The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 3 - 26

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

education or student affairs may have already
been trained through their academic programs
and related practical experiences in some essential areas, which may not require as lengthy or
detailed a training program. Thus, training may
be more productive if supervisors make efforts
to hire staff with earned master's degrees.
Ideally, if staff come into positions better prepared, the amount and type of training could be
shortened, modified, and more focused.
A number of staff spoke to the structure of
training and the need to pay attention to individual learning and work styles and personality
types. The authors recommend that lecturebased training be replaced or at least supplemented with computer-delivered modules,
simulations, and short (20 minute) but intensive sessions to maintain focus, attention and
enthusiasm. One campus has replaced three
full days of face-to-face delivered information
with 12 modules of 2 to 24-minute sessions
that staff could access and interact with prior
to or in place of group lectures. Trainers should
similarly adapt varying pedagogical methods,
considering a balance between meaningful social and team-building activities and
content and mixing up session structure to
meet various learning styles.
An additional recommendation from
this study relates to the topic of supervision. More recent era staff reported that this
topic is not always discussed in training, and
they feel ill-equipped to work well with their
supervisees. They felt supervision was an
important skill to develop and was not something innately understood. The research (e.g.
Cuyjet et al., 2009; Waple, 2006) indicated
that senior-level professionals tried to hire

26

entry-level staff who could immediately be
effective supervisors, another reason for the
topic's inclusion in training. In addition, staff
reported that much ongoing training was facilitated one-on-one by supervisors, so these
staff need to be prepared to provide ongoing
training for staff in their role as supervisors.
Also based on the research about competencies, supervisors responsible for designing
training may also wish to examine ways to
assist entry-level professionals in gaining
a further understanding of budgeting and
finance and grant writing.

CONCLUSION
Staff training is a critical component for
recruitment and retention of graduate assistants and entry-level residence hall staff
members. The connection to the campus,
department, and other staff members, along
with the students, is built with an intentional training program that allows staff to
be confident in the execution of their duties
and comfortable in their relationships with
others. This study examined the experiences
of current residence hall leaders over the past
twenty-five years and made recommendations
for current best practice in training based on
their recollections. With attention paid to the
scheduling, the topics, the delivery methods,
the intended outcomes, and with the goal of
enhancing individual competency development, residence hall staff training can offer
a smoother entry into the field and help build
a foundation for working in this area over an
entire career.

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 - Cover3
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