10 essential elements. Sessions at ICA include beginning, intermediate, and revising & advancing tracks as well as roundtables on select topics. Many institutions choose to send teams of educators to the Institute to train educators in this shift in philosophy. One of the highlights of the event are the “Showcases,” where schools with well-developed curricula share their successes and struggles implementing the approach.

Learn More, Become a Member, and Register

Past Curriculum Institutes

  • 1st Annual (January 25-27, 2007, University of Delaware) “From Just Residential to Resident Intentional: Developing a Curricular Approach to Residence Life”
  • 2nd Annual (January 24-26, 2008) “Anatomy of a Paradigm Shift: Developing a Curricular approach to Residence Life”
  • 3rd Annual (October 1-3, 2009, University of New Hampshire) “Purposeful Student Learning in a Time of Accountability”
  • 4th Annual (October 28-30, 2010, Macalester College)
  • 5th Annual (September 29 – October 1, 2011, Penn State University)
  • 6th Annual (October 21-23, 2012, Saint Louis University)
  • 7th Annual (October 20-23, 2013, University of South Carolina)
  • 8th Annual (October 19-22, 2014, Virginia Tech)
  • 9th Annual (October 18-21, 2015, Indiana State University)
  • 10th Annual (October 16-19, 2016, University of South Florida)
  • 11th Annual (October 15-18, 2017, University of Oklahoma)
  • 12th Annual (October 14-17, 2018, Chicago, IL)
  • 13th Annual (October 12-15, 2019, Anaheim, CA)
  • 14th Annual (December 4, 11, 18, 2020, Virtual)
  • 15th Annual (October 10-13, 2021, Chicago, IL)
  • 16th Annual (October 16-19, 2022, Baltimore, MD)
  • 17th Annual (October 22-25, 2023, Long Beach, CA)

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