ACUI Announces Student Affairs Certification Partnership

ACUI is announcing its participation as a founding member of the Higher Education Consortium for Student Affairs Certification, a collaboration of seven higher education professional associations that will allow the consortium to offer a core student affairs educator credential, in addition to specialty credentials that include one specifically for student union professionals.

The core student affairs educator credential (CSAEd) and each of the specialty credentials designed for specific functional areas like student union were developed to benefit mid-level professionals by formally recognizing knowledge gained through several years of student affairs or student services work experience and ongoing professional development. The program was intentionally designed to complement and build upon the critical foundation provided by graduate education programs while also acknowledging pathways into, and throughout, student affairs for the many educators whose highest degree earned is a bachelor’s or an associate’s.

Through certification, mid-level educators can formally demonstrate their learning through work experiences and gain a tool to advocate for professional advancement into senior-level positions and transitions across student affairs and student services functional areas. The specialty credential, College Unions Student Affairs Certification, is designed for college unions specialists and campus community builders who are mid-level and above, as well as student affairs educators looking to transition into college unions specialist and senior-level roles.

Developed by ACUI subject matter experts and built upon the foundation of student affairs educator certification, it is a specialty credential for demonstrating continuous learning and competencies essential to success in the complex and evolving landscape of college unions work. 

To support the program, ACUI is offering a Certification Prep Program to anyone eligible to take the student affairs and college unions certification exams. Its purpose is to provide an opportunity to prepare for exams with a peer community also going through the certification process. The certification preparation program includes a brief self-paced guide to preparing for certification, along with semi-guided certification study halls twice per month (on the first Wednesday at 4 p.m. Eastern and the third Tuesday at Noon Eastern), as well as an asynchronous space for sharing of resources and building community. 

More information about the preparation program can be found here. In addition to the preparation program, ACUI courses also provide an opportunity for learning within the domains covered by the certification exam.

To view the list of the eight competencies covered by the certification exam and current related ACUI course offerings, visit the Domains and Related Courses section of the website. For more detailed information about the competencies covered by each course, please contact ACUI

In addition to the core student affairs educator credential (CSAEd) and the college unions specialty credential, other specialty credentials are offered for the functional areas of campus activities, campus housing and residential life, campus recreation, fraternity and sorority life, and student conduct administration. To learn more about applying for certification, register for the free Student Affairs Educator Certification Spring Info session here. For additional details about Student Affairs Educator Certification, visit the Consortium’s website at


  • Steve Chaplin

    Steve Chaplin is managing editor of ACUI’s The Bulletin and manager of the ACUI College Union and Student Activities (CUSA) Evaluation Program. A former newspaper writer, editor, and manager, he has volunteered as a student mentor as a member of the National Association of Science Writers, and received awards for his writing and reporting from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the Kentucky Education Association, and the Kentucky Press Association.

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