Penn State Residence Life provides a number of opportunities for students to gain leadership experience and various interpersonal skills that can prove valuable for their futures. The most notable leadership opportunity is the Resident Assistant (RA) Program, a compensated leadership position in which current students become leaders and mentors within the residence halls.
FAQs about Resident Assistants
When can a student become an RA?
The earliest students can become an RA at Penn State Hazleton is in their second year with the application process beginning in the first year.
During the first semester, students will begin the RA application process in late September or early October by attending an information session about the RA position. The application process will continue throughout the fall and will include an interview. Selected candidates will be invited to attend the HiEd302 class offered during the spring semester. Students will be selected from the class to become RAs.
What are the application requirements?
Students interested in the RA program must be full-time undergraduate with at least 12 Penn State credits. Students must have at least a 2.4 GPA to be eligible. Grades will be checked periodically, upon submission of a grade-check waiver. Grades will specifically be checked before placement in the HiEd302 class and prior to RA training each semester.
First-year students will not have credits or grades when they begin their application process, but they will need to meet the credit and grade requirement at the end of the first semester prior to entering the HiEd302 class.
What type of training is offered to the RAs?
Students selected for the RA selection program will be invited to participate in the HiEd302 course. Through this course, students will learn about diversity & inclusion, interpersonal skills, leadership, and other skills necessary for the RA position and transferable to future positions.
Students selected for the RA position will participate in training every semester to learn procedures and protocols specific to the work performed in the RA role and to refresh and expand additional skills.
What are some of the expectations and duties of the RA position?
RAs live in the halls with the students and serve as the first line of contact for students. In this capacity, RAs provide support to students, help students connect to additional resources and create opportunities for students to connect to each other within their communities. Additionally, RAs support the efforts of the University to provide a safe and inclusive environment to those living on campus.
What are the benefits of the RA position?
Students in the RA position gain valuable leadership skills that can be used in many other aspects of their college and professional careers. The position is often used as a resume builder for students to demonstrate responsibility and leadership to future employers. Many students also discuss the intrinsic value gained from the opportunity to meet new people and develop strong relationships with their fellow staff members and residents.
Additionally, RAs receive a remuneration package each year that generally includes the cost of the housing contract, a meal plan, and a small tuition stipend as the budget permits.