The Resident Assistant: Applications and Strategies for Working with College Students in Residence Halls

Author(s): Gregory Blimling, DENISE BAUMANN

Edition: 8

Copyright: 2019

Pages: 448


Details: Print Product |

The resident assistant (RA) is the foundation of every residence life program. These student-staff members face difficult challenges as they guide and support their peers through the college experience. The Resident Assistant, by Gregory Blimling and Denise Baumann, provides a comprehensive text for training RAs in the skills they need to engage their peers in the educational experience of residence halls, and to respond to the many issues group living presents. Each chapter includes review questions, case studies, and strategies for dealing with student life in college residence halls.

The Resident Assistant helps RAs develop knowledge and skills in areas such as:

  • Crisis intervention
  • Peer counseling
  • Confrontation and discipline
  • Programming
  • Multiculturalism

The following topics are UPDATED in the eighth edition to provide current data and information to RAs:

  • Mental health issues
  • Title IX and Sexual Misconduct
  • Living-learning programs
  • Sexual orientation

The Resident Assistant will prepare RAs to create learning opportunities for students and to respond to the challenges students face in residence halls as they mature, grow, and succeed in college.

About the Authors

Part I The History and Foundations of Residence Halls
CHAPTER 1 The History of Residence Halls

Roots in the British Collegiate System
Origins in the United States
Nineteenth-Century Disregard for Student Housing
Early Twentieth-Century American Residence Halls
Residence Halls After World War I
Residence Halls in the 1930s
Residence Halls During and After World War II
Residence Halls in the 1950s
Residence Halls in the 1960s
Residence Halls in the 1970s
Residence Halls in the 1980s
The Twenty-First Century
Case Studies and Applications
How It Was Then—How It Is Now

CHAPTER 2 The Roles and Responsibilities of the Resident Assistant
RA Educational Skills
The Roles of the RA
The RA as Student
The RA as Role Model
The RA as a Problem-Solver
The RA as a Conflict Mediator
The RA as a Campus Resource
The RA as a Trained Observer
The RA as a Community Builder
The RA as a Group Facilitator
The RA as Counselor
The RA as Administrator
Establishing Yourself With Your Residents
Interpersonal Relationships and the RA
What Is It Really Like?
Case Studies and Applications
Hall Soccer
What We Value
An Unlikely Match
Fourth Down and Long

CHAPTER 3 Resident Assistant Good Practices
Success Strategies
Good Practices Approach
Commitments of Good Practice for RAs
RA Self-Assessment
Case Studies and Applications
Sylvia and Irene Take a Break

CHAPTER 4 The Influence of Residence Halls on Students
Comparison Between Students Who Live in Residence Halls and Those Who Do Not
The Influence of Residence Hall Design
Ways That Residence Halls Influence Students
Methods of Advancing the Growth and Development of Students Living in Residence Halls
Case Studies and Applications
The Commuter and the Resident

CHAPTER 5 The Philosophy and Educational Mission of Residence Halls
Need for Good Money Management
Philosophies for Working With Students in Residence Halls
Goals for Residence Hall Programs
Learning Objectives
Case Studies and Applications
How Is He Doing?

CHAPTER 6 Living–Learning Programs
History of Living–Learning Programs
Types of Living–Learning Programs
Interest in Living–Learning Programs
The Influence of Living–Learning Programs on Social Climate
Case Studies and Applications
Peace Versus Power

PART II Understanding and Working with Students in Residence Halls
CHAPTER 7 The Social Dynamics of College Residence Halls

Person–Environment Interaction
Social Networks
Case Studies and Applications
The Cornfields of the Midwest

CHAPTER 8 The Growth and Development of College Students
Biological Development
Psychological Development During the College Years
Chickering’s Theory of Psychosocial Development in College Students
Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development
Moral Development in the College Years
Carol Gilligan’s Theory of Moral Development in Women
Cognitive Development
Perry’s Theory of Cognitive Development in College Students
Baxter Magolda’s Theory of Self-Authorship
Social Development in the College Years
Section A: Chickering’s Seven Vectors
Section B: Developmental Issues
Case Studies and Applications
Right Meets Left

