professional competencies

Central to the substance and structure of our professional development initiatives are the
ACPA/NASPA Professional Competency Areas for Student Affairs Practitioners

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
Student Development & Learning
Personal Foundations

ACPA Members have access to a digital version of the ACPA/NASPA Professional Competency Areas by downloading it through the ACPA Member Portal. Click the link below to log in and navigate to the “Resources” tab.

This set of Professional Competency Areas is intended to define the broad professional knowledge, skills, and for some competencies, attitudes expected of student affairs professionals working in the U.S., regardless of their area of specialization or positional role within the field. All student affairs professionals should be able to demonstrate their ability to meet the basic list of outcomes under each competency area regardless of how they entered the profession. Thus, this document is intended to inform the design of professional development opportunities for student affairs professionals by providing outcomes that can be incorporated into the design of specific curriculum and training opportunities. Additionally, if student affairs professionals desire to grow in a particular competency area, they can examine expected learning and skills in the intermediate and advanced level. Such examination allows individual practitioners to use this document to help guide their own choices about professional development opportunities afforded to them. 

Additional Resources:

Resources from the first version of the Professional Competencies (2008) are still available: