ResLife Pro-D in a Bag: Transitioning From A Program Model To A Residential Curriculum (1 hour)

The “Pro-D in a Bag” series provides all the details you’ll need to create a professional development opportunity for your staff around a given topic. Each facilitation guide outlines free and open source videos to watch, articles to read, quizzes and inventories to complete, and suggested questions for discussion and activities. You can facilitate this as a professional development session or integrate it into a staff meeting. It’s professional development “in a bag.”

We offer 3 tracks of our “Pro-D in a Bag” series:

  1. ResLife Pro-D in a Bag (for Professional Staff)
  2. RA Pro-D in a Bag (for Student Staff)
  3. Roompact Pro-D in a Bag (highlighting software features for users)

Topic: Transitioning From A Program Model to A Residential Curriculum

This Pro-D in a Bag is designed for schools that do not have a residential curriculum currently, but want to explore transitioning to one. If you already have a residential curriculum and want to review it and enhance it, view this session instead. If you are looking for a refresher on residential curriculum basics, or if you’re a new staff member at a school using a residential curriculum and you’re looking to learn more about curricular approaches, view this session.

Time: 1 hour
Audience: Professional staff members
– Define what a residential curriculum is.
– Recall the ten essential elements of a residential curriculum.
– Contrast and name differences between a residential curriculum and other educational/engagement models.
– Decide if a residential curriculum is the appropriate model for your campus.
– Articulate next steps to begin to launch a residential curriculum.

Before the session:

1. Watch

Watch the following video as a primer on key points about residential curriculum.

2. Read These Chapters

Residential Curriculum and Curricular Approaches Book Download Now

This book provides a comprehensive view of what a residential curriculum is and how to implement it. Download and read the sections:

  • “Introduction” and “History and Elements of a Curriculum” (p. 1-26),
  • “Benefits” and “Sample Curriculum Implementation Timeline” (p. 101-105), and
  • “Program Models Versus Residential Curricula” (p. 110-111) from the following book.

Optionally, you can skim and scan the other sections.

3. Read These Two Articles

4. Review

Curriculum Workbook

This workbook provides an overview of residential curriculum and curricular approaches in a more digestible format. It summarizes key points and can be used as a guide if you decide to create your own curriculum.

Suggested Facilitation:

Begin the session by explaining why you are looking at residential curriculum and why now. For new staff, you might want to review past departmental efforts in community building and programming.

Start by asking participants for their initial reactions.

The following are some prompts for discussion:

  • Do we all understand what a residential curriculum is?
    • What is the difference between a residential curriculum and a program model?
    • Do we see any of the ten essential elements in our existing practice?
    • What kind of change in mindset do we need to make to purse a residential curriculum?
  • Is a residential curriculum something we want to pursue?
    • What are the drawbacks of our current and past approaches? What were their strengths?
    • What would a residential curriculum help us to achieve?
  • Are we organizationally ready to begin a residential curriculum?
    • Is there anything we need to address or do before starting this journey?
  • How should we get started in creating a residential curriculum?

To conclude the session, if you decide to pursue a residential curriculum set some plans for next steps. good initial steps would be to read the above book in its entirety. You may also want to purchase and read:

Kerr, K. G., Edwards, K. E., Tweedy, J., Lichterman, H. L., & Knerr, A. R. (2020). The curricular approach to student affairs: A revolutionary shift for learning beyond the classroom. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Also explore attending ACPA’s Institute on the Curricular Approach. Feel free to reach out to Roompact if you have questions. We’d be happy to help guide you.

Additional Resources To Dive Deeper:

Curricular Approach to Student Affairs Book

In addition to the above free book, there is also a published book available through various bookstores that can also help you on your journey.

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