Vanderbilt to host annual Residential College Symposium


Vanderbilt University will host faculty, students and academic affairs professionals from more than 30 peer institutions for the third annual Residential College Symposium, to be held at The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons Oct. 27-29. The symposium will provide the opportunity for university leaders to share knowledge, build community, and advance scholarship about the residential college experience.

“Residential colleges create meaningful living-learning environments where networks of students, faculty and staff come together to learn from each other in ways that foster personal growth and develop of a sense of community, thereby enriching the undergraduate experience,” said Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan R. Wente. “Vanderbilt is proud to host this year’s Residential College Symposium. I know we have much to share and much to learn from our colleagues from peer universities. We are continually looking for new approaches to enhance our students’ experiences in a way that educates the whole person and cultivates lifelong learning—a core principle of Vanderbilt’s Academic Strategic Plan.”

“Welcoming our peers from across the country and the world to The Ingram Commons is an honor,” said Vanessa Beasley, dean of The Ingram Commons. “Not only do we get the unique opportunity to learn more about new programs, ideas and best practices in faculty-led residential colleges, but we also get the chance to highlight The Ingram Commons, our faculty heads, our staff, and our colleagues in residential education as contributors to Vanderbilt’s role as a national leader in the first-year experience.”

The 2016 Residential College Symposium will focus on the following themes:

Academic Foundations—focusing on multiple faculty roles in residential colleges, the building of curriculum both in and outside of the classroom, and the most effective ways to create vibrant living and learning communities;

Collaborative Partnerships—exploring collaborative partnerships among faculty, student affairs and academic affairs staff; the means of eliciting institutional support for living and learning communities; and the partnerships that are needed to support students residentially;

Student Leadership—illuminating how residential colleges can empower students through governance, civic engagement and intentional structures that support student leadership; and

Assessment and Evaluation—addressing methods of evaluation and assessment of the residential college experience and the use of data to improve programmatic efforts.

These themes will be explored by focusing on a variety of different residential college models, including first-year, honors, and multiyear residential colleges. The symposium also will consider how current priorities in higher education, such as diversity and inclusion initiatives, inform practice and culture in residential college environments.

The symposium is a significant event given the ongoing expansion of Vanderbilt’s College Halls. Live-in faculty, student affairs and academic affairs professionals, and graduate professional students who are directly involved with the residential college experience are scheduled to present. See the symposium’s complete schedule.

The Vanderbilt community is encouraged to register, free of charge, by visiting the 2016 Residential College Symposium website. For updates, “like” the symposium’s Facebook page.

For questions and further information, contact Christina Bailey or call (615) 343-9628.