Residential (LIOS) Learning Model

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Our Seattle residential degrees integrate three core elements: experiential learning, applied behavioral science, and systems theory. The two Seattle masters programs (LIOS MA Psychology and MA Organizational Systems) share a common first-year core curriculum that encompasses all three.

These residential courses offer a laboratory setting for studying human behavior that begins with self-examination and delves into the depths of how people relate to each other. Not only do students study the necessary components of a healthy, sustainable community, they co-create it for themselves.

The learning community is formed during a series of residential conferences (RCs). Teaching within the conferences occurs within multiple formats:

  • Individual
  • One-on-one
  • Group work
  • Focused simulations
  • Lecture
  • Videotaped interactive presentations
  • Consistent feedback from faculty and peers

Students have numerous opportunities during residential conferences (RCs) to apply their acquired knowledge, practice their skills, experiment with change and resistance, and shape events and interactions.

Experiential Education

The key aspects of experiential education in these programs are cohort learning and a modular format of class delivery. The cohort learning model is supported by a low faculty-to-student ratio of 1:15 in the first year; 1:8 in the second year. The process is enriched by the active participation of a student body that is diverse in terms of socio-economic status, race/ethnicity, culture, and gender.

Similarly, our modular course work takes students out of known contexts and relationships, while immersing them in an enriching and transformational education experience.This intense format provides an environment that fosters community growth and development, helps build trust, and encourages an adult learning experience without outside distractions.

Applied Behavioral Science (ABS)

The premise of ABS is that dynamic leadership training starts with the self. The goals of this conscious-raising process are:

  • to contribute to the health of any human community
  • to promote healthy systems in every context through responsible interventions

In the Learning Community, students practice "the art and science of getting things done through and with others" that is the heart of applied behavioral science.

Systems Theory

A system maintains its existence, and functions as a whole, through the interaction of its parts. A key component of systems theory is the belief that you cannot understand a particular system by analyzing individual components, but only by engaging with the system as a whole. In our residential programs, students learn to analyze and improve a system and its processes, whether that applies to an individual client, a group, or an organization.

Residency Requirements

Our residential classes are scheduled for a sequence of four to five days in a row, with residential stays encouraged. Students must attend all seven residential conferences each year as part of their degree studies. 

Consult the academic calendar for your desired program to obtain specific dates and locations. Please note:

  • While we make every effort to adhere to publicized schedules, all costs, dates, accommodations, and times are subject to change.
  • All students are required to attend RCs 1-7 each year.
  • Students in the Counseling MA program must also attend four additional mini-conferences during their first year.
  • Students in the Leadership & Organization Development MA program must also attend one mini-conference during their first year.

Residential Conference Location

The residential conferences are held at Saybrook's Seattle campus.