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Core Competencies

The Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors is comprised of professionals and volunteers who work on college campuses, at a fraternity/sorority inter/national headquarters, or for businesses that support fraternity/sorority members, and/or volunteer locally or nationally for their fraternity/sorority, or for organizations that support fraternities and sororities.


Two of the Association’s primary purposes are professional development and support for members and advocacy for the fraternity/sorority advising profession; the Core Competencies are designed to further those goals. The cultivation and consistent demonstration of these competencies are keys to success among professionals and volunteers who work with fraternities and sororities.


AFA members are encouraged to strive to continually strengthen their skills and gain more experience in these areas. In working with fraternities and sororities, the understanding and demonstration of these competencies will allow advisors to provide undergraduate members with positive fraternity/sorority experiences.


Throughout the Core Competencies, the word advisor is used to refer to members who work for colleges, universities, and inter/national fraternities or sororities; and/or who serve in volunteer roles.

Educator: A fraternity/sorority advisor applies student development and/or organizational development theory to his/her practice in challenging and supporting organizations and individual members. The advisor also takes advantage of professional development and educational opportunities and applies that knowledge and awareness to his/her practice. The advisor provides experiential learning opportunities that enhance the education students receive inside the classroom. An advisor provides leadership development and other educational opportunities for undergraduate members and alumni/ae volunteers that promote an open and inclusive learning environment for all participants. Leader: A fraternity/sorority advisor is an involved, engaged member of a campus community and/or the interfraternal movement and participates in opportunities for continued professional development through the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors and other organizations. An advisor exhibits leadership skills in his/her daily work through critical thinking, risk taking, and creativity, and by making values-based decisions. The advisor seeks knowledge to develop increased competence to advance goals of valuing diversity, strengthening inclusion, and promoting social justice. An advisor also shares his/her knowledge and mentors others in the field.

Values Aligner: A fraternity/sorority advisor sets and clearly communicates high expectations for chapters as values-based organizations hosted at an institution of higher education and holds members/organizations accountable for their actions. The advisor considers issues of fundamental fairness, equity, and access when developing resources, implementing programs, and enacting community, chapter, and/or organization initiatives. As a result he/she promotes an inclusive and supportive environment, eliminating barriers that discriminate against full participation by all students. An advisor challenges members to live up to their shared organizational values and have these expectations of one another. When necessary, an advisor works with the institution’s and/or inter/national organization’s student disciplinary process. The advisor recognizes students and chapters for their improvements and achievements in adhering to their founding principles and institution/organization expectations.
Collaborator: A fraternity/sorority advisor collaborates with and often serves as a liaison among potential members, initiated members, chapter officers, campus administrators, alumni/alumnae, volunteer advisors, house corporation officers, inter/national organization staff members, and/or inter/national officers. The advisor works with these diverse constituencies on the common goal of positively impacting the reputation and success of the fraternity/sorority community by building partnerships with colleagues, and experts to impact positive and inclusive change; sharing information regularly; and maximizing the reach of and access to limited resources. The advisor builds trusting relationships for the betterment of the members and organizations.

Innovator: A fraternity/sorority advisor implements new programs that benefit members. An advisor promotes the practical application and effective use of technology to communicate with members, support their positive use of online communities, provide online educational opportunities, and promote an inclusive and accessible fraternity/sorority experience.
Researcher: A fraternity/sorority advisor uses research to guide practice. The advisor assesses the needs of organizations, engages constituents in strategic planning to set goals for ongoing development and to provide programs and resources for the benefit of chapters and members, and also assesses the impact of those initiatives. The advisor maintains an awareness and knowledge of how current issues and research impact the undergraduate student experience, the chapters, and/or the fraternity/sorority community.

Advisor: A fraternity/sorority advisor guides and facilitates the work of fraternity/sorority chapters and/or governing councils and their respective officers. The advisor provides guidance, training, and resources on various organizational management topics, including but not limited to risk management, financial management, and creating an inclusive environment. The advisor assists the organizations in being prepared for unexpected or crisis situations and assists the student leaders in managing these situations and linking them to additional support services as needed. An advisor builds relationships with members to assist them with organizational, academic, or other concerns. Administrator: A fraternity/sorority advisor maintains accurate and comprehensive records on membership statistics, scholarship achievement, and disciplinary matters. The advisor works with all necessary constituents and partners, to resolve any member, organization, and/or institution crisis. An advisor may supervise or oversee student, professional, or volunteer staff. An advisor may have responsibilities in managing, or supporting students in managing, on- or off-campus chapter residential areas, offices, and/or other organization properties to ensure they are accessible and operating properly, safely. An advisor may also assist students in planning events.
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