Theme Program Assistant, 2018-2019

The 2018-2019 TPA Application will go live late October. Stay tuned!

Please note that the job description below is reflective of the TPA position for the 2017-2018 academic year. Please check back periodically for the updated job description for the 2018-2019 academic school year.


Please read through the Job Descriptions before submitting your application below.

To learn more about each of the Theme Communities before applying, please visit


Please upload your resume and essay as a SINGLE PDF document.


The Mission of Residential Education is to create safe and inclusive living-learning communities that foster holistic education and global citizenship. Residential Education’s vision reflects a commitment to the intentional creation of effective and innovative programs aimed to empower students with the skills to become engaged campus and global citizens, and active agents of social change. The Resident Directors and the Live-In Student Staff will accomplish this mission through a combination of community building activities, student empowerment programs, and personal conversations.


The Theme Program Assistant (TPA) is responsible for developing and maintaining an atmosphere that promotes residential communities through excellence in academic integration and personal development opportunities for students.  As an employee of Residential and Housing Services, each RA will adhere to, administer, and enforce policies and procedures as outlined in the Residential Education Student Staff Manual, the Residential Code of Conduct, the UC Berkeley Campus Code of Conduct University of California Personnel Policies and Procedures, and the University of California Policies applying to Campus Activities, Organizations and Students.


The TPA's role is to connect with the members of the residential community, as directed by the Residential Curriculum (RC). The RC outlines the framework used by the residential staff that will engage students through one-on-one conversations, community meetings, and programs that target the needs of the community. The TPA serves as a resource to both residents and staff while upholding the goals and policies of Residential Student Service Programs (RSSP).  All responsibilities listed will be carried out under the supervision of the Resident Director (RD).


Ethics Statement:

As a representative of the University of California, Berkeley and a member of the Residential Education staff, the Theme Program Assistant is expected to respect personal integrity of all community members and assure they be treated in a manner that is fundamentally fair. Staff should refrain from engaging in any behaviors, attitudes, relationships, or actions that:

  • Would be considered harassment on the basis of gender, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, citizenship, age, and/or ability.

  • Would impinge on a resident's or another staff member's dignity, moral code, privacy, self‐worth, and academic, physical, psychological, and/or emotional well‐being.

  • Would seek unjustified personal gains, unfair advantage, unearned goods or services.


Essential Duties


Community Development (30%)

  • Be visible and available on the floor or building in order to understand the needs of the residential community and encourage the personal, social, and academic development of students.

  • Throughout the semester, conduct bear chats with residents, as required by the Residential Curriculum under the supervision of the Resident Director.

  • Support and encourage residents in the development and continued engagement in an effective Hall Association. This may include but is not limited to: recruitment of residents for hall association, promotion of election process, and attendance at some association meetings and events.

  • Provide academic, personal support and referrals and, demonstrate knowledge of campus resources.

  • Act as a mediator in conflict situations when needed (i.e. roommate, noise, etc.).

  • Work cooperatively with students in the living environment to reflect a community that displays respect for the rights and privacy of others and promotes consideration of individual needs.

  • Cultivate an inclusive environment in which the entire residence hall can interact and contribute to the living community.

  • Model ethical behavior through personal and academic pursuits and adhere to all residence hall policies.

  • Demonstrate appreciation of differences and assist students in developing an understanding of diverse backgrounds, cultures, and lifestyles.  

  • Respect and treat all individuals fairly and equitably by being open and understanding of all religious identities, abilities, sexual orientation, gender expression, cultural & ethnic identities, and citizenship status.


Orientation & Welcome Responsibilities (10%)

  • Participation in the preparation for and implementation of opening of the halls prior to Golden Bear Orientation during Fall and Spring Semester which may include, but is not limited to: inspection of resident rooms and inventories, administrative, programmatic, logistical, and physical preparation of floors/suites, hall/area, and unit.

  • Facilitate welcome meetings and strategies both during and following Golden Bear Orientation to assist students in connecting to resources in residence and across campus

  • During move-in and Golden Bear Orientation, work in partnership with Orientation Mentors Leaders to ensure that students are engaged and connected to all GBO programs and events.

  • Identify any students in need of additional support and resources during GBO and work with supervisor (RD) and the GBO staff to help connect the students.

  • Foster a sense of belonging and connection to the UC Berkeley community as students transition to campus and throughout the academic year.


Residential Curriculum & Theme Program Implementation  (30%)

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the Residential Curriculum learning goals and outcomes.

  • Implement community strategies as directed by the Residential Curriculum and the Resident Director. Examples of theses strategies include but are not limited to: Community Meetings, Bear Chats, Floor Fun Activities, Community Activities and Bulletin Boards.

  • Support, promote, and attend Unit, System-wide, and Campus Strategies as required by the Residential Curriculum under the supervision of the Resident Director.  

  • Participate in the Community Assessment conversations with the RD and CLA to analyze community trends and incorporate strategies that reflect the needs and experiences of the residential community.

  • Complete all program assessment tools as directed by both the RCI and the RD for the purpose of tracking and assessing all strategies

  • Support strategies organized by the Residence Hall Assembly (RHA) and Hall Association and under the advisement of the CLAs and RD.

