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Housing and Residential Experience Graduate Area Coordinator

Office of Housing & Residential Experience, Dean of Students

Primary Contact: Traci Ray

Position Summary:

The Graduate Area Coordinator (GAC) is live-on graduate staff member and is part of the Office of Housing & Residential Experience in the Dean of Students division at Vanderbilt University.  The GAC reports to and serves as the primary support for the full-time Area Coordinator (AC) for one of Vanderbilt’s undergraduate residential communities and works closely with several key stakeholders including the Residential Experience professional staff team.  Primary responsibilities include shared supervision of student staff (Resident Advisers and Head Residents), facilitation of area Community Development Plan (CDP), student care and follow-up, and weekend crisis response.  This position requires flexibility, collaboration, commitment, and an ability to work independently as well as within a team.

Please note that due to the live-on requirement of the position, Graduate Area Coordinators may be placed in various types of spaces including a shared house with single rooms and shared common areas, a single occupancy space or a shared apartment.  Amenities vary depending on placement among other individual factors.

Time Commitment:

The position begins in August of each academic year and lasts for nine months.  Continuation of the assistantship will depend upon the satisfactory performance of your assigned duties and progress toward your degree. You will work up to 20 hours per week excluding university breaks and holidays.  This work will include weekly office hours, departmental /committee meetings, supervisor and staff one on ones, as well as programming on evenings and weekends.  The GAC is also required to attend relevant training sessions prior to the halls opening in August.  Additionally, the GAC is also required to submit requests for any additional employment to their supervisor for approval before acceptance.  Requests may include practicums and other jobs on and off-campus.  The purpose of this expectation is to avoid over-working any student.

About the Work Unit:

The Office of Housing and Residential Experience provides safe, secure, comfortable, accessible, and healthy housing for its residents.  Programming for residents builds engaged communities in which students’ social needs for belonging, friendship, recognition, respect and dignity are met.  These communities foster learning, personal development, academic achievement, and successful transitions for both new students and graduates.

About the Office of the Dean of Students

The Office of the Dean of Students serves a central role in student learning and development at Vanderbilt, advancing the University’s mission of teaching, research, and service by fostering academic and social networks through which students develop as intentional learners and global citizens.  The Office of the Dean of Students creates opportunities to involve students, faculty, and staff in diverse learning communities and provides a critical support structure for enriching the overall student experience.  We achieve these ends through strategic alignment, both internally and in concert with other university departments.  We care deeply.  We educate completely.  We lead with excellence.  Diversity, equity, inclusion, and mental health are top priorities for the institution and by extension the offices of the Dean of Students.  Our staff is committed to continued growth in knowledge, awareness, skills, and experience engaging with these priorities in a higher education environment.

Key Functions and Expected Performance:


  • The GAC will be responsible for the shared supervision of an RA staff.
  • Assist AC in the selection, training, and supervision of RA staff. These tasks include conducting developmental one-on-one meetings, co-leading weekly team meetings, assisting with training, and ongoing professional development initiatives, assisting RAs in the execution of the community development plan.
  • Provide clear expectations to all staff members, hold them accountable, assist in performance evaluations, and assist with hiring interviews.
  • Coordinate social activities, speakers, consultants, and supplemental materials to ensure professional development of their student staff.

Community Development Plan (CDP)

  • Assist AC in the creation and continual improvement of the CDP throughout the academic year.
  • Assist AC in the assessment of the effectiveness of the CDP.
  • Oversee primary components of the plan, assisting RA staff in the implementation and growth of all components among their residents, including community engagement activities and meaningful conversations.
  • Manage event submissions and evaluations on Anchor Link, and review the content and quantity of meaningful conversations on Roompact in conjunction with AC.
  • Encourage ongoing educational initiatives in the residential community, focusing especially on ensuring an inclusive community and promoting faculty engagement in collaboration with residential faculty, living-learning community faculty, and campus partners.

Crisis Management

  • Serve in on-call rotation among other GACs in weekend crisis response for students across campus. Break periods/holidays will be covered by professional staff.
  • Respond to crises in the corresponding residential community that require assistance during weekday business hours.
  • Educate oneself and demonstrate a knowledge of campus and community resources to best assist residents.
  • Provide reports and written documentation of interactions with residents.
  • Attend meetings in collaboration with Wellness and Student Accountability offices to provide and receive information about students of concern in your residential area.

Administrative and Departmental Duties

  • Assist the AC with administrative duties and operations of a residential community, such as check-in and check-outs of residents, room transfers, control of keys, and closing and opening of halls.
  • Assist the AC in maintaining budgets for a residential community.
  • Attend weekly Residential Experience staff meetings.
  • Serve on departmental committees of interest and collaborate with other staff members to improve areas of focus.
  • Assist in the recruitment, hiring, and training of new graduate staff members.
  • Participate in division-wide events as needed (Move-In Day, Rites of Spring, Diverse ‘Dores Day, MLK Day, etc.) to support colleagues and ensure these events run smoothly.
  • Demonstrate a willingness to support colleagues across the division to encourage the implementation or fulfillment of divisional goals and strategic priorities; other duties as assigned.

Supervisory Relationships:

This position reports administratively and functionally to an Area Coordinator for Residential Experience.

Education and Certifications:

  • Full-time enrollment in a graduate degree program at Vanderbilt University is required.
  • Doctoral students should seek permission from their program before applying.

Experience and Skills:

  • Ability to work independently as well as in collaboration with other is necessary.
  • High level of attention to detail is necessary.
  • Experience working with college student programming initiatives is necessary.
  • Ability to interact positively with a diverse student population, graduate staff members, professional staff members, and faculty members is necessary.
  • Comfortable taking the initiative on projects is necessary.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills are strongly preferred.
  • Leading and facilitating group discussions, training, and meetings are strongly preferred.
  • Knowledge of residential living-learning philosophy and community development initiatives are strongly preferred.
  • Experience in evaluation and assessment, program planning, and mentorship of students and student leaders is strongly preferred.
  • Dedication, creativity, flexibility, positivity, initiative, and independence are strongly preferred.


  • Campus housing accommodations and an annual stipend of $11,300 paid over the 9-month period.

NOTE:  It is required that you apply for financial aid and request that any available work-study funding be used towards these positions.