Information for Summer Residential Counselors

Yale Summer Session (YSS) offers courses for credit to a wide array of students including high school students, international students, Yale College students, non-Yale college students, and beyond college students. Programs managed by YSS include the English Language Institute, Freshmen Scholars at Yale, the Global Summer Program, and the Yale Writers’ Conference. Please visit our website, for more information on each individual program.

 Description: The Yale Summer Session Residential Counselor is responsible for advising and counseling approximately 25 students.  The counselor will normally be housed in a double room with another counselor to that of his or her counselees.  However, on occasion some counselors may be asked to occupy different rooms at different times during the summer.  Counselors work under close supervision of a Senior Counselor with whom they meet weekly for reporting and planning.


  1. Entryways:  Counselors are assigned groups of students usually residing in the same entryway as the counselor.  Prior to the move-in day, counselors post a calendar of days of the week in the bottom of the entryway so that posters advertising summer program regulations, emergency phone numbers, and daily events are available in one place for the counselees to see.  Counselors also create nametags for doors to facilitate an easy move-in day.  Each Sunday at the weekly counselor meeting, each counselor must collect the week’s posters and display them in the entryway.
  2. Rounds: Each counselor performs one week of rounds over the course of the summer.  Each morning Monday through Friday for the week, a pair of counselors will walk through the basements and all common areas and courtyards in the colleges.  Counselors must ensure all equipment, chairs, sofas, etc. are in place, and that there is no trash or general maintenance issues that must be addressed.  A report is filled out each day and then any issues are handled by the Assistant Master
  3. Buttery Duty: Counselors are assigned four nights for the summer in which they are responsible for working in the Buttery.  The Buttery manager assigns these nights.  Sunday the buttery is open from 10pm until 1am, and Monday through Thursday it is open from 9pm to 1am.  Two counselors in addition to one Buttery manager work together for an entire night.  This is a great way to meet the counselees and especially important once the high school students arrive since they are bound by curfew (and spend most of their late hours in the buttery).  Sunday night buttery workers are responsible for creating a poster to display the list of movies that will be playing in the buttery all week long, and they should bring this poster to the Sunday night meeting for the counselors to pick up.
  4. Lock-Out Duty: Counselors are assigned four nights for the summer in which they are responsible for lock-out duty in the (likely) event that a student becomes locked out of his or her room after the housing office is closed.  Counselors are required to stay in their room/common room for the duration of the night from 7pm to 8am.  Any students that are locked out during these hours will call to have you get another key/prox card from the housing office, and you must write down all information (Student’s name, key number) so that the housing office can keep record of key assignments.
  5. Shifts:  Any pre-assigned duties (rounds, buttery, and lock-out duty) may be exchanged with other counselors to arrange for a more compatible schedule.  For instance, if you have an exam or must report to your job early on July 1st, but June 30th you have buttery duty until 1am, you may switch with another counselor for another assignment as long as both counselors agree, and the switch is made at least one day in advance of the assigned duty (so that the Master is aware who is responsible for the respective shifts).  It is advisable that for the sake of scheduling purposes, counselors avoid frivolous shift changing.  If you ask for someone to trade a shift with you and no one responds or is able to help you out, YOU are still responsible for covering the shift yourself!  All counselors will complete one week of rounds, four buttery duties, and four lock-out duties over the course of the summer. 
  6. Committees:  Counselors will sign up for two groups at the beginning of the summer.  Committees include Study Breaks, IMs, Running Club, Dessert Club, Culture Committee, Community Service, and several others.  Of the two groups that counselors join, counselors are encouraged to take a leadership position in one (i.e. the “Contact Person”) to facilitate good communication and a working relationship with the entire group of counselors and with the Master.
  7. Trips:  Counselors sign up to lead trips for the summer, which include a range of activities from the beach to the mall, concerts, laser tag, bowling, ballgames, Broadway plays, and so much more.  Pairs of counselors lead each trip, which involves advertising, selling tickets at lunch and/or dinner, emailing the students who plan to participate in the trip with regard to transportation and times, and writing a report upon the conclusion of the trip to assess how each trip might be made smoother.  Additionally, each counselor will also lead one movie trip on an assigned Friday night with another counselor.
  8. Nights and Weekends Off:  Counselors are required to work eight of the ten weekends (from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening, to be back in time for the weekly Sunday night counselor meeting) over the course of the summer, which is assigned by the Activities Director based upon choices submitted by each counselor, move-in days (for which all counselors are required to participate) registration, and demand for particular weekends off.  Nights off will generally be assigned a few weeks into the summer once the first wave of students have settled in and the routine of counsellorship is established.  Nights off are a privilege which can be revoked at any time during the summer if it seems that the counselors are consistently attending to all other parts of their jobs faithfully. Nights off are available for counselors Monday through Thursday evenings upon request and availability and are scheduled by the Activities Director.  Each counselor will get one weeknight off each week, though it may not be your first choice.  If a night off conflicts with a previously scheduled trip/buttery shift/lock-out duty, arrangements must be made so that all shifts are covered.
  9. If it is not your night off, you are to report to the dining halls for dinner at 5:30 to ensure a counselor presence in the dining halls and to make yourselves available to the students if they need your help.  After dinner, counselors are expected to maintain a presence in common areas like the courtyards, libraries, common rooms, buttery, game rooms, etc.  This is crucial for when the high school students are on campus, because the presence of counselors helps keep order so that the students will avoid causing problems like noise, water balloons, breaking curfew, and general mischief. 
  10. Registration: Counselors that are not working registration are to help out with moving students into their dorms.  Counselors work with the housing committee to escort students to their rooms with their luggage and explain about their mandatory meetings, eating, facilities, etc.  At the end of the summer, counselors have to check out their students’ common rooms and suites to ensure that garbage is removed, furniture is intact, and collect the students’ keys and turn in to the housing committee.
  11. Meetings: There are generally two required meetings each week; one with the Master and Asst. Master and all of the counselors, held on Sunday evenings; and another held by the Senior Counselors dinner time with the counselors in your residential college.
  12. Keep in Mind: The counselors of Yale Summer Session make the summer a wonderful experience for the students on campus.  It is a demanding responsibility but it is also a fantastic way to spend your summer.  Yale Counselors work together as a team, so a great deal of cooperation and dedication is expected from each member.  This is your summer too, so the amount of hard work you put into it equates to the amount of fun you will experience as well!   

