Office of Residence Life

Area Coordinator Competency Description

Personnel Management & Development
Skills which pertain to the appropriate direction of staff and students.

This person is responsible for managing an area staff of resident assistants and office assistant work study students.  This includes participating in the recruiting, selection, and training of the entire resident assistant staff and office assistants and the supervision, development, and appraisal of his/her area staff and office assistants.

Supervision of employees should be professional, respectful, and individual.  This includes the ability to effectively facilitate groups in a variety of settings, the ability to lead effective meetings, the ability to recognize and appropriately confront group dynamic issues, the ability to give clear direction, and the ability to motivate employees to develop to their best potential.

Staff appraisals should be conducted regularly in addition to giving ongoing feedback that is timely and appropriate.  Staff members should receive positive feedback as well as feedback on areas to improve on in their job.  This person should work to help employees improve in each area of their job.

This person is responsible to provide development opportunities for employees to continue to grow as students and as employees.  These opportunities should take into consideration the developmental levels of the students, the learning styles of the students, the timeliness of the issue, and should be well organized and professionally presented.  These opportunities should be discussed with the Assistant Director of Residence Life with educational rationale for providing them.

  1. Recruit and select paraprofessional staff.
    1. Recruit and select qualified staff who will support the goals of our office and be of service to our students.
    2. Adhere to all hiring laws and selection processes.
  2. Train and develop paraprofessional staff.
    1. Provide a thorough orientation to the Division of Student Affairs and the Office of Residence Life.
    2. Provide a well-balanced training for new and returning staff to successfully perform their responsibilities.
      • Cover all areas of the job description and each competency area in a way that addresses various student learning styles.
      • Conduct appropriate team building sessions to build trust and camaraderie which develop more effective working relationships.
      • Training sessions must be relevant to the developmental levels of trainees and relevant to the needs of the population being served.
    3. Provide on-going intentional training and development to further develop their competencies.
      • Utilize staff meeting time each week to continue training on topics pertinent to the staff.
      • On-going training should take into consideration the staff’s current level of competency development, the staff’s learning styles, the timeliness of the issue, and should be well organized and professionally presented.
  3. Supervise paraprofessional staff with a synergistic approach.
    “Synergistic supervision is a cooperative approach that makes the total efforts of the supervisor and RA have an effect greater than the sum of either’s contributions.  Emphasis is on both accomplishing organizational goals and on furthering the personal development of RAs.  Problems brought to the supervisor’s attention are seen as situations that require joint efforts to find solutions, not as failures.  RAs are encouraged to talk openly about what is happening in the living unit; the emphasis is on preventing small disturbances or difficulties from escalating or on finding helpful interventions with individual residents who are experiencing difficulties.” (from Student Housing and Residential Life by Winston Jr., et. al.)

    1. Spend time in establishing rapport with RAs.
      • Help them establish personal goals and goals for their floor.  Openness, respect, and genuineness are the characteristics that will create the kind of relationship that makes synergistic supervision possible.
      • Spend informal time with RAs outside of work hours, but do not become too close as that will compromise the supervisory relationship.
    2. Meet with each individual regularly to monitor his/her success in his/her competency development.
      • Meet with each staff member at least twice each month for ½ hour each time.
      • Topics to cover include competency development, community building, administrative responsibilities, discipline, staff issues, student issues, supervisee/supervisor relationship, and goal setting for next meeting.
    3. Meet with entire area staff each week.
      • Meet every Monday night during the academic year from 8pm –10pm except for holidays.
      • Topics to cover include student issues, staff issues, administrative issues, staff development activities, Office of Residence Life information, and hall-wide program planning.
  4. Appraise paraprofessional staff.
    1. Conduct formal written evaluation utilizing supervisor feedback and peer RA feedback.
      • Occurs in October/November
    2. Conduct evaluation using resident feedback.
      • Occurs in February
    3. Provide on-going feedback during individual meetings.
      • Supervisors should keep notes on RA performance and goals set each meeting for continual monitoring of RA competencies.
  5. Select, train, and supervise work study students as office assistants.
    1. Attend job fair at beginning of school year.
    2. Hire qualified candidates.
    3. Create a training session to cover all areas of the job.
    4. Supervise on a daily basis.
      • Monitor their job performance
      • Meet with the students on a regular basis to give feedback on their job performance.
      • Monitor their time slips.

Skills which pertain to understanding the student and how to effectively meet his/her needs within the higher education setting.

This person is responsible for articulating the characteristics of current college students across the nation as well as the current college students at John Carroll University.  This includes understanding the unique needs of diverse groups both in general and on our campus.  In addition, this person must use this information to get to know residents in his/her area so that decision making, program development, and personnel management and development can be done in an informed and purposeful way.

  1. Articulate characteristics of college students across the nation and specifically college students at John Carroll.
    1. Read current articles and research.
    2. Read summaries of JCU research.
    3. Utilize this knowledge in daily operations, program development, staff selection and training, and collaborative work.
    4. Be cognizant of laws and standards as they pertain to higher education in the new millennium and know where to seek legal assistance.
  2. Understand the unique needs of diverse groups both in general and on our campus.
    1. Interpret and recognize special needs of individuals in the minority population including those who are ethnically, racially, culturally, and religiously diverse; gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered, women, and learning/physically challenged.
  3. Get to know resident students at John Carroll University.
    1. Spend time walking around the buildings and talking with residents at times when residents are in their rooms.
    2. Create ways to seek information about the quality of life in the halls such as making appointments with a random resident each week to find out how they like living in the hall and what they would change, holding focus groups, or hosting building forums.

Skills which pertain to the day-to-day operations and functioning of a housing office.

This person is expected to be timely and responsive to students, staff, and others with whom he/she interacts.  This person should be reasonably available on a daily basis for students and staff.  This person should operate to achieve the goals set by the Department and Division and within the mission of the University.  This person should also utilize a professional set of ethics in decision making. This person must respond appropriately to crisis situations which includes following emergency protocol and utilizing the resources available. This person will also be expected to be a fair and effective disciplinarian of student misconduct as an administrative hearing officer utilizing student development theory and the policies of the judicial system.

  1. Manage building operations.
    1. Supervise SRAs in completing housekeeping walk-thrus on a weekly basis.
    2. Implement room inspections.
    3. Coordinate room changes for area in cooperation with Housing Coordinator.
    4. Assist with room selection.
    5. Assist with key control.
    6. Coordinate the identification and reporting of maintenance concerns and projects.
    7. Process all damages for the area.
    8. Manage room and common area inventories to insure an accurate assessment of building conditions.
  2. Administrative duties.
    1. Maintain an office schedule of 30 hours per week (10am – 5pm Monday through Friday).
    2. Attend individual meetings with supervisor at least twice each month.
    3. Attend weekly departmental staff meetings.
    4. Provide for evening and weekend on-call coverage with other Area Coordinators which is one weekend a month and one to two nights during the week.
    5. Coordinate several of the following projects:
      • monthly newsletter (“Hall Beat”)
      • new staff selection
      • returning staff selection
      • SRA selection
      • RA newsletter (RAp Chat)
      • marketing publications
      • residence life website
      • SRA super series
      • ORA (Organizations of Resident Assistants)
      • growth essentials
      • Arbitration Board
      • staff training
    6. Authorize spending for programs, activities, and office supplies through proper management of area and hall budgets.
    7. Participate on divisional committees as needed.
  3. Utilize a professional set of ethics established by ACPA, NASPA, or ACUHO-I in decision making.
  4. Respond to crisis situations.
    1. Know and use the emergency protocol.
    2. Know and use the resources available (i.e. CSS, Counseling Center)
    3. Assist in the follow-up process.
  5. Be an effective and fair disciplinarian of student misconduct.
    1. Utilize student development theory in sanctioning.
    2. Strive to have meaningful conversations with students in conduct situations.
    3. Uphold the policies of the judicial system.

Skills which pertain to the appropriate programming to enhance student development at the specific institution.

This person is responsible to meet student development needs through curricular and co-curricular programs and activities by adhering to the following guidelines set for program development so that all programming is intentional for our students’ development.

All proposals should be made in writing to the Assistant Director of Residence Life who will approve all programs to insure staff is working toward this end.

  1. Meet student development needs through curricular and co-curricular programs and activities by adhering to the following guidelines:
    • Based on a relevant theoretical foundation and incorporates knowledge of human development and learning characteristics.
    • Responsive to the developmental and demographic profiles of the students served.
    • Must promote student learning and self-reflection.
    • Should collaborate with other departments and faculty.
    • Should have students involved in the planning.

Skills which pertain to the exchange of information.

This person is expected to effectively communicate with staff, students, parents, and members of other departments on a regular basis.  Being an effective communicator includes using appropriate language, tone of voice, and body language for the audience as well as being sincere, open, and honest.  Active listening is also important to insure an appropriate response to the situation.  This person is expected to collaborate with others in serving staff and student needs through program development and student outreach.

This person is expected to display competence in one-on-one counseling and while responding to an unstable person or crisis situation utilizing basic counseling skills (listening, clarifying, attending, summarizing, encouraging to look at alternatives, confidentiality) and utilizing the resources available.  This person must also use conflict resolution skills to effectively mediate conflict and be able to recognize and evaluate group dynamics.  In addition, this person is expected to communicate effectively in writing, which includes appropriate documentation of incidents.

  1. Work cooperatively and effectively with a wide range of individuals.
    1. Facilitate interactions with a diverse group of individuals including students, staff, faculty, and members of other departments (i.e. CSS, Facilities).
    2. Utilize skills which enhance the exchange of information between persons such as appropriate language, tone of voice, and body language for the audience as well as being sincere, open and honest.
    3. Utilize active listening skills.
  2. Utilize effective written communication skills.
    1. Utilize appropriate grammar and spelling.
    2. Keep appropriate documentation regarding incidents, meetings, and phone conversations.
  3. Collaborate with faculty and members of other departments on projects.
    1. Interact with colleagues through informal and formal contact both at JCU and at other institutions.
    2. Utilize resources and skills of others in program development and student outreach.
  4. Display competence in one-on-one counseling.
    1. Relate to others on a one-to-one basis and assist in the accomplishment of personal and academic goals.
    2. Utilize basic counseling skills such as listening, clarifying, attending, summarizing, encouraging to look at alternatives and confidentiality.
    3. Know the resources available.
  5. Mediate conflict.
    1. Intervene between disagreeing parties to promote compromise utilizing basic conflict resolution skills.
  6. Recognize and evaluate group dynamics.
    1. Observe and understand the interactions between diverse members of a group.
    2. Confront group dynamics to create more effective working relationships.
  7. Manage crisis situations.
    1. Effectively respond to an unstable person or crisis situation.
    2. Follow emergency protocol.


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