Housing & Dining Programs


  • Housing / Dining Programs
    Fax: 202-885-1154
    Anderson, Room 1st Floor Anderson

    Mon - Friday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
    Sat 11:00am - 3:00pm
    Sun: Closed

    Moody, Christopher L
    Assistant Vice President for Housing & Dining Programs

Mailing Address

Residential Community Cluster

A Residential Community Cluster (RCC) is a living and learning environment created and implemented by students based on a shared theme, purpose or partnership that reflects the mission and values of American University, Housing & Dining Programs and Residential Education. The RCC program at American University is intended to create a unique living and learning experience within the residence halls. RCCs are designed with that belief in mind and are intended to provide support to the academic, social, and/or extracurricular elements of the university. This program seeks to empower and challenge students to customize their on-campus living experience to compliment academic pursuits and to contribute to the greater campus community. RCCs are completely student driven; therefore, the community can take a number of different forms based on community goals and interests.

Residential Community Cluster

Who is eligible for an RCC?
This community is open to any rising sophomores, juniors and seniors who currently live on campus and have lived on campus for one or two semesters by the end of the 2014-2015 academic year.

Where will RCCs be housed?
All RCCs will be housed in McDowell Hall. Some, but not all, of the communities will be housed in suites. Placement in the suite will be determined by community size and the centrality of a suite-style set-up to the community's educational purpose.

How many participants are in an RCC?
RCCs can range from 6-18 participants. McDowell suites can house 6 students. Communities larger than 6 members may be placed on a wing of McDowell or a combination of suite and rooms on the floor.

What do I need to do to apply for an RCC?
Prior to submitting an application, a representative must attend an information session or meet with Lindsay Whipple ( RCCs must complete a written application and present their proposed RCC for approval to a review board composed of faculty, staff, and students.

Application Process Timeline

By Friday, February 6, 2015 @5pm

Please send the following electronically to Lindsay Whipple, Assistant Director for Learning Communities and Assessment, at

•  A completed RCC Application
•  A copy of the “List of Committed Participants.” (Please provide in Excel format.)

Print the following and turn into the Housing and Dining Programs Main Office in Anderson Hall.

•  Resident Coordinator Expectations and Agreement Form.
•  Faculty/Staff Advisor Expectations and Agreement Form (with attached letter or emailed letter).
•  List of Committed Participants (with signatures).

When submitting your forms to the Housing and Dining Programs Main Office in Anderson Hall, you must sign up for a presentation date and time.

February 11-13, 2015

You will be responsible for giving a brief 30 minute presentation (approximately 15 minutes of presentation, 10 minutes of question and answer) on your proposal. Date and time options will be available for sign up at the Housing & Dining Programs office in Anderson Hall when you turn in your application. The committee will review your application and may return it for revisions or changes. 

February 18, 2015

Final acceptance/denial decisions (including hall placement) will be communicated to the Resident Coordinator of the Residential Community Cluster.

Once accepted into the RCC, students will be assigned by Housing & Dining Programs to their new room, no further action by the students is necessary. The Resident Coordinator is responsible for communicating a final list of participants. 


RCC Proposal Guidelines

Section 1:  The Overview

The overview should provide a general description of the Residential Community Cluster (RCC). It should provide reviewers with enough of a contextual understanding of the purpose and overall goals of the cluster to be able to easily understand the rest of the proposal. This is also an opportunity to catch the reviewers’ attention so be creative.

If you are re-applying to continue an already existing RCC, please discuss the accomplishments and programs of the RCC from the previous year and what has been learned through the process.

Section 2:  The Educational Purpose

Each Residential Community Cluster (RCC) should have a mission and goal that is consistent with the academic and co-curricular goals of American University. The Cluster’s purpose must go beyond merely enabling a group of friends to live together. Priority will be given to communities that articulate a blend of cultures, ideas, backgrounds, and experiences. Opportunities for interaction among diverse populations, intentional experiences to learn from other community members, as well as personal and community reflection are strongly encouraged. Each Residential Community Cluster will be expected to set goals that identify what participants hope to learn through the experience and how the cluster will contribute to the campus community. 

In this section, you will describe the specific learning outcomes for this cluster, the method that the cluster will use to achieve those outcomes (or curriculum), and the method through which the cluster will assess the achievement of its outcomes. This process is explained in the sections below and the Residential Education staff of Housing and Dining Programs welcomes the opportunity to assist in determining outcomes, curriculum and assessment methods.

Learning Outcomes

What will residents learn about themselves and their community by participating in the Residential Community Cluster that is being proposed? Be specific. The learning outcomes should be clearly stated and measureable. They should also be reasonable for the one-year time frame that the cluster will have to accomplish this outcome. Proposals should include a minimum of two learning outcomes. While there is no limit to the number of intended learning outcomes for participants, be mindful of the limitations of participants in the cluster and try to set reasonable expectations for the cluster and its participants. The goal is for participation in Residential Community Clusters to be an educational and an enjoyable experience. 

Community Participation Curriculum

It is important to design a specific curriculum to ensure that the cluster is able to make progress towards its intended learning outcomes. A Community Participation Curriculum details the activities, programs, and learning opportunities that will be available to the Cluster. Provide an approximate timeline for the completion of each objective.

There are many formats that can be used to support your learning objectives. Creative and innovative learning opportunities will increase the chances of the proposal being selected. Here are some examples: Faculty and Guest Speakers, Field Trips, Student Presentations, Bulletin Boards, and Service Learning Opportunities.

Section 3:  Committed Group of Participants

In order to make determinations as to the viability of a cluster, it is important to include a list of committed participants who have promised to be a part of the cluster. Each participant is responsible for signing up for room draw and assuring that they are eligible. This opportunity is only available to second year students (those with 3 semesters or less on campus). All RCCs will be located in McDowell Hall. No guarantees are made that a selected community will be placed in a McDowell Suite.

Please assure that the List of Committed Participants Form is completed with signatures and an Excel version is emailed. It is important that each participant is aware that if the RCC is not accepted and s/he still wishes to remain on-campus for the 2015-2016 academic year s/he must then participate in the room selection process.

Section 4:  The Resident Coordinator

Identify one resident to be the Resident Coordinator for the RCC. This individual will be responsible for the logistics and communication for the community. This individual is NOT the Resident Assistant. Indicate why this individual was selected and how this person can benefit the community being proposed. Attach the signed Resident Coordinator Expectations and Agreement Form with the proposal.

Section 5:  The Faculty/Staff Advisor

Identify the Faculty/Staff Advisor for the Residential Community Cluster. This individual will provide advice and expertise for achieving the stated learning objectives. Indicate why this individual was selected and how this person can benefit the community being proposed. Housing and Dining Programs may be able to assist in identifying key faculty and staff who share the interests and objectives stated in the proposal.

Section 6:  Resources Needed

What resources are needed to meet the educational objectives stated in the proposal? Provide a detailed request for essential resources with the proposal. Included in this request should be a request for any resources that are vital to individual participants or the community learning objectives.