The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 2 - 69

Entry-Level Professionals' Proficiency with Helping Skills

area of focus because "housing and residential
life are areas where many entry-level student
affairs professionals begin their careers"
(Long, 2012, p. 22).

THE NEEDS OF TODAY'S
COLLEGE STUDENTS
Much has been written about the characteristics of the Millennial generation, including
their over-reliance on both parents and technology as a means to manage difficult conversations with faculty and staff (Elam, Stratton, &
Gibson, 2007). Unfortunately, this over-reliance has impacted the development of interpersonal skills (Elam et al., 2007). It has also been
well documented that Millennials have high expectations to be successful and therefore experience increased levels of stress (Bland, Melton,
Welle, & Bigham, 2012). Because of these high
expectations, they tend to establish clear goals
and objectives and will seek help to achieve
these goals (Elam et al., 2007).
The Millennial generation will continue to
be a part of the enrollment statistics for years
to come, but it is also important to consider
the needs of the new generation of college
students known as Generation Z. While their
experiences with technology are similar to
those of the Millennial generation, they have

. . . all student affairs professionals
must have effective helping skills
in order to best serve the varying
needs of students outside the
classroom.

experienced smartphones at an earlier age and
are much more comfortable with all forms of
technology (Seemiller & Grace, 2016). Raised
in the aftermath of the recession, a large percentage of those in Generation Z do not trust
their elected officials and believe the country
is headed in the wrong direction, thus leading
to feelings of uncertainty (Seemiller & Grace,
2017). Finally, this generation actively seeks
learning and growth opportunities similar to
the Millennial generation, but in doing so they
desire holistic well-being and demand better
mental health support (Lovell Corporation,
2017).
With changing needs on the part of both
the Millennial generation and Generation Z
come varying issues related to mental health
and well-being. In the most recent American
College Health Association National College
Health Assessment, completed in 2015, more
than 93,000 college students from across the
country were asked a variety of questions about
health. Results indicated that sometime over
the previous year, 76.1% of all respondents
felt overwhelmed with their workload, 54.1%
reported feeling very sad, and 29.8% felt so depressed that it was difficult to function (American College Health Association, 2015).

THE ROLE OF RESIDENCE
LIFE PROFESSIONALS WITH
STUDENTS
According to the most recent Almanac of
Higher Education (2018), there are 19,687,946
students enrolled in 4,144 colleges across the
United States. Many of these students live in
residence halls, and housing capacities across
the United States include a total of 3,178,918
beds (National Center for Education Statistics,
V O L U M E 4 5 , NO. 2 * 2 0 1 9

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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
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