Institution Spotlight: A Vision for Integrated, Applied, and Transformative Education (AVIATE)

Jivanto van Hemert

August 21, 2018

The University of Dayton’s Department of Housing and Residence Life recently received an award from NASPA in recognition of AVIATE; A Vision for Integrated, Applied and Transformative Education. Established in the fall of 2014, AVIATE launched a comprehensive residential curriculum, re-envisioned the housing assignments process, and simultaneously provided significant engagement opportunities for campus partners across the institution.

The unique composition of housing at the University of Dayton enables a robust and integrated experience; the institution houses over 80% of the undergraduate student population in developmentally progressive assignments. Students in their first year live in traditional residence halls as they begin to develop their own authorship and identity formation. In the following years, students explore greater levels of autonomy through suite and apartment style living and, typically, students culminate their residential experience in the student neighborhood, a community of over 400 houses.

This highly coveted residential experience enables the process alignment and integration of the core learning goals as outlined in the flight plan; Authorship, Interculturalism, and Community Living; and in support of the institution’s Catholic and Marianist principles. Through AVIATE, students that participate in “Engagement Opportunities” offered through the residential curriculum or campus partner events earn and accumulate PATH (Points Accumulated Towards Housing). A student’s PATH determines their priority in the housing assignments process. This integration replaced a common lottery process that was based on disciplinary sanctions, seniority, and chance.

In 2017, AVIATE incentivized over 55,976 unique engagements. AVIATE contributed to students’ academic success (demonstrating a near linear relationship between students’ GPA and engagement in AVIATE), retention (46% of University of Dayton students report their campus housing experience had an “extremely "positive impact on their decision to return, compared to 33% at peer institutions and 31% nationally), and satisfaction UD ranks 5th out of 262 for overall satisfaction with their experience living on campus). Thus making this initiative clearly worthy of spotlighting.

About the Author
Jivanto van Hemert (He/ Him/ His), is an Area Coordinator at the University of Dayton. He also serves as the NASPA Membership Coordinator for the State of Ohio and as Communications Chair of the Ohio College Personnel Association (OCPA). Prior to joining the University of Dayton Flyer Family, Jivanto completed a Master's of Education focusing on College Student Personnel at Ohio University and both a Master’s degree in Business Administration and undergraduate work in Administration of Justice at Salve Regina University (Newport, RI). Continue the conversation with him on Twitter at @Jivanto. 

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