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RA Programming Model at Tulane

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Maureen Flint

on 10 August 2013

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Transcript of RA Programming Model at Tulane

Programming Philosophy
What is the Mission of Housing?
The Department of Housing and Residence Life challenges, supports and educates residents within our living and learning communities to become responsible, aware and engaged citizens.
accountability and tracking

How do RAs know they're being held accountable (how is that communicated?)
CD/SRA - Expectations of advertising/preparing for programs
Supervisor expectations (amount of programs specific to community)
Completion of self-set learning outcomes
Self-Assessment of programs – and in paperwork (ERezLife)
Bi-weekly 1:1s with supervisors (guided questions about how they’re reaching goals/connecting to residents)
Socio grams – can you fill one out?
Walkthroughs – talk to me about your community (who's talking to who)

Just for CDs/SRAs :
Tracker (from previous programming model)
timely completion of bulletin boards
door decs
student engagement forms
other required tasks.
Conversations in 1:1s

What role do RAs play in this mission?

Astin (1984): Peer influence on learning and involvement options
Found that:
Peers have enormous influence over each other
Inputs + environments --> outcomes (can be affected by RAs)

Schroder and Mable (1994): Integration of learning experiences and themed experiences within the residence hall
Found that:
Extended peer interaction is students education – shared experience
Structure of 1st year experience is vital
Students learn standards of behavior (norms!) from each other
Students prefer student initiated activities over institutional ones

Astin, A.W. (1984). Student Involvement: A developmental theory for higher education. Journal of College Student Personnel, 25, 297-308
Schroder, C.C. & Mable, P. (1994). Realizing the educational potential of residence halls. San Fransisco. Jossey-Bass
Research on Residential Education:
This is why we have RAs:
they are peers and mentors who live on the floor to provide interaction and involvement for their residents – RAs provide the structure and framework for “residential education"
So How Do you Get to Know Residents?
Core Layer
Personal Layer
Superficial Layer
The Onion
We've adapted “the onion model” developed by Erwin Altman and Donnis Tiller in 1973
-layers of the onion represent the layers of relationships with people through communication
social penetration theory
Higher Education Administration Major
UA Grad Student
Maureen's Onion
Graduate Community Director
From New York
Has two sisters
sews clothing
likes to read and drink tea
loves cooking
lives in tuscaloosa
bought her first car last summer
Superficial Layer
Basic knowledge about a person, that you know before meeting them or upon the first meeting.
• Learning names and faces
• Introducing yourself
• Initial getting to know someone
• Having a floor meeting
• Going door to door to introduce yourself
• Learning which residents live in which rooms

**A great way to keep all of this new information straight is by mapping a sociogram!
Examples of Engaging Residents at the Superficial Level
environmental biology major
most of the time vegetarian
just got a new apartment
about to turn 20 in a few weeks
may have a new boyfriend?
just graduated highschool
is a lifeguard
wants to be an accountant
really likes chickflicks
has been shopping for a truck
is about to get a promotion at his job
works in data processing
has been watching arrested development all summer
likes long walks
likes sewing
lives in alabama
would really like a cat
What is a Sociogram?
A sociogram is a map of your community.

It can include resident's names, their majors, things they are interested in or clubs they are involved with.

As you get to know your community, you can add more detailed information about each resident, including detailing relationships that form on your floor. Through this you can focus on all levels of the "onion" model.
Getting to know individuals better (going to the next level)
Finding out details about them that that describe who they are
Learn aspects of their lives like major and involvement with any organizations or clubs
Personal Layer
Core Layer
Know individual residents well as a person
Learn things they are interested in as well as things they really care about
Notice where they spend their time
Be present and available
Examples of Engaging at the Core Layer
Plan activities that residents connect to
Interact consistently with residents to maintain relationships
be present and available to them
It is important to know and understand residents needs so that you can know how to meet them.
Connect them with appropriate campus partners
Provide activities so that they can come together as a community.
yes, but what does that mean?
now that you know your residents what do you do?
Concrete experience:
Developing Learning outcomes
implementing plans
Reflective Observation:
process at end of each semester
during one on one meetings throughout semester
Abstract Conceptualization:
what went well
what to improve on
what did you learn?
Active Experimentation:
development of new programs/ building on assessment
CARe (Connect Assess Refer) – How RAs program to residents
Model Timeline (Individual RAs)

1. August:
Strengths Inventory
2. August - September:
Getting to Know residents (Connect)
3. End of September–
Goal setting (looking inward) (Assess)
4. October – November –
Implement Goals (Refer)
5. December –
Review and Assess
6. January –
Spring goal setting (based on Dec. assessment) – consider larger community
7. February – April –
Implement Goals
8.End of April –
Review goals and growth over the year
9.May –
action plan for next year and the future

kolb's cycle of experiential learning
Model Timeline: Quad

1. August -
Quad Inventory (Connect/Assess)
2. August - November -
(Refer) Implement quad wide programs from Quad Plan
3. End of November/December -
(Assess) Assess how programs went
4. January Training -
Spring goal setting (based on Dec. assessment)
5. February – April –
Implement Goals
6. End of April –
Review goals and growth over the year
7. May –
action plan for next year and the future
Community directors and Senior Staff – end of the year reports. What a building can do better next year.
example of fall learning outcomes:
a high number of residents have been transported to the hospital for alcohol
two or three residents haven't gotten connected to the campus, they really just go to class and come home at night
while neighbors know each other well, the floor isn't connected as a whole
5 rooms on my floor really like music, and have instruments they brought with them

Learning Outcomes:
Safety -
My floor will have a greater awareness of alcohol issues
Support and Connectivity
I will reach out to residents who are quieter, and engage them with the floor or greater Tulane Community
Connect residents to the floor, residents will feel invested in their space.
Build relationships around the floor - connect the floor as a whole by engaging residents with their interests

Community Development Plan
Bring in theWell to present on Alcohol Awareness
Reach out to and follow up with residents who are going out a lot - take them out to lunch
Stop by residents rooms who aren't connected.
Advertise for and bring a group of residents to 2 Tulane events before the end of October (FAQs or lecture)
Have an open door once a week- advertise on my wall
Connectivity (to space - investment)
Have a floor decorating contest for Halloween
Start family dinners once a month on Wednesday nights, because that's when most of my residents are around.
Build Relationships:
Have a music program/jam session in November in the courtyard
Do a bulletin board in November on residents interests - have post it notes so residents can comment and add additional comments.
Sample 1:1 questions:
what's going on with your residents and in your community?
how have you made progress towards your goals?
what have you been doing to intentionally interact with your residents?
are there sections of the floor you don't visit/see as much as others?
what is the academic climate in your community? (how are residents adapting to going to class again?)
what developments have happened in your community that you haven't expected?
does your community seem open and communicating? what are some examples?
tell me about the interactions on your floor- who interacts with who (use sociogram)

any questions?
Albinson, E. & Geers, E.: Coe College Intentional Interaction Model for Residence Life: Moving Forward. Presentation for ACPA 2010.

Kennedy, D.: Meaningful RA Programming Without Traditional Event Planning: ACPA Annual Conference 2013.

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