Professional development is a process wherein advisors increase their capabilities and improve their skills through multiple outlets such as professional reading, workshops, conferences, online courses, etc.  Individual advisors should be aware of their own development throughout their career - also keeping in mind the milestones required by an employer. 


Other Resources: 

Academic Advising Core Competencies Model

Core Competency Areas

Core competencies in the Conceptual component (concepts academic advisors must understand) include understanding of: 

  • The history and role of academic advising in higher education
  • NACADA's Core Values of Academic Advising
  • Theory relevant to academic advising.
  • Academic advising approaches and strategies.
  • Expected outcomes of academic advising.
  • How equitable and inclusive environments are created and maintained.

Core competencies in the Informational component (knowledge academic advisors must master) include knowledge of:

  • Institution specific history, mission, vision, values, and culture
  • Curriculum, degree programs, and other academic requirements and options
  • Institution specific policies, procedures, rules, and regulations.
  • Legal guidelines of advising practice, including privacy regulations and confidentiality.
  • The characteristics, needs, and experiences of major and emerging student populations
  • Campus and community resources that support student success.
  • Information technology applicable to relevant advising roles

Core Competencies in the Relational component (skills academic advisors must demonstrate) include the ability to:

  • Articulate a personal philosophy of academic advising
  • Create rapport and build academic advising relationships
  • Communicate in an inclusive and respectful manner
  • Plan and conduct successful advising interactions.
  • Promote student understanding of the logic and purpose of the curriculum.
  • Facilitate problem solving, decision-making, meaning-making, planning, and goal setting.   
  • Engage in ongoing assessment and development of self and the advising practice

Advisor Career Ladder

Career ladders provide a formal pathway for advancement through an infrastructure of tiered job levels comprised of distinctions in titles and pay. 

Institutional examples:

Index of Topics
Advising Resources

Do you have questions?  Do you need help with an advising topic? 
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Where to Get PD

Need professional development?  NACADA's got you covered!

In-person events:

Annual Conference

Regional Conferences

Assessment Institute

Administrator's Institute

Summer Institutes

Online events:

Web Events


Training Library


Develop your skills with the Core Resources Library

Check out our Companion Resources for these books that contain:

  • Learning outcomes
  • Discussion questions
  • Related articles

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