A “residential curriculum” is a specific method of delivering intentional education within residence halls. There is a 10-step process institutions follow to create and implement their own unique RC on their campus. Click HERE to learn more about the implementation process. As a team, Residence Education staff have continually updated our model over the past six years by incorporating Armstrong campus staff and values into the educational priority, re-evaluating our learning goals and outcomes, developing long term assessment plans, and working with staff to create appropriately sequenced educational plans. Ultimately, curriculum is the foundation upon which our department operates allowing our goals and outcomes to factor into all aspect of our culture. Like most things, though, there is constant work to be done in creating a culture that is able to fully integrate and operate under a curriculum, and changes are constantly influencing our approach to curriculum.
We are excited about the progress we’ve had with this model over the last six years and we rely heavily on our Resident Directors to shape, implement, and assess our curriculum model. Resident Directors focus on in-depth relationships with resident and Resident Advisors through a multitude of strategies/lesson plans. Additionally, there is a constant assessment and feedback process by which we measure the learning taking place in our residence halls, and much of that is facilitated by our Resident Directors. Under the oversight of the Assistant Director of Residential Learning and the Associate Director of Residence Education, the Residence Education department attempts to work collaboratively to provide our residents an intentional, meaningful, and engaging residential experience.
OUR RESIDENTIAL CURRICULUM MODEL
Georgia Southern University Housing’s Residential Curriculum educational priority states: “Students who participate in the residential experience will become engaged citizens and lifelong learners who actively contribute to the betterment of themselves and their communities.” The foundational theories and concepts under which our curriculum operates are: Boyer’s Six Principles Of Community; Schlossberg’s Transition Theory, and The Emotionally Intelligent Leadership Model.
Through the development and constant assessment of our curricular approach, four learning goals were established. The four goals we feel residential students have an opportunity to learn about if they participate in the GSU residential experience are the opportunity to: 1) Commit To Self-Discovery, 2) Become An Engaged Citizen, 3) Contribute To Inclusive Learning Communities, and 4) Develop As Lifelong Learners. More about each learning goal can be found in the following narratives:
Commit to Self-Discovery: Students who commit to self-discovery reflect on their own experiences and the environment that has shaped them. They challenge themselves to examine these experiences and understand how they influence their values, interests, strengths, and goals in an effort to pursue their purpose.
Become an Engaged Citizen: An engaged citizen is an individual who takes pride in their communities and seeks to understand the people that live within them. Through mutual respect for others and active participation in campus, local, national, and international activities, they develop an awareness of the social, economic, and political challenges communities face. They then use informed judgment to be active stewards of the common good.
Contribute to Inclusive Communities: Students who contribute to inclusive communities are aware of their own identities and realize their potential to be productive, positive change agents in their communities. They actively seek out knowledge about various cultures and experiences, while appreciating and celebrating the differences that make us unique.
Develop as a Lifelong Learner: A lifelong learner is an individual who can learn from others in various environments to gain knowledge and then transfer their learning to different situations. They are able to think critically about sources of knowledge and apply their developing skills to move from being dependent on others
to being a contributing member of their communities.
Sample Curriculum Events Developed by Resident Directors
- Party House – This simulation welcomes residents to a house party where they observe scenes involving over-consumption of alcohol, drug use, and sexual assault. After each scene, residents are engaged in a conversation about whether or not they chose to intervene and their rationale behind that decision. After discussing each situation, residents are welcomed to a final dance party where they can dance the night away in a safe and fun location.
- Through assessment we learned that 25% of the attendees knew what to do in a “bystander intervention situation” but were still struggling with decision making in the moment.
- BJs in your PJs – This program is quickly becoming a tradition in several halls due to the intrigue surrounding it. Residents are invited to join us to enjoy Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream (BJs) in their PJs as we engaged in a discussion about the norms around sex and sexual health.
- Through assessment we learned that 84% of residents had a better understanding of their own feelings regarding sex and sexual choice after this event.
- Tell Me Why – This program invites residential students to join us on the Quad at the late night TV show stage we have created to be interviewed by our host. Rather than asking about the latest movies and pop-culture trends, residents are asked to share with us why they came to Georgia Southern, whether they are becoming the people they wanted to, and if they are meeting the expectations they have set for themselves. We further challenge them to reflect on their impact on their local and global community and how they contribute to it.
- Through assessment we learned that our students are actively looking for information, and thinking about topics discussed, but just don’t know where and when to have conversations with their peers. The students appreciated being able to have deeper conversations with our staff.
Interested in more about our Residential Curriculum including the theoretical framework, the details of its development, and the logistics of its current implementation? Learn More by reading 6.0 – GSU Residence Education Model Overview.
Last updated: 11/13/2017