UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

Student- and Faculty-Development intersect in UTLC’s Residential Colleges Office

Photo of students in residential colleges.The three Residential Colleges (RCs) at UNCG (Ashby RC, Grogan RC and Strong RC) are each populated by first- and second-year students who live together in a residence hall and take a common core of general education courses around a particular concept such as multi-literacy (Ashby), professionalism (Grogan), or sustainability (Strong).

The Residential Colleges are not new to the UNCG community, having been providing innovative living-learning environments for students since 1970. However, with the establishment of the Residential Colleges Office (RCO) in the University Teaching and Learning Commons (UTLC) in 2015, the RCs have gotten a facelift by offering new opportunities for faculty development (see utlc.uncg.edu – Faculty Funding Opportunities in the UTLC) while maintaining the uniqueness and traditions for students that have made the RCs a vibrant and trendsetting part of the academic community.

“As curricular and co-curricular academic communities designed around high impact practices, the Residential Colleges are ideal environments for piloting innovative approaches to teaching,” said Dr. Jennifer Stephens (jennifer.stephens@uncg.edu), who serves as Coordinator of the RCO. The three RCs offer a full slate of General Education courses in addition to a series of Core courses that speak to and engage with a key concept that frames the curricular and co-curricular programming in each RC. The Residential College model is founded on the idea that students who engage with faculty, take classes together in small communities, and connect their intellectual and academic experiences to their lives and communities have a better chance at thriving in college, while learning to explore new ideas and asking how that knowledge might benefit others. With this commitment to intentional learning, each of the following RCs provides developmental space for faculty to re-design and pilot innovative General Education courses with students who are motivated and receptive to creative teaching approaches:

Ashby RC focuses on the concept of multi-literacy within a liberal arts tradition that asks students to expand their understanding of literacy to include audio, gestural, visual, and spatial relations, along with a continued focus on verbal, written, and oral discourse. Thinking broadly about literacy helps students recognize, with intentionality, how they interpret and create images, space, movement, sounds, and words to make sense of the content they are learning and to apply that knowledge to larger contexts and communities.

Grogan RC offers students a unique and transformative academic experience that builds foundational professional competencies through problem based learning. Students engage with real world applications related to their academic and professional interests to develop ethical reasoning, intercultural competency, and critical thinking – all important aspects of becoming successful professionals in their fields.

Strong RC focuses on exploring the concept of sustainability and its broader implications to generate new perspectives on environmental, social, economic, and cultural systems and the ways those systems can be improved and sustained for future generations. Through hands-on research and fieldwork, students examine broad ways to interpret sustainability in both their local and global communities.

Upcoming opportunities for faculty development with the RCO include RCO Faculty Fellowships, with innovative course re-design grants and opportunities to pilot the re-designed courses in the RCs; workshops, brown bag luncheons, and video blogs on High Impact Practices (HIPs); teaching consultations; faculty certification in Residential College pedagogy; and opportunities to observe HIPs in organic classroom environments.

The next events?

Feb. 26 – RCO Faculty Fellow Workshop: “Re-design: Opportunities and Complexities.” Join RCO Faculty Fellow Dr. Jessica McCall (CST) and Jacquie Downing (CST) for a workshop on the opportunities and complexities of the course re-design process. 9:00 a.m. – 10 a.m. in McIver 140.

The 2016-17 RCO Faculty Fellowship application process opens in February, with applications due by March 1. To learn more about opportunities for faculty and students in the Residential Colleges, visit utlc.uncg.edu.