RA Training

I expect a lot out of RA Training. I want my RAs to be ready to perform at a high level and that means they already know that basics. Getting to that point means that the RAs are engaged in their own training as much the professional/graduate staff is to provide them with opportunities to get the training that they need. These opportunities are easy to visualize for new staff members, but what about returners? One of the struggles that I have had as I plan staff trainings is what the returning RAs will get out of the training. I want it to be meaningful for them just as much as it is for a new RA.

One of the ways that I have tried to engage returning RAs in the past is through their own participation. We’ve asked returning RAs to help present training sessions in which they were strong. While this has been a good way to engage a small number of returners, the vast majority of them don’t have the same opportunities simply because we don’t have enough training sessions for everyone to present something.

One of the things that we’re trying to do for next fall is to include an entirely separate track for returners that will focus on what it means to be a returning RA. We’re still in the planning phase on that so it’s taking shape slowly, but I have high hopes.

We’re also hoping to go through and edit our pre-made sessions so that we can include multicultural competencies throughout the training. We also want to think about different learning styles that people have so we’re looking into looking through the session with Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory in mind.

Is there anything that you do for your staff training that helps engage returning staff members? What topics do you set aside as ‘more advanced’ and appropriate for your returning student staff? What do you do to engage student staff holistically through their training? Have you established standard competencies for your staff members?

2 thoughts on “RA Training”

  1. What we’ve decided to do is highlight a few training sessions that would be repetitious for our returning staff and are creating new sessions that would be concurrent.
    We had concerns about staff cohesion and decided that tweaking the schedule a little bit would allow us to appropriately address concerns that returning RAs weren’t getting anything out of training and that staff cohesion would suffer if the trainings were entirely separate.
    I can send you our schedule once it’s a little more finalized if you’d like.

  2. I’ve been looking for some suggestions for Returning RA training and stumbled upon your blog…any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated. Once I have my schedule organized I would be happy to send it your way as well.

    There are a few things that I currently do with returners but I am hoping to enhance the training even more. I always start my returner training with a sort of brainstorming/group work session getting them to think about how they felt as new RAs, what skills they, as returners, bring to the team and also what things they think they can learn from their new teammates. I also get them to think about how they are going to stay movtivated throughout training and throughout the year. Another session I do with them is a case study. I give them time during some of the other training sessions to work on it (can be done in groups if you have a lot of returners) and then they have to present to a panel of “judges” and there is a prize for the best score.

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