Include the title of the proposal, as well as the name, class year, email address, campus address and phone number, major and college/school of the program director(s). Nothing else goes on this first page.
Information about Students Proposing the Program
We would like to know a little bit about you and why you are interested in proposing a program and becoming a program director. For this section, which should be on the first page of your proposal after the cover page, please have each student involved in proposing the program respond to the following questions. You may do this either in paragraph form or you may address each question separately.
- Why do you wish to propose and lead this particular program? What interests you about the program topic?
- What excites you about being a student program director? What are you nervous about as you think about stepping in to this role?
- What do you hope to learn in your role as a student leader in the Pod community.
- What expectations do you have for yourself and for the program if your proposal is accepted?
- What other time commitments will you have next year outside of your regular course work?
Overview of the Program
The overview should tell the committee what you are trying to accomplish and why. This statement will be used in various advertising and recruiting literature, so please try to make it as concise and appealing as possible. Describe the basics of the program in one to two paragraphs. This should be the who, what, why and how of the proposal.
What are you attempting to learn? Be specific. The learning objectives should be clearly stated in performance-based terms and the approximate timetable for accomplishing each learning objective clearly indicated (End of first semester? End of year?). Performance-based objectives are specific statements about what your program members will be learning and how that learning will be demonstrated. When possible, objectives should be measurable so members can determine their progress toward attaining them.
How to state learning objectives in performance-based terms:
- They describe an intended outcome or "product" of the program.
- They are stated in terms that describe what the members will be doing.
- They demonstrate the integration of learning outcomes with residence hall life.
- They describe the minimal level of performance/participation that is acceptable.
(See examples in the Sample Program Proposal, enclosed.)
Under each learning objective, state what "action steps" (activities and procedures) you will use to meet that objective. Be sure to show clearly which action steps support which learning objective by listing under each objective only those action steps that support that particular objective.
Action steps are very important, as they are intended to describe the activity that will happen in your program. It is generally expected that all program members meet as a group about once every other week. Action steps can describe what will be happening at those meetings, what planning will take place. Typical Action Steps include:
SNHU Faculty/Staff members, or people from the University community, are invited to give a presentation, lead a discussion, or participate in special program activities.
Some programs may find it beneficial to attend local cultural events, or travel to museums, cultural sites, natural areas, historic sites or other places to enhance program learning.
Many program directors assign responsibility for leading program meetings to members on a rotating basis. Leading a program meeting is one of the most effective ways for a student to learn, and is a good way for program directors to delegate tasks. Consider having members choose a program-related topic that they can research and discuss with the group during meetings.
These are just a few of the typical kinds of activities that occur in programs. Be creative during this part of developing your proposal.
Proper planning at the early stages of program development is an important component of a successful program. As you are developing your proposal, keep in mind that there are about 14 weeks in each semester. It is generally expected that programs meet about once every other week. You should plan to spread your program activities evenly throughout each semester, although we recommend keeping formal program activities light at the end of the semester to avoid conflicts with final exams.
To reflect the projected level of program activity from September to May, complete the Planning Timeline provided in this packet and submit it as part of your program proposal. Be sure to show the progression that will occur in your program over the course of the year. For example, it is not likely that an art program would be able to jump right in and begin a large art project the first week of classes if they do not first gain some knowledge from a speaker or outside source about the proposed art technique.
We are not interested in necessarily seeing a full timeline with lots of events happening every week. Be realistic. Think about what you might actually be able to accomplish and input some meaningful events that would truly help your program to meet its goals. We will be looking for a combination of community development activities, educational activities and outreach activities.
Each student-designed program must appoint a Program Advisor who can assist the program by providing advice and expertise. Normally the Program Advisor is a SNHU faculty or staff member, though someone in the community who is knowledgeable about your program's subject area could serve as an effective advisor.
Program Advisors may receive a $25.00 gift certificate at the University Store at the end of the year if program directors elect to work that cost in to their program budget. Please indicate the name of your program advisor and tell us a bit about why this person could be an asset to your program. Do not assume that the program advisor for this year will be willing to act as the advisor for next year. You will need to talk to the person that you name in your proposal to confirm his/her willingness to get involved.
