Union College Office of Residential Life is a featured program with Reslife.Net.
While the position of Residence Director is still considered one of the most beneficial positions to develop a firm Student Affairs foundation as a new member of the field, there aren’t many young professionals out there who aspire to be Residence Directors forever. With that in mind, Union College’s Office of Residential Life provides employees with several different avenues for personal development.
All Residence Directors at Union College are required to take on a collateral assignment, which allows them exposure and professional experience in another sector of the higher education administration field. In addition to providing new professionals with diverse opportunities to grow, these assignments are not limited to Student Affairs departments. Residence Directors have the option of petitioning for their own collateral assignment as long as that functional area has a supervisor that is willing to serve as a mentor. Collateral assignments have included (but are certainly not limited to) academic advising, accommodative services, assistant coaching, career counseling, counseling and wellness, Greek life, judicial affairs, and religious and spiritual life.
Additionally, Residence Directors can petition at any time to be funded for a professional development conference. As a relatively new department at Union College (With Residence Directors added to the department only 10 years ago) the Office of Residential Life is enthusiastic in their approach to obtain and implement best practices, and these practices are only acquired when members of the team seek new knowledge to be brought onto the campus. Annually, the Office of Residential Life fully funds national and local professional development conferences, and additionally sends staff members to specific seminars on a case by case basis.
These two features, along with a 360 degree method of professional evaluation and goal-setting, provide young professionals with incredible opportunities for development early in their professional career.
Submitted by Jared Zeidman, Residence Director, Davidson and Webster Hall at Union College