Type of Document Dissertation Author Crandall, Paige Denise URN etd-04032004-173229 Title Future Role Of Resident Assistants In Housing Programs At Public, Four Year Colleges and Universities Degree Doctor of Education Department Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Barbara Mann Committee Chair Keywords
- Residence Life
Date of Defense 2003-11-20 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe purpose of this study was to explore possible changes in the role of resident assistants in public college and university housing programs. The following questions were used to guide this study: (1) What is the current role of student paraprofessionals, otherwise known as resident assistants, in public college and university housing programs? (2) What do practicing professionals and resident assistants in public college and university housing offices perceive as the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the resident assistant position? (3) How do housing professionals and resident assistants perceive that the role of resident assistant will change?
Since the focus of this study was on the future of the resident assistantís role with consideration for the impact the external environment may have on that role, a SWOT analysis was employed to help establish a framework for this study. A SWOT analysis examines the internal strengths and weaknesses of an organization and conducts an environmental scan to help determine the opportunities and threats that exist in different aspects of the organizationís external environment. I focused on three aspects of the external environment: technology, social, and demographics.
Seventeen housing programs across the country took part in this naturalistic inquiry. Focus groups, individual interviews, and document collection were used to gather data. Three sets of stakeholders from the seventeen institutions participated: housing directors, professional staff members responsible for selection and training of resident assistants, and two returning resident assistants. Responses from all three stakeholders were analyzed for emerging themes. I reviewed the supporting documents to find additional information that might support or clarify information given by the stakeholders. Findings were reported through summaries of the data along with supporting quotes.
The results from this study clearly show that the role of the resident assistant is continuously evolving into a more complex and demanding role particularly in response to the factors that exist in the various aspects of the external environment. Implications of the findings are discussed and recommendations for housing professionals have been given to help provide insight and guidance in planning for the future role of resident assistants.
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