CHAPTER 9 Adjustment Issues in College
The First Year
Forces of Attrition in the First Year
The Second and Third Years
The Fourth or Fifth Year
Case Studies and Applications
Crimes of the Heart
Student Problems: Old and New

CHAPTER 10 Race, Culture, Gender, and Sexual Orientation
Psychosocial Development and the Influence of Gender and Race
Establish an Accepting Peer Relationship
Gender and Sexism
Sexual Orientation
Case Studies and Applications
Cross-Cultural Miscommunication
Close Friends
The Case of the Gay Roommates

PART III Resident Assistant Skills
CHAPTER 11 Peer Counseling

Complaints About Counseling
An Overview of Helping Skills
Counseling Model
Helping a Student Seek Professional Counseling
Related Counseling Issues
Case Studies and Applications
Understanding Yourself
The Social Outsider

CHAPTER 12 Student Behavior Problems, Confrontation, and Discipline
Types of University Policies
Disciplinary Counseling Model
Goals of Disciplinary Counseling
Confrontation Skills
How to Confront an Intoxicated Person
Tips on Disciplinary Counseling
Case Studies and Applications
The Viking
Catch Me If You Can

CHAPTER 13 Mediation
Defining Conflict Situations
Management Model for Roommate Conflicts
Analyzing Conflict Situations
Case Studies and Applications
Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous
Why Me?

CHAPTER 14 Educational Programming
Goals of Programming
Traditional Programming Model
Wellness Programming Model
Engagement Programming Model
Residential Curriculum
How to Program
Case Studies and Applications
Trying to Get by in Programming
Program Problem Solver 2

CHAPTER 15 Community Development
Elements of a Community
Types of Communities
How to Establish a Community
Case Studies and Applications
The War Between the Corridors

CHAPTER 16 Time Management
Other-Imposed Time
Case Studies and Applications
Hurry, Scurry

CHAPTER 17 Study Skills
Preparing to Study
Basic Skills for Acquiring Information
The Studying Process
Test Taking
Academic Honesty and Dishonesty
Case Studies and Applications
A Two-Week Vacation

PART IV Contemporary Issues in Working With College Students
CHAPTER 18 Mental Health Issues and Suicide Intervention

Mental Health Issues
Causes of Suicide
Suicide Myths
Interviewing Potentially Suicidal Students
Making a Referral
Case Studies and Applications
All Alone
Quiet Desperation

CHAPTER 19 Sexual Misconduct and Other Crimes
Relationship or Partner Violence
Sexual Misconduct
Case Studies and Applications
Loving and Fighting
Without Permission

CHAPTER 20 Alcohol Misuse
Short-Term Effects of Alcohol
Influence of Alcohol on Behavior
Problems Associated With Alcohol Abuse
Causes of Alcohol Abuse in College
Identifying the Problem Drinker
Addressing Alcohol Problems
Low-Risk Drinking
Alcohol Education Programming
Case Studies and Applications
Let the Good Times Roll

CHAPTER 21 Drug Abuse
Drug Enforcement
Reference Section on Drugs
Educational Institutions and Drug Use
Drug Overdoses
Case Studies and Applications
Winning Through Fear and Intimidation

CHAPTER 22 Food Abuse
Anorexia Nervosa
Case Studies and Applications
You Can Never Be Too Thin

CHAPTER 23 Sexuality
Which Condoms Work Best?
Other STDs
Healthy Relationships
Case Studies and Applications
The Most Difficult Decision of Their Lives
Sexual Responsibility


Gregory Blimling

Dr. Gregory Blimling retired in 2016 as a professor in the Rutgers University Graduate School of Education where he taught college student affairs and higher education in the Department of Educational Psychology. Prior to retiring, he served for 43 years as a student affairs administrator and professor. He was Vice President for Student Affairs at Rutgers University for eight years and Vice Chancellor for Student Development at Appalachian State University in North Carolina for 14 years.

