Resident advisers and ResEd staff collaborate on creation of new RA class

Undergraduate resident advisers (RAs) for the 2012-13 school year will start thinking like RAs sooner than ever before, thanks to an RA course that will launch next spring and inaugurate a new system of RA hiring and training.

The change comes after extensive research and discussion conducted by Residential Education administration and staff and an advisory board made up of current RAs.

“We are hoping to create a more comprehensive learning process for our students and staff,” said Jenn Calvert, associate dean of residential education. “That is partially driven by feedback that we’ve gotten from our resident fellows who want our staff to be more prepared to lead the house, and feedback from students living on the Row who want a more comprehensive experience in every house.”

Currently, RAs are hired in spring quarter for the following academic year. They return to campus two weeks before autumn quarter begins to attend training, move in and set up their dorms.

Under the new system, hiring will take place in winter quarter and the one- or two-unit course will be held in spring. RAs will most likely return one week before school starts to settle in.

Calvert said assessments of the RA training process have been ongoing for the last five years. Based on the feedback, it was clear that adopting a course model currently in place for other student staff positions would be beneficial for RAs as well. For example, a similar model already is in place for peer health educators, residential staff whose primary focus is on issues of health, counseling and safety.

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