Professional Competency Areas for Student Affairs Educators

Supporting the Profession Professional Standards Division
January 1, 2015

In August 2015, the NASPA Board of Directors and the ACPA Governing Board approved the Professional Competency Areas for Student Affairs Educators to assist in the design of professional development curriculum with focused learning outcomes. This was an update to the competency document first published by NASPA and ACPA in 2010, which defined a set of competencies student affairs professionals could use to assess areas of future growth and learning.

The Professional Competency Areas are intended to define the broad professional knowledge, skills, and, in some cases, attitudes expected of student affairs professionals. All student affairs professionals are expected to be able to meet the foundational outcomes of each competency area, regardless of how they entered the profession. The intermediate and advanced levels of the competencies provide areas for continued growth and development of professionals in the field. The ACPA and NASPA Professional Competencies Rubrics Task Force has also developed a rubrics document to complement the update to the professional competencies. Student affairs professionals are encouraged to utilize the competencies in ways that may include but are not limited to:
• Developing a personal training and development plan
• Designing a training and development plan for supervisees or an entire student affairs division
• Developing position descriptions based on the professional competencies
• Using the professional competencies as a framework for annual evaluations
• Presenting student affairs awards for competency growth and/or excellence

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