  • Support and promote strategies offered by the Resident Faculty, the Academic & Leadership Coordinators, and the Academic Center Staff.

  • Participate in the development of strategies that celebrate the essence of the Theme Program and provides an opportunity for identity development and exploration.

  • Plan Theme Program Orientation and Retreats (Fall and Spring) in collaboration with RD and campus partner(s)

  • Demonstrate an ability to engage all residents whether they are part of the theme community.

  • Support and promote signature events held by the theme program, campus partners, and or Resident Director.

  • Collaborate with Theme Program partners, the ALC for Community and Inclusion, and Resident Director, to develop and facilitate the implementation of an annual seminar, or choosing a class that fits the needs of the program all while monitoring residents attendance.


Administrative & Risk Management Responsibilities (25%)

  • Follow all emergency procedures as outlined by the Hall Staff Manual and directed by Resident Director.

  • Confront and respond to student behavior that is inappropriate and/or is in violation of campus policies and procedures (i.e. behavior that endangers the health and safety of residents).

  • Following the situation(s), document incident(s) within 12 hours of an incident while following all protocols and procedures. Demonstrate sound judgement in reporting urgent situations in a timely and appropriate manner.

  • Perform regularly scheduled duty shifts:

  • TPAs are on night duty an average of 5-6 weeknights per month and 2-3 weekend nights per month

  • Hall Staff must provide coverage during some academic and administrative holidays, including, but not limited to, Thanksgiving, Winter and Spring Break.

  • Night duty begins at 5:00 p.m. and ends the following day at 8:00 am.

  • Duty includes, but is not limited to, performing community walks twice a night, addressing policy violations, responding to emergencies, providing coverage at the security monitor desk when necessary, and providing security monitor breaks in a timely manner.

  • Disseminate and communicate all announcements and policies as directed by the Resident Director on behalf of RSSP and UC Berkeley to the residential community.

  • Complete administrative tasks in a timely and efficient manner.

  • Attend regular one-on-one meeting with the Resident Director (RD)

  • Meet with Theme Program partners and ALC for Community and Inclusion as directed in support of the theme program.

  • Ensure that the RD is informed and updated on all aspects of your work as an TPA.  This entails being in phone and/or email contact and meeting regularly with the RD to share job-related information, give/receive constructive feedback, and develop job-related skills.

  • Attend and actively participate in fall and spring student staff training sessions, and all scheduled in-service trainings.

  • TPAs should be available every Tuesday from 7-9pm for weekly hall staff/unit meetings.

  • Participate in all individual, staff, group and theme program evaluation processes.


Additional Duties (5%)

  • Participate in hall staff selection process (i.e., panel and group interviews).

  • Assist with and be present for the implementation of Cal Day as directed.

  • Additional Duties as assigned to meet the evolving needs of the Residential Community




  • Undergraduate or graduate student possessing a minimum 2.300 cumulative GPA and good standing with the University at the start of position and throughout the period of employment. Please note that GPA does not round up, any GPA below a 2.300 (2.299 or below) will make you ineligible for this position.

  • Full-time academic status (12-13 units per semester) during period of employment.



  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills

  • Ability to facilitate community among individuals

  • Understanding or willingness to learn about the principles of an inclusive, socially-just community

  • Meets residency requirements and demonstrates academic interest in the subject matter of the theme program.

  • Preferred minimum of one year residence in a college or university residence hall, or a similar group living experience such as a Greek house, co-op, or theme program prior to term of employment.


Terms of Employment

  • Abide by all Housing and Residential Policies as outlined by the Residential and Campus Code of Conduct. Failure to abide by these policies  may result personnel action up to and including dismissal.

  • All new Theme Program Assistants must enroll in a one-unit EDUC98/198 course during the Spring 2017 semester. Employment is contingent on the Theme Program Assistant receiving a grade of “P” in the course.

  • Maintain the required 2.300 minimum G.P.A. throughout the term of employment.  TPAs must submit a copy of an official grade report to Residential Education. Spring 2017 grade report must be submitted by July 1, 2017 while the Fall 2017 grade report must be submitted within the first week of classes of the Spring 2018 semester in order to ensure compliance with the academic requirements of the position.

  • Maintain full-time academic status (12-13 units per semester) throughout the term of employment. Exceptions must have prior approval of the Resident Director and Assistant Director.

  • The period of employment for this live-in position commences with the start of student staff training on Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017 and concludes Sunday, May 13, 2018 with the closing of the residence halls.

  • Active participation in Fall Training (beginning Wednesday, August 2nd), Spring Training (beginning Monday, January 8, 2018) and ongoing system-wide and area staff in-service training programs is mandatory for all student staff.

  • TPAs are expected to work during some evenings, weekends and holidays. This includes providing the hall coverage during some vacation and holiday periods (which may include Thanksgiving and Spring Break, among others). A commitment of approximately 19 hours/week is expected (some weeks may be more, whereas others may be less, depending on time of year, events, issues in the hall, etc.), which includes but is not limited to, engaging with residents, required meetings, duty coverage, program implementation and attendance, being visible and available to residents, and addressing the specific needs of the community.

