What is programming?
Programming is an organized activity designed to contribute positively to the
development of the student. (Blimling & Miltenberger, The Resident Assistant)
The purpose of programming in the residence halls at UW-Superior is to build
community, support the academic endeavors of the residents, educate residents on
basic life skills, and to meet the various needs of today’s residence hall students.
Programming is an important aspect of an RA’s job.
Why do we program?
Floor unity, identity, and involvement
Fun, learning, communication, builds friendships and community
Decrease in the disciplinary image of the RA; promotion of floor/building community
Allows for exchange of ideas, prevents boredom, provides a social outlet
What are the different types of programs an RA can offer?
Active participation programs
Passive programs such as bulletin boards, newsletter to residents, etc.
Formal programs (in which the RA invites a presenter to teach residents new skills)
Informal programs (in which the floor simply gets together to enjoy an activity or
What are the Programming Requirements?
Each RA will complete a Semester Program Plan based on the residents’ interests and
needs. At the beginning of each semester, the RA will conduct a floor assessment to
determine needs and areas. Development of the program plan will be based on the
results of the assessment.
The Semester Program Plan will be approved by the Assistant Hall Director and Hall
Director. The programming plan may be changed as new needs arise on the floor, but
any changes to the plan must be approved by the Assistant Hall Director and Hall
RAs are required to plan at least two programs per month. When assessing floor needs
and interests, consider the following areas. The RA must program in at least two of
the following five areas:
Diversity - knowledge about and experience with other cultures, races, ethnic
groups, disability, gender, sexual identity, religion, socio-economic background,
personality, and individual differences.
Physical Fitness - knowledge and active experience in the areas of physical
fitness and personal wellness.
Community Service - active service to the greater campus or community of
Emotional/Personal Betterment - knowledge and experience in areas that affect
personal improvement and emotional awareness.
Academic Improvement/Support - knowledge and experience in areas that
influence academic and career success.
Social interaction is important in building your floor community. Therefore, it is
expected that in addition to programming in the above listed areas, the RA will do
programs that involve and encourage social interaction.
Programming is a skill that is acquired through practice. Success is determined by the
way students are affected and not by the numbers present.
What are the basic steps to planning a program?
ASSESS needs and interests. Know your residents. Observe what is happening in the
community. Brainstorm ideas with residents.
PLAN the program. Develop goals and objectives for the program. Create a to-do list.
Seek out resources. Involve others. Advertise your program!
DO IT! Involve residents in the implementation. Have a great time, enjoy it! Being
excited about your program will get residents excited too!
EVALUATE the program. Ask for feedback from participants. What worked? What
didn’t? What would you do differently next time?
What resources are available to the RA in planning programs?
Many students in the halls possess skills and interests which can be tapped. You
and your staff have a wide variety of resources from which to draw. Hall Directors,
other RAs, Faculty, and local community members are often willing to make a
The Residence Life Office has many resources and materials available to the staff
for programming – videos, posters, publicity supplies, programming summaries from
previous programs, etc.
http://www.ResidentAssistant.com is a website that offers programming ideas and
suggestions, as well as a variety of other resources available to RAs.