The mission of NODA – The Association for Orientation, Transition, and Retention in Higher Education is to provide education, leadership, and professional development in the field of college student orientation, transition, and retention.

To that end, the NODA Board has embarked on strategic planning efforts that support their mission and vision of being the premier association for professionals in orientation, transition, and retention.

NODA has a long history of collaboration and communication with the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS). The CAS standards for Orientation Programs (2011) have provided the framework for developing and assessing effective and accountable orientation programs and services for many years. Further, CAS provides the Characteristics of Individual Excellence for Professional Practice in Higher Education, which are general professional competencies to practice and apply the programmatic standards and guidelines. However, the orientation programs CAS standards do no provide specific competencies for orientation, transition, and retention professionals. The NODA Core Competencies were established to fill the gap and offer direction for guiding individual personal and professional development in orientation, transition, and retention. 

The NODA Core Competencies were designed to be the organizational system for knowledge, skills, and abilities of all professionals. Competencies are a “benchmark for defining a profession” (Havice, 2015). Competencies not only provide a common framework and foundation of skills for professionals involved in the association, they also create opportunities for professional development and help advance the skills and experiences for all levels of orientation, transition, and retention professionals.

The twelve categories for the NODA Core Competencies are as follows:

  • Theoretical and Institutional Knowledge
  • Diversity, Inclusion, and Access
  • Campus Collaboration
  • Curriculum and Content Development 
  • Programming Delivery and Management 
  • Organization and Leadership 
  • Communication 
  • Crisis Management 
  • Financial Management 
  • Laws, Policies, and Governance
  • Enrollment Management
  • Research, Assessment, and Evaluation