Careers at UMass Amherst

Senior Academic Advisor

Apply now Job no: 522950
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Psychology and Brain Sci
Union: PSU
Categories: Academic Advising & Learning Resources, College of Natural Sciences, 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

Under the direct supervision of the Principal Academic Advisor, the Senior Academic Advisor provides comprehensive advising for Psychology majors in the College of Natural Sciences (CNS). This position works closely with other advising personnel to ensure high quality advising and academic services for all students, with particular emphasis on programmatic needs for first-year, transfer, and at-risk students. The position is responsive to the widely varied needs of diverse student populations and works in a high volume and fast-paced work environment.


Essential Functions

  • Provides comprehensive, individualized and small group advising to a diverse population of students during the academic year, including new student & transfer orientation/registration periods and current student registration periods. 
  • Responds to common issues such as registration-related matters including fulfilling the university's general education requirements, interpreting major and college requirements, and providing guidance for dual degrees, double majors, and minors.
  • Assists students with matters that involve goal setting, self-assessment, time management skills, planning and decision-making such as establishing an academic plan, choosing a major within and outside of the College of Natural Sciences, selecting courses, and evaluating courses for study-abroad experiences.
  • Responds to at-risk students experiencing academic and often critical personal difficulties by addressing relevant issues and making appropriate referrals to university agencies. 
  • Responds to complex inquiries from parents in accordance with FERPA and in a highly-professional and respectful manner.
  • Performs complex graduation clearance processing for more than 400 students per year. Maintains familiarity with all changes in the multiple degree programs and determines any curricular exceptions.
  • Regularly holds information sessions for current CNS students, as well as for prospective students and students in other majors wanting to transfer into CNS. Participates in evening and weekend activities including Open Houses, Destination Days, Senior Celebration, Undergraduate Commencement, and other activities and events that may be developed.
  • Represents CNS Undergraduate Advising on college and university-level committees and councils
  • Assists in training new professional and graduate student advisors by providing them with the most current information about requirements in CNS and other majors of prospective CNS students.


Other Functions

  • Executes special projects as needed to support the mission of the CNS Advising Office, departments, and the College.
  • Performs related duties as assigned or required to meet department, college, and university goals and objectives.
  • Understands responsibilities with respect to Title IX, FERPA, and other compliance requirements.
  • Demonstrates capacity, skill and willingness to engage students and contribute to student success.
  • Works collaboratively with other campus stakeholders to fulfill the mission of Student Affairs, Campus Life, and Student Success.


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

  • Bachelor’s degree and three (3) years of professional experience in the areas of academic admissions, advising, recruiting, or counseling. 
  • Previous experience serving a large, culturally-diverse population.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills; strong interpersonal skills.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Intermediate level computer proficiency.
  • Skilled in small group presentations.
  • Awareness of confidentiality issues.
  • Ability to take initiative and work independently and collaboratively with various university personnel. 
  • Ability to manage a high volume of complex and varied client needs.
  • Ability to recognize at-risk individuals and provide appropriate support and direction.
  • Highly-knowledgeable with respect to FERPA and Title IX.


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

  • Master's degree in Psychology, Higher Education, or other closely related field.
  • Professional teaching experience.
  • Knowledge of university academic rules and regulations.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  • Typical office environment.


Work Schedule

  • Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm.
  • Required to work some nights and weekends.


Salary Information

Level 26

PSU Hiring Ranges


Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a resume, cover letter, and statement of advising. The statement of advising should identify your advising values and address your commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. References will be checked at the finalist stage.  Please be prepared to provide contact information for three (3) professional references. Applications will be reviewed on a continuous basis until the position is filled. Early submissions are encouraged.

As part of a commitment to their own multicultural community, CNS seeks an individual with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and one who will understand and embrace university initiatives and aspirations. (


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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