Become a Resident Assistant (RA)

Become a Resident Assistant (RA)

RA Application

Resident Assistant Program Description Summary

The Resident Assistant (RA) works in a residence hall or apartment setting under the direct supervision of a professional live-in staff member (Coordinator/Assistant Coordinator). The role of the RA is to work with other residence hall staff to facilitate an environment within the residence hall community that promotes the educational experience of residential living. The RA articulates to residents the philosophy and policies of the Office of Residence Life, Student Affairs, and the Penn State community, and represents the needs of students to the administration. The following are basic expectations of an RA. Specific responsibilities and expectations vary slightly among residential areas/campuses. It is your responsibility to become familiar with the Student Code of Conduct, the Housing Terms and Conditions, and the Residence Life Resident Assistant Manual. Duties, responsibilities, and qualifications include but are not limited to those listed below:

  • Promote and encourage developing a meaningful community experience
  • Promote and encourage the academic experience
  • Serve as a visible campus leader, employee and representative of the Office of Residence Life and Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
  • Be a resource for students
  • Understand, enforce, and communicate regulations/policies
  • Uphold safety and security within our community
  • Attend and actively engage in Residence Life focused meetings and trainings as scheduled
  • Assume on-call responsibilities as scheduled and in times of need during an emergency
  • Live in residence each night throughout the year during housing contract period, unless an overnight absence is approved
  • Limit outside activities to avoid conflict with residence hall responsibilities
  • As a designated Campus Security Authority (CSA), uphold the Clery Act and Title IX guidelines


  • Enrolled as a current Behrend student in good standing at the time of application
  • Complete at least one academic year as a full-time student at Behrend by the start of appointment
  • Possess and maintain full-time student status (12 credit hours) throughout the recruitment and appointment period
  • Possess 24 earned credit hours upon completion of the Spring 2018 semester
  • Possess and maintain a minimum 2.50 semester and cumulative GPA through the recruitment and appointment period
  • Maintain good standing with Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, throughout the recruitment and appointment period (Note: A past violation of policy or the law may result in a candidate being removed from the process)
  • Intend to live on campus for the entire 2018-2019 academic year
  • Receive an invite to register for HI ED 302, a three credit pre-appointment course
  • Must earn at least a B- to be considered for placement

Note: RAs must restrict off/on campus employment to 10 hours a week (with prior permission from their direct supervisor). Staff members should discuss and have prior approval by their direct supervisor for commitments outside of academics and the RA role. In addition, RAs may not hold the following on campus positions:

  • SGA President
  • SGA Treasurer
  • Beacon Editor-in-Chief
  • LEB Executive Director
  • LEB Behrend After Dark Committee Head

Consider attending an informal interest session (dates, times, locations are coming soon)!

Breakdown of the RA application/placement process

  1. Submit application (which will include two references)
  2. Receive an invitation to interview.
  3. Sign up for in person Interview.
  4. Interview
  5. If offered a place, sign up for the RA Class for Spring 2018 (HI ED 302 – The Role of the Resident Assistant: Theory and Practice)
  6. Offers to be an RA in the Fall of 2018 will be made upon successful completion of the RA Class and consideration of department needs. (Successful completion of the class does not guarantee placement as an RA. Candidate may be placed on a waiting list.)

Timeline and Important Dates

  • The application process is currently closed.
  • Applications are typically accepted in late September.
  • Interviews typically take place in early October.
  • Notifications of acceptance usually occur in late October.

Application Location

Applications will be available through BehrendSync.

For a full program description, contact Jill Forsman Fox at or call 814-898-6111.

NOTE: If you are transferring to Penn State Behrend and are currently an RA at another location of Penn State, please email us with your contact information and intent.