Cover Photo Image

The JMU Middle School Leadership Academy (MSLA) is a week long summer program for rising 7th and 8th graders from our partner  PIR Middle Schools to live and learn on a college campus.  Students nominated by their teachers and guidance counselors receive a personal invitation and Leadership Academy application packet.  Successful applicants are awarded a full academy scholarship covering room and board, transportation, field trips, and programming. 

MSLA balances learning sessions and academic enrichment with new experiences and fun activities. Taking full advantage of University facilities and resources, we explore science, art, technology, real-world decisions, recreation, social problem-solving, leadership, and teambuilding. 

Under the supervision of a program director and resident counselors, students are guided through activities designed to enhance their learning skills as they begin to reflect on how today's decisions affect tomorrow's choices. 

Dear Applicant,

Thank you for your interest in the 2016 Middle School Leadership Academy! The Leadership Academy is an intensive pre-collegiate, residential experience for middle school students. The program serves to enhance:

  • Overall academic skills
  • Increase motivation toward higher education
  • Promote personal success
  • Expand career awareness and knowledge of the world
  • Technology Literacy
  • Personal Wellness

We seek to accomplish these goals through classroom instruction, developmental workshops, leadership activities, tutoring, mentoring, and experiential learning trips. Emphasis will be placed on students with limited exposure to college, minority students, students who would be first generation college students, and/or students from low socio-economic backgrounds. The program will serve approximately 25-30 students.

All Resident Counselors must be available Monday, June 13 and Tuesday , June 14 2016 for training. 

MSLA program runs Sunday, June 19 – Saturday, June 25, 2016.
  •    GPA
  •    Review the program description and sign off.         
  •    Review the job description, responsibilities and expectations of the position and sign off.
  •    Complete the Application Questions. The answers must be typed (double space) and limited to a total of three pages.
  •    Distribute reference forms to one Academic and one Professional or Personal Reference.
  •    Must have a valid driver’s license.
  •    Deliver or Mail Completed Staff Application Packet together with Completed Reference Forms to the following

                 Mailing Address: 

            James Madison University Office of Access and Inclusion 

            ATTN: Bev Walker

            Burruss Hall 338, MSC 1108 

            800 S. Main St., Harrisonburg, VA 22807

  • No later than 4:00pm, Wednesday, April 20,, 2016
  • Late applications will be considered as alternates. 
  • Please be sure to provide your references with a copy of the responsibilities, expectations, and the program description. Applicants will be screened prior to an interview. Subsequent to screening, a select group of applicants will be invited for an interview.

         Job Descriptions 2016 Middle School Leadership Academy

         Resident Counselor

  • The goal of the Resident Counselor is to assist and support the development of participants: organizational, communication, problem solving, personal, social, and cultural, leadership, service learning, and adjustment/transition skills to meet the academic challenges of higher education. The Resident Counselor is also responsible for working within a team to monitor a wing or section in the residence hall. The Resident Counselor serves as a facilitator to partner with and guide participants through the daily program schedule while encouraging a cooperative and considerate group experience.
  • The successful candidate will possess strong interest and desire to partner with middle school students in grades 6-8 and serve as a positive role model/mentor. Enthusiasm, positive attitude, interpersonal and communication skills are necessary. The ability to encourage and motivate others is essential. Proven organizational skills and the ability to work in a fast paced environment with a variety of individuals and situations are key. Conflict resolution and mediation skills are a plus. The flexibility to work extensive hours (morning to night) is essential. Candidates should have at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average and agree to work the full duration of the program. Training dates are Monday, June 13 - Tuesday, June 14 2016.

