UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.
The Director of Advising oversees advising programs and services for Commonwealth Honors College (CHC) students developing academic plans to progress toward completion of an Honors graduation plan. The Director collaborates on program initiatives within CHC as well as University-wide and leads the development and delivery of programs and services that will enhance student success, retention, and advancement.
Directs advising staff on approved policies & procedures, identifies emerging policy issues and communicates with the Senior Assistant Dean, Associate Dean for Curriculum and Academic Oversight or other staff as appropriate. Manages a system to monitor advising activity and develops data gathering methods to generate appropriate reports for strategic planning activities, program evaluations, and advising assessment.
Manages advising activities while directly supervising non-exempt and exempt staff, as well as indirectly supervising graduate and undergraduate student staff in CHC Advising. Prepares and adjusts staffing in response to peak pre-registration periods.
Ensures consistent tracking, monitoring & documentation of academic progress and timely progress towards one of the curriculum tracks for Honors students.
Develops and delivers innovative programs to increase student retention, student success and provide support to current CHC students in residential programs. Works with the Senior Assistant Dean, Associate Deans and Dean of CHC to design and deliver services to internal and external CHC transfer students, students on academic warning or academic probation with CHC, and those recently reinstated in CHC.
Collaborates with the Senior Assistant Dean, Associate Dean for Curriculum and Academic Oversight, and the Associate Dean of Student Recruitment, Inclusion and Success on implementing and scheduling Residential Academic Programs (RAPS) as necessary and relevant.
Analyzes and uses student data to inform and improve programmatic and individual student advising performance and uses computer-based registration and academic records technology, such as Spire, Navigate, or other University technology.
Directs advisor training programs for all categories of advisors (professional, graduate teaching assistants, peer advisors and summer faculty advisors). Supports staff growth and development through workshops and conferences..
Collaborates with CHC Dean, Associate Deans, Senior Assistant Dean and CHC Directors on advising & program planning, personnel management, budget and communication initiatives. Collaborates with CHC Program Coordinators and other stake holders as relevant to support Commonwealth Honors College as a functioning inclusive student success community.
Performs related duties as assigned or required to meet Department, Executive Area/Division, and University goals and objectives.
Demonstrates capacity, skill and willingness to engage students and contribute to student success.
Works collaboratively with CHC colleagues and other campus stakeholders to fulfill the mission of Student Affairs and Campus Life and Student Success.
Establishes and continually updates knowledge of Honors graduation requirements, and thesis options, well as CHC and campus resources.
Three (3) years' supervisory and/or staff training experience in an advising or academic support unit with a diverse team that includes professional and support staff.
Four (4) years' academic or career advising experience in a higher education setting.
Experience with staff training, evaluation and development of advising methods.
The ability to use data analytics and associated tools to proactively identify patterns across student outcomes and profiles and to organize and evaluate the success of programming, workshops, and communication channels.
Strong computer skills including proficiency with spreadsheets, word processing, email, calendar programs and database programs.
Demonstrated ability to work independently to organize multiple tasks and set priorities for action, in a fast-paced office environment; ability to stay abreast and train others about a wide array of complex curricular information and academic policies/procedures such as FERPA and Title IX.
Solid oral, written, presentation, and interpersonal communication skills. Strong organizational and problem-solving skills as well as the ability to interact effectively and create and maintain harmonious relationships with a diverse population of staff, faculty, and students.
Experience in serving a large, culturally diverse student population including first year and academically at-risk students as well as some experience with thesis and/or research completion.
Five (5) years' academic or career advising experience in a higher education setting.
Experience in monitoring budgets, setting spending priorities, and authorizing expenditures for a business unit.
Physical Demands/Working Conditions
Typical office environment.
Monday - Friday, 37.5 hours/week.
Required to work some nights and weekends.
This position has the opportunity for a hybrid work schedule, which is defined by the University as an arrangement where an employee's work is regularly performed at a location other than the campus workspace for a portion of the week. As this position falls within the Professional Staff Union, it is subject to the terms and conditions of the Professional Staff Union collective bargaining agreement.
Along with the application, please submit a resume, cover letter, Diversity Statement (see below), and contact information for three (3) professional references. The search will remain open until a suitable candidate pool has been identified.
The Diversity Statement should identify previous experience and future goals. These contributions may result from lived experiences, academic and/or professional experiences, and/or mentoring, teaching, and outreach activities.
UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University. To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.