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Staff Development Opportunities

The Division of Student Affairs is proud to offer a wide-range of Professional Development opportunities through many of our departments and campus-wide affiliates. These opportunities are categorized into the NASPA/ACPA professional competency areas and will assist staff in obtaining continued development in areas specific to their individual needs and interests throughout the year. If you are interested in advancing your skills in one of the following areas, we encourage you to participate in 2–3 of those experiences throughout the year. Interested in some suggestions?

Staff will be recognized for their progress and participation throughout the year. We are always looking to expand our offerings, and while this list offers many opportunities we know that it is not exhaustive. To suggest a program/topic or to receive more information, please email

DSA Professional Development flowchart

Professional Competency Areas

The Ethical Professional Practice competency area pertains to the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to develop and maintain integrity in ones life and work; this includes thoughtful development, critique, and adherence to a holistic and comprehensive standard or ethics and commitment to one’s own wellness and growth. Development in this area emphasizes awareness and understanding of one’s values and beliefs, especially as related to professional codes of ethics and principles for professional wellness.

  • Attend Civility Week events (e.g. “Be an Everyday Hero” and “Golden Tribe” Lecture Series)
  • Participate in the Faculty/Staff Start to Fitness Program
  • Faculty/Staff Leach Sampler Program
  • Present, attend and/or volunteer at TEDxFSU
  • Participate in a Spiritual Life Project event/program
  • Begin a healthier lifestyle at a free Tobacco Free Campus counseling session
  • Attend Fall/Spring “Stress Buster Day”
  • Attend a Wellness Talk at the Leach
  • Have a Body Composition Assessment done for free at the Wellness Center
  • Attend Noles Professional Institute (NPI)
  • Request a UCC Outreach Presentations
  • Participate in or facilitate E.T.H.I.C.S. Training, Hosted by Student Rights & Responsibilities staff
  • Practice reflection while walking through the FSU Labyrinth
The History, Philosophy, and Values competency area involves knowledge, skills, and dispositions that connect the history, philosophy, and values of the student affairs profession to one’s current professional practice. This competency area embodies the foundations of the profession from which current and future research, scholarship, and practice will grow. The commitment to demonstrating this competency area ensures that our present and future practices are informed by an understanding of the profession’s history, philosophy, and values.

  • Discover the history of what makes FSU Unique in the Heritage Protocol Collection
  • Tour the Reading Room and Heritage Museum in Dodd Hall
  • Spend some time in the FSU Archives on the main floor of Strozier Library
  • Learn about the many traditions of Florida State by reading or downloading ‘The FSU Experience’ Book/App.
The Assessment, Evaluation and Research (AER) area focuses on the ability to design, conduct, critique and use various AER methodologies and the results obtained from them, to utilize AER processes and their results to inform practice, and to shape the political and ethical climate in higher education.

  • Attend a progressive workshop series hosted by the DART ( DSA Assessment Resource Team) Committee
The Law, Policy and Governance competency area include the knowledge, skills, and dispositions relating to policy development processes used in various contexts, the application of legal constructs, compliance/policy issues, and the understanding of governance structures and their impact on one’s professional practice.

  • Attend Training Classes like Sexual Harassment Policies Training, Understanding Americans with Disabilities Act, Title IX and many more sponsored by the Office of Equal Opportunity & Compliance
  • Attend the Vulnerable Persons Act Workshop
  • Attend the Emergency Management & Response Workshop
This competency area recognizes that student affairs professionals bring personal strengths and grow as managers through challenging themselves to build new skills in the selection, supervision, motivation, and formal evaluation of staff; resolution of conflict, management of the politics of organizational discourse; and the effective application of strategies and techniques associated with financial resources, facilities management, fundraising, technology, crisis management, risk management and sustainable resources.

The Leadership competency area addresses the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required of a leader, with or without positional authority. Leadership involves both the individual role of a leader and the leadership process of individuals working together to envision, plan, affect change in organizations, and respond to broad-based constituencies and issues.

While there are many conceptions of social justice, it is defined here as both a process and a goal which includes the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to create learning environments that foster equitable participation of all groups while seeking to address and acknowledge issues of oppression, privilege, and power. Student Affairs educators may incorporate social justice and inclusion competencies into their practice through seeking to meet the needs of all groups, equitably distributing resources, raising social consciousness and repairing past and current harms on campus communities.

The Student Learning and Development competency area addresses the concepts and principles of student development and learning theory. This includes the ability to apply theory to improve and inform student affairs and teaching practice. It involves a critical understanding of learning and development theories and their use in constructing learning outcomes.

The Technology competency area focuses on the use of digital tools, resources, and technologies for the advancement of student learning, development, and success as well as the improved performance of student affairs professionals. Advancement in this area also involves a higher degree of innovativeness in the use of technology to engage students and others in learning processes.

  • Attend a DSA hosted IT Training on a topic like Excel, Qualtrics, or other online programs.
  • Increase your proficiency in any program through a course.
The Advising and Supporting competency area addresses the knowledge, skills, and dispositions related to providing advising and support to individuals and groups through direction, feedback, critique, referral, and guidance. Through developing advising and supporting strategies that take into account self-knowledge and the needs of others, we play critical roles in advancing the holistic wellness of ourselves, our students, and our colleagues. This area involves development of higher order capacities for listening, addressing group dynamics, managing conflict and crisis situation, and partnering with other professionals, departments, and agencies.

  • Volunteer at various DSA Events (ie: Dalton Institute, Half Day Conference, Torchbearer Induction Ceremony, etc.)
  • Staff who advise a RSO & attend various advisor roundtables
  • Serve as a N2UFP mentor
  • Volunteer to have a higher education intern from the University of the West Indies shadow you for a day