Key Competencies in Program Administration

Key Competencies

We define “key competencies” in this area as the knowledge, skills, dispositions, and critical commitments that must be mobilized by CEPs to manage and administer an effective community engagement program.

To earn this core credential, an individual effectively demonstrates their knowledge, experience, skills, and critical commitments in the following areas:

  1. Knowledge of context: of self, of institution, of environments external to the institution, of history of engagement
  2. Able to effectively manage and sustain a portfolio of engagement initiatives based on various program approaches (e.g., curricular and co-curricular)
  3. Able to cultivate and maintain relationships (e.g., with students, faculty, staff, and community representatives/ stakeholders)
  4. Able to network across role and units/departments (e.g., academic programs, student affairs units, community institutions/ stakeholders)
  5. Able to provide resources to a variety of constituents, including students, faculty, staff, administrators, and community partners
  6. Able to develop and supervise staff
  7. Able to cultivate and manage multiple funding streams and budgets
  8. Knowledge of assessments and evaluation methods; able to assess and evaluate impact of community engagement on its stakeholders (e.g., students, faculty, communities, institution)
  9. Knowledge base in forms of oppression and inequality (e.g., systemic, institutional and interpersonal) and an ability to name how engagement programs you manage/oversee are intentionally developed, managed, or sustained with those understandings in mind


  1. Embrace critical thinking
  2. Embrace visionary thinking
  3. Embrace community partner as co-educator

Critical Commitments

  1. Commitment to dialogue with community