The application of ACPA/NASPA professional competencies within student affairs divisions: A qualitative study



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Professional competence is referred to as a set of pre-conditions, or the necessary knowledge and skills to meet the expectation of a specific profession. While graduate preparation programs can train professionals with a baseline of general skills and competencies, student affairs professionals enter the field with a variety of educational backgrounds and experiences. Whether or not these professionals exhibit competence can impact the operational and human resource management practices in the organization. In the area of student affairs, professionals have a significant impact on the operational management of their institutions; therefore it is essential to determine if professional competence has an influence upon organizational practices. Therefore, the primary purpose of this study is to explore the perceptions of student affairs professionals regarding the influence professional competencies have in their daily work in the field.
This qualitative study analyzed the phenomenological experiences of seasoned student affairs professionals in higher education, and determined how student affairs organizations utilize professional competencies in daily practice. Identifying and examining the practice of current student affairs professionals in regards to the operationalization of the national standards will provide a better understanding of current practice as well as inform the discipline of student affairs, contribute to institutional policies and call for a need for continued research.



Student affairs professional competencies