 Required Education and Experience: Any currently enrolled Yale sophomore, junior, senior, or graduate student in good academic standing or any Yale alumnus is eligible to apply.  The ideal candidate will have spent one or two years in a residential college. While no single formula can describe the sort of person who would make the most effective counselor, applicants should be mature students who enjoy working with others and who feel committed to the intellectual and social values of residential college life.  The job also requires resourcefulness, integrity, good judgment, and energy.  Previous counseling experience is a plus.

 Compensation: Each counselor is granted free tuition for one summer course credit ($3,600 non-transferable to another summer or institution) and a 21 meal-per-week room and board contract for the ten weeks of the program.  Counselor rooms are double rooms that are shared with another counselor.  Each counselor is also allowed two weekends away during the summer by pre-arrangement with the Summer Master.  No counselor may enroll in more than two summer course credits.  Counselors can undertake limited part-time employment if it does not conflict with their scheduled responsibilities.

 Additional Information: Counselors will be required to attend mandatory training sessions before the summer classes begin.  Counselors must be at Yale by 2:00 p.m., Friday, May 29, 2015, for the start of counselor training. This training cannot be missed, made up, or sacrificed due to conflicts with other programs’ commitments or training sessions.  Inability to make the training sessions will result in the forfeiture of the counselor position. Counselor duties continue through Saturday, August 8, 2015.  To be effective in their work, counselors should be familiar with the academic, dormitory, and dining hall regulations of Yale Summer Session.  The counselors are pledged to uphold these regulations and make sure that Summer Session students uphold them as well.  This obligation is especially strong with regard to monitoring the protection of personal and university property, the residents’ right to safety and quiet, and the legal control of alcohol and other drugs.

 Application - 2015 Summer Residential Counselor

(Application Deadline:  Friday, February 6, 2015 at 4:00 pm)