Generally your proposed program will not be accepted if you are unable to identify someone who has agreed to serve as your program advisor. If you need help identifying someone to be your advisor, please be in touch with DaVaughn or the Office of Residence Life. We may be able to assist you with identifying and contacting a program advisor appropriate for your program. Keep in mind that you may need to talk to more than one person before you are able to find someone who can work with your program as an advisor.
Program Suite Request
How much residential space will your program require? Whenever possible, program Pods are assigned on the same area to facilitate intra-program communication. Give some consideration to the balance of women and men you would anticipate enrolling in your program. Programs normally range from one to two Pods. (In general, new programs will receive no more than one Pod.) Each pod houses up to six students, depending on its location. Residence Life always reserves the right to place Resident Assistant (RA's) in a room within a programmed Pod. How many Pods is your program requesting? Of what size? What gender? Please speak with DaVaughn if you anticipate that any of the students who plan to join your program will have needs that require special housing accommodations (i.e., a ground floor suite for students with mobility impairments, fire alarm strobe lights for students with hearing impairments, etc.)
Plans for Interactions with Other Programs(Effective 2010)
We feel that it is extremely important for programs to extend beyond their own Pod’s and interact with other programs to plan events and activities that can bring together larger numbers of the community. We feel that every program has something to offer the area as a whole and the entire SNHU campus. This section is a good place for you to let the RLC Advisory Committee know about possible collaborative programming ideas that you have to work with other programs, as well as community-wide events that you are hoping to plan. Do you think that your program will work especially well with the Music Appreciation & All That Jazz program? Do you already have an idea to put together a display of art from the Creative and Performing Arts programs?
Program Member Recruitment
Even though you may have just begun to develop your program proposal, it is not too early to test your ideas out on your friends and fellow students. Their own ideas and energy can be valuable assets to you as you develop your proposal. Should they later become program members, their own commitment will be that much greater for having been involved from the beginning. Program members should be recruited primarily from students currently living on campus, as they are given first preference for housing contracts.
Include in this section of your proposal a description of recruitment techniques to be used. How will you go about getting the word out there about your program? Also complete the "Names of Students Interested in your Program" form, giving the name, class, campus address and email of all people known to be interested in joining the program, including the director(s). Turn this form in when you submit your program proposal. Please note: Placing a student's name on this list does not bind that student to membership in your program; it merely indicates that the student would consider joining the program if it is accepted.
Each Programmed Pod is provided with limited financial support to help defray the cost of running the program. As you are developing your proposal, you should be thinking about the cost of running your program, i.e. supplies, instruction, guest speakers, transportation, etc. Please refer to the enclosed Budget Guidelines and Worksheet for instructions on developing your program's budget. When developing your budget, keep in mind that fiscal resources for next academic year will continue to be tight. Please consider carefully what your program's essential needs are, and tailor your request to reflect those needs.
A preliminary program budget request must be submitted along with your program proposal. You may arrange to meet with DaVaughn Vincent-Bryan to develop a preliminary program budget request before you submit your final program proposal. If your program is accepted, you will meet with the Coordinator and Assistant Coordinator to discuss your program’s budgetary needs.
Submitting your proposal
When you submit your program proposal to the Residential Learning Communities, please include:
- One copy of your proposal printed on a laser printer or on a high-quality ink jet printer. If you need access to a laser printer, contact the Office of Residence Life.
- All required attachments (Budget request, timeline, names of students interested in your program.)
- An electronic copy of the proposal, preferably in Word or WordPerfect format. Submit the file as an attachment to an email message. Send the message and attachment to: RLC@snhu.edu. Please put “Program Proposal File” as the subject line of the message.
Be sure to keep a copy of everything that you submit - including all attachments. The RLC Advisory committee often makes suggestions about how a proposal can be revised to make it stronger. It is much easier to make changes if you still have copies of all files and documents that you submitted. Please Note: An edited copy of your program proposal will be used to create a brochure for your program. These brochures - which are distributed to all students who express an interest in your program - will include your program's overview.
A Final Note:
Remember that the staff members in the Office of Residence Life and Student Involvement are your best resources for help in writing your proposal. We invite you to contact us, any time if you need assistance in developing your ideas.