Competencies include a blend of what advisors know, do, and value. As you develop competencies, think not only about what you know, but also how this knowledge is translated into practice and expressed through habits, attitudes, and behavior. Advising dispositions (Perkins & Tishman, 1993) help support your approach to advising and include important qualities like empathy, openness, curiosity, creativity, inclusivity, flexibility, and interconnectedness (Claxton, & Carr, 2004) (Maiers, 2012) (Schwartz, 2015). At the heart of competency development is an orientation toward continuous learning. The following examples illustrate how the core competencies are expressed and developed in daily practice. 


Theory relevant to advising

In practice: 

Knowledge: Growth Mindset (Dweck)

Skill: Encourage self-regulation, Set high standards, Challenge and support

Disposition: Curiosity, Creativity, Risk, Initiative, Persistence





Knowledge of programs, policy, rules, regulations and resources

In practice:

Knowledge: Financial aid regulations and resources

Skills: Ability to apply satisfactory academic progress regulations required for financial aid eligibility, Referral strategies, Advocacy

Disposition: Interconnectedness, Accessibility,  Collaboration


Inclusive and culturally sensitive communication

In practice:

Knowledge: Pedersen Cultural Competency Model

Skill: Self-awareness

Disposition: Inclusivity, Openness, Flexibility



Use systems to track and evaluate student progress

In practice:

Knowledge: Ability to use Berkeley’s Student Information Systems

Skill: Evaluate progress, read and interpret degree audits, provide accurate information, collaborate and support progress

Disposition: Flexibility, Collaboration, Connectedness


The ability to reflect on one’s advising practice

In practice:

Knowledge: An understanding of the factors that contribute to burnout (Maslach)

Skill: Open communication

Disposition: Self-Awareness, Interconnectedness