Residential Life Curriculum

Embrace the adventure of living in a community

There’s nothing like living in a dorm, with friends and classmates, 24-hours-a-day, to make you look at yourself and the world differently. Our dorms are places of growth, fun, and celebration, as well as places to reflect on new ideas and personal goals. Our residential life curriculum is designed to guide you along the way, providing tools that will put you ahead of the game for college, and enrich your life for many years to come.

How it works

Each dorm is run by a team of warm and welcoming dorm faculty. Throughout the year, you’ll meet with them in different formats and configurations, depending on the topic at hand. Sometimes we’ll gather all four residence halls to screen a film or hear a speaker in Gates Performing Arts Center. Sometimes we meet as single dormitories, or even smaller groups led by the faculty dorm parent who is responsible for your wing or floor. Regardless of the format, you’ll be part of helpful and thought-provoking conversations on a range of topics, including study skills and stress management; communication styles and conflict resolution; wellness habits such as nutrition, sleep, and exercise; and strategies for goal setting and knowing yourself better. Once a quarter, we also hold a festive formal dinner for the boarding community—a night to dress up, have fun with new people, and exercise your conversation skills!

Learn from yourself

As you gain more independence and prepare for college, high school is the perfect time to hear and reflect on the voice inside yourself. Our residential life curriculum will help you do just that. Who do you want to become? What makes you happy? How do you learn best? We believe that you can have academic success and a contented, well-balanced life. Which means our overarching goal is to help you see the big picture during your time at HPA. A wealth of opportunities are waiting for you on Hawai‘i Island, and we’ll encourage you to try as many of them as possible.

Through the HPA residential life curriculum, we strive to develop:

  • Competent learners who are independent, resourceful, inquisitive, and creative.
  • Sophisticated and perceptive thinkers.
  • Effective communicators who listen objectively and critically.
  • Culturally-aware individuals who respond to cultural differences with understanding, knowledge, and consideration.
  • Responsible individuals with sound ethical foundations.
  • Wholesome students who set high standards for themselves while also leading lives that are intellectually, physically, emotionally, and spiritually balanced.

Make a difference for others

Living in a dorm means thinking about relationships with other people. What makes a great friendship work? How do we treat each other when conflict arises? How can you help when someone is hurting? In the dorm, you’ll learn so much about these questions, just from day to day living. Our residential life curriculum offers context and advice along the way.

Responsibility and leadership

Shared responsibility is a big part of our residential life curriculum. Everyone helps in running our dorm community. In addition to faculty, student prefects take the lead, supervising study hall hours and dorm jobs, and advising younger students. Prefects are usually HPA seniors who have been carefully selected by dorm faculty for these leadership positions.

Our housekeeping staff cares for the cleanliness of public areas, but all dorm residents participate in nightly chores to help keep the dorm tidy and operating smoothly. In this way, we give back to our dorms together, and provide younger students the opportunity to grow into future leadership positions.