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Opportunities & Resources > Communities of Practice

Communities of Practice


The OACUHO Communities of Practice (CoP) exist as a forum for members to engage in solving common challenges across institutions.

The Community of Practice Design Guide states “a community of practice is a group of people who share a common concern, a set of problems, or interest in a topic and who come together to fulfill both individual and group goals” Cambrige, D., Kaplan, S., & Suter, V. (2005).

A CoP Chair (or co-chair) provides organization and coordination for a particular CoP. The Chair facilitates an engaging and respectful opportunities for dialogue surrounding a particular focus area.

Within each CoP, members will have the opportunity to identify individual goals/challenges at their respective campuses, seek feedback from colleagues, share resources and collaborate on common solutions. Each CoP may address the following challenges:

Student Conduct

• Common trends
• Current issues (ex. Changing legislation, health & safety enforcement, etc.)
• Educational sanctions
• Intersection of mental health and conduct
• Threat assessment
• Student advocacy

Training & Assessment

• Sharing approaches to online training
• Assessment methods
• Developing curricular approaches to training and assessment

Admissions & Business Operations

• Residence admissions
• The developing world of housing accommodation needs/requests
• Exploring different systems and portals to support housing needs

Residence Education, Curricular Approach and Assessment

• Transition programming in residence utilizing the curricular approach
• Assessing the student experience and integrating assessment throughout curricula
• The Structure of the CoP:
     • The first half of the year will focus on two essential elements per month
     • The second half of the year will focus on high-impact practices including: LLCs, experiential learning, leadership development, etc.

Small Residence and Housing Units

  • Identifying issues facing small residences (around or under 1000 beds OR small staff structures)
  • Networking with others to discuss common themes
  • Contribute to small organizations’ voices within OACUHO and the student affairs profession
  • Juggling multiple roles or being a Person-of-all-Trades
  • Sharing best practices and resources (training ideas, policies, organizational charts, toolkits)
  • Discuss higher education and student affairs issues and how they impact smaller organizations

 Grad Student and Family Housing 

  • Facilitate a better understanding of the graduate and student family experience.
  • Identify individual goals/challenges at members respective campuses
  • Share resources and collaborate on common solutions
  • Areas of focus for the CoP include:
    • RTA adherence and/or exemptions from the RTA
    • Tenancy/landlord issues
    • Educational programming and engagement strategies