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Creating a Vision (phase 1)

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Karen Huseman

on 10 May 2013

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Transcript of Creating a Vision (phase 1)

Creating a Vision We are progressive dreamers with a realistic and outcome-based focus. Through clarity of purpose and shared direction we adapt and strive for a better future as agents of change. Core Values and
Student Learning Outcomes The first 6 weeks
and more! The 6 I's of
Communiiiiiity! Think about a time when you were part of a strong community (team, club, organization, etc.). Communities must receive a formal INTRODUCTION.

“When students enter a new environment or community, they are unfamiliar with the physical setting, policies, and practices. Older members of the community, or those in a position of authority, are responsible for welcoming, orienting, and teaching the norms, values and rules of the community to the new members” (Minor, 1993). Minor explains that the introduction may be formal, such as a program, or informal, such as discussion and observation (Minor, 1993).

-Have you ever been part of a club, organization, or job where you were given guidelines, requirements, or standards?
-Have returning RAs described what the RA job is like from their perspective?
-What have you learned through the introduction you received to the RA job?
-How have you learned the things you need to know about being and RA thus far? Did you learn them through a formal presentation?
-Were you introduced to any facets of the RA job through informal conversation or observation? Communities should provide opportunities for INTERACTION.

“…Interaction provides residents the opportunity to bond together by sharing common experiences. As students interact, they are exposed to differing levels of development, knowledge, and experiences that allow them to both teach and learn…Ideally, faculty and staff participate in these common experiences to promote the feeling of “campus as a community” (Minor, 1993).

-What are some of the ways you have interacted with other members of a club or organization?
-Do you interact mostly through structured activity or informal conversation?
-What common experiences do you share with other members of a club, organization, or job? Do you share inside stories and jokes?
-Have you learned anything as a result of interacting with other members of a club or organization?
-Does interaction with other members of the community change the way you feel about the club, organization, or job? Communities must seek resident INVOLVEMENT.

“A true community encourages, expects, and rewards broad-based member involvement. The environment is characterized by a high degree of interaction, with students, not staff, assuming a multitude of roles…As a consequence everyone is important and everyone is needed. High involving floors are characterized by supportive interactions with students naturally helping one another with personal and academic problems” (Schroeder, 1993, p.524-525)

-Have you ever been part of a community that expected and rewarded involvement?
-Was this the community you lived in last year, a club or organization that you were a member of, or a job you once held?
-Who expected you to be involved?
-How did you know you were expected to be involved?
-Did the expectation increase or decrease your level of involvement in the group? Communities must allow residents to have INFLUENCE.

“In floor units that exhibit a high degree of influence, control is vested in members and students exert maximum control over their physical and social environments….They are also expected to develop a social contract whereby group standards are affirmed, both individually and collectively. In such units, students feel important, their perspective is valued, and their contributions are essential to the welfare of the group” (Schroeder, 1993, p. 524).

-Have any of the groups you have been part of worked to accomplish a task?
-Were there any roadblocks associated with accomplishing this task? If yes, how did it affect the group?
-Were you a contributing member? If not, what kept you from participating? If yes, did you feel your contributions were valued?
-Would the group have accomplished what it did if you were not a member? Communities must create, among residents, a sense of INVESTMENT.

“Investment is a reflection of psychological ownership and flows naturally from involvement and influence. Students care about one another and their group. Boundaries with respect to other groups are clear, and group or institutional property is guarded rather than being damaged….Students are simply unwilling to have staff assume responsibility for them – they understand and appreciate the need for open, honest, and assertive communication with one another” (Schroeder, 1993, p. 524).

-Of the groups you have belonged to, can you remember an experience that you were invested in?
-Are you still a member of that group?
-Do you stay in contact with members of that group who have moved on?
-Was communication open and honest? Community members must share a sense of IDENTITY.

“Floor units characterized by a high degree of identity are ones that focus on transcendent values. Students in such units have shared symbols similar to those fraternities and sororities use to signify their identities. In such living units, members describe themselves in collective terms such as we and us, not I and they, thereby reflecting their emphasis on common purposes and unity” (Schroeder, 1993, p.525).

-Did the group you were a member of have a mascot or representative symbol?
-Can you think of shared memories that will always remind you of that group?
-Do you still identify yourself as a member of that group?
-Can you describe what it is that gave your group a sense of identity? Did your "community" practice the 6 I's?

