I am excited to be a part of brining an innovative new type of presentation style to this year’s ACPA National Convention in Las Vegas. Myself and some of my favorite colleagues (Ed Cabellon at Bridgewater State University, Patrick Love at Rutgers University, and Kristen Renn at Michigan State University) will be presenting a series of PechaKucha presentations. As the Convention gets closer, I’ll share more details about what we’re cooking up, but just to tease you a little, we’ve titled the session “The Future of Student Affairs in Six Minutes and Forty Seconds.”
So what is PechaKucha?
PechaKucha (pronounced peh-chach-ka) is the Japanese term for the sound of “chit chat.” In February 2003, Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham devised PechaKucha as a presentation style that involves a presenter speaking over a 20 slide presentation set to automatically advance the slides every 20 seconds. As a result, each PechaKucha presentation is exactly 6 minutes and 40 seconds. Witnessing a PechaKucha for the first time can be an exhilarating experience. Kristen Renn likens it to watching a figure skater go for the triple salchow. The presenter must get their timing exactly right in order to sync up with the automatically advancing slides. Will they make it? Will they stumble? Gasp!
As the details of the Newtown elementary school tragedy begin to come out, it’s caused me to reflect on my own experiences and calling as a student affairs educator. I work with a very different population of student, but the kinship I feel with the teachers of Sandy Hook is very much the same. I choose this profession because I want to help others. I choose this profession because it allows me to better the world through the students with whom I interact. I choose this profession because it places me in the company of colleagues who unselfishly give of themselves in service to others.
In this line of work, one gets an up-close look at the diversity of human beings, from the sublime to the tragic. Each student comes with their own successes, their own challenges, their own gifts, and their own struggles. This diversity is what makes human beings beautiful while at the same time so flawed. Being a student affairs educator allows me to bear witness to this and help others in a intimate way that few others will have the privilege of experiencing. When working with students, their successes become your successes. Their tragedies become your tragedies. Much like I’m sure the teachers of Sandy Hook felt and feel towards their students, my students become, in a sense, my children. Although they’re emerging adults, the care I give them is unconditional and, although they’re emerging adults, they sometimes need help like any human being does.
I have the privilege of presenting a paper with some of my colleagues this week at the Association for the Study Of Higher Education National Conference in Las Vegas. Titled, “Capturing the Elusive: Accounting for Study Attrition and Complex Trajectories in a Longitudinal Study of Low-Income High School Graduates,” this presentation examines a unique method of data collection we employed in attempting to understand the college going behavior of a group of high school graduates of low socioeconomic status. Below is a little preview of what we have in store. Please do not cite without permission.
Arnold, K. D., Brown, P. G., Gismondi, A. N., Pesce, J. R., and Stanfield, D. A. (2012, November). Capturing the elusive: Accounting for study attrition and complex trajectories in a longitudinal study of low-income high school graduates. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, Las Vegas, NV.
In informal discourse the term “residential curriculum” is used to describe an intentional way of promoting learning in college and university residence life and education programs. A residential curriculum, however, is a very specific approach to structuring these learning opportunities.
First implemented at the University of Delaware in the early 2000s, the Model was detailed in a 2006 article, “Beyond seat time and student satisfaction: A curricular approach to residential education,” in About Campus magazine by Kerr and Tweedy. This approach lead to the establishment of ACPA’s Residential Curriculum Institute in 2007. Since then, the curricular approach has become increasingly common and popular. In his 2015 work, Student Learning in College Residence Halls, Blimling provides an overview of the curricular approach and related models for designing residential education initiatives. A follow up article in 2017, “Shifting to curricular approaches to learning beyond the classroom,” by Kerr, Tweedy, Edwards, and Kimmel, further refined the Model.
To be considered a “true” Residential Curriculum, an educational plan should incorporate the following “ten essential elements” (Kerr, Tweedy, Edwards, & Kimmel, 2017):
- Directly Connects to the Institutional Mission
- Learning Goals and Outcomes Developed and Based in a Defined Educational Priority
- Basis in Developmental Theory and Research
- Educational Strategies are Developed to Advance Learning Outcomes
- Educational Strategies Go Beyond Programmed Events
- Student Staff Are Utilized in Roles Appropriate To Their Skill Development
- Learning is Scaffolded and Sequenced To Follow Time-Based Development
- Key Stakeholders are Identified and Involved
- Peer-Review is Accomplished Through an Intentional Process
- Assessment Occurs at All Levels: From Educational Priority to Learning Goals and Outcomes
As a professional I’ve previously implemented a curricular approach at one of my past institutions. I have also served as a Residential Curriculum Institute faculty member for a number of years.
