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RA course offers leadership skills to students

By Katie Jarvis
On November 12, 2012

Have you ever wondered exactly what a Resident Assistant does and what it takes to become one at UTM?

The first step to becoming an RA is to take the Leadership Roles in Residential Settings course offered next spring. It is open to everyone interested in starting the process to become an RA, or if you just want to become a better leader here on campus and in the future.

Debbie Ferrell and Ryan Martin are the instructors for the course and said that a variety of topics will be covered in the course.

"We focus on a variety of different things, such as case studies, community service and how to handle different situations that could potentially come up while being an RA," Ferrell said.

The course also looks into what it takes to be an RA.  Not only are RAs in charge of the residents on their assigned hall, but also they are resources for new students, and they help their residents connect with other students on the halls.

If you are interested in becoming an RA, UTM Housing has key factors it looks for when choosing staff.

"We want students who are not only flexible with good time management skills, but also those who have the willingness to learn and develop themselves," Martin said.

RAs are students who can relate to fellow students. Not everyone has an outgoing personality.

"We are looking for a cross-section of folks so everyone can have someone to relate to," Ferrell said.

RAs need to have patience and be able to work independently or as team players.

"This job teaches you skills that you can take into different professions," Ferrell said.

There is no certain GPA required to take the Leadership Roles in Residential Settings course, but to become an RA, you must have a 2.3 GPA or higher. You must also complete the application process by having a clean record, passing an FBI background check, filling out the application and going through a group interview and an individual interview.

If  you are interested in taking the course, you must register for the class for next spring, CRN number 21993. There will be two smaller sections for the Leadership Roles in Residential Settings course. Both will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from noon to 1:15 p.m. and the other from 5 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.

For more information, talk to anyone in Central Housing located in Clement Hall. You can also ask your RAs  for more information. Visit to learn even more on how to become an RA.

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