In addition to adopting the NACA Competency Guide for Student Leaders, staff from Student Leadership & Civic Engagement, in conjunction with other staff from the Division of Student Affairs also developed competencies for student organizations. We believe these competencies provide an outline for the work we do with our students, and also provide an outline for our goals for the programs and efforts. The model, described in the following section, provides and overview of the competencies for student organizations, and is designed for students to utilize the objectives as they grow their student organization. Leadership Coaches utilize the model when working with student organizations.
The following competencies were identified in 2009 by the National Association of Campus Activities. SLCE, along with other offices within the Division of Student Affairs have adopted these competencies for student leaders as they participate in programs and serve as student leaders.
Student leaders involved in campus activities should make knowledge-based decisions in regard to resources allocated for the campus programs planned and implemented by their organization. Leaders should possess the ability to effectively evaluate programs as well as assess their campus and community culture. Program evaluations will assure the continued improvement of campus activities and comprehensive assessment will allow campus activities offerings to meet the community development needs of the entire campus.
Student leaders engaged in campus activities have a unique opportunity to learn and practice effective event management. Student leaders should strive toward understanding the appropriate steps and issues involved in event planning and management. Some of the most transferable skills are developed and honed in this area such as contract negotiation, program planning and event promotion.
Establishing meaningful interpersonal relationships are critical for successful leadership in campus activities. Student leaders often rely on committee volunteers to carry out the essential tasks related to providing programs and services. The work of campus activities is often supported by several on and off- campus constituencies. Professionalism, diplomacy and recognizing the support of others will enhance organizational effectiveness.
Collaboration involves seeking the involvement of others and working well with people. Student leaders should actively contribute to the achievement of a group goal. They would seek feedback from others and exhibit growth in their skills as a result of working collaboratively.
Student leaders must role model social responsibility at all times, but especially when representing the college/university. On and off campus behaviors should match the values of the organization and institution leaders represent.
Effective communication is a core competency needed by student leaders to ensure organizational achievement of goals. When communication is a focal point of student learning individuals will personally benefit and organizations will be run more efficiently.
Multicultural competency is developed through celebration of diverse cultures, advocacy for the needs and identities of all members within the community, recognition of the diverse communities within the campus community and beyond, education and awareness of the concerns of those diverse communities, and support of the ongoing inclusion, understanding and dignity of all members within and beyond the campus community. Being able to understand one's own identity, as well as recognizing the similarities and differences of others, will equip students to serve and lead as citizens in a global society.
The use of reflection and assessment measures to better understand one’s self promotes student learning. Realistic self-appraisal enhances what student leaders know about themselves, where work is needed, and areas of accomplishment that need to be celebrated. Student leaders can utilize this knowledge to effectively share their skills and competencies while seeking opportunities to enhance weaknesses.
Understanding personal and organizational values play a significant role in achieving effective leadership in Campus Activities. Clarified values offer the leader a compass to navigate through a variety of leadership situations and challenges. Student leaders and programmers should reflect and engage in the process of values clarification to enhance personal growth and organizational effectiveness.
Leadership involves a broad spectrum of skills and character qualities. Student leaders must understand that their role is to be a positive change agent, to influence others, and to create a vision. Leadership is a process rather than a position. Leadership is relationship-oriented and situational in nature.
Below are the student organization competencies identified as marking a successful organization, and one which also provides student leaders with skill development. The model prioritizes competencies for student leaders and organizations. These competencies are utilized within the Transition Assistant Program supporting student organizations and as an evaluation tool with Leadership Awards.