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?