Residential Curriculum

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Welcome to www.residentialcurriculum.com! A “residential curriculum” is a particular approach to designing and delivering intentional learning opportunities for college and university students.  Developed since 2005, this approach has spawned its own Institute and has been replicated and modified in various forms at campuses across the country, and even the word.  Although arising out of residence life, this model is flexible and has been adopted by entire students affairs divisions. The Residential Curriculum Institute is a premier professional development offered by ACPA and the only event that provides comprehensive training on the approach.

If you’re looking to connect with others around curriculum, consider joining the Residential Curriculum Facebook Group or follow the #ACPARCI hashtag on Twitter and other platforms. There are a number of ways to connect with colleagues around this topic.

Consultation

img_1717As 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. This lead to my hiring at Roompact, where we design software solutions for residential education departments with a learning-centric approach.

I frequently consult with individual campuses on developing and enhancing their curricula through multi-day workshops and speaking events. Previously, I have worked with institutions such as the University of Maryland Baltimore County and Marquette University. 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.

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Resources

The following represents some of my blog posts and related content on residential curriculum development. It draws from my posts on this site, as well as those I authored for the company I work for, Roompact.

Posts About the 10 Essential Elements of a Residential Curriculum:

Further Blog Posts on Developing a Residential Curriculum:

Further Reading on Developing a Residential Curriculum:

 

Research on the Curricular Approach:

Organizational Perspective On Implementing The Residential CurriculumDissertation: Organizational Perspective On Implementing e Residential Curriculum Approach: An Ethnographic Case Study by Hilary L. Lichterman

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:

A Celebration of Residential Curricula: 10 Years Strong!
This video is intended to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of ACPA’s Residential Curriculum Institute and the exemplary efforts with curricular work done in residence halls on various campuses throughout the world. Various colleagues captured their insights regarding benefits to students, biggest departmental and institutional successes, and major lessons learned from adopting the curricular approach to residential education. Originally presented at the 2016 Residential Curriculum Institute in Tampa, Florida.
Source: ACPA Video on Demand

Reflecting on the Curricular Approach to Learning Beyond the Classroom
The landscape of student affairs has changed dramatically over its lifetime, and the introduction of the curricular approach is helping campuses to realize some of their biggest aspirations for student learning. This video provides an overview of some of the benefits realized as a result of shifting to a curricular approach and what the experts have learned about its power to transform campus cultures. These shifts are increasingly important as student issues and expectations have changed over time.
Source: ACPA Video on Demand

The Residential Curriculum Model: A Decade of Reflection
The curricular approach began in the early 2000s with the first Residential Curriculum Institute in 2006. In this keynote address, Dr. Kathleen Kerr, Executive Director of Residence Life, University of Delaware and former President of ACPA discusses what she’s learned over the past ten years. These include lessons learned and the effects of the curricular approach on college campuses. Then Keith Edwards, Executive & Leadership Coach, Keith Edwards Coaching, talks about the student resident experience and leads the audience in setting action plans for their curricular efforts.
Source: ACPA Video on Demand

Using Rubrics to Assess Learning
Rubrics are tools that are used by educators to help evaluate the learning and performance of students. They are written documents, often presented in a chart format, that help define progress and achievement levels towards various goals and performance indicators. Coco Du, Director of Residential Life, Macalester College, joins Eric Pernotto, Associate Director for Residential Learning, Clemson University, to discuss rubrics and their role in learning assessment in this session from the 2016 Residential Curriculum Institute.
Source: ACPA Video on Demand

Building Assessment into Your Residential Curriculum
Assessment is a critical part of building a successful residential curriculum. In this video, we show you some best practices for incorporating assessment into your residential education strategy. Furthermore it provides suggestions for integrating residential curriculum assessment strategies into your overall campus assessment plan. Being able to “tell your story” is critical for campus departments and divisions and the curricular approach can help you better define your outcomes as well as your success in achieving those outcomes.
Source: ACPA Video on Demand

Educational Plans and Lesson Plans: Putting It All Together
Once learning goals and outcomes are defined, scaffolded, and sequenced, the development of lesson plans (facilitation guides) prescribes how these objectives should be put into practice. Steve Herndon, Assistant Dean of Students & Executive Director of Housing and Residence Life, University of Dayton, and David Shorey, Associate Director of Residence Education, Wilfrid Laurier University, share their experiences with educational plans and lesson plans in this session from the 2016 Residential Curriculum Institute.
Source: ACPA Video on Demand

Developing a Residential Curriculum Review Process
Residential curricula need to be reviewed regularly to ensure they stay current and relevant. A review process entails a top-to-bottom assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your overall educational plan and its implementation. These reviews can involve departmental staff as well as internal and external stakeholders and can be used for continuous improvement. Watch this video for tips on how to begin to structure your review process including strategies you can do to ensure your curriculum is best set up for success.
Source: ACPA Video on Demand

Residential Curriculum Institute:

eBook

Schools Refernecing 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 most useful links are in bold.

Curriculum Standards

Presentations on Residential Curriculum

The following are presentations on residential curriculum that are publicly avaialbe online. The most useful links are in bold.