Before joining Appalachian as a vice chancellor and professor in the Department of Human Development and Psychological Counseling, Dr. Blimling served as Dean of Students at Louisiana State University—Baton Rouge and in other administrative roles earlier in his career. He received his PhD in Educational Policy and Leadership in Higher Education and College Student Personnel Work from Ohio State University. His master’s degree in College Student Personnel Administration and his bachelor’s degree in Sociology are from Indiana University.

Dr. Blimling is the author, co-author, or editor of seven books about college students and an extensive number of journal articles, academic papers, monographs, and other scholarly contributions in higher education and student affairs. His most recent book is Student Learning in College Residence Halls: What Works, What Doesn’t, and Why (Wiley/Jossey Bass, 2015). For nine years, he served as the Editor of the Journal of College Student Development, higher education’s leading academic journal about the psychosocial and cognitive development of college students. For six years, he was a Senior Scholar for College Student Educators International—ACPA, and for two years he co-chaired the national study group that wrote the Principles of Good Practice for Student Affairs. In 2004, Dr. Blimling was elected President of College Student Educators International—ACPA, one of two national professional associations for student affairs administrators and educators.

Dr. Blimling’s scholarship and administration of student affairs have been recognized by a number of national awards including the Contribution to Knowledge Award (ACPA), the Outstanding Contribution to Literature and Research Award (NASPA), the Dissertation of the Year Award (NASPA), and by a number of regional and state awards including the North Carolina Distinguished Scholar Award for student affairs, and the Southern Association of College Student Affairs Melvene Hardee Award for Outstanding Achievement in Student Personnel Work. He also has received awards for his scholarship and administration in student affairs from Ohio State University, Indiana University, Western Illinois University, and Bowling Green State University. In 2012, the Rutgers University Graduate School of Education awarded him the Distinguished
Leader in Education (Academia) Award for significant scholarly contributions and leadership in the field of education, their highest national award for academic accomplishment.

Blimling’s experience with residence halls started as a graduate student responsible for the men’s residence halls at Franklin College in Indiana. After completing his master’s, he went to Bowling Green State University as a residence hall director, then to Western Illinois University as the assistant director of residence life. For 22 years as a senior student affairs officer, Blimling was responsible for housing and residence life at Appalachian State University and at Rutgers University.


Dr. Denise Baumann is the Associate Director of Residence Life, Housing and Dining Services at Missouri State University. She has been in this role since 2004 and was the Assistant Director— Education and Development from 1998 to 2004. In her role, Dr. Baumann oversees all staffing, training, and conduct processes in the residence halls. In 2006, she created the Master of Education in Student Affairs in Higher Education program at Missouri State University—a program in which she has taught since the first cohort of students began taking classes in 2007. In addition, she has taught classes at the doctoral level in the Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis program at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and currently serves on dissertation committees.

Dr. Baumann previously held housing positions at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and the University of Northern Iowa. She received her EdD in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Missouri-Columbia and her master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Student Personnel Administration from James Madison University in Virginia. Her bachelor’s degree is in Political Science with an emphasis in Public Administration from Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Recently, Dr. Baumann co-authored a chapter entitled “Establishing and Building Community” in Conduct and Community: A Residence Life Practitioner’s Guide published by the Association of College and University Housing Officers—International (ACUHO–I). She has been a faculty member at the Regional Entry Level Institute at the University of Northern Iowa on three occasions. In addition, Dr. Baumann was the recipient of the Outstanding Exempt Staff Member Award in the Division of Student Affairs, the SUCCESSability Award (assisting students with disabilities), the Outstanding Affiliated Faculty Member Award in the Student Affairs in Higher Education Program, and the Division of Student Affairs Award for the promotion of Public Affairs (the mission of Missouri State University) for her work planning the Dungy Leadership Institute.

Dr. Baumann has held numerous conference committee positions. At the University of Northern Iowa, Dr. Baumann was the chair of the Resident Assistant (RA) Conference for two years and the program committee chair for two years. At the regional level, she was program committee chair for the annual Upper Midwest Region–Association of College and University Housing Officers conference and on the host committee for a year.

Related ISBN's: 9781524974626, 9781524985400




ISBN 9781524974626

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