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Residential Curriculum

Social responsibility is Student Housing’s educational priority. In the tabbed section below, you'll see what academic and social success skills we want students to learn and the activities we sponsor that foster that atmosphere. Now in its third year, the Student Housing residential curriculum is geared toward learning outcomes for first-year students.

Because of that focus, KU Student Housing is implementing first-year only living in the two new residence halls and Ellsworth Hall. The room designs and floor plans for the new buildings are intended to foster the interaction and community development that is a critical component of first-year living.

Lewis Hall will have an upperclass-only floor, because returning students say they prefer upperclass-only areas, and Templin Hall will continue to house the Honors program. Returning students also enjoy living with one or up to three roommates in Jayhawker Towers and McCarthy Hall Apartments.

What is a residential curriculum?

The residential curriculum is linked to KU’s academic mission to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities, and making discoveries that change the world:

  • Derived from educational priorities through research-backed pedagogy and assessment.
  • Utilizes sequenced, individualized, and targeted interventions, coupled with strategic community building.
  • Provides students with transformative learning opportunities that lead to graduation in 4 years.

Here are some of the messages we send to residents that communicate the residential curriculum:



Students living in KU Student Housing will be able to demonstrate personal responsibility for themselves and their actions. They will participate in self-advocacy, make healthy decisions surrounding alcohol and other drugs, and demonstrate academic success skills.

Global community

By living in KU Student Housing, students will be able to connect to the ever-changing global community, value human diversity, and connect to the KU community and beyond.


By living in KU Student Housing, students will be able to communicate through conflict and will gain an awareness that their actions will affect others.


Many activities are involved in disseminating this information to students. Here are some of the primary activities we use at KU:

  • Community Meetings: Staff members will lead residents in community meeting in which they set and review community standards.
  • Community Traditions: Staff will work with their community to organize weekly community traditions which may include social activities and academic opportunities.
  • Roommate Agreements: Staff will work with roommates to ensure their pairings will be successful for the year.
  • Resident Interviews: Each resident will have an opportunity to get to know the staff member on the residence hall wing or the scholarship hall.
  • Academic Success Plans: Staff members will work with residents to ensure their academic goals are being met and assist them with any academic struggles they may be having.
  • Team Programs: Staff in each building complex will put on relevant community programming for the residents of their area.

Student Conduct

KU Student Housing staff members have presented the residential curriculum information at several conferences. Most recently, the information on how student conduct relates to the curriculum was presented by Jennifer Wamelink, associate director of residence life, and Dan "Petey" Peterson, an assistant complex director, at the UMR-ACUHO conference. UMR-ACUHO is the Upper Midwest Region of the Association of College and University Housing Officers.

Additionally, KU was invited to present at the Residential Curriculum Institute conference in Blacksburg, Virginia. That presentation was given by Christopher Sowa, assistant director of residence life, and Wamelink.

Twitter campaign

The residential curriculum also uses Twitter for specific to the academic goals of the program. @kudsh

Here is a sample of the poster with the account:

Student Housing News
New Stouffer Place Apartments open 2018!
More than $200,000 in annual scholarships to returning residents
Academic success: More than 94 percent of first-time, full-time freshmen in student housing enroll for the next semester
5,100 residents choose student housing each year
Residence hall rates are almost $2,000 less per year than the national average for public schools
— College Board
$4 million alumni gift funded Krehbiel Scholarship Hall
Options include suites, private bedroom with shared bath, two-person rooms, scholarship halls, and apartments
Oswald and Self residence halls opened in 2015
One bill covers all costs: room, food, utilities, and wireless Internet
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities