Careers at UMass Amherst

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Assistant Director, Advising & Academic Initiatives

Apply now Job no: 510603
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: UG Student Success
Union: PSU
Categories: Academic Advising & Learning Resources, Administrative/Office Support

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

The Student Success Persistence Programs & Advising Support area supports the UMass Amherst Student Success unit priorities of developing programs and practices that increase student persistence and retention, support timely progress toward degree completion, and foster holistic student learning and development through the advancement of high-impact educational opportunities.

Working with the Director for Student Success Persistence Programs & Advising Support, the Assistant Director for Advising & Academic Initiatives will support implementation of student success programs and coordination across campus, including the UMass Academic Alert Initiative and advisor training and development initiatives. Coordination of these initiatives will require developing strong working relationships with key campus partners and instructors, managing the day-to-day processes, developing resources and trainings, and supporting individual student academic interventions. The Assistant Director will manage and facilitate new advisor training and assist with development and implementation of advisor development sessions. The Assistant Director will also provide end-user support for utilization of the student success management system (EAB/Navigate). Additionally, the Assistant Director will be responsible for Academic Integrity initiatives, including education and policy implementation (Academic Honesty & Grievances policies).

All staff are expected to provide general support for student success programming logistics for campus-wide initiatives, as well as maintain effective liaison with campus partners and academic units throughout the university.


Essential Functions

Advisor Training & Development Initiatives

  • Facilitate regular new advisor training sessions, including management of access requests, training invitations and approval processes, developing and maintaining advisor resource guides, creating and communicating training schedules.
  • Assist in the development and facilitation of on-going advisor development workshop/training series and advanced advisor professional development opportunities.
  • Support advisor training and resources associated with New Students Orientation advising.
  • Provide daily end-user support for faculty/staff utilizing the student success management system, which includes but is not limited to responding to email requests for help, communicating with product consultants and technical team for support, hosting departmental based training sessions, etc.

 Academic Integrity (Academic Honesty & Grievance Procedures)

  • Uphold and implement Academic Honesty and Grievance policies. Provide support to students, faculty and staff with questions regarding policies and procedures.
  • Promote understanding of academic integrity through the development of educational tools, resources and trainings for faculty, staff and students.
  • Develop collaborative partnerships with units on campus interacting with these policies, such as Ombuds Office, Dean of Students, the Equal Opportunity Office, etc.

 Academic Alert Initiative and Success Strategies

  • Develop and implement retention and intervention processes designed to assist student transition to and within college, and advance success strategies, particularly for students with academic referrals. Coordinate with college and student affairs peer and staff-based programs to provide consistent messaging and strategies. Provide training to academic advisors/staff on success strategies.
  • Support implementation and needs of the academic alert initiative, including management of faculty referrals, student outreach and communication, and student appointments. Utilize coaching/self-regulation strategies, design academic intervention appointment outlines and train early alert advisors/coordinators to best support students exhibiting academic difficulty in courses.
  • Contribute to the development and delivery of study skills workshops (Success Toolkit Series)
  • Assist in assessment and reporting on training and academic alert initiatives.
  • Participate in office wide assessment initiatives, workshops, presentations and external communications.


Other Functions

  • Performs other duties as assigned.
  • Support Student Success unit-wide initiatives and events such as the Majors Week, Residential Academic Programs events, Admissions events, etc.


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

Master’s degree in education or related field plus 3-5 years of experience in student success programming, staff training and development, early academic alert, and/or academic integrity/community standards.


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

  • Excellent written and presentation skills;
  • Ability to work with data tables and Excel;
  • Ability to work well with others and develop collaborative working relationships on a decentralized campus;
  • Familiarity with institutional retention strategies;
  • Computer proficiency with word processing, spreadsheets, and database programs


Additional Details

  • Supervised by the Director for Persistence Programs & Advising Support


  • Number of non-student employees directly supervised: 0
  • Number of non-student employees indirectly supervised: 0
  • Average number of student employees supervised at any given time: 0 - 10


Work Schedule

  • M-F 8:30-4:30
  • Required to work occasional nights and weekends.


Salary Information

PSU level 27

Salary Chart


Special Instructions to Applicants

Please submit your application online and include a resume, cover letter and contact information for three professional references. The position will remain posted until filled.


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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