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!


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

Lauren Teso-Warner


  • 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.


  • 1


    Apply Online

    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?
    Attend an Information Session

    In addition to applying online, you must attend one of the following information sessions.

    Information Session Location Date
    New Hall Community Center Tuesday, Jan. 15
    7-8 p.m.
    Neptune Central Northeast/Southeast Room Tuesday, Jan. 15
    7-8 p.m.
    Stevenson North Multipurpose Room Wednesday, Jan. 16
    7-8 p.m.
    Grant D Formal Room Wednesday, Jan. 16
    7-8 p.m.
    New Hall Community Center Thursday, Jan. 17
    7-8 p.m.
    Northern View Community Center Thursday, Jan. 17
    7-8 p.m.
    Stevenson North Multipurpose Room Monday, Jan. 21
    7-8 p.m.
    Neptune Central Northeast/Southeast Room Monday, Jan. 21
    7-8 p.m.
    Two References
    When you apply, you must also have two references submit a reference for you using the form that will be emailed to them after you fill out your application. If we don't receive responses from your two references by the due date, we may remove you from the selection process.
  • 2

    Applications Due

    January 31 at 11:59 p.m.

  • 3

    CA Candidate Interviews

    Session Date
    Location: Meet in the Stevenson North Main Lobby
    Session 1 Monday, Feb. 11,
    9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
    Session 2 Monday, Feb. 11,
    12 - 2 p.m.
    Session 3 Monday, Feb. 11,
    2:30 - 4:30 p.m.
    Session 4 Tuesday, Feb. 12,
    9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
    Session 5 Tuesday, Feb. 12,
    12 - 2 p.m.
    Session 6 Tuesday, Feb. 12,
    2:30 - 4:30 p.m.
    Session 7 Wednesday, Feb. 13,
    9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
    Session 8 Wednesday, Feb. 13,
    12 - 2 p.m.
    Session 9 Wednesday, Feb. 13,
    2:30 - 4:30 p.m.
    Session 10 Thursday, Feb. 14,
    9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
    Session 11 Thursday, Feb. 14,
    12 - 2 p.m.
    Session 12 Thursday, Feb. 14,
    2:30 - 4:30 p.m.

    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 three components to the CA 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 2.5 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.

  • 4

    Letters Sent to CA Candidates

    March 22

    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.

  • 5

    Position Acceptance Due

    March 25 at 4:30 p.m.

    If you're offered a community advisor position or alternate position, you must return your acceptance on this date, 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.

  • 6

    Complete Hiring Paperwork

    April 3

    CAs that have accepted their offers will meet on this date 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.

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