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. 

Watch our paraprofessional staff share what the Illinois Residential Experience means to them.

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

Each resident will understand their approach to learning, how to analyze and make connections, and apply that learning in their lives.

  • Identify and evaluate resources and sources of information. 
  • Explore and utilize effective learning styles and approaches. 
  • Investigate connections between experiences and formal learning.
  • Engage in intellectual discussions with peers. 

Interpersonal Competence

Each resident will understand how to create a realistic self-appraisal and understanding; establish and maintain productive relationships; set personal goals; and make healthy choices.

  • Identify the available resources to support mental and physical health. 
  • Develop skills to negotiate expectations and resolve conflicts. 
  • Develop realistic and measurable goals within a personal wellness plan. 
  • Recognize the basic dimensions of personal wellness. 
  • Explore and utilize stress management techniques.

Engaged Citizenship

Each resident will understand how to be a responsible and positive contributing member of their communities.

  • Recognize the purpose of community values and expectations. 
  • Develop an understanding of social responsibility and their individual and collective impact within a larger community. Integrate within a community through intellectual, personal, and social interests. 
  • Consider ways that engagement fosters involvement and leadership.
  • Demonstrate the ability to engage in civil discourse. 

Social Justice Exploration

Each resident will understand the identities of self and others, how the interaction between identities influences community, and how to promote ally ship and advocacy.

  • Define and explore the concepts of social, relational and core identities. 
  • Analyze social identities in the context of privilege and oppression. 
  • Engage in dialogue about social justice within their communities. 
  • Examine their personal values and identities. 

Campus, Community, and Cultural Connectedness (4Cs)

Family & Graduate Housing residents will understand how to utilize resources and support in their communities.

  • Identify resources that underscore the importance of engagement. 
  • Recognize the value of diversity within communities through examination of institutionalized differences in cultural knowledge. 
  • Navigate the networks of social services within communities.