Senior Academic Advisor (Hybrid Schedule)

  • Freelance
  • Anywhere
  • Freelance
  • Anywhere

Job ID: 45394

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Department: School of Professional Studies
Salary/Grade: EXS/7

Job Summary:

Northwestern School of Professional Studies (SPS) is committed to helping its professional students advance their careers, and the Student Services unit is looking for an experienced student affairs specialist who can design and deliver excellent guidance for SPS students located in Chicago and across the globe. The Senior Academic Adviser would join a team of student-centered and forward-thinking advisers that are entrusted to provide proactive support for adult students and to innovate new ways to improve service and reach of student service efforts.

The Senior Academic Adviser leads the delivery of guidance and counsel to students designed to assist them in making decisions associated with their academic and/or career experiences. This role assesses student situations directly and with the advisers, then finds, creates, implements, and monitors student guidance to the appropriate supports, services, and solutions. This key role within the SPS Student Services team utilizes consistent communication, coaching, and accountability to maximize student success and ensure compliance with all associated policies, rules, and regulations.

Specific Responsibilities:


  • Manages & implements strategic plans.
  • Recommends changes & improvements to functional operations to better meet organizational needs & objectives.
  • Completes administrative activities such as assessment, operations planning, data management, and reporting.
  • Researches best practices and peer institutions and market/economic conditions and recommends changes and enhancements to improve administrative effectiveness, services and/or resources.


  • Reviews existing use of technology and recommends changes to incorporate state-of-the-art systems and tools as appropriate into all aspects of the advising and counseling program.
  • Researches peer and cutting-edge developments regarding technology and recommends changes and enhancements that will improve delivery of resources and services.


  • Provides customer service oriented, student centered guidance and counsel based on individual circumstances, preferences, etc. and in compliance with all associated policies, rules and regulations.
  • Researches, develops and implements practices and activities that enhance student centered guidance and counsel.
  • Academic advising & counseling may include more complex situations such as development of retention initiatives for students struggling academically or on academic probation; on extended absence; with special needs; escalated student concerns, etc.


  • Consults with academic departments, Northwestern Career Advancement, and administrative offices to exchange information regarding academic and career opportunities.
  • Nurtures relationships with SPS Enrollment & Admissions, SPS Registrar, and Academic departments to ensure coordination of efforts and proper information flow to students.

Marketing/Public Relations

  • Identifies opportunities and strategies for short- and long-term growth & expansion of student support resources, value and participation.
  • Creates & implements communication strategy regarding resources and services.
  • Oversees communication for new and current programs, partnering with internal and external key stakeholders to ensure marketing plan effectively targets students, sponsors, key stakeholders, etc.
  • Ensures that all online materials accurately represent programs.
  • Manage and develop SPS Student Services website and digital career resources for students.


  • Supervises creation of student-facing quality-add events, including conferences, seminars, panel sessions, information sessions, etc.


  • Collaborates with internal/external partners to implement changes designed to improve/increase program goals/objectives.


  • Coordinates development & implementation of processes and procedures that ensure compliance with all applicable federal, state, local & NU laws, regulations, policies & procedures.


  • Provides work direction to junior staff (291000- academic advisors).


  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor’s or higher degree; OR appropriate combination of education and experience and 3 years’ career counseling/advising in higher education or 3 years’ of industry experience; or other relevant experience required; OR
  • Successful completion of a full course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a master’s or JD or higher degree; OR appropriate combination of education and experience and 2 years’ career counseling/advising in higher education or 2 years’ of industry experience; or other relevant experience required.

Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)

  • Experience providing academic advising to students in a two- or four-year higher education environment
  • Excellent customer service and interpersonal skills
  • Strong organizational and time management skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to work independently with a high degree of autonomy, demonstrating good judgment and attention to detail

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience supporting online learners
  • Experience crafting effective messaging to large audiences

Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)

  • PeopleSoft Campus Solutions (SES) or similar
  • Experience with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems or advising tracking systems (e.g., Starfish, Salesforce, etc.)
  • Familiarity with website content editing (e.g., Cascade, WordPress, etc.)
  • Familiarity with Communication Management Systems (CMM) or email campaign software (e.g., Hubspot, SmartSheet, etc.)

At Northwestern, we are proud to provide meaningful, competitive, high-quality health care plans, retirement benefits, tuition discounts and more! Visit us at to learn more.

Work-Life and Wellness:
Northwestern offers comprehensive programs and services to help you and your family navigate life’s challenges and opportunities, and adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles.
We support flexible work arrangements where possible and programs to help you locate and pay for quality, affordable childcare and senior/adult care. Visit us at to learn more.

Professional Growth & Development:
Northwestern supports employee career development in all circumstances whether your workspace is on campus or at home. If you’re interested in developing your professional potential or continuing your formal education, we offer a variety of tools and resources. Visit us at to learn more.

Northwestern requires all staff and faculty to be vaccinated against COVID-19, subject to limited exceptions. For more information, please visit our COVID-19 and Campus Updates website.

The Northwestern campus sits on the traditional homelands of the people of the Council of Three Fires, the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa as well as the Menominee, Miami and Ho-Chunk nations. We acknowledge and honor the original people of the land upon which Northwestern University stands, and the Native people who remain on this land today.

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Click for information onEEO is the Law.