Document Type


Publication Date



The Resident Assistant (RA) role in higher education institutions is one of the most well-known functions on the modern campus (Akens & Novak, 2011; Porter, 1999), tracing back in some form to colonial times (Blimling, 2010; Winston & Fitch, 1993). There are roughly 10,000 (U.S. Department of Labor, 2011) RAs working at U.S. institutions. According to Winston et al. (1984), residence hall administrators are most likely the first student affairs professionals to employ students as paraprofessionals. Their functions include peer support and development, planning educational and social programs, and ensuring safety within the halls. The RA role, as peer educators, contributes to the creation and maintenance of environments conducive to learning, personal, and educational development (Blimling, 2010; Newton & Ender, 2010; Winston & Fitch, 1993). This article will present a case for improving the RA pre-service training using topical sequencing (i.e., rearranging topics for a more natural flow and organization).


The copy of record is available from the publisher at

Copyright © 2016 The Association of College & University Housing Officers – International. Reprinted with permission.