Posted September 13, 2016 by Kim Haines and Alistair Cowie 

ACUI’s Education Plan

ACUI's 11 Core CompetenciesEducation is at the heart of ACUI. Our mission statement states that the role of the Association is “to support its members in the development of community through education advocacy and the delivery of services.” In order to deliver on this promise, a special allowance is made in the Association’s bylaws for the creation of an education council.

Furthermore, as student union & activities professionals we have a responsibility to serve as scholar-practitioners in our field by reflecting on and sharing our experiences to further knowledge and disseminate best practices that promote learning and development for our students and fellow professionals. Education can help us to build upon that specific role and help to further the Role of the College Union.

The International Education Council (IEC) is the volunteer group charged with ensuring that the programs and services of the Association are meeting the educational needs of the college union and student activities profession. To this end, the IEC developed an Education Plan in 2013 to articulate the priorities for education for ACUI members. The Education Plan is based on the 11 core competencies and 61 skill sets that serve as the educational building blocks of our profession.

Core competency refers to a set of composite skills, knowledge, and behaviors that provides the basis for developing a foundation for successful professional practice in college union and student activities work. Regardless of job responsibilities or position level, these 11 competencies permeate our educational programs and services in the profession, though prioritization may differ. Additionally, skill sets refer to the associated proficiencies attributed to each competency along with the knowledge and abilities expected.

The current two-year Education Plan places focus on three core competencies identified in postconference evaluations and other ACUI member research as being of the highest priority, which are: Fiscal Management, Human Resource Development, and Intercultural Proficiency.

The plan will serve as the guide to education developers within the Association when seeking program proposals for regional and national conferences, workshops, and institutes. It is our passionate belief that even basic exposure to skill sets and topics is critical to our success as college union and student activities professionals, and to building us into future scholar-practitioners who influence the educational environments within higher education.


Kim Haines

Kim Haines is the Student Union & Activities Director at The College at Brockport.

Kimberley is director of the student union and activities at The College at Brockport. A longtime member of ACUI, she is currently on the Education Council and previously served as Region 2 director. Kimberly is pursuing her doctorate through Northeastern University. She received her undergraduate and master’s degrees from Canisius College.

Alistair Cowie

Alistair Cowie is the Director Sales, Marketing and Infrastructure at University of Sydney.

Alistair is the director of sales, marketing, and facilities at the University of Sydney Union. “Al” has presented at two ACUI annual conferences (Orlando and San Antonio) and serves on the ACUI International Education Council, where he hopes to do good by shining a brighter light on the many educational resources ACUI offers its members.


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