Careers at UMass Amherst

Assistant Director for Student Success & Persistence (Hybrid Opportunity)

Apply now Job no: 520735
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: UG Student Success
Union: PSU
Categories: Student Affairs & Services, Admissions/Enrollment/Student Recruitment, Academic Advising & Learning Resources, PSU A

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 Assistant Director for Student Success and Persistence works collaboratively to prioritize programs and practices that increase student persistence and retention, support timely progress toward degree completion, and foster holistic student learning and development. They implement interventions, practices, and resources that support the network of student success and advising personnel on campus. Their efforts are informed by knowledge of inequities rooted in systemic and institutional barriers to student success.


Essential Functions

  • Leads a network of advising and undergraduate academic personnel in the Schools/ Colleges and other administrative units focused on students in need of robust persistence supports, such as students on academic warning or probation, those returning from withdrawal or required separation, or students with recurring academic alerts.
  • Regularly creates and provides pertinent data analytics to undergraduate leadership regarding retention indicators, such as failure to enroll, holds on registration, and disengagement from academic advising. Informs strategic decision-making regarding equity gaps in retention and completion.
  • Creates and oversees systems to monitor and support students considering withdrawal from the university or those returning from time away. In partnership with the Dean of Students Office staff and Registrar’s Office staff, supports students in their return to enrolled status. Analyzes and reports on withdrawal data.
  • Using EAB/Navigate Cases or similar automated workflows, partners with Academic Affairs and Student Affairs & Campus Life colleagues to monitor academic progress of individuals and populations.
  • Provides comprehensive, individualized, and small group identification, outreach and advising to a diverse population of students to foster academic recovery. Provides direct supplemental support to priority populations.
  • Serves on University teams intervening with students facing financial insecurity which inhibits progress toward degree completion.
  • Serves as a member of the Navigate Team in Student Success Persistence Programs & Advising Support to provide the advising community with the skills and information necessary for effective retention interventions. Responds to Service Now tickets.
  • Serves as the Student Success member or liaison to teams across campus, including groups in Student Affairs & Campus Life, (Care Team, Disability Services), Partnerships Advancing Completion Equity, the Committee on Admissions and Records (CAR) as needed, and other retention-focused groups.
  • Remains current with Academic Honesty and Grievance policies and procedures, and supplement policy implementation response during peak demand. Educates students about academic integrity, resource utilization, and the degree completion risks inherent in academic dishonesty.
  • Demonstrates expert knowledge of national trends and research-supported practices that contribute to student success including the retention, persistence, and inclusion of historically underserved student populations (e.g., students of color, first generation college students, students with disabilities, and students experiencing financial insecurity). Aligns unit activities with University strategic priorities of equity, belonging, and socially just teaching and learning.


Other Functions

  • Understands and upholds responsibilities with respect to FERPA, Title IX, Clery, and other compliance requirements. 
  • Demonstrates capacity, skill, and willingness to engage students and contribute to student success. 
  • Performs related duties as assigned or required to meet Department, Executive Area/Division, and University goals and objectives. 


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

  • Master’s Degree and three (3) years of full-time professional experience or equivalent part-time experience in academic advising or student retention and degree completion programming.
  • Ability to conduct data analysis and use university platforms such as Navigate or Flagship Analytics to inform the undergraduate academic affairs community about intervention and retention efforts.
  • Ability to support and advise students facing interruption in their progress toward degree completion for academic, personal, or financial reasons.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Strong organizational and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work effectively in a fast-paced environment with multiple simultaneous responsibilities.
  • Ability to work well in teams and contribute to a harmonious professional atmosphere in a fast-paced environment. 


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

  • Experience with undergraduate success coaching.
  • Experience with platforms such as Spire (People Soft) or EAB/Navigate.
  • Intermediate proficiency with data management and presentation using spreadsheets.
  • Knowledge of student support and persistence initiatives for diverse student populations within the context of a public university. 
  • Supervision experience, including supervision of undergraduate or graduate students.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  • Typical office environment.


Additional Details

  • The Assistant Director for Student Success and Persistence reports to the Director for Student Success Persistence Programs and Advising Support.
  • May supervise some (0-3) students.


Work Schedule

  • Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-4:30 pm (flexible).
  • 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.


Salary Information

Level 27

PSU Hiring Ranges


Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three (3) professional references. The search will remain open until filled.


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, caste, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, disability, political belief or affiliation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related condition(s), veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, natural and protective hairstyle and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination 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 UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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