Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Michelle Boettcher

Committee Member

Dr. Tony Cawthon

Committee Member

Dr. Jacquelynn Malloy

Committee Member

Dr. Rachel Wagner


Since their emergence at universities, student affairs and housing and residence life (HRL) administrators have continuously evolved their role on campus. Foundational documents challenged administrators to engage in student learning to support institutions’ missions and bridge the gap with academic affairs.

The Curriculum Model (CM) provides a framework do this work. The CM extends learning beyond the classroom and formalizes it by developing learning goals and outcomes, educational strategies, facilitation guides, and learning assessment with rubrics. In a CM, practitioners must acknowledge their roles as educators to guide learning.

Implementing a CM is a paradigm shift for staff as they complete tasks previously unfamiliar. Educators must develop internal conceptions of being an educator and leverage learning partners to build efficacy. The goal of this case study is to explore experiences of professional live-in educators at one HRL department implementing a CM. Research questions include how they see themselves as educators for students and how they are supported through learning partnerships to implement curriculum.

Data was collected through semi-structured interviews, group observations, and document analysis. Baxter Magolda and King’s (2004) Learning Partnerships Model served as a theoretical framework.

Participants drew from internal passions for learning and teaching. They compared their work academic instruction, created scaffolded meaningful learning experiences for students, and recognized a deeper purpose to their work.

The departmental environment supported participants through resources, partnerships, and empowering relationships of supervisors and peers. Participants thrived in opportunities to contribute significant adaptations to the curriculum based on knowledge and expertise. Effective communication supported participant growth, and external challenges inhibited development.

Implications may inform (1) practice of HRL departments to create support for professionals acquiring competency in a CM, (2) midlevel supervisors on ways to engage entry-level staff within a curricular approach, and (3) professional and graduate staff in developing strategies to identify learning partners build skills toward work within a curricular framework.



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