Become a Community Advisor

Community advisors (CAs) are student staff members who serve as a role model and mentor to residents in their community on campus. They work to encourage individual growth while promoting a safe, secure and welcoming community where students can have a positive living and learning experience.

CAs live on a floor in the residence halls, and they work under the direct supervision of a hall director and graduate hall director. Find out about becoming a CA for the upcoming year!

Online Application

If you have questions about becoming a community advisor, contact:

Charle Cherry


  • 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 Pillars
  • Create meaningful relationships with residents through one-on-one interactions
  • Assist residents during desk shifts
  • Enforce university policy and regulations as listed in the Residence Hall Handbook


  • Attend one of the information sessions.
  • Complete 24 credit hours by the end of the semester in which you are applying.
  • Have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA.
  • Have one semester of group living experience.
  • Be in good judicial standing with the university.
  • Continue enrollment as a full time student.

Frequently Asked Questions

A minimum cumulative NIU GPA of 2.5 at the time of application. If you do not have an NIU GPA at the time of application, you must submit an official transcript from your previous institution.

Your record must be free of current or pending violations within Housing and Residential Services and Student Conduct, including a clear status in regards to disciplinary probation.

First-semester CAs may hold no additional positions. All CAs should not hold outside positions during August training (two weeks before fall classes) and spring training (one week before spring classes). After the first semester, CAs may work up to five hours a week with supervisor approval.

Full-time student status means being enrolled in no less than 12 undergraduate or 9 graduate credit hours at the time of application. You must have at least 24 NIU credit hours by end of the semester you are applying in.

If you do not have an NIU GPA at the time of application, you will need to submit an official transcript from your previous institution.

You will get 10 nights away from your room each semester, or about one weekend per month.

You will have to attend staff meetings once a week, individual meetings with your supervisor weekly or bi-weekly, Community Council meetings as scheduled, and monthly in-service training sessions.

Being a CA in an LLC means that you collaborate with a house coordinator in order to provide programming specific to that community.

Yes, CAs in Northern View Community must meet the requirements for residents follow in order to live in Northern View: students must be at least 20 years old or two full years post high school graduation. Additionally, CA apartments are unfurnished, and CAs in Northern View are on duty more frequently than in the residence halls.


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    Resumé and Cover Letter


    You will be required to attach a resumé and cover letter to your online application. Please have those ready before you start.

    The resumé you provide should be similar in format to this sample higher education resumé from Career Services.

    Your cover letter should respond to some specific questions about the community advisor position.

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

    Two References

    Please identify two references (no family members) that can speak towards your work ethic and/or integrity. Be sure to provide valid email addresses. One of the references must be a NIU employee, preferably a Housing and Residential Services staff member (i.e. your CA, hall director, etc.) If we don't receive responses from your two references by the due date, we may remove you from the selection process.
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    Attend One Information Session

    Late January


    Community Advisors in your building will be holding information sessions on Jan. 18-22. Look out for posters with times and locations, or ask your CA when the next information session will be taking place.

    There will be last-chance information sessions held remotely via Microsoft Teams on Jan. 25 at 1 p.m. and Jan. 26 at 9 p.m. Sign up to attend one of these sessions.

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    Applications Due

    Monday, Feb. 1 at 11:59 p.m.

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    Once your application has been reviewed by the Selection Committee, all eligible candidates will participate in an interview process. During this time, you participate in interviews and activities where Housing and Residential Services 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. 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. There will also be a group process activity where your group must work together to solve a problem.

    There are two individual interviews lasting 30 minutes back-to-back.

    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.

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    Letters Sent to CA Candidates


    You will receive a letter which will outline an offer to a specific complex, an offer to be in the alternate pool or no offer.

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    Position Acceptance Due


    If you're offered a community advisor position or alternate position, you must return your acceptance, following the instructions outlined in the letter.

    Alternate Pool

    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 a great CA!

    "No Hire" Letter

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

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    Complete Hiring Paperwork


    CAs that have accepted their offers will meet to complete the paperwork necessary to become an employee at NIU.

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.

Contact Us

Housing and Residential Services
Neptune East 101
Additional Contact Info
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