Be a Resident Assistant

As a member of the Office of Residence Life, Resident Assistants (RAs) have the opportunity to shine while they work cooperatively with residents, faculty, administration and other staff members. Resident Assistants develop essential educational skills for the future while building community, relationships and connections with students and the Western Colorado University campus.

We strive to hire the best applicants to build positive living communities in our halls that support the academic mission of the University and enhance student success inside and outside the classroom. As a Resident Assistant, you can be part of this exciting venture! You will undoubtedly have the opportunity to make a real positive difference in the lives of residents while helping them make the most of their experiences at Western.

For more information about the RA application and selection process, please contact Joel Kaskinen at

Please read all the information on this page prior to accessing the online application.

Who are we looking for?

Successful Resident Assistant applicants are students who demonstrate the following:

  • Active and visionary leadership.
  • A commitment to working with students to ensure respectful and considerate living environments.
  • An interest in helping other students and learning effective skills for listening, interventions, and emergencies.
  • An interest in diversity issues and a commitment to making our communities inclusive and welcoming to all.
  • A desire to plan and implement educational programs and build a strong, involved community.
  • A commitment to teamwork and being an integral part of a staff.
  • An interest in building on and improving communication, interpersonal, confrontation, and mediation skills.
  • A desire to make a difference and leave their mark on students’ lives and Western.
  • An ability to be self-motivated, detail-oriented, and academically successful.
  • A willingness to grow, learn and mature while working collaboratively with the Office of Residence Life.
  • An interest in the position beyond the perks and the paycheck.

What are the qualifications?

Resident Assistant applicants should consider the following minimum requirements before applying:

  • Full-time student at Western Colorado University by being enrolled in at least twelve (12) credit hours at the time employment begins. Resident Assistants cannot be enrolled in more than eighteen (18) credit hours per semester.
  • At least in your second year of college at the time employment begins.
  • A 2.50 cumulative grade point average (GPA) at the time of application. You must maintain a 2.50 cumulative GPA throughout employment.
  • Have lived on a college campus for at least one (1) semester at the time employment begins.
  • Current or previous student conduct sanctions will be taken into consideration and may be a basis for not being eligible for the position.
  • All applicants must attend an informational session to be considered eligible for the position.

What is a Resident Assistant required to do?

Resident Assistants are responsible for all aspects of their area by providing leadership to students, building community on their floor, and serving as a mentor and resource to all residents. An RA is assigned to each floor of every on-campus residence hall and apartment building.

Resident Assistant Selection Timeline

Dec. 9: RA application opens
Jan. 27 at 5 p.m.: RA application closes

Information sessions:

  • Dec. 11 at 5 p.m. in the UC Board Room
  • Dec. 12 at 1 p.m. in the Coffee Lab
  • Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Mears Lobby
  • Jan. 22 at 6 p.m. in the Ute Lounge
  • Jan. 23 at 1 p.m. in the Pinnacles Lobby
  • Jan. 24 (makeup) at 5 p.m. in the Coffee Lab

Feb. 5 and 6: Group interviews
Feb. 10-14 and 17-21: Individual interviews
Feb. 28: Decision emails sent
March 2 at 5 p.m.: Deadline to accept or decline offer

The Application Process​

Step 1: Informational Session

Informational sessions give applicants an insight into what the Resident Assistant position looks like from the perspective of current Resident Assistants. Informational sessions are also an opportunity to ask both current Resident Assistants and Residence Life professional staff any questions you may have regarding the selection process or the job itself.

All first-time applicants are required to attend one of the four informational sessions that are offered during the selection process. The schedule of informational sessions will be posted here.

Step 2: The Application

Please read all of the information provided before beginning your application.

Apply to be a Resident Assistant online through Western’s work-study platform, Handshake. However, please note that there are certain requirements that you may want to prepare before beginning your application. There will be places in the application form to upload required documents.

  • Resume: Part of the application process includes submitting your resume.
  • Applicant Essay: Part of the application process includes submitting your responses to the following questions in essay format:
    • First-Time Applicant Questions
  1. Tell us about yourself. Why are you applying to be a Resident Assistant?
  2. How does your understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion influence how you interact with others?
  3. What do you see as the role of an RA as an educator in the residence halls?
  4. What do you hope to gain from being a Resident Assistant?  How does this role align with your long term goals?
  5. Please rank the student population/building you prefer to work with in the coming year, and tell us why. Your response to this question is meant to help us as we develop the team; it does not guarantee that you will be placed with a specific building or population.
  • Returning RA Applicant Questions
  1. Why do you want to return to the Resident Assistant role?
  2. How will you maintain motivation and seek continued growth and development as a returning RA?
  3. How does your understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion influence how you interact with others?
  4. What do you see as the role of a Resident Assistant as an educator in the residence halls?
  5. Excluding programming, what would you do to build relationships with residents and staff members within the first six weeks of the school year?
  6. Please rank the student population/building you prefer to work with in the coming year, and tell us why? Your response to this question is meant to help us as we develop the team; it does not guarantee that you will be placed with a specific building or population.
  • References: As part of the application, you are required to submit two references. These references will be asked to fill out an online reference form that will be emailed to them after your application has been submitted. It is suggested that you contact these references prior to submitting your application. References can be any one of the following:
    • Current/former professor
    • Academic advisor
    • Current/former employer
    • Coach
    • Club advisor
    • Religious leader

​​Please do not submit family members, friends or peers as references (this includes RAs). Think of who would be the best people to showcase your special talents. At least one of your references needs to be directly connected to Western Colorado University (e.g., professor, coach, staff, alumni).

Step 3: Group Interview

The group interview consists of forming groups and doing a variety of activities and exercises. The purpose of the group interview is to see how you work with others, especially in a team setting. The group interview is more casual, so please feel free to wear anything that is comfortable and presentable.

Step 4: Individual Interview

After submitting your application, you will receive an email from Residence Life, confirming that we have received your application. If you meet the minimum qualifications, you will receive an email with a link to sign up for your individual interview time. An individual interview takes approximately 45 minutes.

The individual interview is formal, which means dressing business casual. This includes, but is not limited to, a dress shirt, tie, slacks, skirt, dress shoes, blazer, etc. Please do not wear jeans or sweatpants to your individual interview.