4 Tips for Developing Buy-In for Curriculum from RAs, Student Staff Members, and Student Leaders

Transitioning to a curricular approach represents a cultural shift. A department can have well-articulated goals, outcomes, and educational plans, but a residential curriculum will never be successful without the necessary cultural and organizational change that comes along with it. For residence life departments, in particular, this means preparing your student staff members for this shift, involving them in the process, and helping them through the process of change. This is also true of other departments that may employ large numbers of student staff programmers or for those that work with student leaders… Read More

Utilizing National Competencies and Standards to Develop Your Curricular Learning Goals

Although each residential curriculum or curricular approach to student life should be contextualized to an institution, there are a number of non-profits and standards bodies within higher education and student affairs that can be useful in the development of learning goals and outcomes. Many of these associations provide sample statements, rubrics and other materials that can not only help guide and shape the development of your own objectives, but also provide potentially useful tools for benchmarking and other forms of assessment. Furthermore, as nationally developed standards, they provide justification for your curriculum… Read More

On-The-Ground Assessment of Student Learning Out of the Classroom

Moving to a curricular approach calls upon us to become better at assessing student learning. Although it may be common on a campus to have students respond to short surveys providing feedback about a program or service, it is often less common to assess student acquisition of knowledge and skills as a result of an engagement. Institutions and departments transitioning to a curricular approach need to be mindful that every touch point with a student is an opportunity for learning and that assessments should be integrated into these moments to check for… Read More

Onboarding New Professional Staff to a Student Affairs or Residential Curriculum

Student Affairs offices, particularly those within residence life and education, typically see a steady turn over of professionals year-to-year. When building and maintaining a curriculum, it can sometimes be a challenge to onboard new staff members who (1) may not be familiar with the model at all or (2) are not familiar with your institution’s specific implementation of the curricular approach. There are a number of strategies you can employ to ensure greater traction and continuity for your curricular efforts while maintaining progress over time. The following are five strategies you can… Read More

How To Developmentally Sequence and Map Student Co-Curricular Learning

One of the hallmarks of curricular approaches to student learning outside the classroom is that learning is scaffolded and sequenced to follow a student’s journey through their time in college. After educators identify their learning objectives (cascading from Educational Priority, to Learning Goals, Narratives, Rubrics, and Outcomes), the next step in the process is to map out objectives and sequence them to allow for cumulative learning. Rather than being a lock-step process, mapping and sequencing learning objectives allows curricular planners the ability to test their objectives and identify gaps in learning. This… Read More