Curricular Approaches

Keith has been one of the leaders in developing curricular approaches to learning beyond the classroom in higher education. He has chaired and regularly serves as a faculty member for ACPA’s Residential Curriculum Institute. He is co-author of this article on curricular approaches. He has facilitated or co-facilitated retreats with over 25 campuses to help them design and implement an intentional student learning focused approach in student affairs.

Student affairs staff members are well versed in the rich opportunities for learning beyond the classroom. However, typical efforts to foster that learning through program models often fall short in design, staff buy-in, student learning, and measurable outcomes. Keith and colleagues work to help individual campuses shift to a curricular approach. This process is often through a two day retreat that helps the staff make the paradigm shift, establish their educational priority and learning goals unique to their institution, and create concrete plans for strategically moving forward including on-going design, implementation, and assessment.

I don’t know if I can express enough how much you helped us down the right path to creating and implementing a true residential curriculum.  When people ask, I honestly tell them to bring you to campus, but get the right stakeholders in place and follow your guidance!  You are well worth the investment and I would say, more cost effective than anything else we have ever tried in regards t0 student learning!

-Rebecca Bahe, Assoc. Dir. of Residence Life, North Dakota State University


SHWorking with Keith Edwards was a tremendously positive experience for the University of Dayton. Keith was able to assist my staff and me in clarifying and strengthening our educational priority, learning goals and learning outcomes, which in turn allowed us to develop educational plans that aligned with our institution’s vision for integrated learning and living. Designing and implementing a residential curriculum can initially feel overwhelming and daunting. What appeared to be a difficult task was far more manageable as a result of Keith’s guidance and expertise.

-Steven T. Herndon, Assistant Dean of Students, Executive Director of Housing and Residence Life


Keith’s visit to UConn was crucial for helping to empower and educate our team as we implement a curricular approach to residential learning. Keith spent time preparing and planning so that he truly understood our department and context, working collaboratively with us to best serve the needs of our team and campus. So many members of our staff had ‘a-ha’ moments during our two-day training—about student learning, about how we structure our work, and about how accessible and doable a curricular approach is.

-Ashley Robinson, Asst. Dir. of Residence Education, University of Connecticut 


NATransformational. Thought-provoking. Team Builder.

Bringing Keith to work with our campus partners, department and residence life team  was a ‘game changer’ for us. It solidified our focus as a team and what we want our students to learn while they live in residence. Having Keith facilitate discussions, allowed us to challenge each other and ensure that any outcome, was for the best interest of our students. He kept us moving forward with the development of our curriculum and provided several golden nuggets of wisdom that our team now uses as a common language.  The impact of Keith’s visit will be felt by us and our students for many years to come. We cannot wait for the next time we can work with him. Thank you Keith for all your time and investment. We are grateful for your dedication to this profession.

-Natalie Allen, Assistant Director, Residence Life Services, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada


ASOur time with Dr. Edwards catapulted our department forward toward the implementation of a residential curriculum. His facilitation skills guided our group through though decisions and lit up our minds to idea of intentional impact on the lives of the students living on campus.

-Anne Stark, Director of Residence Life and Education, University of Central Florida


LKIn 1.5 days Keith moved our group through a complex process that probably would have taken us 6-months otherwise to complete. My team was invested, engaged, and at the conclusion – each person was invested in our outcome, because we created it together.

-Linda Kasper, Director of Residence Life, University of South Florida

 SFKeith spent two days with our department and campus partners recently to kick our curriculum into gear.  He helped us all to better understand the purpose and benefits to the curricular approach.  He motivated and challenged us to think differently about the way we approach the student experience at Montclair State.  Keith is engaging, encouraging, and truly speaks from a place of experience.  With his guidance, we have made more progress on our curriculum in 2 weeks than we had in 2 years.

– Stacy Flowers, Assistant Director of Residence Life, Montclair State University

HLTo this day, my colleagues and I complement Keith’s investment in our team’s knowledge and resources. In all interactions prior to, during, and after the consulting visit, Keith was positive, prepared, and professional. He shared specific recommendations for us to consider, after taking time for thoughtful dialogue, and his insights have provided clarity and energy for our team. Keith remains interested in our developing residential curriculum; it is wonderful to have him as a colleague and national champion for curricular approaches to residence life and student affairs work.

-Hilary Lichterman, Associate Director of Residential Learning Initiatives, University of South Carolina

ESWhen we began our Residential Curriculum journey I knew immediately we would need help—we would need someone to come to campus and help us refine our aspirational goals and big lofty ideas. Keith was the perfect person to kick start our process. He is engaging, fun, incredibly capable, and unfailingly honest about our profession in a way that is so refreshing. The two days we spent workshopping our brand new way of being were some of the most inspirational in my career, and certainly the most productive. My colleagues and I were impressed with the level of preparation that went into the process—Keith really focused on what the University of Oklahoma needed and tailored the presentation to us.  If you are embarking on a Curriculum journey I cannot recommend this experience enough.

-Erin Simpson, Assistant Director, Residence Life, University of Oklahoma

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Keith’s Blog Posts on Curricular Approaches

Keith’s Scholarship on Curricular Approaches

More Testimonials