I frequently consult with individual campuses on developing and enhancing their curricula through multi-day workshops and speaking events. I have worked with over 30 different institutions across the country. If you’re interested in bringing me to campus, you can learn more about my speaking and consulting and reach out to me with any interest.
eBooks on Residential Curriculum and Curricular Approaches:
I’ve authored a number of eBooks related to curricular development and residence life and education. The following eBooks on residential curriculum and curricular approaches are available for free and provide you with definitions, instructions, and review materials to aid you in your educational work on campus.
The following represents some of my blog posts and related content on residential curriculum development. I’ve also included a number of posts and other publications that I have found in my research on the topic.
Curriculum Basics and Overview
- What is a Residential Curriculum? Curricular Approach? Residential Learning Model?
- Have We Reached The Tipping Point For Residential Curriculum Model Adoption?
- What are the Benefits of Moving to a Curricular Approach to Residence Life?
- Transformative Residential Curricula: Lessons Learned Over 10 Years by Hilary Lichterman, Kathleen Kerr, and Keith Edwards
- Are You Organizationally Ready To Take On a Curricular Approach?
- You Don’t Need to Have a Residential Curriculum to Benefit From it’s Concepts
- Things to Remember When Embarking on Your Journey to a Residential Curriculum or Curricular Approach
- 6 Tips for Staying Unstuck with a Curricular Approach by Keith Edwards
Beginning Your Journey
- 4 Documents that Place “Student Learning” at the Core of Residential Education
- Developing a Timeline for a Divisional or Residential Curriculum Implementation on Your Campus
- A Glossary of Terms for Residential Curriculum and Curricular Approaches Outside of the Classroom
The Ten Elements of a Curriculum
- Element #1: Directly Connects to the Institutional Mission
- Element #2: Learning Goals and Outcomes Developed and Based in a Defined Educational Priority
- Element #3: Basis in Developmental Theory and Research
- Element #4: Educational Strategies are Developed to Advance Learning Outcomes
- Element #5: Educational Strategies Go Beyond Programmed Events
- Element #6: Student Staff Are Utilized in Roles Appropriate To Their Skill Development
- Element #7: Learning is Scaffolded and Sequenced To Follow Time-Based Development
- Element #8: Key Stakeholders are Identified and Involved
- Element #9: Peer-Review is Accomplished Through an Intentional Process
- Element #10: Assessment Occurs at All Levels: From Educational Priority to Learning Goals and Outcomes
- The Missing 11th Element of a Residential Curriculum: Customized Student Learning
Determining Your Objectives
- Does Your Residential Curriculum Cascade?
- Why Words Matter in a Residential Curriculum
- How to Conduct an Archeological Dig for a Curricular Approach to Student Affairs
- The Difference Between a “Mission Statement” and an “Educational Priority” in a Curriculum
- 21 Examples of Learning Priority Statements for a Residential Curriculum
Goals and Narratives
- What are Residential Curriculum Goals and Narratives and How to Write Them
- Utilizing National Competencies and Standards to Develop Your Curricular Learning Goals
- 7 Learning Goal Themes Commonly Found in a Residential Curriculum
- Breaking Down Curricular Learning Goals into Learning Outcomes
- Building Off of Bloom: Writing Progressive Learning Outcomes
Rubrics and Sequencing
- How To Developmentally Sequence and Map Student Co-Curricular Learning
- How to Develop Student Learning Rubrics for Student Affairs Curriculum
- The Iterative and Reciprocal Process of Developing Rubrics
Strategies and Facilitation Guides
- 10 Different Strategies for Promoting Residential Student Learning
- Creating Effective Curriculum Facilitation Guides and Lesson Plans for Staff
- Incentivizing the Residential Curriculum by Matt Kwiatkowski
Educational Plan and Curricular Review
- Developing Your Educational Plan(s) and Putting Your Residential Curriculum Into Practice
- Utilizing Peer and External Review Processes for Continuous Curricular Improvement
- Presentation: Utilizing Standards to Assess the Effectiveness of a Residential Education Curriculum
- Five Tips for Designing Your Residential Curriculum Assessment Plans By Craig Orcholski
- Developing A Culture of Assessment in Your Residence Life and Education Program
- Utilizing Existing Campus-Wide Assessments and Measures in Your Curricular Approach
- On-The-Ground Assessment of Student Learning Out of the Classroom
- Feedback versus Assessment: Questions to Ask
- 27 Quick Questions to Assess Student Learning
Partnerships, Buy-In, and Organizational Change
- Who, Where, and How to Engage Partners and Stakeholders in a Residential Curriculum
- Five Tips for Building Residential Curriculum “Buy-in” by Craig Orchulski
Special Topics in Residence Life
- 5 Signs Your Residential Curriculum is Actually a Programming Model with Learning Outcomes
- Why the Frequency of Residence Hall Programs Matters More Than the Overall Number of Them
- RAs are NOT Educational Experts!
