A Glossary of Terms for Residential Curriculum and Curricular Approaches Outside of the Classroom

When getting started in developing a curricular approach to student learning outside the classroom, there are a number of different terms and concepts that are used with which one should become familiar. Many of the terms used have been systematized over time, particularly by the faculty of ACPA’s Institute on the Curricular Approach. However, some of the terms may be used differently in practice at various institutions. Regardless of whether you call something a learning goal, a learning outcome, or a learning objective, what is more important than the actual word is that… Read More

10 Different Strategies for Promoting Residential Student Learning

The ultimate mission of student affairs work is to advance student learning. Although this occurs across campus, the professionals that work in residence life are uniquely situated in this process given the relatively high level of contact they have with students. Unlike most faculty members, however, the educational environment created by student affairs and residence life educators is not confined to the classroom. This has both benefits and challenges as it increases the methods and means of educating students, but lacks the directed consistency of a formal course. Although many residence life and education departments… Read More

Residential Curriculum Element #4: Educational Strategies are Developed to Advance Learning Outcomes

A well known approach to education in the residence halls is the programming model. Typically, a programming model will involve a menu of different categories that structure and guide programmatic efforts. These categories may be based on a wellness wheel, or they may include broader categories such as “social,” “multicultural,” or “educational” programming. To fulfill a programming model’s requirements, a student staff member needs to hold a certain number of programs within each category, each semester. The problem with this approach, however, is that it inverts the educational process. Rather than determining outcomes first, and method of delivery second, it assumes the… Read More