The Residential Exeperience

What is the Residential Experience?

The Residential Experience is an intentional, outcome-based learning model that guides our engagement efforts in the residential communities.  Through our learning goals - Life Skills, Wellness, Belonging and Support, and Intercultural Community - students will engage in both fun events and educational opportunities to learn valuable skills and develop meaningful relationships.  At the center of it all is the goal of fostering a sense of belonging - that students feel connected, cared about, accepted, respected, valued by, and important to the campus community.

The Residential Experience model was developed in collaboration with faculty, staff, and students using student development theories, institutional data, the university mission and values, and current university priorities.  It will be continuously assessed and adjusted when appropriate.

Educational Priority

The residential experience will foster the development of life skills, cultivate a sense of belonging and support, and help actualize the intercultural community Ohio Wesleyan aspires to be.

Learning Goals

Life Skills - Students will develop the skills necessary to navigate through college and life.

The transition from living at home towards independence is a path most college students navigate.  Through their experiences living on campus, students will learn skills necessary for independence in an environment that balances supporting their needs and fostering their development.  Students will learn life skills to use during college and prepare them for life after they graduate.  Because navigating relationships is an important skill for every part of life, students will also learn how to develop meaningful and healthy relationships with those around them and manage those relationships through conflict.  

Through this learning goal, students will:

-Successfully build relationships and navigate through conflict

-Practice the foundational skills necessary for independent living

-Evaluate and prioritize their time

Wellness - Students will understand the importance of caring for oneself and how to incorporate wellness into their daily lives.

Practicing components of wellness such as living an active lifestyle, proper sleep habits, balanced nutrition, and mindfulness enables students to navigate their daily lives more successfully; especially during periods of stress.  Through their residential experience, students will come to understand and practice each of the elements of wellness.  Students will also support peers by role modeling healthy behaviors, and be able to recognize when someone needs help and know how to get them connected to the support they need.     

Through this learning goal, students will:

-Recognize and apply the eight dimensions of wellness in their lives

-Appropriately support themselves and peers through mental health concerns, including access and referral to resources, and calling for help in emergencies

-Understand how to use substances safely, identify the warning signs of overuse, and call for help when someone needs assistance

Belonging and Support - Students will be engaged in campus life, be connected to the support systems they need, and cultivate a trusted community.

The goal of belonging and support is centered on how connected a student feels to the university, to the community of people around them, and to their friends.  An engaged student will feel a stronger connection and sense of belonging.  Through their residential experience students will become increasingly engaged students and leaders in the community, build a support network on campus to foster their continued success, and come to feel strongly connected to the university community.  

Through this learning goal, students will:

-Explore opportunities in campus life, evaluate their interests and priorities, and engage in the community

-Build a community and peer support system on campus and in the community that promote their success

-Have ownership and pride in their residential community 

-Recognize how they are contributing to the OWU community as formal and informal leaders, and describe how their actions will have a lasting impact

Intercultural Community - Students will demonstrate an ever-deepening understanding and respect for themselves, individuals, and cultures and will learn from one another and grow together.

To participate thoughtfully and respectfully in a community of people from diverse backgrounds, one must develop a firm understanding of self, develop an appreciation and acceptance of others’ experiences, and understand how to engage in productive conversations where differing perspectives exist.  Through their residential experience, students will learn these values and skills while also learning how to take action when they see something that does not align with our institutional values.

Through this learning goal, students will:

-Cultivate a curiosity for understanding themselves, individuals, and cultures in the context of power and privilege

-Describe their personal responsibility to our community

-Intervene when another person’s actions do not match our institutional values

-Explore personal values and demonstrate self-awareness




Residential Life Office
Hamilton-Williams Campus Center 213
Ohio Wesleyan University
Delaware, OH 43015
P 740-368-3175
F 740-368-3174

Social Media

Other Contact Information

Office Hours:
Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. - Noon and 1-5 p.m.

Mailing Address:
Office of Residential Life
Hamilton-Williams Campus Center 225
Ohio Wesleyan University
Delaware, OH 43015