Graduate Program

College Student Affairs

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Richard L. Roberts


Utilizing qualitative methodology, participants' perceptions were examined to better understand Resident Assistants' expectations of their role and how those relate to their motivations and demotivations to return to their position. Through conducting one-on-one semi-structured interviews with six Resident Assistants, it was found that community development, staff dynamic, and learned skills were perceived as motivations to return, while work/life balance, staff dynamic, and awareness of role were perceived as demotivations. It was also found that overstimulation during training, role conflict, need for personal/professional growth, need for purpose, and practicality of position were perceived expectations of the Resident Assistant role. Recommendations for Student Affairs Professionals were provided to gain insight into the Resident Assistant position through the lived experienced and first-hand perceptions of the participants; as well as to help increase motivations and decrease demotivations.