1. Communities must receive a formal INTRODUCTION.

2. Communities should provide opportunities for INTERACTION.

3. Communities must seek resident INVOLVEMENT.

4. Communities must allow residents to have INFLUENCE.

5. Communities must create, among residents, a sense of INVESTMENT.

6. Community members must share a sense of IDENTITY. One can often learn a lot about a person by knowing and understanding the values that are central to that individual and the way s/he chooses to live their life. The same can be said for organizations. The Department of Housing and Residence Life at the University of Southern Indiana is no different. Everything we do as a department can be tied back to our core identity and the values found there. By understanding the core values of HRL, you will be able to see how what you do ties back to the department’s identity.
We have four core values: vision, integrity, competence, and inspiration. In fact, you will notice that each phase of this workbook reflects one of these values.
As a Resident Assistant, you should strive to demonstrate an understanding and commitment to these values. This will help you and your residents to feel better connected with both HRL and USI. Vision
We are progressive dreamers with a realistic outcome based focus. Through clarity of purpose and shared direction, we adapt and strive for a better future as agents of change. Integrity
We are ethical professionals who seek the truth. We are accountable, trustworthy, and honest in our words and action. We treat people with dignity and respect. Competence
Through initiative and educational opportunities, we provide the highest level of service to our constituents. We continually strive towards excellence and exceed expectations. Inspiration
Through challenge and support, we motivate and empower our students and ourselves. We enthusiastically recognize and celebrate the contributions of our community. One of the primary goals of the Department of Housing and Residence Life is to support the educational mission of the University of Southern Indiana. In accordance with this goal, the Department of Housing and Residence Life at the University of Southern Indiana believes that students living in the USI community should be exposed to all different types of thoughts, ideas, cultures, experiences and educational and leadership opportunities, thereby helping to develop well-rounded, open-minded and contributing members of our global society. The only way our students can achieve this exposure is through experience and learning. Learning Reconsidered defines learning as “a comprehensive, holistic, transformative activity that integrates academic learning and student development, process that have often been considered separate, and even independent of each other” (p. 4). “In a learning paradigm…a college’s purpose is not to transfer knowledge but to create environments and experiences that bring students to discover and construct knowledge for themselves, to make students members of communities of learners that make discoveries and solve problems” (Barr & Tagg, 1995, p. 15) . Therefore, the Department of Housing and Residence Life has developed Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) to assist in the facilitation of programming and daily operations.

The Learning Outcomes ensure that what you do as a Resident Assistant helps our students to grow as individuals. Everything you do should be able to be tied back to one of these outcomes. Consider which outcome will be met by something before it happens. Keep in mind that these are in place to meet the needs of the student. As a Resident Assistant, you should strive to incorporate as many learning outcomes as possible throughout the course of the year into the things you do with your residents. This will help your students become better prepared to enter the diverse communities they will face in the future. HRL Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
*Be a positive, contributing member of our community.
*Openly communicate in a clear, concise, and appropriate manner.
*Explore new ideas and beliefs, define their values, and act in accordance with them.
*Take initiative to develop personal goals and work toward accomplishing these goals.
*Be open to and understand a variety of different viewpoints. So what...
What does that mean and how will I know if my residents are achieving these outcomes? Be a positive, contributing member of our community.

Characteristics of communities that have mastered this SLO:

• Creating community agreements and expectations
• Helping others
• Following policy
• Holding each other accountable
• Actively involving oneself in floor/building programs
• Engaging residents in planning their own programs Openly communicate in a clear, concise, and appropriate manner.

Here are some characteristics of communities that have mastered this SLO:

• Giving your residents succinct and accurate information
• Listening to what your residents want and asking clarifying questions
• Providing your residents with positive outlets for releasing stress, working through and confronting conflict.
• Be available mentally and physically Explore new ideas and beliefs, define their values, and act in accordance with them.

Here are some characteristics of communities that have mastered this SLO:

• Being open to others beliefs, even if they are not your own
• Seek to understand the beliefs of others (this does not mean you have to adopt them)
• Give a mutual respect to those around you
• Engage others in conversation about their beliefs and your own Take initiative to develop personal goals and work toward accomplishing these goals.

