Core Competency Quick Review



An understanding of the conceptual and theoretical foundations of advising. An ability to develop inclusive and ethical practices consistent with program and population needs that promote learning, student development, progress and success. 

An understanding of: 

  • The history, purposes and goals of advising in higher education. 
  • Philosophy of advising. 
  • Theory relevant to advising. 
  • The practice (approaches and methods) of advising. 
  • The characteristics, needs, and experiences of major and emerging student populations. 
  • Student development theory and processes. 
  • Learning theory, approaches, styles and outcomes. Campus resources and programs that help integrate and expand learning. 
  • Ethics and boundaries. 
  • The ability to create and support equitable and inclusive environments.



Institution specific knowledge of academic disciplines, curriculum, programs, requirements, policy, rules, regulations, procedure, tools and resources. An understanding of the legal and ethical responsibilities of advising. An ability to form productive connections and coalitions with campus partners.

 An understanding of: 

  • Advising in an institution specific context: institutional history, mission, values, and culture. 
  • The structure and purposes of the curriculum, pedagogical practices, and desired learning outcomes. 
  • Effective use of advising tools: Transcripts, Degree Audit Reports, Note Taking Strategies, and Systems for Tracking and Evaluating Degree Progress and Performance. 
  • Privacy regulations as they pertain to student records. 
  • Legal and ethical dimensions of practice and reporting responsibilities. 
  • Establish pathways that support institutional connections with campus partners: faculty, admissions, financial aid, registrar, CE3, University health and mental health resources, multicultural development partners, learning and ability/disability services, services for international students and career services, etc.





The ability to employ the interpersonal skills needed to facilitate a student-centered, inclusive, and culturally sensitive advising relationship. The ability to reflect on and adapt one’s practice to improve rapport.

The ability to:

  • Create rapport through the use of core relational skills: listening, empathy, encouraging, constructive feedback, questioning, challenging, clarifying, empowering, recognizing, etc.  
  • Use questioning, critical reflection, and personal narrative to help students plan, set goals, make decisions, and personalize their educational experiences. 
  • Communicate in an inclusive, humble and culturally sensitive manner. 
  • Employ basic support/counseling skills and refer to professionals as needed. 
  • Intervene, confer, refer and advocate as necessary.






The ability to use student systems to effectively support student progress. An ability to employ new technologies to engage and inform students. An ability to use data from central systems to construct and improve service and for evidence based decision-making. 

The ability to: 

  • Effectively use student systems and new technologies to track progress, performance and progress. 
  • Use data from a variety of sources including central systems to understand student demographics and for evaluation, assessment, planning, and decision-making.



The ability to engage in regular analysis and self-assessment of the advising practice. 

  • The ability to self-manage and engage in ethical practice, develop self-awareness, and awareness of one’s biases. 
  • The ability to try various methods and approaches and regularly reflect on one’s practice as well as articulate a personal advising philosophy. 
  • The ability to seek and accept constructive feedback on practice from others (especially students) and use this to improve performance and inform on-going development.