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Themed Living and Learning Communities A Great Way to Build Connections Presentation brought to you by Alyssa Moritz, Resident Assistant, Lister Centre.

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Presentation on theme: "Themed Living and Learning Communities A Great Way to Build Connections Presentation brought to you by Alyssa Moritz, Resident Assistant, Lister Centre."— Presentation transcript:

1 Themed Living and Learning Communities A Great Way to Build Connections Presentation brought to you by Alyssa Moritz, Resident Assistant, Lister Centre University of Alberta

2 Goals and Benefits of Themed Communities

3 Goals of Themed Communities To create an environment where like- minded individuals who share a common interest can live together To learn about new and diverse opportunities To develop a strong sense of community To promote cohesiveness and friendship

4 Essential Elements of a Community Purpose or common interest Motivate others to become involved and increase knowledge Helps you build a network of contacts Promotes group solidarity Interconnectedness Promotes involvement within the residence community as well as with the community at large Increased sense of responsibility and contribution Respect for individual differences People have different experiences and backgrounds and themed communities unite people who have a common interest

5 Essential Elements of a Community Integrity of the group Promote a positive image to the post-secondary institution and city/town Well-being of others People in the community feel included and involved Increases peoples self-esteem and self-respect Demonstrates and promotes well-roundedness in non-academic facets

6 Research and Studies Supporting the Benefits of Themed Communities

7 Research to Support Themed Communities A study by Vincent Tinto: Increased awareness of individual responsibility to learning and the learning of others As students learn and engage themselves with others both academically and socially, they experienced higher success rates

8 Proof that Themed Communities Benefit Students In a study performed by Lenning and Ebbers (1999), they found that : The benefits to students who participate in learning communities include higher academic achievement, better retention rates, greater satisfaction with college life, improved quality of thinking and communicating, a better understanding of self and others, and a greater ability to bridge the gap between academic and social worlds

9 Examples of Themed Communities

10 Some examples of Themed Communities Active Living and Wellness; Bilingual; Volunteer and Community Involvement; Eco-Awareness; Outdoor Adventure; and Service Learning

11 Steps to Creating a Successful Themed Community

12 Create an Idea Think of an unfilled niche that would benefit your residence Develop short and long-term goals Short-term: develop volunteer opportunities Long-term: Further develop volunteer opportunities into Community Service Learning Gain support from residents, residence staff, and your supervisors

13 Advertise your Themed Community Create bright, attractive, and easy to read posters Post them in high traffic areas By doing this as your first step, you enable students already living within the residence to gain an understanding of the new concept

14 An Example

15 Advertising Continued Create a letter to mail to students who have applied to return to residence the following year Detail the goals and benefits of living on a themed floor Describe your ambitions and personal goals

16 Create Confirmation Actively recruit students through sending out an application form By asking them to fill out an application form you are gaining commitment from students After committing to participate in the themed floor, they will gain excitement and anticipation for the year to come

17 Creating Programs for a Themed Community 5 key areas to focus on when building and creating a themed community: Diversity Academics Citizenship Community Wellness

18 Community: Can include, but is not limited to building a safe and cooperative living-learning environment based on mutual respect, a sense of belonging, and acceptance of all people Programming idea: Encourage residents to become involved on the floor, in residence, on campus, and the larger community through involvement in groups, committees, etc.

19 Wellness: Helping residents to become more proactive in attending to their own mental, spiritual, physical, emotional, social, intellectual, and environmental health Programming idea: Invite a guest speaker from a volunteer organization, student group, or another organization pertinent to your theme

20 Academics: Encouraging and strengthening academic skills and goals. Helping residents build faculty connections and develop living-learning communities. Programming ideas: Exam/essay writing workshop, invite somebody in to talk about applying to Grad school, organize a library crawl

21 Citizenship: Helping residents become active and responsible members of their communities by developing a greater global understanding and an awareness of their rights, responsibilities, privileges, and place in the residence, city, nation, and world Programming idea: create a CSL project

22 Diversity: Helping residents understand, appreciate, and celebrate ones self and others contributions and unique attributes Programming idea: have a foreign film night or a diversity circle

23 Development of a Themed Living and Learning Community

24 Step 1: Create interest Step 2: Gather applications Step 3: Move-In Step 4: Create a community

25 Upon move-in, promote cohesiveness and community bonding Encourage residents to come out to various events in the first couple of weeks Get people involved on the floor with various senior positions Bring in guest speakers and facilitate discussions about the theme

26 Encourage students to become involved on the campus community Encourage students to become involved in the residence community Plan a variety of floor activities from movie nights, dinner outings, or a Pancake breakfast

27 Benefits in the Community Students feel a strong sense of belonging Boost in self esteem Healthier mind frame Students are encouraging each other to become involved

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