Toward Civic Engagement: Integrating Restorative Practices Into Residential Education Plans

5 lessons learned from embracing restorative practices in our residential curriculum

In 2016, Residential Life at UMBC began shifting focus to embrace a learning-centered curricular approach. At the same time, we had been working closely with colleagues in student conduct to introduce our campus community to restorative practices. While these two projects were similar, in some ways they moved forward on parallel tracks, it took us two years to recognize their potential as a singular approach. Continue reading


Reflections on ACPA 2018 by Devin Buhdram

Authenticity and Representation are two ideas that we as student affairs professionals speak about a lot; specifically in regard to supporting our student populations and their success in many different aspects. Whether it be hiring staff at all levels that represent the ever changing student demographics, creating inclusive spaces where students can live, share ideas, and feel valued and visible, or utilizing processes that allow for the decolonization of systems, we advocate and strive to ensure our students get the resources they need to transition, be successful and graduate.

I find that we speak about it in smaller, quieter voices when it comes to these being important ideas to support our newer or even seasoned professionals.

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Why We Can’t Wait – Our Living Learning Community Journey


Why We Can’t Wait – Our Living Learning Community Journey
ACPA Commission for Housing and Residence Life Sponsored Program
Tuesday, March 13| 4:15-5:15p | 350D
Presenters: DeAndre L. Taylor & Laura Arroyo

There is an iconic photo of President Barack Obama in the Oval Office in which a young African American boy asks if he can touch President Obama’s hair. The young boy, the son of a White House staffer, wanted to see if their hair felt the same. For many, this was very emotional to see and read about. As an African American male myself, that photo symbolized more than an inquisitive 5 year old asking a question.

For me, that moment sang alongside the Black National Anthem and it allowed for the hope that had died to rise and be reborn into reality. It affirmed that the white gleam of our bright star be cast to the future where Black children can live in a lifetime in which anything is possible.

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Implementing Intentional Conversations into Your Residence Life & Curriculum Work

Implementing Intentional Conversations into Your Residence Life & Curriculum Work
ACPA Commission for Housing and Residence Life Sponsored Program
Monday, March 12 | 4:00-5:00p | 342E
Presenters: Dr. Paul Brown & Dr. Hillary Lichterman

Staff in departments of housing and residence life are changing the way they approach educational initiatives within residential communities.  Influenced, in part, by the rise of the curricular approach to student learning beyond the classroom, many campuses have moved away from traditional programming models towards the recognition and utilization of various diversified strategies for engaging students.  One strategy that has grown increasingly popular is the use of guided, 1-on-1, peer conversations.  These intentional interactions, or intentional conversations, are a means of connecting with students individually and contextualizing learning to a student’s unique needs and situations.

During our session at the 2018 ACPA Convention, we will unpack the concept of “intentionality” and discuss the benefits and challenges of using intentional conversations as an educational strategy. Advice and resources will be shared on how to implement effective interactions through intentionally developed guides and prompts.  Furthermore, we will explore how transitioning to this approach can impact staff selection and training as well as assessment techniques. Continue reading

Putting the Mission in Commission: A Word from Our Chair, Laura Arroyo

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Commission for Housing and Residential Life,

It is with much excitement and thanks that I begin my time as your CHRL Chair. For those of you that attended ACPA, you may have heard ACPA’s new and BOLD Strategic Imperative for Racial Justice. However we recognize that many were unable to attend convention and therefore wish to share with you the following important statement: Continue reading

Is It Best to Live On Campus? Living Environments and Student Engagement: Research Findings & Implications

Living Environments and Student Engagement: Research Findings and Implications
ACPA Commission for Housing and Residence Life Sponsored Program
Tuesday, March 28| 4:45-5:45p | Convention Center A124
Presenters: Polly Graham, Sarah Hurtado, Bob Gonyea

Within the higher education community, there is a tacit belief that living on campus is more beneficial to students than living off campus. Residence life professionals in particular have experiential knowledge that supports this assumption. Most residential programs offer targeted programming, professional staffing, and increased access to a wide variety of resources, among other amenities. With increased access to these resources, it is commonsensical to assume that living on-campus offers more to students than other housing options. Additionally, there is scholarship that affirms the advantages of on-campus living, probably most well-known being Pascarella and Terenzini’s How College Affects Students.

In the 1991 edition, they assert the significance of residence life, concluding living on campus was “the single most consistent within-college determinant of the impact of college” (p. 611).

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(Re)imagining Theory-to-Practice in Residential Education

ACPA Commission for Housing and Residence Life Sponsored Program
Tuesday, March 28| 10:00a-12:15p | Convention Center B234
Presenters: Reginald Blockett, Arian Bryant, Kelly Hennessy

Enjoy learning about theory? Are you always looking for ways to incorporate theory into your practice? Do you want to learn about how student development theory has evolved over time? Research encourages incorporating theory into higher education and student affairs practice and as educators we are always examining how this is actually occurring on campuses. Using residence life as a context and by bringing together graduate students, scholar-practitioners, and faculty, ACPA will offer a session that will (Re)imagine theory-to-practice in residential education. This session will generate new insights into how a diverse group of educators actively foster a theory-to-practice culture across multiple institutional contexts. Continue reading

Transformative Residential Curricula: Lessons Learned Over 10 Years

ACPA Commission for Housing and Residence Life Sponsored Program
Monday, March 27 | 9:30a-10:30a | Convention Center B131
Presenters: Dr. Hilary Lichterman, Dr. Kathleen G. Kerr, Dr. Keith Edwards

Take a moment to think about the past 10 years.  No doubt, that prompt can conjure up various transitions in your life, job, and other commitments as well as positive anecdotes and challenging circumstances.  On the national scene in student affairs, the curricular approach in beyond the classroom settings started 10 years ago as an emergent trend for residence life practice.  Today, colleagues leading divisions of student affairs and serving in a myriad of functional areas of student affairs around the globe consider the curricular approach to be obvious practice to enhance student learning. Continue reading

Good Housekeeping: Housing Experiences Matter to LGBTQ Student Success by Liza Hurley

ACPA Commission for Housing and Residence Life Sponsored Program
Monday, March 27 | 3:45-4:45p | Convention Center B231
Presenter: Liza Hurley

In a few weeks, I will attend my first ACPA conference in Columbus, Ohio! What makes it even more exciting is I have the opportunity to present with fellow master’s students, PhD students, and professors. In this blog post, I am sharing how I got started doing research during my first semester as an #SAgrad and why I have found it so valuable. Continue reading