About the RCO

What Is the RCO?

The Residential Colleges Office (RCO) is the administrative and faculty development center for UNCG’s three Residential Colleges (RCs): Asbhy RC, Grogan RC, and Strong RC. Coordinated by Dr. Jennifer Stephens (jennifer.stephens@uncg.edu), the RCO provides opportunities for faculty to develop and hone their teaching praxis through RCO Faculty Fellowships, with innovative course re-design grants and opportunities to pilot the re-designed courses in the RCs; workshops, brown bag luncheons, and video blogs on High-Impact Educational Practices (HIPs); teaching consultations; faculty certification in Residential College pedagogy; and opportunities to observe HIPs in organic classroom environments.

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 practices and populated by first- and second-year students who live together in a residence hall and take a common core of general education courses around a particular concept such as multi-literacy (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 themes, 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 the concept of multi-literacy within a liberal arts tradition that 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.

Theme: Multi-literacy
Methodology: Multi-literacies
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 problem 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: Problem-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/Field Observation
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 to be involved in their pedagogical development:

Opportunities to Learn:

Opportunities to Practice:

  • RCO Faculty Fellowships
    • Innovative course re-design grants
    • Opportunities to pilot re-designed courses in the RCs
    • Platform to share pedagogical insights with faculty across campus
  • Teaching as a RCO Instructor
    • Teaching General Education courses for students across the three RCs
    • Teaching Core courses for students in a specific RC
    • Developing and/or engaging in co-curricular experiences with RC students