Core Competencies for Student Affairs Professionals

The two major Student Affairs organizations NASPA (National
Association of Student Personnel Administrators) and ACPA (American College
Personnel Association) joined forces in 2010 to create a list of core
competencies which, they believed, all Student Affairs Professionals should
work towards.

These core competencies are divided into ten areas: Advising
and Helping; Assessment, Evaluation, and Research; Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion;
Ethical Professional Practice; History, Philosophy, and Values; Human and
Organizational Resources; Law, Policy, and Governance; Leadership; Personal
Foundations; and Student Learning and Development.

As stated within the introduction to these competencies, the
aim is not to just cross these different items off of the list as the
competency is met but rather different skills that should be incorporated into
the daily work of student affairs professionals. It is encouraged that student affairs
professionals complete a self-assessment and tailor their professional
development opportunities to try to reach these set out goals.

The competencies are tailored towards the Higher Education system within the United States, however, many of the skill areas are transferable to the Canadian system. These are not the be all end all in student affairs professional development, you can interpret these competencies in whatever way you think would work best for your practice.

Please take the time to review these competencies and look for
areas that you excel and areas of improvement! Share the document with your
colleagues and see if you can create professional development opportunities for
your team that can address the needs outlined.


ACPA College Student Educators International & NASPA Student Affairs Administrations in Higher Education. (2010). Professional competency areas for student affairs practitioners. Washington, DC: Authors.


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