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Miami University Office of Residence Life The Center for Residential Learning Initiatives Community Development Model Introduction: The Office of Residence Life (ORL) strongly believes that the most effective manner to achieve its mission is to build community. Community enables growth, learning, and self-authorship. Community promotes interaction, friendship, respect, inclusion, celebration, and fun. We recognize that every community is different, thus the achievement of community will vary. Each Adviser, along with her/his staff and in consultation with their Coordinator will construct their own Community Development action plan utilizing the Community Development model as a guide. Through on-going evaluation, the dynamic communities built by our students and staff will continue to develop and improve. The ORL Community Development Model is composed of 3 parts. Part 1: Needs Assessment Part 2: Strategies Part 3: Earnest Boyer’s six principals/pillars of community Part 1: Needs Assessment Every living learning community at Miami is different. Whether it is a first-year, upper-class, or mixed-year hall, the level of student development, needs, and interests will vary. This is why it is important to tailor your community building activities to the students you live with. Certain progressive themes in student needs are evident in each class year: First year: Connection Second year: Contribution Third & Fourth years: Transition & Citizenship There are many ways to figure out what needs the students in your community are. Some examples include direct observation, questionnaires, consultation with student leaders, or a review of relevant literature. Think about what problems, impending changes, and new directions the students are facing. Also look at the strengths, knowledge, and mandatory training the students already have. Finally, figure out what you want to achieve with the students. Often this will lead you to where to begin! Part 2: Strategies Too often, community building is looked at as just programming and bulletin boards. It is important to infuse community building into all aspects of a student’s experience in their living learning community. There are six ways that ORL recommends focusing community development on in the hall. 1. Early five-week events: Events and discussions occurring in the first five weeks of the semester. This time period is crucial for setting the tone for the community for the year. Some areas to focus on at this time include: Establishing connections, personal safety, fire safety, impact of high risk alcohol use, diversity, and academic success. 2. Passive events: Anything educational that requires no human interaction. This can include bulletin boards, wearing ribbons, or handing out facts on something, etc. 3. Corridor events: Events tailored specifically to a corridor. 4. All hall events: Events advertised and designed for the entire hall. 5. Staff Initiatives: Building community within the hall staff. This can include professional development opportunities, teambuilding, and recognition programs. 6. One to one interactions: This is the way that people talk with each other and the messages they send. This can include leaving your door open or closed, talking about diversity issues, and thanking people. Part 3: Earnest Boyer’s Six Principals/Pillars of Community Campus Life: In Search of Community. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; Ernest L. Boyer (frwd.); Princeton, New Jersey; 1990. The ORL subscribes to Ernest Boyer’s six principles of community, which are purposeful, open, just, disciplined, caring, and celebrative. These principles incorporate the tenets of the University’s Human Diversity statement as well as the ORL’s goal to provide a safe and supportive environment promoting academic success, personal development, involvement in campus life, and understanding of intercultural issues. ... a place where students, faculty, and staff share goals and collaborate for personal development, value clarification, and learning; a place where creativity and innovation are expressed. Ideas: ...a purposeful Community Connections Initiatives - with faculty, staff, students, community and campus/Oxford community, ex: Mega Fair, Convocation, etc. Personal Development Initiatives – self esteem, body image, etc Social Skills Initiatives Academic Initiatives - study skills, time management, etc. Staff Initiatives - team development/building, self reflection, leadership and training events. ... a place where freedom of expression is honored and where civility is powerfully affirmed; a place that fosters dialogue and advocacy. ...an open Ideas: community Ethical Issues Exploration - death penalty, technology, and globalization, etc. Current World Events- Iraqi war, immigration issues, etc. Staff Initiatives- exploring inter-cultural, inter-gender, inter- coastal/regional issues, and inter-group/personal communication ... a place where the value of each person is paramount and where diversity education is pursued. Ideas: ...a just Multicultural Initiatives- corridor diversity discussions, and Center commnunity for American and World Cultures events, etc. Social Justice Education- AIDS awareness and care, fair trade, world conflict, immigration, global hunger and homelessness, etc. Cultural Activities- campus events Staff Initiatives- Social Justice Series ... a place where individuals accept their obligations to the group and where well-defined policies and procedures guide responsible decision-making for the common good. .. a disciplined Ideas: community Academic Initiatives Choice Matters Initiatives- decision making skills, self and community accountability Staff Initiatives- peer accountability, self accountability (dedication and commitment) ... a place where the well-being of each member is compassionately supported and where service to others is encouraged. Ideas: ...a caring Community Service Initiatives - Oxford Family Resource Center, community Planned Parenthood, etc. Personal Wellness Initiatives - alcohol edu, eating disorders, etc. Hall Recognition Initiatives - contest winner, talent showcases, etc. Corridor Recognition Initiatives - corridor birthdays, accomplishment of the week, resident of the week, etc. Staff Initiatives- service learning, outreach, etc. ... a place where the heritage of the institution is remembered and where rituals affirming both tradition and change are widely shared. ...a celebrative Ideas: community Social Activity Initiatives - UC kickoff, After Dark, LLC kickoff Historical Exploration Initiatives - Myaamia Natives, McGuffey Museum, etc. Staff Initiatives - staff recognition, staff development (social), staff birthdays grades and accomplishments, etc.
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