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Community Advisor Application


Community Advisors (CAs) and Community Development Assistants (CDAs) are student staff members who live on a floor in the residence halls and work under the direct supervision of a Hall Director or Graduate Hall Director. It is the job of the CA and CDA to encourage individual growth while promoting a safe, secure, and welcoming community where students can have a positive living and learning experience.

Have questions? Look over some frequently asked questions about Community Advisors and Community Development Assistants.

If you have questions about becoming a Community Advisor or Community Development Assistant, contact:

Lauren Teso


  • Assist residents with personal and academic concerns
  • Encourage the development of mature behavior among residents
  • Maintain an atmosphere conducive to academic excellence
  • Coordinate programs and events that address the academic and personal needs of residents, using the Residential Curriculum model
  • Enforce University policy and regulations as listed in the Residence Hall Handbook



  • 1

    Applications Available Online

    Starting November 30, 2015

    Apply Online (Starting 11/30)

    Apply Online

    Resumé & Cover Letter

    You will be required to attach a resumé and cover letter at the end of the online application. Before you begin your application, please prepare a cover letter that responds to the following questions.

    • If you are applying for the CA Position:
      • If you were hired as a Community Advisor, how would you develop community with your residents?
      • What experiences have you had with conflict resolution?
      • How do you currently manage your time?
      • How do you see the CA position fit in with your current academics and involvements?
    • If you are applying for the CDA Position:
      • What types of issues do you think would be different at Northern View Community than in the residence halls?
      • What experiences have you had with conflict resolution?
      • How do you currently manage your time?
      • How do you see the CA position fit in with your current academics and involvements?

    As you are putting together your cover letter and resumé, make sure that you highlight experiences that demonstrate your qualifications. Your cover letter and resumé should summarize all of your relevant experiences and express your enthusiasm and interest in the position. Also, make sure you include the following, if possible:

    • Skills you have obtained from your current or previous work experience
    • How you are involved with the NIU community (student organizations, Residence Hall Association, Hall Council, Student Conduct Board, etc.)
    • Experience in working with current Community Advisors to plan programs for your community
    • How you define and create community
    • Examples of how you work as part of a team and are a team player

    Visit the Career Services for more help with writing a great cover letter and resumé.


    Two references due February 1, 2016 at 4:00 p.m.

    Download Reference Form

    During the application, you will also be given the opportunity to provide references. Two references are required. This will allow staff to have access to your completed candidate file. If you are still waiting on references at the time that you complete your online application, you or your reference may submit a completed reference form to the Housing & Dining office. If this form is not received by February 1, 2016 at 4:00 p.m., you may be removed from the selection process. Submit completed reference forms to:

    Tam Klavenga
    Housing & Dining
    145 Neptune East
    Northern Illinois University
    DeKalb, IL 60115

    Living-Learning Communities

    While applying to be a CA, we will also ask you if you are interested in applying for a position in a Living-Learning Community, like the Business Careers House, Honors House, Transfer House, or Green Living Community, among others. Learn about other Living-Learning Communities in the residence halls.

  • 2

    Attend an Information Session


    In order to become a CA, all prospective candidates must attend one of the following mandatory information sessions.

    • January 19, 7:00 p.m. (Northern View Community) Info Session NVC
    • January 20, 7:00 p.m. (New Hall) Info Session 1
    • January 21, 7:00 p.m. (Neptune NE/SE) Info Session 2
    • January 25, 7:00 p.m. (Stevenson MPR) Info Session 3
    • January 26, 7:00 p.m. (Grant D Formal) Info Session 4
    • January 28, 7:00 p.m. (Stevenson MPR) Info Session 5
  • 3

    Applications Due

    January 30 at Midnight

  • 4

    CA Candidate Social

    February 11, 2016 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

    New Hall Small Swing Space Room

    The CA social is a wonderful opportunity to meet fellow CA Candidates, current CA and hall staff. During the social CA Candidates are encouraged to browse around and learn about the five different residence halls and what makes each one unique. The CA Candidate social is not mandatory, but highly encouraged!

  • 5

    CA Candidate Interviews

    February 16 – 18

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016
    3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

    Wednesday, February 17, 2016
    3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

    Thursday, February 18, 2016
    3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
    7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

    Once your application has been reviewed by the Selection Committee, you will take part in an interview process. During this time you participate in interviews and activities where Housing & Dining staff members will assess your ability to interact with others and discuss your skills and abilities to determine if the CA position will be a good fit for you. During this process it is important to make sure you are being your true self. You can stand out by letting your personality come through while being interactive with other participants. Be the real you!

    Interview Process

    You will interview with current staff to talk about leadership experiences and job responsibilities. This will also be a group process activity where your group must work together to solve a problem.

    There are three components to the CA/CDA interview process. There are two individual interviews lasting 30 minutes and a group process interview that lasts 30 minutes. After all three components are finished there is a 10 to 15 minute wrap up session at the end. You can expect the overall process to take somewhere between 2 and 2½ hours.

    Appropriate Attire

    This is a formal interview process, so you will want to dress professionally in no less than business casual, meaning no jeans or sweats. Khakis or dress pants are preferred.

  • 6

    Letters Out to CA Candidates

    April 4, 2016

    Letters are projected to go out on this date. This letter will outline an offer to a specific complex, an offer to be in the alternate pool, or no offer.

  • 7

    Position Acceptance Due

    April 11, 2016

    If you are offered a Community Advisor/Community Development Assistant position or alternate position, you must return your acceptance on this date, following the instructions outlined in the letter.

    Alternate Pool/No Hires

    Being placed in the alternate pool means that you are eligible for positions that may open up over the summer or throughout the school year. Many candidates are picked up from the alternate pool and go on to become great CA/CDAs!

    A "no hire" letter means that you are not eligible for the CA/CDA position for the coming school year. Check out our additional employment opportunities for ways to continue your student leadership experience.

  • 8

    Complete Hiring Paperwork

    April 22, 2016

    CAs and CDAs that have accepted their offers will meet on this date to complete the paperwork necessary to become an employee of the university.

The CA recruitment process is fluid and subject to change throughout the process. If such changes are warranted, we will inform all candidates in advance so that they have enough time to prepare/adjust their schedules/commitments.

Housing & Dining
101 Neptune East
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115
Phone: (815) 753-1525

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