Assistant Director for Academic Advising

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities  |  Minneapolis, MN

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Job Overview

Posted 2 weeks ago Full-Time

Job Details

Position Title:

Assistant Director for Academic Advising

Job Type: Administrative Other
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Positions Available: 1
Institution Type: Public, 4-year
Institution Size: 30,000 & Over Students
Employer ID: 18975
Application Deadline: 07/22/2019

Stated Non-Discrimination Policy

Gender Expression / Identity Sexual Orientation


Additional Compensation:
Minimum starting salary of $54500. Starting salary and classification is determined by the candidate’s previous experience, with a focus on experience obtained after conferral of master’s degree.
Housing for Position:
None provided
Additional Compensation:
Minimum starting salary of $54500. Starting salary and classification is determined by the candidate’s previous experience, with a focus on experience obtained after conferral of master’s degree.
Housing for Position:
None provided
Masters Preferred, Bachelors Required
Major Preference:
Counseling, Educational Administration, Higher Education, Student Affairs, Other Education, Other

Masters Preferred, Bachelors Required
Major Preference:
Counseling, Educational Administration, Higher Education, Student Affairs, Other Education, Other

Position Description

The College of Biological Sciences is a college of approximately 2,200 undergraduate students pursuing degrees in the life sciences at the University of Minnesota. The college offers eight majors and ten minors to prepare students to solve biological problems facing our world. 

CBS Student Services is a team of 19 professional staff members; each contributing to the shared responsibility of advancing the mission and vision of the college. These staff serve students in three functional areas: academic advising, career coaching, and student engagement. The person in this role will co-lead a team of seven staff focused on academic advising, and will have a student caseload of about 125 undergraduate students. This role reports to the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and International Programs.

Summary of Position

The two Assistant Directors of Academic Advising play a key role in executing CBS’ academic advising programming by developing and implementing advising programs, supervising the team of professional advising staff, and advising students. As members of the CBS Student Services leadership team, the Assistant Directors will have a collective responsibility for ensuring exceptional equity-minded student support services that facilitate student retention, degree attainment, and satisfaction.

Please note: this posting is for one position.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

10%    Student Services Unit Leadership

The assistant directors will serve on the CBS Student Services Leadership Team and are responsible for not only representing the functional area but contributing to the leadership initiatives of the office overall.

  • Participate on the CBS Student Services Leadership Team, providing leadership and support to cross-functional area initiatives in a blended student services unit
  • Lead and support employee engagement initiatives
  • Collaborate with other assistant directors to leverage cross-functional opportunities
  • Anticipate issues and research information needed as background for the work of the other unit or collegiate leaders 
  • Contribute to the strategic planning process for Student Services and ongoing evaluation for improvement of services

30%    Academic Advising Unit Leadership

All responsibilities for leadership and supervision for the academic advising responsibilities listed below will be shared by the two assistant directors for academic advising, both providing input on overall strategy and splitting responsibility for programmatic implementation. The assistant directors are charged with implementing the values of social equity, relationship-building, and student support towards degree attainment.

  • Lead the advising program, which involves the progress of students from orientation through graduation, overseeing the review of students’ academic performance, ensuring the timeliness of the student communication cycle, analysis of degree progress trends, and overseeing advising related programming
  • Champion the following key advising projects to ensure continuity of excellence: NHS orientation, academic probation/suspension, transfer admissions and orientation, student degree progress, advisor on-boarding and professional development 
  • Cultivate, implement, and assess programs and services that are grounded in social equity that also enhance student retention, degree attainment, and satisfaction
  • Represent and promote advising by fostering collaborative relationships with faculty and staff 
  • Partner with student services leadership to facilitate communication of advising efficacy and achievements to collegiate and external constituents  
  • Lead CBS Scholastics Committee and produce an annual summary of trends and decisions
  • Oversee student and staff communication of advising-related information
  • Collaborate with the Assistant Dean and faculty leadership to enhance curriculum to and remove unnecessary or unintended barriers to degree progress
  • Oversee detailed review of all cohorts of students, tracking retention and progress to degree for individual students and cohorts 

20% - Advising Staff Supervision

  • Supervise half of the professional academic advisors and co-manage daily operations and projects of the advising function to optimize advisor availability and service to students.
  • Create and ensure a supportive work environment so that individuals may effectively perform their duties and enhance their professional growth
  • Empower advisors to take ownership of assigned caseload of undergraduates through ongoing, proactive outreach to and monitoring of their students in an effort to establish stronger advising relationships and services
  • Establish expectations for exceptional student service and high quality work
  • Ensure ongoing advisor growth and development through coaching and support
  • Supervise execution of various advising project responsibilities
  • Guide the hiring, onboarding, training, performance review and promotion processes 
  • Troubleshoot student issues and act as a first line of consultation for advising staff

30% - Academic Advising & Student Advocacy

The cornerstone of academic advising is the ability to build authentic relationships with individuals with varied backgrounds, perspectives, and identities. The responsibility of this role is to first build relationships, then utilize those relationships to holistically support and guide students throughout their undergrad career.

Build authentic relationships with students as you:

  • Connect with your caseload of about 125 students through one-on-one appointments, drop-in advising, group advising, telephone and email communication
  • Guide students through the process of formulating personalized educational plans and strategies for academic success that are reflective of their unique set of values, strengths, interests, and identities
  • Help students build skills and make commitments that guide their educational plans, facilitate timely graduation, and make progress toward career goals
  • Apply organizational and student development theory to guide students in reflection on their decisions and plans
  • Champion the value of engagement in co-curricular experiences and how they connect to students’ academic and career goals
  • Utilize a holistic advising model to guide, challenge, and support students in becoming self-reliant and learning to make important reflective decisions about major, personal, and career aspirations
  • Help students navigate policies and procedures and determine when exceptions may be appropriate.
  • Strategically refer to campus resources, including how they contribute to retention and an outstanding student experience
  • Serve as a cultural navigator of the system of higher education

10% - Professional Development & Service

  • Commitment to ongoing social justice and racial equity work in order to identify, challenge, and remove barriers to access at the individual, community, and system level
  • Engage in professional development and service activities related to student leadership, development and the student services profession, within the University of Minnesota community and beyond.
  • Continue professional development and scholarly activity to keep abreast of best practices and trends in student retention, student engagement, student organization advising, and leadership education
  • Serve on College and University committees as requested

Job Requirements

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree.   
  • At least six (6) years of progressively responsible experience
  • Demonstrated leadership experience; supervisory experience or potential for supervision 
  • Previous experience in an educational setting performing academic advising or student support activities
  • Evidence of effective relationship-building, team-building, and oral/written communication skills
  • Ability to effectively communicate across race, class, and culture

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in higher education and student affairs, college student personnel psychology, counseling, social work, or field related field
  • Four years of post-Masters work experience in higher education and significant experience in working directly with undergraduates in an academic advising or related capacity. 
  • Familiarity with the challenges and opportunities of working with STEM students
  • Knowledge of assessment best practices. 

Application Information

In the human resources website linked, enter job ID 331133. Instructions for using the University’s Employment System can be found here: Funds are available for travel expenses for finalists. For more information about working in CBS Student Services, visit: The posting will close July 22.

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