Certified Student Affairs Educator

AFA as a Founding Partner of the Certified Student Affairs Educator Certification

AFA is proud to be a lead partner in the development of a student affairs certification, called the Certified Student Affairs Educator. A separate 501(c)6 organization, called the Higher Education Consortium for Student Affairs Certification, was established to develop, oversee and execute the certification. This consortium includes representation from each of the founding association partners, including NASPA, ACUHO-I, ACUI, NACA, ASCA, and NIRSA. In addition to the creation of the general certification, several specialty areas were developed, including a Fraternity/Sorority Life specialization.

About the Certified Student Affairs Educator (CSAEd)

Who’s Certified? Click Here to Find Out

The Higher Education Consortium for Student Affairs Certification promotes and advances student affairs and services in higher education by assessing and recognizing individual educators who demonstrate competency in established domains, commit to ongoing learning and professional development, and comply with the code of ethics. The Consortium was collaboratively established by student affairs professional associations to manage Student Affairs Educator Certification.

Student Affairs Educator Certification includes seven credentials–the core student affairs educator certification and six specialty area certifications. The core certification serves as an important, independent credential as well as a required prerequisite for each specialty certification. All credentials were developed by subject matter expert practitioners and graduate faculty appointed by the Certification Consortium partner associations to benefit individual educators, institutions, professional associations, and the field.

Certification is designed to benefit individual educators at the mid-level and above, higher education institutions, and the larger student affairs and services profession. There have traditionally been limited means for educators to demonstrate their competencies and knowledge growth through ongoing work experience, and to then formally exhibit this growth in pursuit of lifelong learning and professional advancement. Certification offers a robust set of credentials to demonstrate this growth!

Benefits for Individual Educators

  • Rigorous way to demonstrate ongoing learning, competencies, and knowledge including within multiple functional areas
  • Supports advancement into senior-level leadership positions
  • Increases advancement potential to positions managing multiple functional areas
  • Supports transitions between functional areas
  • Provides a means of demonstrating learning and growth after attaining a master’s degree while providing a pathway into the profession for individuals whose highest degree earned is a baccalaureate or an associate’s degree
  • Offers areas of focus to inform ongoing learning and professional development plans

Benefits for Institutions and to the Profession

  • Includes timely and important topics within the profession that may not have been covered at the time one completed a master’s degree
  • Adds further credibility and integrity to the work of student affairs and services
  • Further establishes standards of knowledge, skills, and experiences
  • Provides accountability through ethical conduct standards and related processes
  • Requires continuous, ongoing learning for recertification
  • Reduces risk of errors, accidents, and legal liability

Benefits for Professional Associations

  • Requires entities providing continuing education for professional development to clearly define learning outcomes, focus areas, and include experienced presenters
  • Encourages further intention for educators in seeking professional development opportunities
  • Creates opportunities for further training and education programs tied to certifications

Institute for Credentialing Excellence. Value of Certification Statement 2020.

Learn More about the Certified Student Affairs Educator