Learning in Community
Our learning goals and learning outcomes
Students will engage in self-discovery and reflection to construct a sense of purpose
Relationships & Communities:
Students will live productively among others and develop a caring network
Equity & Justice:
Students will explore diversity in identities, backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences among individuals and groups and choose to dialogue about issues related to privilege and oppression to foster equity and justice
Students will demonstrate an understanding of and a commitment to creating safe, healthy, and thriving communities
“Learning is a comprehensive, holistic, transformative activity that integrates academic learning and student development, processes that have often been considered separate, and even independent of each other.” (ACPA & NASPA, 2005)
What do we want students to learn and experience at Central Michigan University as a result of their on-campus living experience? This question drives the residential experience at CMU.
Students who live on campus often spend more time in their residential communities than the classroom, so the on-campus experience has the potential to significantly influence their success in college. When properly facilitated, housing facilities will be a place where students become academically successful, make life-long friends, forge connections to the institution, and contribute to greater community.
The Office of Residence Life intentionally designs the content, rationale, and methodology of our residential education to maximize student learning and create a stronger sense of belonging within each community. We believe that an intentionally designed residential experience can be transformative for students.
Our framework is called Learning in Community
The Office of Residence Life created a framework for implementing the residential experience; this framework is called Learning in Community. The purpose of this framework is to create powerful opportunities for student learning and growth within our residential communities.
This framework provides intentional strategies for engaging every student who lives on campus, not just those who participate in community council or who attend events.
We are educators
Members of the Office of Residence Life professional staff and paraprofessional staff team serve as educators and prioritize their role as educators. As co-constructors of the Learning in Community residential experience, they seek to:
- Validate residents (learners) as knowers- honor the importance of the learner’s voice;
- Situate learning in the resident’s (learner’s) own experience by providing opportunities for self-reflection; and
- Define learning as mutually constructing learning together, or by seeing teaching and learning as relational. (Learning Partnerships Model, Baxter Magolda, 2004)
An educational priority is the overall “goal” for our residence life program when it comes to student learning. It is a statement about the environment and what kind of learning it promotes.
As a result of living on campus, students will become empowered citizens who responsibly impact their communities.
Learning Goals/Learning Outcomes
Learning goals break down the educational priority into more concrete and specific learning components. If a student achieved the learning of all the learning goals, the educational priority will have been accomplished. These are often organized in developmentally sequenced ways. Written as:
“Each student will understand...”
Learning outcomes break down each learning goal into more concrete and specific components. These are written to describe the actions students will need to engage in to achieve the understanding described in the learning goals.
Written as: “Each student will be able to...”
- Make it clear what students should expect from their on-campus living experience;
- Help Residence Life staff embrace their roles as educators;
- Help Residence Life staff select and design the most appropriate learning strategies; and
- Help Office of Residence Life staff explain our contributions to the educational mission of the University and the value added of the on-campus residential experience through a shared language.
What are the learning goals for the Office of Residence Life
Identity: Students will engage in self-discovery and reflection to construct a sense of purpose
Equity and Justice: Students will explore diversity in identities, backgrounds, perspectives and experiences among individuals and groups and choose to dialogue about issues related to privilege and oppression to foster equity and justice
Relationships and Communities: Students will live productively among others and develop a caring network
Social Responsibility: Students will demonstrate an understanding of and a commitment to creating safe, healthy and thriving communities
What are the learning outcomes for the Office of Residence Life?
1. Discuss their individual strengths and weaknesses
2. Describe their values and beliefs
3. Develop an understanding of one's social identities
4. Formulate a sense of purpose
5. Identify strategies to support their academic success
Equity and Justice
1. State their rights and responsibilities for living in a community
2. Discuss the value of the communities to which they belong
3. Design and implement strategies for effective conflict resolution
4. Articulate a commitment to others achieving their goals
Relationships and Communities
1. Recognize human differences
2. Engage in dialogue to deepen understanding, respect and empathy for others
3. Describe how privilege and oppression operate in communities
4. Work toward justice and equity in communities
1. Make informed choices for the safety and wellbeing of self and others
2. Demonstrate effective stewardship of human, economic and environmental resources
3. Engage in local, national and international communities