The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 3 - 17

The Historical Progression of Residence Life Training Programs

particularly in areas not covered by a current
position" (p. 20). Further, an adequate training and professional development plan may
assist in closing some of the competency gaps
for newer professionals by providing skills or
competencies not learned in graduate school
or in an entry-level position.

Competency Development
Housing and residence life professionals have
made great strides over the last 25 years in defining the field's goals, outcomes, and competencies. Entry-level staff such as hall directors
are often viewed within the context of their work
as they live in a residence hall and interact with
students on an almost daily basis. Additionally,
housing professionals often carry a number of
responsibilities with them in their day-to-day
professional lives. In a field where professional burnout is a common occurrence (Lorden,
1998), a number of competencies are necessary in order to navigate the day-to-day life of a
housing and residence life professional.
In 2012, the Association of College and
University Housing Officers-International
(ACUHO-I) published a body of knowledge
that reflects what housing professionals should
be able to know and do (Cawthon, Schreiber, &
Associates, 2012, p. 3). The ACUHO-I body of
knowledge provides professionals in housing
and residence life information for "purposes
related to a current position, a future position, or for general professional development"
(Cawthon et al., 2012, p. 4), but, as Beebe et
al. (2018) pointed out, the ACUHO-I body
of knowledge itself is only helpful when the
competencies are incorporated into training
programs and "depends on adoption and utilization by housing professionals and their supervisors" (pp. 119-120).

Training and Professional Development
Professional development may take place at
the individual, group/program, departmental,
and division levels (Schwartz & Bryan, 1998).
Professional development on an individual
level can include "participation in workshops
offered by professional associations at regional or national conferences" (Schwartz &
Bryan, 1998, p. 7). Because of the wide range
of skills necessary for one to be successful as
a residence life professional, it might not be
possible for a graduate program to provide all
of the skills necessary (Palmer, 1995).
In a study of entry-level student affairs
professionals and their supervisors by Cuyjet,
Longwell-Grice, and Molina (2009), the
authors found that recent graduates felt most
prepared in the areas of student development,
the effects of college experiences on student
development, and ethics and standards of
student affairs practice (p. 108). Conversely,
the authors found that participants in the study
felt least prepared in the areas of grant writing,
supervision, budgeting, and financial management (Cuyjet et al., 2009, p. 108). The authors
contend that these competencies are "skills
that one does not generally acquire until the
mid-management stage of one's career. Similarly, it would be difficult to acquire the skills
necessary in supervising others through a
master's program" (Cuyjet et al., 2009, p. 108).
The findings of Cuyjet et al. (2009) and Waple
(2006) indicated additional areas in which
senior housing officers may wish to focus
training and professional development efforts.
Regarding supervision, it is worthy to note that
student affairs professionals often view supervision as an intuitive trait and therefore do not
place the same value on providing supervisory

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The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 3

Contents
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 3 - Intro
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 3 - Cover1
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