Graduate Program

College Student Affairs

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2021

Thesis Director

Jon K. Coleman

Thesis Committee Member

Jody E. Stone

Thesis Committee Member

Roberta Y. Kingery


According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), there is a high value placed on college graduates who acquire skills that can be utilized to attain their professional goals (2015). On college campuses, the resident assistant (RA) role is one of the many opportunities the residence life department has that can help develop students and their career readiness (Peck, 2017). There is a lack of research looking at what transferable skills students in the resident assistant position acquire and then use in their careers post-graduation. This qualitative study utilized semi-structured interviews to explore what skills former RAs learned in the position that they now utilize. The research showed that the former RAs learned skills that are not only transferable to any job, but also competencies that they did not anticipate translating into their careers after college.