Presentation: Utilizing Standards to Assess the Effectiveness of a Residential Education Curriculum

Given that the curricular approach is relatively new in student affairs circles, there is a need for tools and resources that can help campuses and departments assess the effectiveness of their efforts. I, along with Ryan Lloyd, recently had the pleasure of presenting on two such resources at the 2018 International Convention of NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education in Philadelphia, PA.

In this presentation, we presented two assessment tools that provide rubrics for assessing curricular development. The first tool was developed by myself based on my own research and my years of experience serving as a faculty member for the Residential Curriculum Institute. It examines the structures and practices a department needs to have in place in order to have a successful curriculum. This tool, also known as the Residential Curriculum Self Assessment Instrument, covers nine different areas of focus ranging from the development of foundational educational goals to how staffing structures and roles are determined. The second tool, a curriculum Organizational Barometer, developed by Hilary Lichterman from her own original doctoral research, examines organizational and cultural behavior for success indicators in the implementation of a curriculum. This tool examines curricular organizational change through Bolman and Deal’s four frames: structural, human resource, symbolic, and political.

Below you will find the abstract and learning outcomes from the session as well as the original slides.

Abstract:

Developing a residential education curriculum requires not just a change in process and procedure, but also a cultural and philosophical change in the way we approach our work. To that end, the presenters will share two self-assessment guides they created to aid departments in continuous improvement. This session will introduce the curricular approach and the guides, allowing participants to practice and discuss methods for implementing it in practice.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Recall the elements of a residential curriculum, what the approach entails, and methods for adopting it.
  2. Describe areas and criteria for evaluation in assessing their curricular development.
  3. Utilize the Curriculum Standards Self Assessment Guide and the Organizational Barometer to determine areas for growth and development in their work.

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