Resident Assistants (RAs) are the foundation of the Residence Life Program. RAs must be carefully selected from a pool of qualified candidates; the selection process has many steps to evaluate these candidates.
The first step to becoming an RA is the RA Application. The application contains several parts that help candidates introduce themselves to the professional Residence Life Staff. Each applicant must submit biographical information, answer several short essay questions, submit character references and provide a resume with cover letter.
After all applications are turned in, each applicant is required to attend an individual interview an Area Coordinator and two current RAs. These are real job interviews, and are often students' first contact with these specific members of the Residence Life Staff. It is important to be formal, practice for the interview and dress appropriately. This is the time that an applicant can advertise him/herself and ask questions about the position.
After the individual interview, all of the candidates must attend the group interview. The group interview is a morning-long event that places each candidate into problem-solving situations with other candidates. This is a time where staff members evaluate each candidate’s leadership skills and how each candidate responds in a group dynamic. The activities are usually fun, active and a bit less formal than the individual interviews.
After all candidates have completed these interviews and meet all other requirements, the professional Residence Life Staff discusses each candidate and decides on who to hire. Each candidate will receive a letter informing them of the decision made on their application. This decision can come in one of three forms:
1) the candidate will be offered the position and will be informed which area coordinator they will be working with
2) the candidate will be offered an alternate position — while not hired immediately, this candidate would be considered in the case of future openings
3) the candidate will not be offered a position
If a candidate receives an offer letter, a form will be included for the candidate to accept or turn down the position; the candidate must return this form to the Residence Life Staff.
All RAs must attend training before the start of the next semester. If a candidate receives an offer letter, further instructions on training and beginning the position will be communicated to this new RA.