Residential Advisors

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Also known as:  Dormitory Counselor, House Parent, Residence Director, Residence Life Coordinator, Residential Advisor, Residential Director, Residential Life Director, Sorority Mother

ABOUT RESIDENTIAL ADVISOR CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
All people need someone to be there for them now and again. And "being there" is a good way to describe the role filled by residential counselors. The residence may be a psychiatric hospital, a half-way house, a group home, or a housing project. It may even be a prison or youth correctional facility ...
. In some cases the counselor may be required to live at the residence.

The people or clients who turn to residential counselors may have extreme infirmities or mental disorders, or may lack even the most basic social and life skills. They may even resent the fact that they need a counselor's help.

The job can sometimes be emotionally draining, but if you love people and sincerely want to help those in need, being a residential counselor can be very rewarding. Few professions offer the level of personal satisfaction that comes with knowing that you've helped someone deal with his or her problems and begin to lead a happier life.

Some post-high school training in social work, psychology, or the behavioral sciences is a minimum requirement. However, patience, compassion, and a genuine desire to help people are the essential requirements of a residential counselor.
SNAPSHOT Expand
Coordinate activities in residential facilities in secondary and college dormitories, group homes, or similar establishments. Order supplies and determine need for maintenance, repairs, and furnishings. May maintain household records and assign rooms. May assist residents with problem solving or refer them to counseling resources.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
HIGH
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Provide emergency first aid and summon medical assistance when necessary.
Administer, coordinate, or recommend disciplinary and corrective actions.
Confer with medical personnel to better understand the backgrounds and needs of individual residents.
Develop and coordinate educational programs for residents.
Hold regular meetings with each assigned unit.
Answer telephones, and route calls or deliver messages.
Communicate with other staff to resolve problems with individual students.
Counsel students in the handling of issues such as family, financial, and educational problems.
Develop program plans for individuals or assist in plan development.
Provide requested information on students' progress and the development of case plans.
Observe students to detect and report unusual behavior.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Therapy and Counseling Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Sociology and Anthropology Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Personnel and Human Resources Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Speech Recognition The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Written Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
TOP SKILLS Expand
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Negotiation Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
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