Reporting to the Dean of Academic Support, the Professional Academic Advisor will work collaboratively with faculty advisors/academic departments and other key units in and beyond academic affairs such as student support and student affairs. The Professional Academic Advisor will be innovative, flexible, forward-thinking, student-centered leaders who advance the university’s quality enhancement plan. The Professional Academic Advisor will work in partnership with our faculty, will allow for the adoption of comprehensive and holistic approach to advance students’ academic and personal achievement, while also positioning Shaw to anticipate and respond to evolving needs.
Essential Job Functions:
- Support the design and delivery of a Professional Advising Model.
- Create an open, welcoming, and supportive environment that honors the diverse needs, perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences of all students.
- Monitor retention module and provide the necessary indicated supports.
- Actively support and guide caseload of first- and second-year students from the point of admission through completion of their second year (and/or full transition into their academic major).
- Conduct and/or use individual assessments of students’ interests/needs to provide clear and timely information/direction regarding academic pathways, options, and opportunities.
- Partner one on one (and in small groups when appropriate) with students to present information/engage students in the process of goal setting, decision-making, and the creation of sequenced academic degree plans to help them reach their goals.
- Maintain an in-depth knowledge of the academic core/general education curriculum and baseline knowledge regarding departmental requirements to advise students to successfully transition into an academic program(s) that aligns with their interests, strengths, and goals.
- Provide specialized and “readiness” support and/or guidance for students seeking acceptance to competitive academic programs.
- Possess broad knowledge of Shaw University’s academic offerings to provide objective, clear, and timely advice regarding potential alternative or parallel degree pathways to help students make shifts and/or different decisions (when needed) to maximize their academic goals, while minimizing time to degree.
- Assist students in developing and/or reviewing their academic plan each semester through their ability to generate and understand their degree audit.
- Support students’ skill development to decode, understand, and interpret institutional/academic policies, processes, and procedures.
- Acquire/use enrollment, student success and retention data about students’ performance and progress in the advising experience (e.g., transfer credit evaluations, transcripts, mid-term/semester grades, academic standing reports, etc.)
- Make appropriate recommendations for solutions and/or referrals to campus partners.
- Facilitate students’ initial and on-going transition to college and help them acquire/know how to access services in place to support their academic and personal development.
- Liaise with academic departments and faculty to ensure shared/consistent approaches in guiding students’ academic decision-making; partner closely with enrollment management, student success, student affairs, and other key offices to ensure comprehensive support.
- Ensure the timely entry and/or processing of official forms, processes, and/or steps related to advising that support students’ initial and/or on-going matriculation in their first two years.
- Use advising technology and technology systems to ensure the consistent and systematized capture of advising notes/advisee experiences, interventions, and support; maintain student files and all communications in compliance with federal, state, and university regulations.
- Assist in the on-going assessment activities of the department and division.
- Remain abreast of and facilitate the department’s on-going knowledge about and adoption of advising best practices.
- Coordinate and/or participate in the development and/or delivery of advisee and advisor training (students and faculty).
- Participate on committees, working groups, or special projects as needed.
- Other duties as assigned.
- Ability to review programs.
- Leads work of assessing/evaluating advising services, programs, initiatives, training, etc.
- Gather data/information/reports/statistics to help guide in decision-making.
- Academic Recovery
- Experience about best practices to support students that require more comprehensive academic support and interventions.
- Leads efforts and/or works specifically with student caseload in academic distress.
- Expert on best practices/strategies that work best with this population.
- Continues outreach to/partnership with students who have been academically suspended and/or dismissed to help them eventually return to the university.
- Student Seminars
- Knowledge about the impact/effectiveness of seminars to support student transitions.
- Leads and/or partners closely with faculty leadership to develop the curriculum, train, and guide all instructors charged to teach the institution’s new student course/seminar.
- Provides on-going support for issues that may arise with instructor and/or students.
- Leads continued enhancement of course based on best practice research.
- Pre-Professional Program Advisor/Specialized Program Advisor
- Focused case load on students in highly competitive/pre-professional and/or other similar specialized programs.
- Peer Advisor Model
- Leads all aspects for the development, launch, and/or on-going implementation of a best-practice, comprehensive approach to campus peer advising.
- Provides program oversight for all Peer Advisors (selection/hiring, training, on-boarding, on-going development).
- Determines areas of focus/support/engagement for peer advising model.
Supervisory responsibilities include supervising student advisors or student workers.
- Master’s degree (or bachelor’s plus 5 years equivalent professional work experience) from a regionally accredited institution.
- Minimum of 2 -3 years professional experience in advising, retention, or counseling services (preferably with at least 1 year in a higher education environment).
- Experience in higher education or closely related field (e.g., client facing, non-profit focused on college aged students, career/work force development program, etc.).
- Experience facilitating training sessions and workshops.
- Strong technical skills/proficiencies in navigating student information systems.
Five Specific Competencies
Sets challenging goals, tracks progress towards them, solves performance problems, and demonstrates urgency and drive towards achieving them.
Builds constructive working relationships with clients/customers, other work units, community organizations and others to meet mutual goals and objectives. Behaves professionally and supportively when working with individuals from a variety of ethnic, social and educational backgrounds.
Clearly and respectfully conveys and receives information and ideas through a variety of media to individuals or groups in a manner that engages the listener, helps them understand and retain the message, and invites response and feedback. Keeps others informed as appropriate. Demonstrates good written, oral, and listening skills.
Makes customers/clients and their needs a primary focus of one’s actions; shows interest in and understanding of the needs and expectations of internal and external customers (including direct reports); gains customer trust and respect; meets or exceeds customer expectations.
Understands how an organization must change in light of internal and external trends and influences; keeps the big, long-range picture in mind; builds a shared long-range organizational vision with others. Committed to course of action to achieve long-range goals and influences others to translate vision into action.
Other Competencies (skills, abilities, behavior)
Must have a philosophy that is consistent with the Mission, Vision, and Core Values of the organization. Vision, commitment, and experience in achieving goals and pursuing excellence is critical. Strong oral and written presentation skills. Ability to work well independently and as a member of a team. Excellence in organization, decision-making, problem-solving and creating a collaborative environment. Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously. Must be able to read, write and speak fluently in English.
The work environment is an athletic and office setting which requires the ability to travel much of the time, work long hours including evenings and weekends, be physically active, able to lift up to 50 pounds, and have the ability to demonstrate specific skills.
Detail Oriented: Capable of carrying out a given task with all details necessary to get the task done well
Thought Provoking: Capable of making others think deeply on a subject
Dedicated: Devoted to a task or purpose with loyalty or integrity
Ability to Make an Impact:
Inspired to perform well by the ability to contribute to the success of a project or the organization
Bachelors or better in Education or related field.
Masters or better.
Strong technical skills/proficiencies in navigating student information systems
Experience facilitating training sessions and workshops.
Experience in higher education or closely related field (e.g., client facing, non-profit focused on college aged students, career/work force development program, etc.).
Professional experience in advising, retention, or counseling services (preferably with at least 1 year in a higher education environment)