Journal of College & University Student Housing Volume 48, No. 2 - 45

COCURRICULAR ENVIRONMENT
The third level of the Best Practices Model promotes the importance of designing a
cocurricular environment enriched by out-of-classroom experiences that strengthen
the LC's goals and objectives. Because the building blocks in the model are interconnected,
some aspects of the cocurricular environment of Cabrini University's LLCs
have been mentioned above. It is important to note that a cocurricular environment-
that is, programming designed to build community and enhance the academic environment-may
be viewed by some as value-added rather than being essential for
LLCs to function. By contrast, Cabrini University views the cocurricular environment
as pivotal to establishing a foundation upon which each LC is built. Inkelas and colleagues
(2018) explain that these cocurricular programs have the potential to extend
learning beyond the classroom while bringing students together in a variety of spaces
to learn together and explore their shared interests. Indeed, these less structured
environments have a depth of influence on students: creating a dynamic interplay
between the curriculum and cocurriculum while simultaneously allowing faculty to
connect and develop a rapport with students that amplifies this interplay between
their life experiences and academic endeavors (Beckowski & Gebauer, 2018). Inkelas
and colleagues (2018), in their BPM model, identify study groups, K-12 outreach,
career workshops, visits to work settings, and theme-related activities as LLC best
practices, as defined within the NSLLP. Viewing this category in terms of the LLCs at
Cabrini University, however, points to programming that extends beyond those identified
in the NSLLP with a strong focus on enhancing the thematic culture of these
interdisciplinary communities.
All of Cabrini University's LLCs launch their year with a retreat, an intensive
experience within the first few weeks of the fall semester. These retreats are designed
to help build community amongst the students, faculty, and upper-division
student leaders who serve as student fellows within the LLC. For example, during the
IMPACT retreat, the cohort is presented with a series of challenges intended to foster
team-building and problem-solving skills. These experiences set the foundation
for leadership learning and growth for all participants. The Realizing Dreams LLC
retreat concludes with everyone reading " Start-Stop-Continue " statements that the
students revisit throughout the semester. Such statements first help them establish
goals for themselves for the fall semester and, later, for the remainder of their time
at Cabrini. In the Body Language LLC, the retreat helps students understand some of
the trauma and hardships that every student has experienced in the past. This experience
facilitates a foundation of community based on empathy and compassion, which
proves essential as students navigate living and working together. The focus of each
of these retreats is to help establish a safe environment for students' growth across the
first year. The process of sharing with one another, fostering a sense of camaraderie
through team building, and establishing goal statements designed for community
members to hold one another accountable creates a sense of solidarity.
Volume 48, No. 2 * 2022 45

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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