Counting down to our 10 year anniversary!


To celebrate our 10 year anniversary, we’re offering a learning session each month centered on the residential college experience! Join us as we learn, grow, and connect with each other in new ways each month leading up to our TENTH symposium.

Check out our sessions below and click this link to register for the sessions you want to attend!

We’ll email the Zoom links to the session(s) you register for 24 hours ahead of the session.


Creating Meaningful Assessment and Evaluation Tools for Faculty in Residential Academic Programs

March 10, 2023 @ 2pm ET

Facilitated by: Elizabeth Anderman (University of Colorado Boulder) and Nicole Jobin (University of Colorado Boulder)

This presentation will relate how a group of faculty, in the Residential Academic Programs at the University of Colorado Boulder who teach courses as diverse as Biology, Nutrition, History, Film and English, came together to create a set of teaching evaluation tools that focus on teaching first-year students in the RAPs – not on discipline specific content. Their work was part of the national TeVAL program that works to implement best practices in teaching assessment. The presentation will share the process and the tools created.

A REVISED Best Practices Model for Living-Learning Communities and Residential Colleges: What We Have Learned From You

April 10, 2023 @ 1pm ET

Facilitated by: Karen Inkelas (University of Virginia), Jody Jessup-Anger (Marquette University), and Mimi Benjamin (Indiana University of Pennsylvania)

In 2018, the presenters published a best practices model for living-learning communities based upon our research over the past two decades. Since then, we have heard from scholars and practitioners across the nation with insightful feedback on the model. As a result, we have developed a revised version of the best practices model, and the RCS audience will get a sneak peak as we put the finishing touches on our forthcoming book introducing the new model. We invite you to join us and perhaps help us further retool the model!

No RSVPs: Structured Informality in Collegiate Living.

May 10, 2023 @ 1pm ET

Facilitated by: Kent Bream (University of Pennsylvania) and Suhnne Ahn (Johns Hopkins University & Peabody Conservatory)

While the discourse on residential colleges frequently discusses the formal active and passive programming of a house, building cohesion and social norms in a residential college must also include informal interactions, events, and spaces. Informality, however, cannot be left to unplanned spaces and events and based on community improvisation, but instead should include structured, planned, informal spaces and events. We will explore three examples of structured informality in collegiate living:  word of mouth pop-up food events, structured faculty visibility in informal settings, and informal passive music programming.  While these serve as highly planned rituals to build house culture, they intentionally occur by chance or are unannounced. They are designed to engage students, reduce access barriers including formal exit/entrance rules, and contrast cultural hegemony. Stages of informality including the invitation, connection, fallibility, and cohesion will be discussed. These informalities build stronger communities and promote student wellness and a sense of belonging.

Leverage the RCS Community to Build YOUR Community

June 12, 2023 @ 1pm ET

Facilitated by: Brittany McDaniel (Washington University in St. Louis)

Many young professionals know having a network is important but may struggle with how to expand their network outside their immediate environments. This session’s purpose is twofold: the first purpose is to understand and discuss how young professionals can broaden their networks intentionally, and second to provide participants space to meet new folx across the country. Participants will participate in a speed dating style activity with the goal of meeting at least one new colleague in the field they intend to continue connecting with post-session. Suggested questions will be provided for the activity.

Can We Have it All?: Unique Residential Environments within Complex Residential Systems

July 10, 2023 @ 12pm ET

Facilitated by: Matt Kwiatkowski (Carnegie Mellon University)

Come and engage in a discussion with colleagues related to the topic of the push/pull relationship between centralization and decentralization in the work of residential education. Some guiding questions include: 1) How do we create residential environments that are unique and distinct, and yet balance equity across residential systems that have multiple residential environments? 2) How do residential colleges, living-learning communities, residential curricula, and other models contribute or distract from these aims? 3) How do we coach students (particularly student staff) against “comparison culture” and help them lean into the culture they create in their own residential environment?

The Cost of a Residential College

August 10, 2023 @ 1pm ET

Facilitated by: Carl Krieger (Purdue University)

The costs of building a residential college are multi-faceted. There are the economic costs of building or renovating, the typical staffing costs of building a new program and the costs associated with integrating a faculty member into the program. There are also cultural costs and short term and long term policy costs. During this conversation we will walk through the steps of creating a residential college. As part of these steps we will delve into the costs. Whether you are new to a residential college, a residential college veteran or somewhere in between, this conversation will help you think about (or question) why you are doing your work in a certain way.

It Takes a Village to Run a Residential College: Cooperative Leadership in the Return From Covid

September 8, 2023 @ 3pm  ET

Facilitated by: Laura Ammon (Appalachian State), Holly Ambler (Appalachian State), Zosephine Huffines (Appalachian State), and Reilly Kerr (Appalachian State)

“A key reason to engage in collaboration is to learn.” As a new director of an established Residential College, there are many challenges to creating a successful learning community before considering the return from the isolation of Covid-19 lockdown. This presentation will explore the value of collaboration between the director, academic adviser, graduate student assistant, and current residential college student to develop community, stability, and resilience within the structure of Watauga Residential College in the return to in-person classes and learning in the academic year 2021-22. This presentation will discuss the value of collaboration, genuinely working together towards agreement on aims, actions and outcomes in the process of rebuilding community in the wake of social and institutional changes. These collaborations have led to new structures and strategies for continuing into the future, and building a sustainable residential learning community moving forward.

How Did We Get Here?  Where Are We Going?

October 10, 2023 @ 4pm ET

Facilitated by: Clark Maddux (Appalachian State)

This participatory presentation will ask participants to examine the origins of their residential colleges within the context of larger national trends, and to project what might happen to their colleges in the next 5 or 10 years given national trends.