Skip to main content
Center for Student Leadership & Involvement

CSIL outlines and integrates Student Leadership Competencies

CSIL outlines and integrates Student Leadership Competencies

The Center for Student Involvement & Leadership (CSIL) began integrating student leadership competencies (SLCs) in its work during the 2015-2016 academic year. Competencies are the knowledge, values, abilities, and behaviors that help an individual contribute to or successfully engage in a role or task[1] and are a component of the Be Better initiative.

The staff in the Center for Student Involvement & Leadership are committed to helping our student leaders develop skills and competencies that will benefit them in their organizational roles, in various peer groups, and well into the future. To serve as our foundation for this work, we are utilizing a model of Student Leadership Competencies….” (see more)

“To start the process we decided, collaboratively, to focus on 10 SLCs within CSIL. This process created a shared understanding and investment in competencies that could range across all the work happening in our office,” said Nellie Hermanson, associate director of Campus Programs & Student Activities in CSIL.

CSIL’s ten competencies are: conflict negotiation, self-development, responsibility for personal behavior, productive relationships, problem solving, listening, inclusion, group development, goals, and diversity. Materials and programming were developed to help everyone, especially students, have a shared understanding and common language about SLCs and their purpose (view document here).

“An important part of this process is to ‘name it’, to make the outcomes of these experiences clear to our students,” said Anita Cory associate director of Student Organizations & Leadership Programs in CSIL. “Focusing on student leadership competencies also helps students see that the business of their student group is more than just the tasks they need to accomplish. It’s also about development for themselves and the group.”

At the end of your experience as a student leader advised by a CSIL staff member, you will be able to connect the skills you use and develop in your organization with how to utilize those skills moving forward...” (see more

CSIL began implementation of SLCs with student organizations, with professional staff member deciding how to best use SLCs with student leaders and the student groups they oversee. Flexible implementation of SLCs helps fit the unique needs of advisors, student organizations, and students. For example, the advisors for Dance Marathon (DM) have integrated Strengths and SLCs and intentionally reference them in their ‘advisor corner’ during DM executive meetings. CSIL has also been working to implement SLCs in workshops and retreats.

 “We’ve made great progress this past year, but there is more to be done,” said Hermanson. “We plan to continue to support staff members in increasing their confidence in utilizing SLCs when advising and providing programming as well as deepen our shared understanding of how SLCs can shape the student experience.”

“There is room to grow,” said Cory. “We will continue to map the great work that is already happening in CSIL to the competencies, and create resources for staff members, such as toolkits and an assessment bank, to support our continued use of SLCs. We’re excited to see where we go from here.”

[1] Seemiller, C. (2014). The student leadership competencies guidebook: Designing intentional leadership learning and development. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Filed under: Excel


University of Iowa continues progress on reducing high-risk drinking

University of Iowa continues progress on reducing high-risk drinking

Division of Student Life

The University of Iowa is making progress curtailing high-risk undergraduate drinking and its negative effects, according to new data from the National College Health Assessment (NCHA) survey.