Resident Assistant Summer WISE Program

Date: 03/29/2012 Office/Department: Intercultural Center
Starting Wage: $250 Day Position-$500 Overnight Position Supervisor: WISE Coordinator
Openings: No Department Head: Intercultural Center Director

Whitman Institute for Summer Enrichment (WISE)

Program Dates: August 4th-7th, 2012


               WISE is a 3 day long pre-college program that aims to introduce local middle school students to college life in order to generate excitement about pursuing a college education.  Approximately twenty 7th and 8th graders who demonstrate academic promise are selected from the local Walla Walla community and surrounding areas to attend the program. Studies show that pre-college advising and intervention have a proportionally higher impact on students from families who are low-income or whose parents are not college educated and students from those groups are given priority in scholarship applications for WISE.

            The students participating in the program will be on-campus for three days and will stay in a Whitman dorm for two nights. During the day they will attend college-like classes as well as college prep workshops. There will be recreational activities in between these events and the students will also work on an art project with the RAs.  After the end of the program, we hope to follow WISE "graduates" and continue to support them in planning for college.

            The Resident Assistants play the crucial role of making a strong interpersonal connection between the students and the college.  The students can better contextualize the dreams towards higher education through their connections with their RAs.  Ultimately, RAs will be a resource, a friend, an authority figure, as well as a role model for the participants. There are two positions available: Overnight Assistant, which involves a commitment of approximately 50 hours and spending two nights in the dorm with the students, and Day Assistant which involves a commitment of approximately 25 hours and only daytime activities.


  • There will be a required short RA training within a few days before the program begins, outlining the goals of the program, the details of your role and responsibilities, and helping you understand the current struggles and concerns of first-generation, low-income pre-teens.
  • RAs will be with the students basically throughout the entire program, starting the morning of August 7th when RAs will be preparing for the arrival of the participants by creating door décor, setting up welcoming posters, moving their things into the building, and other various miscellaneous tasks. 
  • As the students check into the campus residence the RAs will stay in their respective sections, orienting parents and students to the buildings and the participant's rooms. 
  • Once the students are settled, the RAs will lead section meetings and conduct icebreakers, helping the students' transition into the program with a basic introduction to WISE. 
  • Throughout the program, RAs will have the vital role of completing various logistical tasks delegated to them like collecting and distributing residents' keys, helping oversee meals, etc. 
  • The RAs should plan to attend, participate in, and help with most all of the various classes, receptions, activities, and meals with the students. 
  • RAs also ensure that students follow basic guidelines like going to bed by 10 PM, staying with the group, being respectful of one another, and following the program schedule. 
  • RAs will work with students to complete an art project over the course of the three day program. 
  • At the closing dinner, the RAs present awards to each of their residents acknowledging their individual talents and characteristics. These awards are typically prepared the night before the dinner and are made from scratch using various art supplies like decorative paper, color pencils, glitter and markers. 
  • The RA role will be completed the evening of August 7th sometime after 7pm. RAs will say their good-byes to participants, pack up their things, carry out a final clean up of the residence hall and finally turn in their keys.  

For further information please contact the Program Coordinator, Sonja Aikens at 509.527.5596 (                                

WISE PROGRAM RESIDENT ASSISTANT APPLICATION - Please copy and paste the application information below into a Word document and submit along with your resume and references as indicated below.


NAME:                                                           PHONE: 

ADDRESS:                                                      EMAIL: 

GRADUATION  DATE:                                    BEST TIME TO CALL: 

Please briefly discuss any experience you have with the responsibilities listed on the application:


Please briefly discuss why you would like to work as a resident assistant for the WISE program.


Please briefly discuss any personal or professional experience you have working with middle school students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. 


*Please attach your current resume and a list of three references with contact information (phone/email).  Selected applicants will be called to schedule an interview.