College Residence Assistant: Your Student’s Live-in Mentor

If your student is heading off to live in a college residence hall, there is a very good chance that there will be someone there just to help make dorm life go as smoothly as possible and be as meaningful as possible.  That person may be called by different names at different institutions, but may be known as a Residence Assistant, Resident Advisor, Senior Resident or other similar title.  This person is often referred to as an “RA.”

Residence Assistants are generally trained peer leaders who live in the residence halls and serve as mentors and guides for the students- answering all types of questions and conducting programming to engage their residents.  They work to build a sense of community on their floor and in their building.  RA positions are often competitive and students are sometimes paid and sometimes receive discounts on housing or meals.

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Why Your Student Should Think “Outside of the Box” When Creating a College Schedule

One of the things that many college students, and their parents, worry about as they head off to college is creating an appropriate schedule of classes.  Although your college student will mature and experience many things while in college, academics are the main reason for attending.  Taking the right classes matters.

There are many factors that go into creating a good schedule, and your student should use the college resources when considering what to take.  At some schools, incoming first-year students are given their schedule, with no options.  Although your student may be disappointed about not making choices, this should mean that your student is assured of taking courses that he needs.

If your student has options in creating her first schedule, she will usually get some guidance from her advisor or an advising office.  She will need to consider courses for her major, general education courses required by the college, and possibly a minor as well.  She may need to make sure that she has a balance of types of courses so that she isn’t taking all lab sciences or all writing intensive courses at the same time.  Of course, she’ll also need to think about times of day that are best as well.

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