The Illinois Residential Experience

Intentionally designed residential learning experiences that teach the skills critical to our students' future success.

Why a residential experience?

Research shows that students who choose to live in University Housing are more likely to graduate in four years and are more engaged with their college experience. This does not happen by accident. Our staff is committed to developing meaningful learning experiences for residents designed to teach them the skills that research and employers indicate are critical for success in college and beyond. University Housing educators focus on four primary areas: Academics Success, Social Justice Exploration, Interpersonal Competence, and Engaged Citizenship.  

Setting up an environment for student success

  • We provide customer service in our everyday interactions with diverse populations of residents, families, stakeholders, and guests. As educators, we facilitate learning toward each of the learning outcomes. 
  • We are committed to utilizing resources in ways that are sustainable and respectful of our residents' financial commitment to University Housing. Our approach to resource management supports and role models social justice exploration and engaged citizenship. 
  • We work 24/7/365 in an effort to provide safe and secure communities. When residents feel safe they are able to focus on their academics and are more willing to engage in their communities. This helps develop interpersonal and intrapersonal competence. 
  • We understand conflict is often a necessary part of growth; we assist residents in learning ways to navigate conflicts and formulate solutions to problems. We help residents develop interpersonal competencies to become more confident and productive members of communities. 
  • We strive to be allies, advocates, and educators in all parts of our daily work to promote our value of inclusivity and social justice.

Methods of educating residents

  • One-on-one Conversations: Developing positive relationships with all residents on each floor and working to know students on a personal level. Helping you connect with the campus and others. 

  • Community Events: Providing opportunities to learn outside the classroom through stress relief events, time management, opportunities to build relationships with others, and getting involved in one of our many student groups.

  • Community Conversations: Providing students the opportunity to dialogue and learn from one another on topics of social justice and inclusion.

  • Sharing Resources: Through posting flyers, newsletters, and bulletin boards on your floor, we provide information to support learning and increase awareness of the various resources around campus.

Educational priority

As a result of living in University Housing, each resident will be able to intellectually engage as members of an inclusive community.

Meet the staff

Learning Outcomes

Academic Success - Learning Inside and Outside of the Classroom

Living on a college campus is integral to the learning that continues to happen formally and informally outside of the classroom. Higher Education values the on-campus experience with requirements to live in University Housing which often provides students space for study groups and close proximity to academic resources. Within this value, University Housing supports the success of students reaching graduation and beyond in their chosen career fields. Through this learning goal, each resident will be able to…

  • AS1. Identify connections between campus and community resources, experiences outside of the classroom, and formal learning.
  • AS2. Evaluate and utilize effective learning approaches and styles which will lead to academic success and professional development.
  • AS3. Engage in dialogue that promotes intellectual and professional enrichment.

Personal Growth - Promoting Student Enrichment and Wellbeing

Personal growth is a cornerstone of student development in that the field of Higher Education focuses on encouraging students to prioritize their health and wellness. With the increase of mental health concerns on campuses across the country, this goal is pivotal in our work in University Housing to help our students build connections to health and wellness resources and create an action plan to promote wellbeing. Through this learning goal, each resident will be able to…

  • PG1. Identify the available campus and community resources to support wellbeing.
  • PG2. Reflect and explore the basic dimensions of personal wellbeing including: spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical, social, environmental, and financial wellness.
  • PG3: Design a comprehensive wellness plan while implementing techniques for personal growth.

Community Engagement - Creating a Sense of Belonging

University Housing is committed to creating opportunities where residents engage as responsible and positive members of a community. Higher education research shows that involvement and community building are a benchmark in the success and retention of college students. The purpose of community is to create a sense of belonging with others from similar & different identities. Fostering community involves respect for others and learning ways to address community concerns. Through this learning goal each resident will be able to...

  • CE1. Recognize the purpose of values, expectations, and individual impact within University Housing groups and communities.
  • CE2. Apply ways to be a socially responsible member of the community.
  • CE3. Engage in opportunities that foster leadership and involvement within the community.

Social Justice Exploration - Examining Identity, Oppression, and Liberation

Social Justice Exploration is essential to higher education by preparing individuals to tackle global issues. In order to create success for every student we must make our learning environment one where everyone is able to learn, grow, and contribute positively. Social Justice Exploration is at the core of this work through acknowledging and addressing oppression in society, understanding how identities shape our experiences, and utilizing that knowledge to navigate a diverse campus and world. Housing is committed to providing space for education, reflection, and collaboration in relation to Social Justice Exploration to create a better future for all residents. Through this learning goal, each resident will be able to...

  • SJE1. Define and explore the concepts of social, relational and core identities.
  • SJE2. Examine their personal values and identities.
  • SJE3. Engage in dialogue about social justice and advocacy within their communities.