Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol 49, No. 1 - 47

NACE Competencies Within Collegiate Residential Life
Professionals can evaluate their programming models
against NACE competencies in order to ensure that residents
have opportunities to develop and utilize their skills.
One student (White, male, junior) reflected on his role in the council. " When I was
chief of staff, I really got to improve my teamwork a lot . . . There were a few times
where [Community Council] would want to put on an event but we'd need the RA's
help. " This example shows that a leadership position within the residential community
allowed this participant to utilize teamwork skills to produce a result.
Another residence life leadership role discussed by participants was being an
RA. Four participants remarked that the RA role provided them unique experiences
relevant to NACE competencies through position responsibilities such as policy enforcement,
program planning and implementation, community, and team building.
Reflecting on the impact of the RA position on experiencing NACE's teamwork competency,
one student (Asian, female, junior) described the RA position as being " really
what helped me understand how to work on a team . . . in other organizations I'm the
lead of the team or president . . . and that is a different dynamic than the RA team. "
Through this reflection, the participant identified the RA role as an opportunity to
engage with NACE skills within her residential experience.
Utilization and Growth
The third and final emergent theme involved students reflecting on and differentiating
between the utilization and growth of a NACE competency. This distinction was made
across multiple NACE competencies (e.g., intercultural competence, problem solving
and decision making) from examples connected to the residential experience. Across
all 15 interviews, participants mentioned an average of six of the 12 NACE competencies
connected to the residential experience.
Participants described the concept of competency utilization when discussing their
collegiate residential experience, typically noting utilization in the areas of submitting
work orders, working through roommate disagreements, and serving on a team, experiences
to which they apply language such as " previously learned " and " knew from
high school/home. " When prompted to discuss the utilization or growth of a NACE
competency while reflecting on an interaction with her roommate, one student (White,
female, sophomore) explained, " I think I've always had some good problem-solving
skills just as a coping mechanism, I guess. So yeah, I think more utilized. " Another
student (Hispanic, male, sophomore) remarked, " I came in with a base level . . . I would
say I learned it more at home and then just brought it. " In this example, the participant
has been able to use his residential life experience as a context for utilizing a NACE
competency with which he already had experience. This was echoed by another student
(Asian, female, senior), who has lived on campus for 4 years: " My high school that I
went to, I feel like did the most in terms of teaching [critical thinking]. "
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