The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 3 - 31

A Framework for Increasing Housing and Residence Life Staff Capacity and Confidence

tings. Around the same time Elizabeth Whitt
(2006) published Are All Your Educators Educating? which argued that educationally effective institutions create enriching engagement
opportunities in and out of the classroom
and communicate high expectations for students' engagement in these experiences. Whitt
(2006) also presented evidence that residence
halls are unique spaces for learning and every
residence hall should be organized as a learning community, blending in- and out-of-class
learning to allow students various opportunities to learn and apply new skills. The title
speaks for itself. All staff members at all levels
of an organization should view themselves as
educators and take meaningful steps to contribute to student learning.

Student Learning and
Residential Education
The concept of co-curricular learning was first
applied to residential education specifically
by Kerr and Tweedy (2006), who challenged
traditional means of providing residence hall
education. They argued that too many HRL
units measured success by student satisfaction and exposure to programs, rather than
how much students learned. Kerr and Tweedy
shared that on their own campus, the University of Delaware, they found very little if any
learning gains from student-staff directed programs geared toward traditional themes like
appreciating diversity, personal wellness, and
leadership. While acknowledging the importance of these topics, Kerr and Tweedy believed
that those planning these programs had never
considered important questions such as: How
do we define diversity education? Why does
it matter to our university and our students?

How does a student best learn it?
Much like a classroom teacher prepares for
a course, Kerr and Tweedy (2006) suggested
residential education should begin not by creating a menu of fragmented programs but by
creating developmentally appropriate learning
outcomes grounded in research. Those outcomes could then be used to create subsequent
lesson plans that provided specific learning experiences to students. And perhaps most importantly, this learning should be designed not
by students but by the professional staff whose
education and training make them experts in
learning design in residential spaces (Kerr &
Tweedy, 2006).
The model became known as the Residential Curriculum Model (RCM). A yearly institute was designed to bring HRL educators
together to discuss ways to enhance student
learning through curricular approaches. While
there is no concrete data on the number of
institutions currently employing curricular
approaches, the Institute on the Curricular
Approach (ICA), formerly the Residential Curriculum Institute, grew from just a few school

Student learning must be front and
center, and the role of professional
staff educators is critical to the
success of efforts to help students
make meaning of their experience
and reach desired educational
outcomes.
V O L U M E 4 5 , NO. 3 * 2 0 1 9

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The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 3

Contents
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 3 - Intro
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 3 - Cover1
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