Shana Meyer, Regional Director
September 30, 2019
In a few short weeks, members of the NASPA IV-W Region will gather in Fargo, North Dakota to think critically about the future and how student affairs professionals can help students to succeed.
The roles Student Affairs professionals provide on campuses across the region, nation, and world, are imperative to our students’ success. We help students feel safe, create environments in which they can succeed, measure outcomes, assess, and plan strategically to continually improve campus life and the student experience. Student affairs professionals build community, practice inclusivity, counsel and advise, partner and improve lives. We ensure compliance; serve as risk managers, web managers, and social media experts; and we report incidents, adjudicate, and help students to learn from their positive and not-so-positive experiences. The scope and breadth of our work spans across the collegiate and student spectrum.
That’s why professional development is so important. Higher education is facing unprecedented transformation, with both opportunities and challenges. Increased scrutiny in the shadow of mounting tuition rates, calls for accountability from legislators, and growing demand from employers for work-force development have shifted the narrative of higher education in recent years. In an ever-changing field, professional development ensures our staff members continue to be up-to-date on best practices, skills, tactics, legal issues, compliance, opportunities, and more.
The NASPA / ACPA Professional Competencies outline the 10 professional competency areas for student affairs professionals. Continued education, training, and information gathering are imperative to ensure our professionals have the essential knowledge, skills, and dispositions expected of all student affairs educators to help our students succeed. The professional competencies are expected components of conference sessions and are as follows:
It’s important to note that the outcomes associated with each competency will continue to evolve as the scope of our work grows over time. Professional development is necessary to simply maintain proficiency within a competency, as well as to grow our skillsets. In an ever-changing field, ongoing education helps us to understand our students, their lives, and how we can best assist in their navigation of the college experience.
I’d like to invite you to continue your professional learning through these conversations with us in Fargo, North Dakota, October 28-30. Our conference theme is “Forward Thinking, Forward Leaning,” and educational sessions will contribute to our knowledge of core professional competencies. We’d love to think and learn alongside you with our friends to the north.
Until next time,
NASPA IV-W Regional Director
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