Community Learning Model

Residential Life at Macalester College utilizes a student focused learning-centered approach to better guide and prioritize our work to foster student learning. Macalester students receive a world class education in the classroom and our aim is to insure that they also receive a first-rate learning experience beyond the classroom. These efforts seek to harness the pedagogical potential of learning opportunities beyond the classroom. Moreover they aim to foster student learning consistent with the College’s educational mission and core values. Our over-arching educational priority is that students will understand their individual responsibility to work towards just and equitable local, national, and global societies.

Residential Life at Macalester

Living on campus is an important part of a Macalester student's education. Residential Life focuses on the whole student experience as well as fostering learning beyond the classroom setting.  Students are provided numerous opportunities to learn about themselves as well as meet, interact, and develop relationships with others on the floor, building community with those who are different from themselves.  Our goal is to give students a greater understanding of their responsibility to the local, national, and global communities as citizens of the world.

Residential Life at Macalester serves approximately 1300 students in campus housing. Living options include traditional and suite style residence halls, theme houses, language houses, and apartments located above a Grand Avenue restaurant. 

  • Language Houses:  Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish
  • Specialty Areas:  Veggie Co-op, Eco House, All-Gender Community, Interfaith House, Healthy Lifestyles, Arabic House, Cultural House. 

All first-year and sophomore students are required to live on-campus.  About one fourth of the junior class and one fifth of the senior class also live on campus.

Staffing includes five professional, masters’ degree level Residence Hall Directors (RHD), an Operations Manager, a Card Services Manager, an Assistant Director, and the Director of Residential Life.  It also includes a student staff of 34 Resident Assistants and 10 Office Assistants.  The RHD staff trains, coaches, and supervises a team of undergraduate paraprofessionals (Resident Assistants) who are resources, educators, and community builders to our students. RHDs and RAs are also visible and involved members of their residential communities. All members of the staff work in collaboration with students, faculty and staff to provide opportunities, support, and a rewarding living environment to residents.  Office Assistants (OA) are students who provide a welcoming environment in the building in which they’re assigned and offer administrative support to the RHDs.