- What are Intentional Conversations and Why Should You Use Them in Residential Education?
- How to Structure Intentional Conversations in a Residential Curriculum
- Developing an Intentional Conversation Curriculum Guide for Student Staff
- 100 Questions You Can Use for Intentional Conversations in the Residence Halls
- Don’t Be Creepy: Training Student Staff For Genuine Intentional Conversations
- How to Track and Assesses Intentional Conversations for a Residential Curriculum
- Presentation: Implementing Intentional Conversations into Your Residence Life and Curriculum Work
Student and Professional Staff
- Implications for Staff Member Duties, Selection, Training, and Development When Transitioning to a Curricular Approach
- Hiring Professional Residence Life Staff for a Residential Curriculum
- Onboarding New Professional Staff to a Student Affairs or Residential Curriculum
- RA Training and Residential Curriculum
- 4 Tips for Developing Buy-In for Curriculum from RAs, Student Staff Members, and Student Leaders
Residential Curriculum and Curricular Approach Q&A Series
- Where Can I Find Peer Institutions To Collaborate With And Benchmark?
- Where Can I Find Examples of Facilitation Guides?
- Can a Curricular Approach Work on a Campus with a Large Commuter Population?
Residence Life-Specific Questions
- Where do RHA’s and Hall Councils Fit into a Curricular Approach?
- Where does Residence Life Community Building Fit Into a Curriculum?
- Residential Curriculum: The Trials and Tribulations of Semester One by Tanner Anthony, Jeremy Bowersox, Kathryn Bussell, & James Devlin at Embry Riddle Aeronatical University (Credit to The SEAHO Report)
- 5 Lessons Learned from Embracing Restorative Practices in our Residential Curriculum by Kaleigh Mrowka and Lauren Teresa Mauriello
- Identify, Partner, and Develop to Create Campus Well-Being by Grant Anderson
- How Colleges Use the Curriculum to Encourage Resilience (Chronicle of Higher Education, paywall)
Publications on Developing a Residential Curriculum:
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles:
- Lichterman, H. & Bloom, J. L. (2019). The Curricular Approach to Residential Education: Lessons for Student Affairs Practice. College Student Affairs Journal, 37(1), 54-67.
- Stauffer, C., & Kimmel, D. (2019). A framework for increasing housing and residence life staff capacity and confidence to develop and implement a residential curriculum. The Journal of College and University Student Housing, 45(3), 26-39.
About Curricular Approaches:
- Kerr, K. G., & Tweedy, J. (2006). Beyond seat time and student satisfaction: A curricular approach to residential education. About Campus, 11(5), 9-15. doi:10.1002/abc.181
- Kerr, K. G., Tweedy, J., Edwards, K. E., & Kimmel, D. (2017, March-April). Shifting to curricular approaches to learning beyond the classroom. About Campus, 22(1), 22-31. doi:10.1002/abc.21279
Reference Curricular Approaches:
- Cardone, T., Stoll Turton, E., Olson, G., & Baxter Magolda, M. (2013, November-December). Learning partnerships in practice: Orientation, leadership, and residence life. About Campus, 18(5), 2-9. doi: 10.1002/abc.21131
Contain Sub-Sections on Curricular Approaches:
- Blimling, G. S. (2015). Student learning in college residence halls: What works, what doesn’t, and why. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
- Dunkel, N. & Baumann, J. (Eds.), (2013). Campus housing management: Residence life and education. Columbus, OH: Association of College and University Housing Officers-International.
