Cookies in the Lounge! What The College Dorm Can Teach Us About Building Community Online

“Door decs” with your name on it… Crafting in the lobby… An icebreaker where you rhyme your name with a vegetable… you might be surprised by how a college Resident Assistant (RA) goes about building and maintaining community.  Of course, the RA position is far more complex than the stereotype that often gets portrayed, or the hokey activities that are often the source of satire, but some of this “hokiness” is there because it works… and yes, some of it is just hokey. One of the current courses I am taking at… Read More

What is the Residential Curriculum Model? What are Curricular Approaches?

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… Read More

RAs are NOT educational experts!

  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)… Read More

6 Uses of Poll Everywhere in Student Affairs Training, Teaching and Events

It’s that time of year! Time to train the staff, open the halls, and start welcome week. I wanted to share one of my favorite tools, Poll Everywhere, and give you some suggestions on how to use it in creative ways with your events, student staff trainings, educational sessions, and in the classroom. Poll Everywhere is a great web service for running different types of live polls. Participants can answer via a simple text message or via a web browser on their smartphones, tablets or laptops. Question types can range from multiple… Read More

Three Simple Rules to Ramp Up Your Student Affairs Department’s Social Media Presence

On occasion I’m asked to sit down with student affairs professionals and departments to consult on their social media presence. What always strikes me about these conversations is that many view social media as merely a new form of advertising. Social media is actually far more complex and possesses a different set of rules in order to be successful. Rather than just posting about your events and deadlines, departments need to think about social media as a program itself. You have to ENGAGE your users just as you would through a compelling… Read More