We are more than just a place to live. At Graduate House, we have developed a residence curriculum that focuses on the growth and development of our residents. The curriculum was developed by professional staff in collaboration with various campus partners. The Residence Life staff facilitate events and programs throughout the year following the curriculum’s learning outcomes.
As the largest graduate student residence on campus, Graduate House is committed to providing high-quality living experiences to the graduate students at the University of Toronto. As such, a curriculum has been created to support development in all areas of the student experience and to foster the growth of well-rounded graduate students while residing at Grad House. Implementing a curriculum that incorporates all-encompassing learning goals will support the busy graduate student lifestyle by offering a variety of convenient, relevant and supportive programs as well as contribute to filling any gaps in the student experience.
The curriculum focuses on seven (7) areas of development or learning goals. These pillars have been identified by residents, Assistant Dean of Residence Life & Communication (ADRLC), current Resident Advisors (RAs), relevant University of Toronto faculty members, the School of Graduate studies (including accessibility services and the Dean’s office) and Student Life at the University of Toronto. The pillars represent what residents can expect to learn when they live here. Ultimately, each pillar will have their own respective learning outcomes and will be both a guide and the objectives of the Grad House curriculum.
The learning outcomes will be achieved through RAs. They will specialize in and be responsible for one of the seven learning goals and relevant programming once a month designed to meet the learning outcomes. These specific learning outcomes represent more tangible, concrete skills and experiences that students can gain and benefit from by participating in programming. Specializing in one pillar of the curriculum will be in addition to the other RA responsibilities of their assigned primary community, such as office hours, one-on-ones, etc.
It is expected that Grad House residents are unique and will bring pre-existing strengths or knowledge related to the pillars prior to residing in Grad House. However, Grad House still encourages rich learning experiences through residential programming to support gaps in the student experience and to refine pre-existing knowledge in the residents. Students who already have strong foundations in learning outcomes will still be encouraged to participate in programs to polish their skills but also support their fellow residents and grow in other areas, especially considering that a program may involve more than one learning outcome. For example, someone who has strong professional, workplace skills may still benefit from attending a resume clinic in order to edit their work and contribute ideas to the group but also may enhance other areas of development, such as Combatting Loneliness. Students may not leave their time at Grad House with high levels of achievement in all learning goals but should have felt that they had the opportunity to construct a foundation from which they can draw experiences/build upon.
Grad House Community Participant Status
Current residents who wish to remain in Grad House will still have an opportunity to gain priority in re-entry, but they will now have to earn this priority through achieving the Grad House Community Participant Status (GCPS). Current residents who do not achieve this status but wish to reside in Grad House for subsequent academic years will have to re-apply through the general applicant pool.
The addition of this GCPS to the curriculum is to foster a culture of participation, inclusion and community that residents have expressed needing more of in Grad House. This status will foster this culture by encouraging communication among residents through the suitemate agreement and the one-on-one, which may bolster individual connections that constitute a larger community of people. Additionally, the requirement of participation in programs will encourage residents to engage in community through both modelling an example of community and by giving them a platform in which they can forge their own community.
The promotion of a participatory, warm culture may support over-arching issues with Grad House, such as combating loneliness and ensuing mental health concerns, through these increases in individual connections and subsequent community. This status will help shape the reputation of Grad House as a warm, welcoming environment and communicate to the University of Toronto and general public that residents can expect to have a strong sense of community while residing at Grad House.
Grad House Community Participant Status will be achieved by:
- Complete a Suitemate Agreement for the current year (2022-2023)
- Only one form per suite is required – one suitemate will be responsible for submitting the form on behalf of everyone in the suite.
- For suites that have a resident(s) who moved in later in the academic year (e.g. December), the resident who most recently moved in will be responsible for submitting the most up-to-date suitemate agreement on behalf of everyone in order to achieve their GCPS.
- This agreement should take no longer than one month subsequent to moving in to complete.
- Participation in a one-on-one meeting with your 2022-2023 assigned RA
- This meeting should also take place ASAP (no more than approximately two months after moving in) and will be organized at a mutually convenient time for the resident and RA.
- Attending a minimum of four (4) Residence Advisor (RA) programs over the academic year (September-April).
- Attendance will be spread out so that residents must attend two programs a semester (two in the fall and two in the winter. These are programs organized and executed by Residence Advisors
- Only RA related programming will count towards this status (i.e. building-wide events like snowball are not included programs – speak to your RA or the front desk for more information).
- Follow along on the Grad House Facebook page and weekly newsletters to learn when programs are happening!
- Ensuring that they meet the requirements of that program, such as:
- Signing up for the program in advance.
- Filling out any additional follow-up materials necessary (i.e. participation micro-survey, which is a double check for the attendance and will give brief feedback on learning outcomes).