RA training must be consistent

September 23rd, 2010

The article in the Sept. 16 issue, “RAs receive inconsistent training,” reported several discrepancies in the application processes and training procedures underwent by resident assistants at John Carroll University.

Nine RAs were hired after an e-mail sent to JCU students advertised open positions on July 15, several months after the initial hiring process in February.

The late hires did not have to submit letters of recommendation, as were required during the original hiring process. Further, the RAs and alternatives that were hired in February were required to pass a six-week, one credit hour class last spring. The class served as training to prepare RAs for their positions. Late hires will not take this class until the spring of 2011.

Original and late hires completed a summer training session Aug. 11 – 29.

The late hiring process occurred too soon to the beginning of the school year. All RAs should be hired based on the same rigorous process. The search to fill available RA positions should have started earlier in the summer to allow time to collect letters of recommendation and confirm that all applicants are qualified for the positions.

The late hires entered their RA positions with a significant lack of training hours compared with early hires. These RAs will receive this training when a large portion of the year is complete. The lessons learned in the class will probably have been learned from experience over the course of the first semester.

The differences in training do not necessarily attest to the quality of late or early hires; however, all RAs should undergo the same training in order to ensure that they are equipped with the knowledge to handle their duties. Consistency in the hiring and training processes is a responsibility that the University has to on-campus residents.

If a late hiring process is unavoidable, it should occur early in the summer. The spring training should be replaced by an extended summer training session in which all RAs can participate. These changes will improve the readiness of RAs to tackle the challenges of their positions.