The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 2 - 67

WELL-DEVELOPED HELPING SKILLS are essential among
entry-level housing professionals to effectively perform
their duties and responsibilities. This regional survey of
senior housing officer perceptions of entry-level housing
professionals' proficiency with helping skills revealed
the need for increased training. In addition to the survey,
the authors examined the online listing of curricula for
290 student affairs masters'-level programs nationwide
to determine if course offerings include instruction in
helping skills, counseling skills, and/or human relations
skills. Findings revealed that 80 of the programs required
counseling courses, with the most common courses being
Counseling Skills/Techniques, Career Counseling, Counseling
Theory, and Multicultural Counseling. Based on their
findings, the authors put forth three recommendations: (1)
All entry-level housing professionals should receive training
in the area of helping skills at the time of hire as well as
on an ongoing basis, including training on motivational
interviewing and primary prevention techniques. (2)
Academic programs that do not require a counseling course
should attempt to fit a helping skills learning module
somewhere in their program to best prepare student
affairs professionals for the field. (3) Entry-level housing
professionals must be trained on how to make referrals to
the appropriate campus resource.

Knowing that
students do
not typically
seek counseling
services unless
it is mandated or
they are strongly
encouraged by
someone who
expresses concern,
it is especially
important to train
residence life staff
in helping skills.

As the student affairs profession continues to evolve, the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required to be successful have also
expanded. However, as Herdlein (2004) noted, one skill set that has
remained constant within student affairs and has been frequently
endorsed as one of the most essential competencies is human relations. Herdlein described human relations skills as the ability to
work with diverse populations, communicate effectively, possess
interpersonal skills and empathy for others, and be firm and caring.
Reynolds (2017) supports Herdlein's endorsement: "Given the
changing needs of students, it is important that all student affairs

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The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 2

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 2

Contents
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 2 - Intro
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 2 - Cover1
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