About the Association of Fraternity & Sorority Advisors (AFA)
AFA provides exceptional experiences, a vibrant community, and essential resources for the success of fraternity/sorority advisors. It is the mission of AFA to enhance its members’ abilities to foster impactful fraternity/sorority experiences. In accordance, the vision of AFA is to be the catalytic force in aligning the fraternity/sorority experience with the changing dynamics and enduring principles of higher education. AFA is commitment to professional development, academic and applied research that examines the entire spectrum of the fraternity/sorority experience and the advising profession, and collaborations within and between the higher education and interfraternal communities. Join today to explore and learn!
AFA’s Competency Model identifies two domains of competency, Foundational Knowledge and Professional Skills, across 10 competency areas, for a total of 48 competencies. Each competency area includes between three and seven competencies that operationally define good practice in the fraternity/sorority profession.
Foundational knowledge includes information, concepts, and ways of thinking that are unique to fraternity/sorority life and essential to serving as a fraternity/sorority professional.
- Governance: Collegiate fraternal organizations are subject to various sources of authority, each with their own expectations. Fraternity/sorority professionals must accurately identify, interpret, navigate, and support compliance with these expectations.
- Fraternity/Sorority Systems: Collegiate fraternal organizations have many unique operating practices, and they operate across a variety of functional areas. Professionals must be familiar with, provide accurate advice about, and be able to navigate all relevant functional areas and operating practices.
- Student Safety: Collegiate fraternal organizations present both challenges and opportunities to enhance student safety on campus. Fraternity/sorority professionals must be familiar with the nature of these issues, the campus partners who work to prevent them, and research-supported strategies for addressing them.
- Student Learning: College students make significant gains in learning and development in college, and fraternity/sorority membership influences their outcomes. Fraternity/sorority professionals must be able to explain and apply theory, research, and good practice in student learning and development to their advising, training, and educational efforts.
- Program Administration: Fraternity/sorority professionals are responsible for contributing to the core functions of an organizational unit. They must be capable of identifying, managing, planning, and executing the basic duties of a departmental program.
Professional skills include abilities that help fraternity/sorority professionals excel in their positions.
- Navigating Complexity: Supporting collegiate fraternal organizations involves multiple functional areas and complex issues that have multiple causes and contributors with no perfect or obvious solutions. Fraternity/sorority professionals must be able to acknowledge, navigate, make quality decisions, and lead through these complex issues.
Operating Strategically: There is no shortage of work to be done in supporting collegiate fraternal organizations, and not all work is equal in importance or urgency. Fraternity/sorority professionals must be able to coordinate multiple competing priorities, consider long-term implications of their work, use limited resources intentionally, and organize work in a way that produces the best results.
- Driving Results: Universities and fraternal organizations are being called to demonstrate measurable progress in the many issues they face. Fraternity/sorority professionals must be able to deliver on institutional/organizational outcomes and demonstrate effective use of institutional/organizational resources.
Working across Differences: College fraternal organizations serve a diverse population of students and are supported by various stakeholders with contrasting viewpoints. Fraternity/sorority professionals must be able to engage productively with those who have differing experiences and views to create environments where people are valued, respected, treated with dignity, and given the opportunity to participate fully in the community.
- Collaborating with Stakeholders: Fraternities and sororities are supported by a network of stakeholders who each have their own authority, perspective, priorities, and interest in the community. Professionals who work with these organizations must take personal responsibility for working collaboratively with each stakeholder group in order to capitalize on shared interests and navigate conflicting priorities.
- Driving Vision and Purpose: Facilitating continuous improvement in fraternity/sorority life requires interpersonal skills to align stakeholders around shared aspirations for the future. Fraternity/sorority professionals must be able to dream, create, articulate, design, and champion a vision and milestones for fraternal organizations that support their mission and values.