NCHO Competencies

Introduction: The Professional Development committee has proposed competencies that will serve as the foundation for NCHO. These competencies help the organization by providing framework for the services offered throughout the year and assist with the conference focus areas. These competencies serve as the foundation for program selection for the annual conference.


Background Information: The NCHO programming competencies were originally crafted using ACUHO-I and the James C. Grimm National Housing Training Institute (NHTI) as resources. The ACUHO-I competencies may be found here. The NCHO competencies were revised by the Professional Development committee in 2015 to encompass a broader variety of programmatic areas in the field.

Crisis Management – Professionals will be able to understand, develop, and enhance crisis management procedures on their campuses through a combination of:

  • Supporting students and communities before, during, and after crisis
  • Threat assessment information (Dear Colleague letters)
  • Legal implications
  • Individual and institutional reflection
  • Development of mental health consultation skills
  • Training in multi-perspective problem solving
  • Effective internal and external communications
  • Comprehending political implications
  • Consideration for long-term institutional effects
  • Assessment


Staff Selection and Development – Understanding how to select the right staff to fit your unique organization is the foundation for a successful team. Each staff member has varying needs and developmental levels. There is a need to prepare professionals how to select the “right” staff for their area and, in turn, how to support these staff members through effective and intentional supervision at all levels.  These staff members include but are not limited to full time professionals and student staff.  NCHO encourages the development of the following skills:

  • Staff engagement and development
  • Recruitment and selection of staff members
  • Unique training ideas
  • Innovative use of technology and/or social media
  • Hiring procedures that are effective and free of bias
  • Staff training (communication of departmental goals and policies)
  • Supervisor training (ethics, staff motivation, decision making, interpersonal communication, staff evaluation)
  • Creating year round development plan for staff
  • Share how you have utilized assessment in this area


Student Success and Learning – This area encompasses programs and initiatives that are supporting our students in their co-curricular experience. This area highlights the work that we are doing in housing and residential education/life to promote student success and learning.

  • Living learning communities
  • Special interest housing
  • Initiatives on campus involving academic partners
  • Changes based on institutional goals/strategic plan
  • Assisting students with enhancing life and career skills (i.e. student affairs mentor/mentee program)
  • Share how you have utilized assessment in this area


Strategic Planning and Partnerships – Strategic planning allows professionals to develop plans based on the needs of their constituents and address those needs while evolving as priorities may change or refocus.  Focusing on this competency will help NCHO members successfully guide and shape the direction of their housing and residence life programs. NCHO will encourage and actively promote the development of the Strategic Planning and Partnerships competency for its members by providing opportunities to develop in the following areas:

  • Budget and fiscal management
  • Comprehensive program development
  • Marketing
  • Student retention in housing and graduation
  • Assignments
  • How assessment drives changes in strategic planning
  • Long-term facilities and campus footprint planning
  • Incorporating and implementing assessment data through program reviews and other tools
  • External/internal review (how to begin, lessons learned)


Multiculturalism and Social Justice – Preparing our college and university graduates to be global citizens requires the intentional development and education of students to foster a mindset that embraces both multiculturalism and social justice.  NCHO will focus on this competency to support student growth, development, and success while expanding the knowledge, skills, and practical application of housing and residence life professionals.  NCHO will foster and support the exploration of Multiculturalism and Social Justice for its membership by providing opportunities to develop in the following areas:

  • Partnering with academic affairs to explore diverse inquiry
  • Collaborating with campus partners to provide resources and training for students around issues of multiculturalism and social justice
  • Active interventions, new initiatives, and innovative programs designed to explore the tenets of social justice
  • Identifying, developing, and supporting the multicultural / socially just professional and organization
  • Crafting short and long-term goals for professional competency and organizational achievement related to multicultural competency and social justice
  • Share how you have utilized assessment in this area.


Trends and Best Practices – Do you have an initiative or project that you are proud of and what it has done for your student population of department?

  • Show how others can utilize your work
  • What has made the program or initiative successful
  • Lessons learned and how are you implementing changes in the future?
  • Task committee to identify topic/parameters (i.e. current trends)
  • How do you utilize assessment in your department?
  • Has your department launched a new initiative for professional staff?