** Travel will be expected upon acceptance of the position.

Resident Counselor Responsibilities  2016 Middle School Leadership Academy

  • The responsibilities of the Resident Counselor are to support the academic development of program participants, complete residence hall duties, perform administrative duties and serve as primary support for program participants. The following is a representative yet not all-inclusive list of Resident Counselor responsibilities:
  •  Maintain a professional attitude and persona (on and off campus) while employed as a University employee.
  •  Know and understand the philosophy of the Leadership Academy and be familiar with the resource material in the Leadership Academy Staff Manual.
  • Know and understand the rationale for University and Residence Hall policies and procedures, and interpret and enforce them effectively.
  • Provide students with an environment conducive to academic study, personal and social development as well as help students adjust to homesickness, their roommates, floor mates, residence hall and University community.
  • Follow directives and assist in maintaining order in emergency situations.
  • Attend all Staff Trainings. Participate in all trips and daily program activities with Leadership Academy participants. Advance notification to the Program Director is required if situations occur.
  • Be prompt, attend and participate in all program activities or meetings called by the Program Director and/or other Resident Counselor staff.
  • Develop a positive working relationship with Program Director and peer staff members.
  • Inform the Program Director of living unit situations (such as, but not limited to, incidents, needs,behavioral changes, safety concerns, and whereabouts of members) through individual consultations, unscheduled conversations, staff meetings and reports.
  • May be required to drive a state vehicle at various times.
  • Support and participate in the evaluation of residence hall staff personnel.
  •  Complete certain administrative tasks/duties and run errands as assigned by the Program Director. (For example: delivery and pick-up of items, transporting students, etc.)
  •  Maintain records concerning room inventory and damages in students’ rooms. Assist with student room check-in and room checkout procedures.
  •  Provide administrative support and assist with surveys or special projects as requested by the Program Director.
  •  Assist students with their personal and group concerns within limits of training and capability.
  •  Ensure that program participants adhere to all rules and regulations established by the university and program while on campus and in the residence hall. Make necessary and appropriate referrals.
  •  Share responsibility of morning or night duty and hall security. Resident Counselors are expected to be in the hall each morning and evening, available to meet student needs. Official duty guidelines are set at the discretion of the Program Director. Duty guidelines include: conducting duty rounds performing security checks, displaying professional behavior, etc.
  •  Submit any and all requests for time to the Program Director. Neither time away from the university nor opposite gender visitations are permitted during the program.
  •  Maintain a high level of ethical and professional standards. Counselors should always assist as designate in hall matters and situations with participants.
  •  Assist in additional responsibilities that occur concerning the daily schedule or hall functions, such as but not limited to, additional duties to respond to safety or scheduled event(s).
  •  Meet and develop rapport with each student on the floor as well as with other program participants.
  •  Hold daily meetings with their hall for general communication, sharing information, or generating enthusiasm.
  •  Facilitate programming as outlined by the program schedule, in cooperation with other Resident Counselors and program participants. Specific guidelines and directions concerning programming are arranged with the Program Director. The residential team is responsible for at least one program.
  •  Encourage and support students in their involvement in all program activities to include: classes, developmental sessions, recreation, community service, team building, study hours, and meals.
  •  Provide informational floor bulletin boards for academic information, social events, deadline dates,maintenance, policies, procedures, and safety.
  •  Work with the Program Director in supporting program participants.
  •  Return early to open the Residence Hall prior to the program opening and remain in the Residence Hall until all students have left after the program closing. Resident Counselor must participate in all opening, closing and inspection procedures, and may not leave until  dismissed by the Program Director.
  •  Have at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA.
  •  Reject additional employment or significant time commitments while serving on the residence hall staff.
  •  Enforce and personally follow job responsibilities, all University, residence hall, and state policies or laws.
  •  Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action or termination of employment.
  •  This is a 24-hour position, seven days per week; you may be called upon at various times throughout the day or night for assistance or coverage.

                                                  *Adapted from the Office of Residence Life at JMU, 2003

Additional Expectations include:

  • Promote and develop the participants’ self-esteem, self worth, and self-confidence with the coordinated academic, social and service activities.
  • Expand participants’ culture and collegiate awareness through exposure to successful role models, peer intervention and a series of related programs and experiences.
  • Motivate and encourage participants to be productive and contributing members of their respective communities through a series of service-learning activities.
  • Continuously challenge participants’ existing ideologies, philosophies and perceptions of the world while also providing them with the support as needed.

Resident Counselor Application

Resident Counselor Reference Form

Back to Top