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FINDINGS
Findings from the thematic analysis of the semi-structured interviews exploring the
relationship between residential life and NACE competencies resulted in three emergent
themes. Table 3 displays these three themes from participant interviews.
TABLE 3
Themes and Descriptions
THEME
Unique context
DESCRIPTION
Participants described how living on campus presented them with unique
opportunities due to their new living assignment. The on-campus experience
was credited by participants as exposing them to a unique opportunity for the
first time and providing outcomes that they were not initially expecting
(unintended outcomes). Participants detailed opportunities such as living with
a roommate, living with others from various backgrounds, and holding
a leadership position.
Engagement with
residence life
Participants discussed two primary elements of their residential experience
that connect with NACE competencies: residence life processes and student
leadership roles within the community. Residence life processes such as
roommate agreements, work order systems, and resident assistant interview
processes were highlighted. Student leadership roles within the community
were revealed as contributors to NACE competency development, like RA and
Community Council positions.
Utilization and
growth
Participants differentiated between growing and utilizing a NACE skill within
the residential life context. Growing in a skill was synonymous with skill
development or being taught a skill. Participants also mentioned their
utilization (the ability to practice skills with which they were already
comfortable) within the residential setting.
Unique Context
The first emergent theme found to connect NACE competencies with residential life
was unique context. About half of the participants discussed how living on campus
has provided them with unique opportunities to experience NACE competencies.
The theme of unique context contains subthemes of a time for firsts and unintended
outcomes. When discussing how NACE competencies were seen through residential
experiences, participants used language such as " my first time " or " first opportunity
to. " Similarly, they noted that the unique residential environment exposed them to
experiences that were unexpected.
Volume 49, No. 1 * 2022 39

Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol 49, No. 1

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