Welcome to the “Sustainability RAP”: Sustainability & Social Innovation Residential Academic Program


SSI RAP is the acronym for: Sustainability and Social Innovation Residential Academic Program

The original name of the program was SEEDS (Social Entrepreneurship for Equitable Development & Sustainability).  The focus of the RAP is to provide a fertile academic and social environment – one that is active (and pro-active), engaged around issues of importance that are relevant to our interdependence with each other and all life on earth.

The first-year experience is multifaceted and interdisciplinary.  Students from all areas of study will find ways to contribute and benefit.  The point is, our interdependence is the key to solving planetary imbalances.  Through hard work and deep play, group projects and individual assignments, at speaker events, film screenings, a retreat and frequent social gatherings, the RAP experience here will be rewarding and impactful.

Williams Village North Residence Hall has been referred to as “WV40°N” for its location on Baseline Road at the 40th parallel.  Student participants in the SSI RAP live in the largest LEED Platinum residence hall in the U.S., Williams Village North.  The beauty, light and amenities of the building make it feel like your home.

Ready to move in?  Make your reservation here: https://housing.colorado.edu/housing-assignments/apply/new-students/freshman

The program is unique in that it is really two RAPs in partnership.  Program faculty and staff seek a critical  engagement of students in the diversity of global challenges, from resource depletion to climate change to poverty and economic instability. Our teaching faculty bring a variety of experience and expertise to the subjects of sustainability & social innovation.  The courses offered in the residence hall for RAP students vary each term and always include a choice of core curriculum courses and electives from the College of Arts & Sciences.

There are two cornerstone, unique courses community members take.  The emphasis is on collaborative problem-solving and social innovation – through design, debate, planning, project development, writing, and creative enterprise.  In small classes of no more than 23 students, and through RAP activities and events (using a state-of-the-art kitchen, computer lab, facilities and grounds at Williams Village and through field trips) students develop a strong knowledge base, entrepreneurial savvy, communications skills, technology literacy, and compassionate understanding. SSI / SbD is one of the few Residential Academic Programs with its own Faculty in Residence and the only one with resident graduate student Teaching Resident Assistants (TRAs) who live in the building and assist with RAP classes. As a result, mentoring, academic staff and informal support are close at hand for all RAP students. Participants will work closely with their peers in the Sustainable by Design (SbD) RAP, also located at Williams Village North. SSI is an empowering, pro-active, skills-based program for students concerned about sustainability and innovation issues who want to participate in developing solutions while earning credits toward their degree.

Students arrive to Cal-Wood