Research on the Curricular Approach:
Abstract: How does a college or university housing department adopt and adapt to a new curricular approach? This qualitative descriptive case study describes how one, mid-size, co-educational residence life department in the Midwestern region of the United States adopted the residential curriculum approach based on “The 10 Essential Elements of a Residential Curriculum” (The 10EERC) that are a foundational aspect of the content discussed at the ACPA – College Student Educators International’s annual Residential Curriculum Institute (RCI). Research questions for the study address changes that occurred in the residence life unit when adopting the residential curriculum approach, participants’ perceptions of positives and challenges in the transition to the approach, and how residence life staff characterize their experience of adopting the approach. Findings reflect that institutional values influence the design of educational practices and tools and that participants reported positive experiences and challenges with communication. The dichotomy in participants’ accounts reveals the opportunity for transparency and inclusion of student leaders in departmental changes. Implications may inform (1) practice in housing and residence life departments, (2) graduate preparation programs and assistantships, (3) functional units in student affairs, (4) divisions of student affairs, (5) ACPA’s RCIs, and (6) The 10EERC. A new organizational tool incorporating Bolman and Deal’s (2014) four frames is presented.
Videos About The Curricular Approach:
- Pedagogy Beyond the Classroom (Student Affairs Live)
- Creating Curriculum Facilitation Guides for “Crisis and Emergency Learning Experiences”
- PechaKucha – Claiming Our Roles As Educators: Residential Curriculum and Curricular Approaches
- Central Michigan University: The Impact of our Residential Curriculum
- University of South Florida: Residential Curriculum
Institute on the Curricular Approach (Residential Curriculum Institute):
- What Is and Why Attend the the Institute on the Curricular Approach?
- ACPA’s Institute on the Curricular Approach (formerly the Residential Curriculum Institute)
- Now Open for 2020! Why You Should Consider Applying to be an ICA Showcase School
Past Institute Showcase Institutions:
- American University (2010)
- Appalachian State University (2017)
- Carleton University (2017, 2018)
- Central Michigan University (2017, 2018, 2019)
- Clemson University (2014, 2019)
- Colorado Mesa University (2012, 2013)
- Dartmouth College (2009)
- East Tennessee State University (2016)
- Eastern Kentucky University (2018)
- Florida International University (2019)
- Georgia Southern University (2015)
- Gettysburg College (2010, 2011)
- Indiana State University (2014, 2015, 2018, 2019)
- Indiana University Bloomington (2018)
- Lehigh University (2013, 2014, 2019) *Divisional
- Macalester College (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016)
- Messiah College (2011)
- New York University (2010, 2015)
- North Carolina State University (2017)
- North Dakota State University (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
- Northern Illinois University (2011, 2012)
- Pennsylvania State University (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015)
- Quinnipiac University (2018)
- Radford University (2018)
- St. Lawrence University (2012)
- Saint Louis University (2011, 2012, 2013)
- Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2018)
- SUNY Brockport (2011, 2013)
- SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology (2018)
- SUNY Geneseo (2019) *Divisional
- SUNY University of Buffalo (2014, 2018, 2019)
- Syracuse University (2009)
- University of Central Florida (2016, 2018, 2019)
- University of Connecticut (2017)
- University of Dayton (2012, 2015)
- University of Illinois Springfield (2019) *Divisional
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2016)
- University of Iowa (2019)
- University of Kansas (2018) *Divisional
- University of Kentucky (2019)
- University fo Maryland Baltimore County (2019)
- University of Massachusetts-Amherst (2017, 2018)
- University of Minnesota (2010, 2012, 2013)
- University of Mississippi (2016)
- University of New Hampshire (2009, 2014, 2016)
- University of North Carolina School of Arts (2018) *Divisional
- University of Oklahoma (2015, 2017, 2018)
- University of South Carolina (2013, 2015, 2016)
- University of South Florida (2014, 2016, 2018, 2019)
- University of St. Thomas (2019) *Divisional
- University of Texas at Austin (2019)
- University of Utah (2018, 2019)
- Virginia Tech (2013, 2014)
- West Chester University (2019) *Divisional
- Western Washington University (2011, 2012)
- Whitman College (2009)
- Wilfrid Laurier University (2017)
Schools Referencing A Curriculum:
Although there are many schools implementing curricular approaches to residential and student life, detailed information on these approaches can be difficult to find online. The following is a list of schools that have references to curricular frameworks and/or planning documents (including learning goals and outcomes, strategies, lesson plans, etc.) online. Note that these are of varying quality, and although an institution may list or reference a curricular-type frame work, they may not implement a true approach in practice. The links providing the most detail are listed first. Schools with demonstrated student affairs divisional curricula are noted with an asterisk.