Here are some characteristics of communities that have mastered this SLO:

• Know your daily, monthly, and semester goals so that you can aid your residents in developing theirs
• Help your residents to adopt healthy habits
• Set goals that are visible and attainable Be open to and understand a variety of different viewpoints.

Here are some characteristics of communities that have mastered this SLO:

• Respect and listen
• Ask, don’t assume
• People come from many walks of life, very different from our own
• Implement different programs so that you can better reach a vast majority of your residents Questions to consider...

What do these Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) mean to you?

How might your residents display mastery of these in your community?

What things would you see in your community telling you residents need to grow more in these areas?

What things can you do to help your residents better master these areas? Each semester, you are expected to find a way to educate your residents about each of these outcomes in at least three different and significant ways. This might look different in each community, and that’s okay. As the expert of your community, we trust you to be able to identify the needs of your community and provide the resources and support necessary to create an involving and engaging community with your residents. You will work closely with your supervisor throughout the year to ensure that your community is on track. What did your "community" do to INTRODUCE you to others?

How did you INTERACT with others?

How were you INVOLVED?

Did you feel like you had INFLUENCE?

How were you INVESTED?

Did you share a sense of IDENTITY? Did you accept your position as a Resident Assistant because you were looking for a leadership position? Did someone suggest that you would be a “good” RA, or was it the money that seemed appealing to you? Regardless of why you took the RA position, you can expect that you will develop as a leader this year. One thing that you will realize very early on is that the way in which you interact with your residents will have a large effect on how successful you are as an RA. “As a general rule, students who have a high authoritarian leadership style have considerable difficulty as RAs. On the other hand, students who have difficulty exercising authority and accepting responsibility also have difficulty” (Rogers, Anchors, and Associates, 1993, p. 325).

Rogers, Anchors, and Associates explain that the way in which you lead your community will directly impact the kind of community you create. They state, “The leadership style utilized by the RA will to a large extent determine the social climate of the living unit and will establish the style of interaction many residents have with the RA” (p.326). This section is designed to help you think about your leadership style and how it will impact your community. Think about a time when you have been a leader of a group or you have been led by someone else. Describe the style of leadership used. Keep in mind things like:

Did the leader delegate authority?
Was the leader enthusiastic about the group s/he worked with?
Was the group treated with respect by the leader?
Were the goals and expectations for the group clearly communicated?
How did the group go about deciding what they wanted to accomplish?
Did the leader’s role change throughout the time the group was together?
Did the group members’ roles change through the time the group was together? This model is based in the principles of Situational Leadership. As Blanchard (1985) asserts, there is no one leadership style that works all the time. Leaders can and should change according to the needs of the group. For instance, the needs of residents early in the year will be very different than their needs later in the year. This model is designed to shift the responsibility for the activity from being RA-initiated at the beginning of the year to resident-initiated at the end of the year. What this means is that your role as a community leader should be changing throughout the year. Directing
This style is characterized by high involvement on the part of the RA. The group is dependent on you for information, direction, and activity. Coaching
Using the coaching style, you will find yourself still serving as the director, but you will spend more time involving the group in decision making. Just like the coach of an athletic team, you are vital to the success of the team; but you will also acknowledge the critical role of the players. RAs using the Coaching style should teach residents leadership skills and recognize good performance. This is no time for residents to be warming the bench—the more involvement the better. Supporting
This style suggests that the RA take on the role of advisor, instead of primary coordinator of activities. This style is most effective when residents have acquired some of the information and skills necessary to take responsibility for planning activities for the community. The RA should challenge and support the residents to initiate activities of interest to one another. Delegating
According to Situational Leadership, this is the fourth style you can use when working with your residents. It is the last style talked about because it is most effective when used in a well developed community where residents are active participants. The RA using this style is able to share the responsibility for activity-planning, decision-making, and problem-solving with the residents in his or her community. Questions to consider...

Directing-What are a few ways in which you can direct your residents, as you try to involve them in the first few weeks?

Coaching- What leadership skills have you learned that would be good to coach residents on.

Supporting- How might you assist a resident to switch from talking about his or her interest in an activity to acting on his or her interest in an activity?

Delegating-What are some of the activities, decisions, and problems you think your residents might assume responsibility for?
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