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Cabrini launched its LC program in 2007 to combat student attrition. Since then,
program goals have expanded to now include engaging first-year students in integrated
learning across a variety of contexts. Cabrini University offers more than a dozen LCs,
enrolling approximately 75-80% of first-year students in either an LC or LLC. Over the
past 12 years, the assistant dean for retention and student success and LC faculty leaders
have reflected on the university's program and its efficacy in meeting the changing
needs of its student population, resulting in significantly higher fall-to-fall retention and
4- and 5-year graduation rates for students engaged in an LLC than for their non-LLC
peers. To showcase this theoretical model in practice, each level of the BPM and its respective
individual building blocks will be discussed in reference to Cabrini University's
LLCs, citing examples from its four communities-Body Language, IMPACT, Realizing
Dreams, and Voices of Justice-offered to incoming first-year students.
INFRASTRUCTURE
The foundation of the Best Practices Model is the infrastructure. The building blocks
that make up the LLC infrastructure, each of which is critical for the LLCs to thrive, are
clear goals and objectives, collaboration between academic affairs and residence life,
and adequate resources.
Clear Goals and Objectives
Effective LLCs have clear programmatic goals and objectives that are measurable and
serve as the foundation for the program (Inkelas et al., 2018). A true community
is one where students are interacting and engaging in thought-provoking dialogue
that contributes to these shared learning goals (Lenning et al., 2013). As the LLCs'
teams design goals and objectives, they must also consider an assessment plan that
evaluates the following:
. . . discrete parts of their programming (e.g., courses, staff, and co-curricular activities)
and the extent to which all facets of their program (a) align with the program's goals
and objectives and (b) integrate with the other elements of their programs (Inkelas et al.,
2018, p. 91)
In this process of design and assessment, staff and faculty (represented by student life
and academic affairs, respectively) are provided a voice to contribute to this foundation
of the program. Prior to spring 2017, clear goals and objectives existed for the LC program
at Cabrini University, but they were not measurable. Despite offering an integrative
curriculum-spanning multiple courses and semesters-supported by a robust
cocurricular model intended to build community and extend learning beyond the classroom,
the university's communities lacked assessable learning outcomes. Although
assessment had been ongoing through first-year experience pre- and post-surveys,
general education assessment, and annual reporting, the assessment protocol had
never been fully aligned with programmatic LC outcomes.
In response to the absence of measurable outcomes, LC faculty and staff engaged
in a collaborative process that led to the creation of three measurable learning outcomes
Volume 48, No. 2 * 2022 35

Journal of College & University Student Housing Volume 48, No. 2

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Journal of College & University Student Housing Volume 48, No. 2

Journal of College & University Student Housing Volume 48, No. 2 - intro
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