The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 3 - 18

Phyllis McCluskey-Titus * Tony W. Cawthon * Zach Helms

"Today we spend less time
on social, community,
relationships, and much more on
topics that must be covered by
mandate. Today training is more
focused on campus priorities,
federal polices and legislative
mandates, than relationship and
community building."

training and development programs (Shupp &
Arminio, 2012).
Dunkel and Schreiber (1992) identified the
need for a professional development plan for
entry-level professionals and noted that professional development opportunities have direct
implications for the retention of professionals in housing and residence life. The authors
further suggested that "student housing professionals should pay a considerable attention
to the design and implementation of professional development activities" (p. 20).
Content of training programs has often been
dependent on the societal context of the time
(McCluskey-Titus, 2000). McCluskey-Titus
(2000) found that SACSA/SCPA conference
topics in the 1960s showed interest sessions regarding institutional diversity, women's issues,
student values, and academic freedom that
paralleled civil rights and other political issues
of the decade. More recent analysis of conference programs might find that the last ten years

18

reflect areas that have been heavily discussed in
housing and residence life training programs
such as an increased focus on Title IX and first
amendment/student activism.
Understanding the history of the competency movement is important for framing the
use of training and professional development
tools in housing and residence life. Residence
life practice is influenced from a historical
perspective. Changing practices necessitate a
need for well-defined competencies at the early
career level.

METHODOLOGY
Twenty-three current residence life staff who
were trained as housing/residence life graduate assistants and/or entry-level professionals
in five different eras (1993-1998, 1998-2003,
2003-2008, 2008-2013, 2013-2018) were
invited to participate in this study about the
type of training they received as early career
staff members. Participants were solicited via
email, and those willing to participate were
asked to complete an email survey. Following
the receipt of the survey, a 30 to 40 minute
face-to-face, telephone, or Skype interview was
arranged to learn more detailed information
about their training as graduate students and/
or entry level housing professionals. Based
on the five historical eras, it was important to
have representation from professionals who
were early career residence life staff during
specific time frames. To ascertain when each
of the participants began his or her residence
life career, resumes available online or through
LinkedIn profiles were reviewed. The various
participants represented a spectrum of ages
that corresponded to the years they were first
employed in the residential life field. Inter-

THE JOURNAL OF COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY STUDENT HOUSING



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