Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol 49, No. 1 - 51

NACE Competencies Within Collegiate Residential Life
LIMITATIONS
While we believe our research to be sound, we note three limitations. First, some
of the competencies were described by NACE in a way that participants struggled
to understand. This disconnect may have impacted our ability to fully capture their
lived experiences related to the phenomenon of interest. As we recommend, to aid
with clarity, future iterations of NACE competencies should involve college students
in their description development and updates. Second, this qualitative study focused
on all 12 NACE competencies as of 2020. While the intake survey indicated that,
across all participant experiences, each competency was connected to at least one
participant, the residential life context may favor only a handful of the competencies.
For instance, our participants seemed to connect better with the competencies of
leadership, intercultural competency, and problem solving and decision making in
their residential experiences. This is juxtaposed with the least connected NACE competencies:
digital technology and career management. Finally, our phenomenological
study was about the lived experiences of college students and the NACE competencies
within the residential setting. Data collection occurred in spring 2021 during the
COVID-19 pandemic. We did not limit our study to the development of the skills, but
rather exposures and experiences connected to them, which may have been impacted
by the pandemic. Future research might narrow inquiry to the development of NACE
competencies within the residential setting.
CONCLUSION
Participants in our study felt that NACE competencies were experienced through
three main themes: unique context, engagement with residence life, and utilization
and growth. The residential experience shows that overlap exists between students'
on-campus experience and their lived experiences with NACE competencies. Our
research is unique as it looks at NACE competencies from a contextual lens-the
residential experience-compared to a position or a specific program. This research
is important for scholars and housing professionals alike because it advances knowledge
in both career readiness and its intersection with the residential experience. This
research should further inform practices around how to integrate NACE competencies
into the residential experience by, for example, encouraging reflection throughout
the residential experience and documenting organic learning. Future research
is recommended to explore the creation of assessment tools that will allow student
affairs professionals to more accurately assess competency development. 
48 The Journal of College and University Student Housing

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

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