Most useful links:
- Clemson University (additional info: link) *Divisional
- Georgia Southern University (additional info: Handbook)
- Lehigh University (additional info: link) *Divisional
- Loyola University Chicago (additional info: Handbook)
- Miami University
- North Dakota State University (includes links to facilitation guides, educational plans, templates and workbooks)
- Salem State University (Handbook)
- Spring Hill College
- Stevenson University
- SUNY Geneseo (Handbook) *Divisional
- University at Buffalo (additional info: link)
- University of Illinois Springfield *Divisional
- University of Kansas
- Carleton University
- Carnegie Melon University
- The College of New Jersey
- College of Saint Benedict
- East Stroudsburg University
- East Tennessee State University
- Florida Atlantic University
- Georgetown College
- High Point University
- Indiana State University
- Indiana University Bloomington
- Marshall University
- Milikin University
- Mississippi State University
- Montclair State University
- Purchase College
- Quinnipiac University
- Radford University
- San Jose State University
- St. John’s University
- St. Louis University (additional info: link)
- Texas A&M – Galveston
- Texas State University
- Tulane University
- University of Alabama
- University of Alabama at Birmingham
- University of California at Berkeley
- University of Central Florida
- University of Dayton
- University of Illinois
- University of Iowa
- University of Kentucky
- University of Mary Washington
- University of Massachusetts at Amherst
- University of Massachusetts at Lowell
- University of Mississippi
- University of New Hampshire
- University of North Carolina Charlotte
- University of North Carolina Pembroke
- University of San Francisco
- University of South Carolina
- University of South Florida
- University of Tampa
- University of Texas San Antonio
- University of Washington Bothell
- Virginia Tech (additional info: link)
- West Chester University *Divisional
Presentations on Residential Curriculum
The following are presentations on residential curriculum that are publicly available online. The most useful links are in bold.
- Time Spent on Hiring is Time Well Spent: Curricularizing Student Staff Selection by Kayla Reed and Molli Keller
- A Curricular Approach to Student Staff Training by Christina Gilmore and Alicia Severson
- Boston University’s Residential Experience
- Residential Curriculum: Marekting and Brainstorming by Alex Wehrenberg
- How a Residential Curriculum Impacts the Residential Experience by Amanda Knerr, Ardell Sanders, and Matthew Venaas
- Utilizing Standards to Assess the Effectiveness of a Residential Education Curriculum by Hilary Lichterman, Ryan Lloyd, and Paul Gordon Brown
- Program Model vs. Curriculum Model: A Tale of Two Approaches – U university of North Texas by Lindsey Fields and Katie Kolkmeier
- Building a Residential Curriculum – University of California at Berkeley
- Residential Curriculum and Assessment: A Blueprint for Student Success – University of California Santa Barbara
- Learning Outside the Classroom – University at Buffalo
- Partnering for Success within the Residential Curriculum – University of Dayton
- Residential Curriculum – Lehigh University
- Reinventing Student Leader Training – Lehigh University by Taran Cardone, Kate Grady, Kerri Kloorfain, and Brandon Morris
- Residential Curriculum – University of South Florida
- Residential Curriculum for Leadership and Social Change – San Francisco State University
- Residential Curriculum – RA Learning Modules – Texas State University
- Residential Curriculum – by Kyle Smith
- Residential Curriculum for the First Year Experience – California College of the Arts
- Residential Curriculum – University of South Florida
- Residential Curriculum in Action – Northwestern Univesity
Student Leader Training and Curricular Approaches:
The following are links provide information on student leader training and curricular approaches including RA training and residential curriculum.
I remember first encountering the Residential Curriculum Model back in 2006. My supervisor at American University had just returned from the first annual ACPA Residential Curriculum Institute. It was love at first sight. It just made sense. Why hadn’t anyone thought of this approach before?
What many don’t understand about a Residential Curriculum (That’s capital “R” and “C”) is that it is much more than simply identifying learning outcomes. I often see some institutions referring to their efforts as “residential curricula,” but upon further examination, they don’t go beyond the setting (and maybe sequencing) of outcomes. Although this is laudable, and a step in the right direction, a true Residential Curriculum entails an entirely new approach to the way residence life educators approach their work.