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Employment Opportunities

Resident Assistant


Being a Resident Assistant helps you build real-world skills of planning, assessment, administration, counseling, conflict resolution, crisis management, facilities management, staff development, leadership training, public speaking, and many other valuable skills.

You have the opportunity to make life-long friendships with residents and fellow staff. Take full advantage of your college experience - become an RA!


The Summer 2024 and 2024-2025 Resident Assistant applications will be open March 1-15


Returning RAs

March 25-April 4

New Applicants

April 6

Make-Up Interviews

April 4-11


April 12

Offers sent via email

April 19

Accept/decline offer deadline



Contact Natalie Smith: natalie.smith@wku.edu 

The Resident Assistant (RA) is a unique, live-in, student leadership position in the Department of Housing and Residence Life and is an important member of the Residence Life team.

The primary responsibility of the RA is to help residents have a positive residence hall experience at Western Kentucky University.

Generally, the RA is an undergraduate student who works with a group of 25-60 residents and has numerous leadership roles including peer ally, teacher, community builder, programmer, resource informant, role model, and authority figure.


A Resident Assistant is a...



  • Developing and applying effective time management strategies

  • Seeking supervision to monitor personal growth and development in order to maintain a balance between multiple life roles

  • Applying what is learned through training to the position

  • Working to learn, grow, and develop as a Resident Assistant and as a person

  • Employing study skill strategies that assist in keeping a respectable grade point average

  • Helping others by sharing the knowledge and information gained as a Resident Assistant and as a student


Team Player

  • Dedicated to practicing personal and academic integrity

  • Serving as a positive, supportive role model to residents and to other team members

  • Committed to participating in departmental training

  • Dedicated to communicating to other team members about successes and issues within the floor/hall community

  • Committed to serving as a positive liaison between residents, housekeeping personnel, and the residence life staff


Community Builder

  • Creating spaces where residents feel supported and accepted

  • Engaging residents in opportunities for:

    • Modeling basic principles of citizenship

    • Leadership development

    • Community service and volunteerism

    • Social and academic activities designed to promote personal growth and a life of excellence

  • Creating, coordinating, and implementing programs, activities, and outings to aid residents in realizing their academic and social goals. 


Peer Ally

  • Modeling behaviors in keeping with departmental and university policies, values, and goals

  • Establishing communication with residents living in the floor community

  • Building and maintaining relationships with residents living in the floor community

  • Operating as a source of information for departmental, campus, and community resources

  • Operating as a peer advisory while utilizing departmental, campus, and community resources

  • Operating as a peer counselor while utilizing departmental, campus, and community resources

  • Mentoring residents to help them reach their academic and social goals


Supporter of Diversity 

  • Creating an environment that is welcoming and comfortable for all floor residents

  • Celebrating diversity in all its forms in the floor community

  • Addressing issues of intolerance and hate by engaging residents in activities that broaden existing perspectives



  • Providing residents with general information about the department, the university, events occurring on campus, and available resources and services

  • Partnering with residents, other hall RAs, and professional staff to support the academic mission of the department and the university

  • Assisting residents to develop healthy and appropriate academic behaviors

  • Developing intentional educational programming to support the academic mission of the department and the university

  • Encouraging residents to become learners for life and to develop relationships with faculty members outside of the classroom



  • Creating and executing active, passive, spontaneous events and activities to assist residents in meeting their needs, interests, and concerns


  • The RA compensation package includes an hourly wage rate of $9.00 an hour at which the RA is paid 20 hours every week. 

  • The RA compensation package includes a full housing scholarship and private room at no extra cost. RAs are rarely allowed roommates due to the sensitive nature of their position. At times when occupancy exceeds capacity, the Department of Housing and Residence Life may assign RA roommates on a temporary or permanent basis.

  • RAs are provided with many opportunities for leadership, interpersonal, communication, and conflict mediation skill development, networking, and work experiences applicable to many career fields.

The following qualifications must be met to become a Resident Assistant at Western Kentucky University:

  1. RAs must be currently enrolled, full-time students as defined by Western Kentucky University. 

  2. RAs must have at least one semester participating in residence hall living.

  3. RAs must be at least a second semester student at the time of employment.

  4. RAs must possess a desire to work with individuals and groups in a residential setting.

  5. RAs must be in good academic, financial, and disciplinary standing with the University and the Department.

  6. Under extremely rare circumstances, the Associate Director for Housing and Residence Life or their designee may approve exceptions to the above qualifications


Students must have a current FAFSA on file before beginning work for Housing & Residence Life.

Complete the FAFSA


Students can apply for a Resident Assistant position through Handshake, WKU's career management platform. Learn More


Summer 2024 Resident Assistant Application

Will be available on Handshake March 1

2024-2025 Resident Assistant Application

Will be available on Handshake March 1


If you have questions about the RA position or the RA application, please contact Natalie Smith: natalie.smith@wku.edu 

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 Last Modified 2/29/24