About the Residential Colleges Office

What Is the RCO?

The Residential Colleges Office (RCO) is the administrative and faculty development center for UNCG’s three Residential Colleges (RCs): Ashby RC, Grogan RC, and Strong RC. Directed by Dr. Jennifer Stephens (jennifer.stephens@uncg.edu), the RCO provides opportunities for faculty and graduate students to develop and hone their teaching praxis through teaching appointments, Graduate Teaching Fellowships and faculty mentorships, workshops and brown bag luncheons on High-Impact Educational Practices (HIPs), teaching consultations, opportunities to observe HIPs in organic classroom environments, and Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) opportunities in general education and integrated and applied learning.

What Are Residential Colleges?

The three Residential Colleges (RCs) at UNCG (Ashby RC, Grogan RC and Strong RC) are curricular and co-curricular academic communities designed around high-impact educational practices and populated by first- and second-year students who live together in a residence hall and take a common core of general education and capstone courses around a particular concept such as contemporary media literacies (Ashby), professionalism (Grogan), or sustainability (Strong). Having been a part of the UNCG academic community since 1970, these innovative living-learning environments 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.

Vision: At UNCG’s Residential Colleges, students have shared academic and social experiences, within a residential setting, that prepare them to become thoughtful and productive members of their communities.

Mission: Drawing on our rich histories, the Residential Colleges offer students innovative and multidisciplinary courses, close working relationships with faculty, and leadership opportunities that encourage intellectual curiosity, personal development, and civic engagement. Additionally, the Residential Colleges provide opportunities for faculty to refine their teaching praxis through supported development in High-Impact Educational Practices (HIPs).

Why Connect Faculty Development with the Residential Colleges?

With a commitment to intentional, integrated, and applied learning, the Residential Colleges are ideal environments for piloting, observing, and examining innovative approaches to teaching, especially undergraduates in the General Education curriculum. With unique curricular foci, methodologies, and traditions, 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 contemporary media literacies and ethical engagement in civic and academic life. Ashby 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.

Focus: Contemporary Media Literacies
Methodology: Multi-literacy and Genre Work
Residence Hall: Mary Foust
Program Chair and Teaching Consultant: Dr. Sara Littlejohn (sjlittle@uncg.edu)

Grogan RC offers students a unique and transformative academic experience that builds foundational professional competencies through project-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.

Theme: Professionalism
Methodology: Project-Based Learning
Residence Hall: Grogan
Program Chair and Teaching Consultant: Mr. John Sopper (jrsopper@uncg.edu)

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.

Theme: Sustainability
Methodology: Ethnography and Field Work
Residence Hall: Guilford
Program Chair and Teaching Consultant: Dr. Sara Littlejohn (sjlittle@uncg.edu)

How Do I Get Involved?

The RCO offers a variety of opportunities for faculty and graduate students to be involved in their pedagogical development:

Opportunities to Learn:

  • Workshops facilitated by RCO faculty and staff
  • Brown bag luncheons on High-Impact Educational Practices (HIPs)
  • Teaching consultations with RC Program Chairs and RCO Director
  • Opportunities to observe HIPs in organic classroom environments
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) opportunities in general education and integrated and applied learning environments

Opportunities to Practice: