Programming is a central part of the role of community advisors (CAs), and the Scales of Programming is designed to provide options for staff members to enrich the overall experience of their residents through active programming (hall events and workshops) and passive programming (bulletin boards, grab-and-go bags, traveling to other campus events) as well as area-wide social events.
CAs are expected to develop programs for each of the eight Wellness Dimensions that are represented in the Scales of Programming — Emotional, Environmental, Intellectual, Interpersonal, Multicultural, Occupational, Physical and Spiritual.
Each dimension has a defined set of learning goals and objectives that are meant to enhance the overall quality of the residential experience for each resident. CAs receive training on the model and ways to assess student needs in their halls and then develop a program that both meets those needs and that fits into the Scales of Programming model.
A conceptual framework used to talk about what it is we do and how we do it. It begins with getting to know our residents and building the rapport, trust and respect between the floor/hall community to understand who lives in the community at an interpersonal level. From there, we focus our attention on supporting our resident's hopes, goals and sometimes even fears by programming around their interests and continually engaging with them about their lives. If and for when something happens in the community, we're able to respond in a personalized manner as we know our floor/hall community well and can best advocate for what it is they may need.
This framework begins by establishing a shared definition of community, this is what (content) community includes:
Membership: A sense of belonging and inclusion founded on respect, trust and accountability.
Influence: That they, as a student, serve an importance and bring value to the floor/hall community that wouldn't be the same if they were not there.
Support/resources: Ongoing presence of the CA and connection to campus resources.
Shared emotional connection: A safe social space in which they are able to relate or connect with others (to a degree they feel comfortable).
This framework allows us to think more critically about how we go about building, maintaining and supporting our student community throughout the ebbs and flows of life. It is founded on the interpersonal rapport and trust among the individual communities and is a framework tailored to fit the needs of an individual community
Community mapping is an assessment tool we use to take stock of how well we know our community, as well as identify any gaps in knowledge and where we should be focusing our attention.
CAs participate in a Community Mapping exercise twice a year, once in early October and again in late February. This tool for getting to know the individuals that make up a community has helped to identify trends and areas of interest when it comes to programming, as well as strengthen the interpersonal relationships our CAs have with their communities.
Intentional interactions are an opportunity for our CAs to capitalize on the interactions they're already having in hall to solicit meaningful engagement with their residents. The intentional conversations are focused on questioning that is both seasonally and developmentally appropriate for the time of year and specific to the class year of the individual community member. CAs then use the information gleaned for these conversations to program, support and check in with their residents throughout the year.