Academic Program Ideas
Practice effective academic skills and attitudes
(Programs done by RAs)
Target: Male residents
Description: A bulletin board was setup with slips of paper to post good grades.
What Worked: There was motivation to recognize the achievements residents had made.
How It Built Community: Other housemates were able to recognize the hard work the residents in that house were putting into their schoolwork.
Challenge/s: Not everyone participated.
Chris Frey, RA, Bender
Target: Male residents
Description: The residents played grocery BINGO and learned effective study strategies.
What Worked: I extended personal invitations to the residents. There were food prizes and it was located in our lounge so it was convenient. I had to know the material well so I could turn the suggestions from the book into questions for the residents to consider in their own approaches to school and life.
How It Built Community: It was a great was for the new residents to get to know the older residents.
Challenge/s: A lot of the guys didn’t participate.
Nicolas Determann, RA, Bender
I’m a Star
Target: Male & Female residents struggling with grades.
Description: “I’m a star” was written on the wall with colorful stars in an envelope underneath it. The residents were told that if they got an A on a Test to take a star, cut it out, put their name and class they got an A in on the star and hang it on the wall. If there were 30 stars then that floor earned a pizza party.
What Worked: The stars were located in the hallway so the residents walked past it every day. A food reward is always enticing to the residents.
How It Built Community: The residents could encourage each other to study so the floor could earn the pizza party. While participating in the reward, it gave a chance for the residents to talk and get to know each other.
Challenge/s: The poster was only located on one side of the hall, so it was often forgotten by the other side of hallway.
Steph Robinson, RA, Bender
Library Tour Scavenger Hunt
Target: Springboard residents
Description: Library tour/scavenger hunt where the winning team gets dinner made for them by the other team.
What worked: I had a contact with the library who was really great with the tour/scavenger hunt. Also, my floor really responded well to the competition.
How it built community: The 2 teams had to work together to complete the scavenger hunt.
Challenges: I set up 2 different nights; otherwise residents with night classes/ WRC classes would not be able to go.
Megan Gallagher, Campbell RA
Target: Male and Female Bender Hall residents
Description: The RAs, PAIR and the Hall Coordinator passed out study bucks when they saw residents studying.
What Worked: Having a variety of people hanging out the bucks at different times and places kept the students wondering who would be handing them out and at what time.
How It Built Community: The residents became aware that the hall was putting an emphasis on studying and academic success.
Challenge/s: It was difficult to provide all residents with study buck because some students study outside of the hall.
Sara Hobbs, RA, Bender
Target: Male & Female residents who need help studying.
Description: We created an Effective Study Habits bulletin board including a sign-up sheet for “Study Buddies”. Residents entered their names, contact information and subjects they wished to study with a buddy. Residents could then check the list to find others to study with.
What Worked: The publicity throughout the house and my own participation made it effective. How It Built Community: It connected residents with commonalities such as classes.
Challenge/s: Not many residents participated.
John Van Hemert, RA, Shull
Target: Male freshmen residents who are struggling with academic success.
Description: Residents were taught effective study strategies.
What Worked: It was located in the house lounge so it was easily accessible. I used personal invitations and knocked on residents’ doors. I had to know the material well so I could use the suggestions from the book and turn them into questions for the participants.
How It Built Community: We all got to know each other better.
Challenge/s: A lot of the guys who needed these study strategies didn’t participate.
Nicolas Determann, RA, Bender
Target: Female residents wanting to raise their GPA’s.
Description: We had two “study halls” for 2 hours per week. During each study hall there were 50 minutes of silent study time in the lounge and then 10 minutes of talk/ break time. After letting loose for a few minutes, it was back to work for another 50 minutes of silent study time and 10 more minutes of free time.
What Worked: This program worked because the residents were able to come and go as they pleased. They also knew the time boundaries and what was expected of them. We were all working on a common goal.
How It Built Community: We were all working on goals together. We were working on raising our house GPA as well as individual GPA’s.
Challenge/s: It was difficult to find a two-hour block that met the residents’ schedule needs as well as the RA’s.
Katie Olson, Larrabee House RA, Rider
Study Town Bulletin Board
Target: Female residents
Description: I devoted a bulletin board to building a little town called "Study Town". For every hour of studying that my residents did in the lounge, they could decorate and name a little house to put into Study Town. The goal was to try to get the town as big as possible.
What worked: They loved being able to decorate a little house, so a lot of them took their lap tops and drug them down to the lounge just to get out of their room to study in the lounge. It really worked well.
How it Built Community: Rather than studying with the door shut in a bedroom where you could easily be distracted, they studied without distraction in the lounge with others. Some asked eachother for help if they needed it. And now they have a bulletin board that visually displays their success.
Challenges: I really didn't face any major challenges with this. It was a fairly easy self-running program.
Rachael Mueller, Campbell RA- Type: Academic
Tools for Success - Bulletin Board
Target: Female residents
Description: I have made a bulletin board called "Tools 4 Success" with icons of various tools such as a hammer and screwdriver. The board listed several resources for academic help that my residents can utilize for their academic needs.
How It Built Community: I wanted to make sure they knew where to easily get the help that could benefit their academic life here at UNI.
Challenges: There wasn't enough room for all of the information I wanted to give them, so I have supplied more on a need-basis.
Rachael Mueller, Campbell RA
Town of Success
Target: Male or Female residents.
Description: There was a house competition for grades called TOWN OF SUCCESS. Residents were split into three teams. Each team had a bulletin board for their town, which they named and organized with roads made out of construction paper. When students received a grade they were proud of, they filled out a form to receive a paper building to add to their board. The team who had the most buildings at the end of the semester got to have a pizza party.
What Worked: Using pizza as a reward was very enticing. The students were proud to show off their accomplishments.
How It Built Community: I was able to make contact with residents individually. The teams also had to communicated to pick a name and organize their town.
Challenge/s: Not all of the residents participated. I had to make sure that only people who participated came to the pizza party.
Sunnie Densmore, RA, Lawther