Programs are the primary tool of engaging with residents in a structured format that promotes relationship building and education on a designated topic. Divided between Active and Passive programs, there are numerous methods with which staff members can utilize to create entertaining environments and activities to help residents engage with each other or with a topic they may not be familiar with.
All programs should be designed with the educational plan, student trends, wellness wheel, and experience rubric in mind to further emphasize and target areas where students may need assistance and education in. All programs are expected to take several hours to plan and execute with adequate time to plan ahead. Staff members must also put considerable effort in marketing, assessing student needs, and gathering materials. All programs are reviewed and approved by paraprofessional and professional staff prior to their execution. Assessments of programs are also submitted to gather data and feedback.
Active programs are done in person by a staff member and engage residents in a direct manner. This style of programming is important, especially in the Fall semester, as it encourages residents to interact with staff members and each other. Active programs have the potential to strengthen community relationships, reduce feelings of isolation, and overall help residents become connected with their RA and understand they are a resource.
Entertainment-based programs are encouraged as these promote such areas of the experience rubric as developing community, exploring identity, and creating connections.
Passive programs allow RAs to connect with and educate residents without requiring active participation in the program. Such programs allow residents to encounter information at their own pace and can be carried out during slow and busy times during the semester. Successful passive programs require as much planning as hall programs and require that attention be paid to placement and presentation. Staff members may utilize passive programming throughout the year, but the number may not exceed or equal the number of active programs they produce. All passive programs should be educational in nature. Bulletin boards are considered passive programming and are required every month.