Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

MA Higher Education


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education

First Advisor

Sisco, Burton R.

Second Advisor

Walpole, MaryBeth


College students--Housing; Universities and colleges--Employees--Training of


Higher Education


The purpose of this mixed study was to (a) assess how paraprofessional staff (Resident Assistants) in Rowan University's Office of Residential Learning and University Housing feel about the training provided to them in preparation for their duties, (b) assess what Resident Assistants feel are the most influential factors in learning to perform their duties as professionals, (c) assess whether or not Resident Assistants understand their role and if there is ambiguity present in that role, (d) assess if Resident Assistants see the vectors presented in Student Development Theory by Chickering and Reisser as qualities relevant to the resident assistant position.

The study found that found the material presented during training were relevant though not presented in an effective or engaging way. Mentoring relationships between more experienced Resident Assistants and less experienced ones were found to have a profound effect on how the less experienced staff conducted their duties. Ambiguity was not perceived to be a relevant factor by Resident Assistants in their understanding of their position but it did exist particularly when there was competing or conflicting expectations from various supervisors that Resident Assistants may have. The vectors presented by Chickering and Reisser were found to be both relevant and present in the Resident Assistant position.