Publication Date

5-2015

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Richard Rodman

Abstract

This paper addresses the need for a comprehensive Resident Assistant (RA) training program for RAs participating in a study abroad program that includes both pre-departure and on-site trainings. This approach will “support students throughout the study abroad experience, highlighting ways to transform experiences into academic, personal, and professional growth” (Peterson et al., 2011). The program described here will be implemented beginning with the Fall 2015 cohort of RAs from Harlaxton College. Harlaxton College is a residential study abroad site in Grantham, United Kingdom that hosts approximately 160 students from U.S. universities each semester. This training program seeks to provide necessary resources for RAs and aid in developing the skills they will need to be successful during their study abroad semester and beyond. If diligently overseen, residence life can be an ideal avenue for promoting student development. Likewise, RAs are an indispensable part of residence life. By improving the existing RA training program at Harlaxton College, these student leaders will be better able to influence positive development in their peers, themselves, and the study abroad program as a whole. Through the use of experiential learning techniques and customized training curriculum, participants will take part in a program that is designed to fit the needs of their position as well as the demanding schedule of a study abroad student. While the trainings will be facilitated by site staff, “he learner role in this partnership involves active engagement in learning or work [and] taking initiative and responsibility for one’s learning or actions” (Baxter Magolda, 2002, p. 8). The purpose of this paper is to produce a training program that can be utilized not only in education abroad or residence life settings, but by any organization which seeks to provide a comprehensive training regimen for participants who may be geographically separated from one another and their facilitators during the pre-departure phase.

Disciplines

Higher Education | International and Comparative Education

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