  • Assist with and be present for the implementation of CAL Day and Hall Association Executive Events.

  • All extended hall absences (more than 24 hours) must be arranged in advance with the RD.  Absences will not be approved the first and last two weeks of each semester.

  • TPAs are restricted to no more than fifteen hours of outside commitments (i.e. running for ASUC, club participation, additional employment, both on and off campus). Exceptions must be discussed and approved in advance by the RD.

  • Continued employment is contingent upon a satisfactory job performance evaluation by the supervisor. Satisfactory job performance evaluation is defined as meeting expectations as defined by the job evaluation in all areas of the job description.

  • TPA positions are for the academic year. Candidates who wish to continue during the subsequent summer or academic year must apply through the designated process.

  • Theme Program Assistants who display psychological behavior which raises concerns about fitness for the position may be required to complete an assessment of fitness and ability in order to continue in the position.



  • The TPA will receive a room and board during the period of employment as compensation.

  • Living arrangements may range from a single room to a shared apartment space, depending on the departmental need.

  • Theme Program Assistants will receive the Ultimate Meal Plan. Unused points after the vacancy of the position will not be transferred to the student.

  • Theme Program Assistants will receive additional paid compensation for theme program responsibilities.



  • Theme Program Assistants are expected to model ethical behavior for all residence hall policies and procedures. Failure to demonstrate ethical behavior may result in personnel action up to and including dismissal.

  • Maintain positive working relationships with fellow hall staff, Residential Education staff, as well as Residential and Student Service Programs staff members.

  • Maintain appropriate behavior on social media when engaging with residents and colleagues and act in the capacity of your position

  • Report maintenance problems in a timely fashion in order to maintain the physical condition of the residence halls.  Provide immediate follow-up on reported problems.

  • Do not duplicate or loan keys to unauthorized persons.  Master keys are to be kept in their designated, secure location at all times when not in use and are not to leave the building or area without authorization.

  • Be responsible with special staff privileges (i.e. use of office, phones, keys, office equipment, etc.).

  • Maintain confidentiality and objectivity in all matters related to students and staff.

  • Perform other duties as assigned by the RD and the administrative staff of Residential and Student Service Programs.


Background Check Requirement

This position is subject to a criminal background check. This position meets the following background check criteria:

  • Possession of building master or sub-master key access to residences and certain other facilities.

  • Works in a safe and responsible manner while not putting self or others at risk.  This includes complying with applicable policies and regulations; using personal safety gear; observing warning signs; learning about potential hazards; and reporting unsafe conditions.


Nondiscrimination Policy Statement for University of California

The University of California, in accordance with applicable Federal and State law and University policy, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer related or genetic characteristics), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or service in the uniformed services.  The University also prohibits sexual harassment.  This nondiscrimination policy covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs and activities.  Inquiries regarding the University's student-related nondiscrimination policies may be directed as follows: Sex discrimination and access: ADA/504 Compliance Office, (510) 643-5116 (voice or TTY/TDD); age discrimination: Age Discrimination Act Coordinator, (510) 642-8471.  Other inquiries may be directed to the Academic Compliance Officer, 200 California Hall #1500, (510) 642-2795.


*/IIPP Requirements/*

Provides health and safety training, guidance on safe work practices, provides proper equipment, observes work practices and correct methods, and investigates accidents. Works in a safe and responsible manner while not putting self or others at risk. This includes complying with applicable policies and regulations; using personal safety gear; observing warning signs; learning about potential hazards; and reporting unsafe conditions.


Please note: Prior residency in a theme program is not a requirement for a TPA position.


After you have read the job description, please fill out the application for the corresponding theme program. If you would like to apply as a TPA for more than one theme program, you must submit an application for each Theme Community you would like to be considered for.


If you are interested in being considered for the RA position please indicate that on your TPA application. You are not required to complete a separate RA application.


As for the CLA position, you must fill out that application separately which can be accessed here.


See below for links to each of the Theme Program Applications. Priority Deadline for the TPA Application was December 4th, 2016.


Native American Theme Program (NATP)

African American Theme Program (AATP)

Asian Pacific American Theme House (APATH)

Unity Theme Program (Unity)

Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE)

Global Environmental Theme Program (GETH)

Casa Magdalena Mora Theme Program (Casa)

Before you apply, you may want to prepare the following document:


Please upload as a SINGLE PDF document:

(1) a resume, no more than two pages, that lists your paid and unpaid leadership experiences. For each experience, please list your title, the location, the length of time, and most importantly, the duties you performed.

(2) Answers to the following 3 questions, in no more than 3 pages:

a. Considering your understanding of the TPA position, what are strengths you would bring to the position? What aspects of the position would you find challenging? Why?

b. What are some reasons students choose to live in this Theme Program? What are some of the specific needs and goals of the students who will live in this theme program, and how can you, as the TPA, help assist students in meeting those?

c. Community development is an integral portion of the TPA’s responsibilities. How will you help a community form within this theme program and what vision do you have for the formation of this community?


Please contact with any questions.


Disclaimer: Please note the above may be subject to change. All applicants will sign Job Agreement upon hiring.