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Introductions For New Chapters
This article is part of a sequence of four articles designed for startups running a Splash or similar program. We encourage you to read them all!

Timeline for Starting a Splash

Early Stages: Getting People, Resources, and Ideas

  1. A leader or group of leaders makes the decision to start a Splash.
  2. They recruit a team to lead the program and share the work.
  3. They achieve recognition within their university.

How does a group achieve recognition?
It could be as a student group, within the university's community service center, within an honors program, within an academic department, under the auspices of a dean or professor, etc. Key elements include having a system that will allow you to reserve classrooms, to speak with appropriate university risk management personnel, and to maintain an account for funds. Ideally, a group will find recognition that allows them to persist and expand in the long-term.

      4. They work through logistical questions, involving the appropriate arms of the university administration as necessary.

Program Setup Begins

      5. They reserve classrooms and other university spaces, which allows them to set a date.

      6. A website is set up.

How is the website maintained?
LU maintains open source code for a sophisticated program registration system, which allows for student and teacher registrations, classroom assignments, e-mail management, printables for the program itself (such as student schedules and administrator information), onsite registration and class changes, and more. If you have a computer science person who would like a hand in this, you are welcome to set up your system yourselves with our help; but in general, we have volunteers who can maintain your website for you, on our server. You'll get a URL directly from us, like dukesplash.learningu.org. We can also come up with a basic design for you if you need it.

The content is entirely yours to write and manage and doing so is straightforward through our system. You will also get administrator access and learn how to use the website to manage student registration and other details. If you want to make your own design, that can be implemented with our structure still running as the backend.

Recruitment Phases

      7. Teachers are recruited.

How are teachers recruited?
There are a number of ways, and we can provide suggestions. E-mails, reaching out to student groups, postcards in dorm mailboxes, posters across campus, Facebook groups, and alumni of Splash programs now at your university are all potential resources. LU will also often know students at your university that are interested in teaching, and may have other ideas too!

      8. The class catalog is compiled; classes are scheduled.

How are teachers prepared to teach?
Many programs run teacher training sessions in which teachers get some basic preparation for their classroom. LU has materials for these sessions available, and has sometimes run them as well. In general, Splash is itself a learning opportunity and too much required training may cause teachers to decide that the burden of volunteering is too large; however, you want to be certain that teachers understand program logistics and are not coming in entirely unsure what their students will be like.

      9. Students are recruited.

How are students recruited?
Each program can decide how to focus their recruitment. You might build relationships with individual schools in your community (talking to guidance or college counselors, teachers, principals, or others); you might send posters to a large number of area schools; you might recruit through other university programs; you might reach out to homeschoolers in your area; or you might reach out through LU mailing lists. It is worth spending some time thinking carefully about what populations you want to reach out to, and what kind of program will be most effective for them. LU may also have contacts in your area, or other ideas for recruiting students.

Once teachers and students are recruited, it is just the beginning of your relationship. You must think carefully how to keep teachers and students informed and reminded about the program. Teachers need to know what to expect and who to talk to; they also need information about how to deal with unexpected events on the day-of. (And you want to be notified if, for any reason, a teacher cannot make it.) Students need to know where to go and when to show up on the morning of Splash, they need to be able to access their class schedule, and they need to have an outlet to get questions answered.

The Program Runs

      10. Various logistical issues are resolved.

What logistical issues are there?
Important logistics include teachers' audio/visual requirements; managing finances; preparing printouts of student and teacher schedules (which will be generated by our website), setting up check-in for the day of the program, and so forth. LU provides checklists and other resources to navigate and remember these issues!

      11. The program runs!

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