Journal of College & University Student Housing Volume 48, No. 2 - 46

Applying the Best Practices Model
Beyond the initial retreat experience, the LLCs offer at least one cocurricular event
each month. Within IMPACT, students have a variety of opportunities to engage meaningfully
in experiences that build their leadership capacity and assist in the development
of key skills. One example is the opportunity to visit leaders in Philadelphia
and hear about their career paths and leadership journeys. Students are introduced to
leaders from a variety of fields who share their traditional or non-traditional leadership
journeys, reflecting some of the challenges and opportunities they encountered along
the way. Participants in the LLC often comment on the value of these experiences in
helping them better understand the importance of leadership in all aspects of life. Students
in IMPACT are also required to actively participate in LEADStrong, the university's
cocurricular leadership certificate program. Through this program, they connect
the value of what they are learning in the classroom to their out-of-class engagement,
while building their self-awareness and metacognitive abilities. Students also work in
teams and begin to understand the responsibility they hold to contribute meaningfully
to the communities they serve while also working to create positive change. In this
way, they directly connect to the university's mission of leadership development and
a commitment to social justice and begin to see leadership as a lifelong process that
continuously evolves.
The Realizing Dreams LLC challenges students to establish goals for themselves
and to reflect on their progress toward meeting those goals-toward realizing their
dreams. Beyond the academic curriculum, in which students gain knowledge of American
history and culture and of the factors that shaped the dreams and realities for different
people, these students experience cocurricular programming that links that history
with their experiences. The LLC takes a day trip to Lancaster County in order to see
how the Amish realize their dreams among Pennsylvanians who follow more modern
lifestyles. The experience provides students with opportunities to analyze differences
between the self-segregation of the Amish and the legalized segregation of African
Americans in the years following the Civil War. As the Amish population has continued
to grow and farmland is diminished, the trips to Lancaster have challenged students
to consider how the Amish can continue to realize their dreams as they expand
into businesses different from those of earlier Amish generations. Those and other
cocurricular programs, including trips planned by the students, complement the LLC's
theme and academic curriculum and provide students with hands-on experiences
in building community.
In the Body Language LLC, fall cocurricular programming focuses on self-care
and community building. In November, Body Language students visit the Art Ability
exhibit at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital, which features artwork created by individuals
with disabilities. This cocurricular programming opportunity allows students to reflect
on what it means to be disabled or able-bodied and how visible or invisible disabilities
affect our perceptions of others. The fall semester also includes several group dinners
that feature communication, diversity, and leadership-building activities. The start of
the spring semester revolves around a mini retreat to help refresh and strengthen
46 The Journal of College and University Student Housing

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

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