Student Affairs Officer Development Toolkit

Designed for Student Affairs Officers (SAOs) and aspiring SAOs who are interested in building strength in the six competencies through a variety of ways.

In this toolkit you will find the full SAO competency model, career management resources, specific listings of Staff Development and Professional courses by competency, suggested reading, and several growth-oriented activities and projects organized by competency.


At UC Davis, the following six competencies have been defined for SAO positions:

Student Advising

Advises and guides students toward completion of a degree program, academic achievement, opportunities for future development and career options.

Interpersonal Communication

Uses communication skills to actively listen, give helpful feedback and provide useful information; carefully chooses tone and delivery in conveying information; uses appropriate media; is aware of impact on others.

Service Orientation

Has desire, patience and energy to work with students and guide them through their academic careers.

Diversity Commitment

Works with and serves a diverse community of students, faculty, colleagues and parents.

Program Administration

Coordinates administrative, fiscal and program responsibilities in a way that provides a solid foundation from which to make decisions.

Self Management

Has a level of self-knowledge that supports a balanced, disciplined approach to work.