The Residential Learning Plan

The Residential Life department at Gustavus Adolphus College believes that learning occurs both in and out of the classroom. Our residential program facilitates student learning through actively engaging residents in creating community and developing a sense of responsibility for their residence hall environment. These efforts seek to enhance the student learning experience while aligning with the college‚Äôs educational mission and remaining firmly rooted in its mission and core values.

We believe that:

Gustavus students will have the opportunity to understand and develop their sense of self and broaden their perspective on how core institutional values shape their capacity to lead lives of leadership and service in a diverse world.

Learning Outcomes:

As a result of living in a residence hall community:

  1. Each Gustavus student will have the opportunity to explore the multiple facets of identity development.
  2. Each Gustavus student will have the opportunity to learn and grow as a leader and recognize the leadership qualities of themselves and others.
  3. Each Gustavus student will have the opportunity to engage as an active citizen, through education and service, within and outside of the Gustavus community.
  4. Each Gustavus student will have the opportunity to foster their understanding of and appreciation for diversity.


The Residential Learning Plan will be implemented in varying degrees based on the residential community being served. First-year residence halls will have a more intentional focus on developing identity and learning to live in community. Upperclass students will focus more on developing and extending relationships and, ultimately, how those relationships impact life in the broader community.

Strategies include:

  • individual meetings between residents and Collegiate Fellows.
  • monthly community meetings.
  • community calendars.
  • bulletin boards and door decorations.
  • social events and special traditional all-hall events.
  • leadership opportunities within residence halls.
  • Intentional Learning & Service program housing.

The Residential Learning Plan will integrate intellectual engagement with social interaction to create balanced, healthy, meaningful ways for residents to be involved in the life of their residence hall.

The Mission of Residential Life
The mission of the Office of Residential Life at Gustavus Adolphus College is to complement the academic mission of the institution by providing a living environment for students conducive to learning and development. Residential staff is committed to fostering a community in which students respect and affirm the dignity of all persons and develop the responsibility and values that will allow them to assume roles of leadership and service in society.

To this end, the Residential Life Office focuses on four areas of student learning within Gustavus residence halls:

Sense of Belonging
Includes having the ability to get along with others, feel acceptance and approval, and know one's role within a group or relationship. It can be seen and evaluated in several areas: emotional autonomy, interdependence, relationships with peers, and intimate relationships.

Acquiring Knowledge and Skills
Knowledge is sought and acquired in all environments and situations that a college student experiences. Acquiring knowledge includes increasing self-awareness, adjusting to one's surroundings, gathering and incorporating information, and learning effective decision-making and problem-solving skills.

Choosing Informed Attitudes
Developing an acceptance of one's self and others. That acceptance encompasses backgrounds, lifestyles, belief and value systems, and cultures. To attain it, students must begin to evaluate their own attitudes and values, be willing to listen to and try to understand, and make a commitment to be constantly relearning. Consider how a person's values influence a person's self-esteem, relationships with others, academic involvement, and career and lifestyle choices.

Integrates one's sense of identity and purpose. It involves having trust in one's skills and abilities, accepting responsibility for one's decisions and actions, determining one's career and life plans, and taking risks in order to achieve personal growth.