Careers at UMass Amherst

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Academic Advisor - CICS

Apply now Job no: 508591
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Computer Science
Union: PSU
Categories: Academic Advising & Learning Resources

About UMass Amherst

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.


Job Summary

Under the direction of the Director of Academic Advising and Student Success, provides comprehensive advising for the College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) majors, exploratory track students, and interdisciplinary students from across campus pursuing the CS minor. Works closely with other advising personnel as well as academic and career services personnel to ensure high quality advising and academic services for all students. May teach one-credit seminars. Uses registration and academic records software. Responsive to the needs of a large number of highly diverse students and works in a high volume and fast-paced work environment.


Essential Functions

  • Provide comprehensive, individualized advising to a diverse population of students during the academic year, including during peak registration periods. Respond to straight-forward questions on registration-related matters such as fulfilling University general education requirements and interpreting major, minor, or college requirements. Assist students with complex matters that involve goal setting and planning including establishing an academic plan, choosing a major, and selecting courses with particular emphasis on integrating CICS major requirements with students' other interests. Respond to at-risk students experiencing academic difficulties by addressing relevant issues and making appropriate referrals to University agencies. Communicate and collaborate with other units on campus such as Residential Life, athletic support services, ALANA, and disability services. Maintain consistent documentation on all advising interactions.
  • Assist with the planning, implementation, and development of innovative programs designed to enhance the retention and academic progress of CICS majors, minors, and exploratory track students (such as the majors fair, newsletters, and workshops).  Responsible for special projects to support the missions of the College and the CICS advising center.
  • Advise a diverse incoming (first-year and transfer) population in a fast-paced, high volume small group advising format during New Student Orientation (NSO) which occurs each summer and again each January. Represent CICS on university-level committees/councils. Participate in evening and weekend advising related activities (e.g., Open House events, Majors Fair, career and advising fairs, industrial affiliates events, etc.).
  • Attend regional advising conferences and other professional development events. Actively collaborate with the advising network on campus in order to maintain breadth or stay current on campus advising knowledge, college & major updates, new policies, best practices, etc.
  • Collaborate with academic programs staff and directors to develop, update, and maintain a library of academic plans that are available and a list of approved courses. Collaborate and track joint initiatives.
  • May supervise student advisors.
  • May teach seminars relevant to CICS majors, and exploratory track students.


Other Functions

  • Performs other duties as assigned or required to meet Department, College, or University goals and objectives.
  • Understands responsibilities with respect to conflicts of interest and behaves in ways consistent both with law and with University policy. Contributes toward creating a positive and respectful workplace defined by personal and professional competence, integrity, and collaboration. Understands and contributes to implementation of departmental and institutional goals for achieving non-discrimination and creating a respectful, inclusive environment that is supportive of diversity. Uses access to sensitive and/or not yet public university related information only in the performance of the responsibilities of position and exercises care to prevent unnecessary disclosure to others.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Bachelor’s degree in any field (Higher Education, Guidance and Counseling, Computer Science, or related field preferred) with at least 3 years of experience in academic advising OR an equivalent combination of education and experience.  One (1) year of relevant experience may be substituted for every one (1) year of required academia.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to interact effectively, and create and maintain harmonious relationships with a diverse population of staff, faculty, students, and off-campus constituents. Ability and willingness to work empathetically with a diverse student population and contribute to their success.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills. Ability to write concisely, express thoughts clearly, and develop ideas in a logical sequence.
  • Independent initiative. Must have the ability to stay on task and work productively with a minimum amount of supervision or guidance. Willingness to take on a variety of tasks related to the successful operation of the Advising Center. The ability to adapt and work effectively as the College and advising team grows. Strong organizational skills and attention to detail with the ability to complete assignments in a timely manner, balancing the demands of concurrent and potentially competing projects.
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment and maintain confidentiality. The ability to think through problems, organize and seek out data/information, identify key factors and underlying causes, and generate solutions.
  • Strong computer skills including at least intermediate expertise with:
    • Email
    • Calendar systems such as iCal, Outlook, or Google
    • Word processing software such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs
    • Spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets
  • Ability and willingness to travel occasionally for conferences and special events.


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Master’s degree in any field (Higher Education, Guidance and Counseling, Computer Science, or related field preferred) with at least one (1) year of experience in academic advising.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

Typical office environment.


Work Schedule

  • Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00pm
  • May be required to work some nights and weekends.


Salary Information

PSU Level 26

PSU Salary Ranges


Special Instructions to Applicants

Please attach a resume, cover letter, and the names and contact information of 3 professional references.

Applicants must apply by June 23, 2021 to ensure consideration.


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.



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