The conceptual core competency area includes knowledge of the theoretical foundations of advising, advising approaches and methods, and an ability to develop inclusive and ethical practices consistent with program and population needs that promote learning, student development, and progress.

An understanding of:

The history and purposes of advising in higher education.

For example, improved transition, retention, performance, persistence and completion, etc. Awareness of national and global trends in higher education (UW-Madison, 2013). The  ability to leverage the advising position to support student success based on campus objectives (improve time to degree and completion rates, etc.) (Folsom, Yoder & Joslin, 2013).

The philosophy of advising.

Includes an understanding of the major philosophical foundations of advising and the ability to apply theory to practice.

Theory relevant to advising.

An understanding of foundational theories of student development and multiple dimensions of identity,(e.g., Chickering (psycho-social), Perry (cognitive), Astin (involvement), Tinto (retention), Kohlberg (moral), and others).

Learning theory, approaches, outcomes and campus resources that support and promote deep learning.

An understanding of key learning theories, models, and frameworks and how people learn (Bloom’s Taxonomy); relevant paradigms and theories (e.g., discovery based (Piaget, Bruner and Papert), problem-based and student-centered pedagogy, social learning, grit (Duckworth), experiential, multimodality, multiple intelligences (Gardner), and the importance of engaging students in high impact learning opportunities and strategies (Kuh)). Familiarity with how college affects students (Pascarella & Terenzini). An understanding that there are multiple strategies for structuring and engaging in learning (and learning style differences) and that both cognitive and non-cognitive factors impact performance (Dweck, Walton, Cohen, 2014).

Familiarity with faculty developed learning outcomes for relevant disciplines, academic programs, courses and general education (UW-Madison, 2013).

Familiarity with campus resources that support learning and offer special (i.e., experiential, research, global, common, etc.) learning platforms; Student Learning Center, Disabled Student’s Program, Study Abroad Programs, Berkeley Connect, Office of Undergraduate Research and Research Apprentice Program, Haas Scholars Program, Campus Internships, and Service Learning, Public Service Center, Cal in the Capital, etc. The ability to describe the benefits of involvement with high impact programs (Kuh) and to encourage active participation in special learning activities that support individual goals and interests.

Familiarity with Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education Learning and Developmental Outcomes (e.g., knowledge acquisition, cognitive complexity, Intrapersonal development, interpersonal competence, humanitarianism and civic engagement, practical competence).

The practice (approaches and methods) of advising.

An understanding of the practice and methods of advising – as on a continuum (Wilcox, 2016), from prescriptive and intrusive (passive forms) to counseling and mentoring (active forms) (e.g., strengths based, appreciative, developmental, hermeneutic, etc.).  An ability to apply the right method(s) at the right time in the right situation based on student need and to blend and synthesize methods as needed (prescriptive + dialog based + counseling in the same interaction) (Wilcox, 2016).

The characteristics, needs, and experiences of major and emerging student populations.

The ability to balance knowledge of population characteristics (first generation, low income, historically underrepresented, transfer students, veterans, disability/ability, LGBTQQ, high achievers, STEM students etc.) with approaches that acknowledge students as individuals with unique traits, abilities, circumstances, and goals, and to employ strategies for supporting their unique needs (Folsom, Yoder & Joslin, 2013).

Ethics and boundaries.

Includes an understanding of the ethical dimensions of advising (e.g., the importance of choice and fairness, conflict of interest, neutrality, accuracy, confidentiality, bias, and the responsibilities associated with and consequences of misadvising) (Buck, Moore, Schwartz & Supon, 2001) and dedication to applying and upholding University policy and or referring requests for exception to approrpriate decision-making bodies as needed.  An understanding of the importance of maintaining basic interpersonal boundaries, for example, beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy, justice, fidelity (Corey, 1996).

The ability to create equitable and inclusive environments. (Please also see Equity and Inclusion Self-Assessment for Advisors, University of California, Berkeley – Susan Hagstrom, Omar Ramirez, Yeri Caeser-Kaptoech and Amy Scharf).

A commitment to equitable treatment of all students through knowledge (for example of people, palce and custom) skills (for example, listening and observing) and attitude (for example, cultural humility and flexibility). A commitment to creating an inclusive climate, development and practice of cultural competence (awareness, knowledge, skills) (Pedersen, 2002) and the accessibility of educational activities, resources and opportunities for all students.

The ability to recognize, appreciate and encourage expression of students’ multiple, intersecting identities and perspectives.(APCA & NASPA, p. 30-32).

Critical awareness of self (bias) and others (nationality, race, social class and socioeconomic status, gender, ethnicity, religion, ability/disability, sexual orientation, etc.). Awareness of self in social contexts and social systems (awareness of the effects of oppression, privilege, and power) (ACPA & NASPA, 2009 p. 30-32).

An understanding of the unique talents, strengths, and experiences (cultural wealth) diverse students bring to their college environment (Yasso) and a commitment to helping bridge and leverage these within the established institutional and organizational culture.

An understanding of how race, ethnicity, gender and multiple and intersecting identities can impact academic performance, such as stereotype threat (Steele), insensitivities/mirco-aggressions (Sue), imposter syndrome (Clance and Imes), etc.

An understanding of and commitment to employing strategies that promote retention (Tinto), engagement (Kuh), persistence (Duckworth, Dweck), transition (Schlossberg), social justice practices (advocacy) and completion.

The ability to employ strategies that honor and leverage differences to creat more welcoming environments to enhance and personalize the advising experience (awareness of biases, norms, cultural assumptions, interpersonal and group dynamics, power differentials, etc.). Ability to create safe and welcoming spaces for risk taking, authentic exchange, and that promote mutual trust and respect (ACPA & NASPA, 2009 p. 30-32).

Ability to help students navigate institutional hierarchies and self-advocate as needed (Trujillo as quoted by Wilcox, 2015).

Ability to advocate for individuals and groups, reduce and minimize barriers to success (Tinto, 1975), and foster safe and inclusive communities.

Ability to employ advising methods and strategies designed to meet the needs of specific student populations (i.e., developmental, multicultural, and "aspirational counseling models"(see CE3's aspirational counseling model, UC Berkeley) and partner and collaborate with units on campus that offer these advising specialties (CE3 -Centers for Educational Equity and Excellence, UC Berkeley).

Ability to practice cultural humility and connect students with others who can provide additional support and community based on shared personal, cultural and intellectual experiences.