The ASPIRA Association Academic Advisors Staff Development Program seeks the promotion of the following Academic Advisors Competencies in all staff providing academic advisement services to our clients. These competencies represent a body of basic knowledge and fundamental skills one must have to be effective in the field of advising Latino students in pursuing postsecondary education. Staff members achieving these competencies will be certified as ASPIRA Academic Advisors. The competencies are:

  • Competency 1: The possession and demonstration of exemplary academic advisement and communication skills in the context of the ASPIRA Association.
  • Competency 2: The ability to understand and promote Latino student development and achievement.
  • Competency 3: The ability to facilitate transitions and counsel students toward the realization of their full educational potential.
  • Competency 4: The ability to involve parents in supporting their children educational goals.
  • Competency 5: The ability to recognize, appreciate and serve cultural differences and the special needs of students and families.
  • Competency 6: The demonstration of appropriate ethical behavior and professional conduct in the fulfillment of roles and responsibilities.
  • Competency 7: The ability to develop, collect, analyze and interpret data supported by information technology systems.
  • Competency 8: The demonstration of advocacy and leadership in advancing the concerns of students.
  • Competency 9: The ability to organize and integrate the pre-college guidance and counseling component into the total school guidance.

Academic Advisors Curriculum

Academic advisors will achieve the above competencies by satisfactorily completing the following courses:

 To access the courses please point and click on the course title.

Curriculum Delivery Modality

The above courses were designed to be delivered as distance education courses in an asynchronous mode (students can take them any-time from any-place) and the program facilitators and mentors are available either at the local sites or remotely via phone or e-mail.

Program Facilitators and Mentor

A program facilitator will be available at each associate office. Facilitators have been selected based on their expertise as Academic Advisors. Their role will be to guide the trainee in following the curriculum, answer questions, provide additional instructional resources when necessary, request technical assistance from content areas experts as required, and support the Associate Executive Director in evaluating the performance of the trainee as they complete the curriculum.

Program Evaluation

In order to be certified as an ASPIRA Academic Advisor you must satisfactorily complete the evaluation activities of each one of the courses. As you complete each of the prescribed evaluation activities they will become part of an evaluation portfolio. After the completion of all courses, the agency Executive Director or his/her designee will review the work performed and judge the quality of the work after which a decision will be made for certifying the employee as an Academic Advisor, recommend additional training or recommend the individual to move into a different field.

Based on prior experience or formal educational background, the staff member undertaking the curriculum could challenge any of the courses or specific learning objectives within a course. In order to challenge the course or learning objective the staff member will provide evidence of mastering the skill(s) or know how sought through the learning objective or course to the Executive Director or his/her designee.


The ASPIRA Association wants to recognize the support received from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) throughout the last two decades in providing training and resources to ASPIRA’s academic advisors. Our gratitude goes to the management and staff of ETS but especially to Eleonor Horne for her support and dedication throughout these years.