Residential Counselor Application
Academy Dates: June 1 - 27, 2020
Application Deadline: February 8, 2020
The Commonwealth Honors Academy (CHA) is a challenging three-week academic enrichment program for outstanding high school students who have completed their junior year. Students will be selected from the Commonwealth and surrounding region. Upon successful completion of the Academy, students will
* receive six hours of honors-level university credit.
* have the opportunity to take six hours of tuition-free university courses at Murray State University during the subsequent year.
* be awarded a four-year, renewable $2,000 on-campus housing scholarship to attend Murray State University.
When and Where
The Academy will be held at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky from June 6 - 27, 2020. Residential counselors will report to campus on June 1 and will be required to participate in two planning workshops on April 24 - 25 and May 15 - 16 to exchange ideas and develop curriculum. After CHA, there will be a fall reunion for all students, faculty, and staff.
The Commonwealth Honors Academy seeks outstanding young adults who can work with Academy teachers, staff and students to complement classroom learning with supplemental activities designed to foster the development of community in the Academy. Residential counselors must be able to supervise 15-20 Academy students in a residential life setting, where they live on the same floor with those students. Residential counselors also have the primary responsibility for co-leading (with two faculty members) a personal and social growth seminar. Enthusiasm, confidence, and flexibility are necessary to provide leadership in this challenging, dynamic program. Applicants for the residential counselor (RC) positions should have at least junior status as of the end of the spring 2020 semester in a college/university; have experience as a residential advisor, camp counselor, and/or similar experience; have a 3.0 GPA; and be comfortable working with academically gifted students.
Conditions and Compensation
Time for faculty and residential counselors to work together to build community and integrate the theme "Growing into Ourselves" into every aspect of the Commonwealth Honors Academy is crucial for success. Therefore, residential counselors are required to participate in two planning workshops on April 24 - 25 and May 15 - 16, and will arrive on campus on June 1 to finalize plans and prepare for the Academy. Residential counselors will be on duty 24/7 each day and during the weekends, but will be off for one 20-hour period during each week of the three weeks of the Academy.
Each residential counselor is expected to
* provide supervision for students when they are not in class (evenings and weekends);
* co-lead a CHA seminar that meets three times a week for three weeks;
* assist in student orientation;
* work with the Student Life Dean, Counseling Director, and Activities Coordinator to ensure successful implementation of Academy programming;
* assist with field trips;
* serve as a resource person and referral agent for student health and counseling services;
* provide support and paraprofessional counseling to students concerning personal and social adjustment to residential life;
* ensure that the rules and regulations of the Academy are maintained outside the classroom;
* sponsor floor/hall/community activities for the individuals and the entire community to create a residential atmosphere designed to foster and achieve the Academy's goals;
* attend all staff meetings;
* perform other job-related tasks as designated by the CHA deans or Counseling Director.
Compensation for the four weeks is $2,150 and includes room and board.
The mission of the Commonwealth Honors Academy is to challenge, educate, enlighten, and nurture the next generation of civic, academic and business leaders of the region.
The theme of the 2020 Commonwealth Honors Academy, "Growing into Ourselves," will be integrated into the structure of the Academy in a variety of ways.
The Commonwealth Honors Academy is offered with the firm conviction that one of the greatest resources of this region is its academically talented young people. The Academy seeks to reward excellence, broaden horizons, and expand vision. Its academic program stresses the development of each student's critical thinking abilities, adaptability, creativity and self-confidence. In the Academy, teachers and students deal with the conceptual, historical, and philosophical tenets of human knowledge. Students have opportunities through independent effort to develop their personal and intellectual skills under expert supervision.
* All students are enrolled in an interdisciplinary humanities and fine arts course. This course develops the Academy's theme, drawing material from one of the traditional humanities (e.g., history, literature, philosophy) and one of the Fine and Performing Arts (e.g., music, visual arts, theatre).
* In addition, each Academy student is enrolled in an elective course; subjects will vary according to the faculty members hired. Students selected will be given a chance to indicate their preferences for the available electives, and the Academy will attempt to match students with their top preferences. Each elective course will address the theme of the Commonwealth Honors Academy from its own perspective and will include a service learning component.
Personal Growth Seminar
Each student participates in a seminar focused on issues related to personal and social development. In small group discussions, students explore topics relevant to their lives such as interpersonal communication, family and peer relationships, choosing a university, and the relationship of the program's theme to their own lives.
An Academy reunion will take place in September 2020 during Murray State's annual Family Weekend. Students, faculty and residential counselors are expected to return to the MSU campus to renew friendships, evaluate the Academy, and receive certificates of achievement during a ceremony honoring Academy graduates.
A rich, diverse range of recreational opportunities, cultural and artistic events, field experiences, and distinguished speakers and classroom guests will enhance the curriculum. Faculty members and residential counselors participate in enrichment activities with students.
Commonwealth Honors Academy students live in a residential college with separate quarters for men and women. Students learn about themselves and others as they experience what it means to become a community. They develop meaningful friendships, even in the few weeks they live and learn in the Academy.
Student Selection Process
All students applying for the Commonwealth Honors Academy should have approximately a 3.5 GPA (on a 4-point scale) and 25 Composite ACT (or the equivalent PSAT, SAT, or ACT-Aspire score). High school juniors throughout Kentucky as well as the Murray State University out-of-state service region are invited to apply.
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