Professional Development and Student Affairs and Services

One of the great benefits of the student affairs and services (SAS) field is that people from a wide variety of backgrounds engage in the work of supporting student success. From being a residence don to an active member in student government to working as a counsellor or academic skills tutor in another educational context, the diverse perspectives we bring to our work strengthens our ability to best support students. But with many paths into the field, it can be difficult to know what knowledge, skills and attitudes are necessary to effectively work with students and other colleagues.

Tricia Seifert and Malcolm Billing wrote an article in the November 2010 issue of Communiqué detailing the process by which an Introduction to Student Services graduate class at OISE, University of Toronto identified core competencies for student affairs and services work within the Canadian context. The article also discussed the process by which the students in the class used the competencies as a framework for developing Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-phased (SMART) professional development goals.

Tricia, Malcolm and Ramya Uthayakumar recently presented these competencies and thoughts on their use for framing a professional development plan at the annual Canadian Association of College and University Student Services (CACUSS) conference held at Ryerson University.

If you are interested in the presentation materials, they are available under the “Related Research” tag at the top of the page. The conference powerpoint discusses the competencies and how Ramya (a new professional) and Malcolm (a mid-career manager) used the competencies to write SMART professional development goals associated with where they are in their career.

Also under the “Related Research” tag is a worksheet that can be used to develop your own professional development plan based on the competencies framework.

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