Institute on the Curricular Approach
Sunday, 19 October 2014 - 3:00pm to Wednesday, 22 October 2014 - 1:00pm

Location: Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA

Sponsored by ACPA Commissions for Housing & Residential Life and Assessment & Education

Campus Host: Virginia Tech

Conference Overview

The 8th annual Residential Curriculum Institute (RCI) co-sponsored by ACPA’s Commission for Housing & Residential Life and Assessment & Evaluation will challenge you to rethink the practices and grounding philosophies of your residential experience.

A residential curriculum provides an alternate approach to traditional programming models that focuses on student learning outside of the classroom. A curricular model utilizes clear learning outcomes and multiple strategies to engage learners in sequenced learning that is rooted in theory, and incorporates stakeholders across campus. A residential curriculum utilizes learning goals, learning outcomes, educational strategies, and effective assessment techniques.

Traditional Programming Model vs. Curricular Model

Some differences between a traditional programming model and curricular model are:

Traditional Programming Approach

Curricular Approach

General topical requirements for students

Clearly defined goals and strategy for student learning


Professionals assess and implement plans

Group-focused experiences

Emphasis on individual learning

Delivery relies on standalone sessions

Multiple strategies employed for intentional interactions

*Adapted from ACPA RCI Plenary presentation

Through participation in the 2014 ACPA RCI, you will have the opportunity to

  • view the curricular alternative to traditional programming models through showcases of multiple institutions
  • discover connections between the residential communities on your campus and your institution’s educational mission;
  • practice developing assessable learning outcomes and creation of educational resources
  • examine the impact this shift in thinking and practice has on you, your department, and students.

Sessions offered have been designed both for institutions new to the residential curriculum approach and for those with more advanced experience. Whether it is your first RCI or your seventh, you will leave inspired with new insights, new collegial connections, and new energy. We have representatives from all sizes and types of institutions who have benefited from the RCI Experience. Come and learn with us!

Demographics of institute participants (based on 2013 institute evaluation data):

Position Type

Professional Experience

Institution Type

Team Attendance

Years Attending RCI



0-5 years




Attended without a team


First time attendee








Attended with two to six colleagues


Returning attendee




11 or more



Attended with more than six colleagues



Why Send a Team?

The Residential Curriculum Institute is a synergistic experience that provides ample opportunities for participants to collaborate and share ideas. Through each session, participants will be guided through a process that facilitates the creation or refinement of a unique curriculum for each institution. Because this institute thrives on opportunities for sharing, participants who attended as teams were able to accomplish many important conversations, action plans, and last year, some of the best feedback received from participants was from those who attended as members of an institutional team. While individual attendance is perfectly fine, if you can bring a team, we encourage it! Time is built into the schedule to reflect, brainstorm, and begin writing a residential curriculum that is tailored to your institution’s needs.

Tentative Schedule

Sunday, October 19


3 – 5pm


5 – 6:00pm

Institute Welcome Reception

Monday, October 20


7:30 – 8:30 am

Registration & Continental Breakfast (included with registration)

8:30 – 9 am


9 – 10 am

Keynote 1

10 – 10:15 am

Q & A with Keynote 1 via Moderator

10:15 – 10:30 am

Break/Transition time

10:30 – Noon


Noon – 1 pm


1:15 – 2:15 pm

Showcase by Host School

2:15 – 2:30 pm

Break/Transition time

2:30 – 4 pm

Session I

4:15 – 5 pm

Poster Presentations

6 pm

Institute dinner

Tuesday, October 21


7:30 – 8:30am


8:30 – 10 am

Session #2:

10 – 10:15 am

Break/Transition time

10:15 – 11:45 am

Program 3

11:45 – 12:45 pm

Institute Lunch (included with registration)

12:45 – 1:45 pm

Keynote 2

1:45 – 2 pm

Q & A with Keynote 2 via moderator

2:15 – 3:15 pm

Showcase 2

3:15 – 3:30 pm

Break/Transition time

3:30 – 4:30 pm

Showcase 3

4:30 – 5:30 pm

Faculty consultation via structure set up

6 pm

Night on the town

Wednesday, October 22


7 – 8 am


8 – 9 am

Program 4

9:15 – 10:15 am

Program 5

10:30 – 11:30 am

Keynote 3

11:30 am – Noon

Closure Experience

12 – 1 pm


For travel purposes, the Institute begins early morning on, Monday, October 20, 2014 and ends after lunch on Wednesday, October 22, 2014. There will be an optional social Sunday, October 19. We suggest that attendees arrive on Sunday and book flights that depart after 3pm on Wednesday, October 22.


Covered in the Institute registration is a light continental breakfast Monday through Wednesday, some refreshment breaks, lunchMonday through Wednesday, and dinner on Monday.