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Residential Colleges Graduate Student Worker

Residential Colleges

Primary Contact: Christina Robbins

Position Summary:

The graduate student worker is part of the residential colleges staff at Vanderbilt University.  The graduate student worker collaborates with faculty leaders and professional staff to develop and implement critical programs within Vanderbilt’s residential college system, including new student orientation, academic seminars, student leadership organizations, and large-scale community events, among others.  The graduate student worker has ample opportunity to advise undergraduate students, and will gain practical experience in public speaking, organizational skills, project management, event planning, and programming database management.  This position carries the working title of graduate assistant.

Time Commitment:

The position will begin in August 2020 and last for 9 months.  Continuation of the assistantship will depend upon satisfactory performance of your assigned duties and progress toward your degree. You will be expected to work 29.5 hours per week excluding university breaks. This will include some evening and weekend hours.

About the Work Unit:

The residential college system at Vanderbilt University is a key pillar of the Academic Strategic Plan and has been designed to complement the academic program of the University with the goal of enhancing the development of the whole student. In this strategic model, students interact with faculty outside the classroom and share in meaningful programs that encourage intellectual development, community building, personal well-being, self-discovery, and cultural awareness. Vanderbilt University began the residential college system with the opening of The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons in fall 2008.  The Ingram Commons houses all 1,600 first-year students in ten residential colleges, known as houses. The Ingram Commons is led by a dean, ten faculty heads of house, and several dedicated professional staff members. In 2014, the opening of Warren and Moore Colleges extended residential college opportunities to upper-division students, and in 2018, E. Bronson Ingram College became the third upper-division residential college. Each upper-division residential college houses approximately 335 students and is led by a faculty head of college. Vanderbilt University is deeply committed to expanding the residential college system to serve all undergraduate students. The next upper-division residential college, Nicholas S. Zeppos College, is scheduled to open in fall 2020.

Key Functions and Expected Performance:

  • Work with residential faculty and staff to develop and implement department-, house-, or college-specific events, focusing on the residential college system learning outcomes of intellect, community, personal well-being, self-discovery, and cultural awareness;
  • Assist professional staff in the development and facilitation of residential colleges-wide programs, including International Student Orientation, CommonVU Orientation, Transfer Student Orientation, Vanderbilt Visions, Fall for the Arts, the Commons Ball, Friendsgiving, end-of-year celebrations, and the residential colleges lecture series;
  • Promote residential colleges programs through the creation of content for print and social media;
  • Assist in advising the actions and development of several student organizations, including but not limited to VUcept, the house councils, and the college councils;
  • Research and benchmark current trends in higher education, including but not limited to residential colleges, new student orientation, extended orientation, the first-year experience, and experiential learning;
  • Demonstrate a willingness to support colleagues across the university in order to encourage the implementation or fulfillment of university goals and strategic priorities;
  • Other duties as assigned.

Supervisory Relationships:

This position reports administratively and functionally to the professional staff within residential colleges. A specific supervisor will be assigned prior to the position start date.

Education and Certifications:

  • Full-time enrollment in graduate degree program at Vanderbilt University is required.
  • Enrollment in the M.Ed. Higher Administration Education program in the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations at Peabody College is strongly preferred.

Experience and Skills:

  • Experience with programming, event planning or program management is necessary.
  • Ability to work Move-In weekend, all new student orientation events, and major opening events is necessary (August 17-30, 2020).
  • High level of attention to detail is necessary.
  • Experience working with faculty and/or with a residential college system is strongly preferred.


The graduate student worker will receive $14/hour for up to 29.5 hours per week.

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