Careers at UMass Amherst

Academic & Scholarship Advisor - CHC

Apply now Job no: 516119
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Commonwealth Honors College
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.

Commonwealth Honors College offers a variety of educational, social, and advising opportunities to support more than 3,300 academically talented undergraduate students. The honors college is a campus-wide program; students from all majors in every academic college are eligible to join the honors college. The Advising Office is located in the CHC Building, which is surrounded by the six residence halls of the Commonwealth Honors College Residential Community (CHCRC). CHCRC is home to about 1,500 honors students, and is located on the west side of the UMass Amherst campus, near the main library and the Recreation Center.


Job Summary

The Academic and Scholarship Advisor in Commonwealth Honors College (CHC) will have joint responsibility between the Office of National Scholarship Advisement (ONSA) and the Office of Advising (OA) to provide comprehensive individual and group advising services to undergraduate students for both offices.  The Academic and Scholarship Advisor will collaborate with administrators and staff to provide outreach, advising programs and services, to create an inclusive environment and enhance student success.  The Academic and Scholarship Advisor will serve as a liaison between the two offices and use a comprehensive approach to identify students with high academic potential to apply for national scholarships through ONSA and they will utilize holistic advising best practices to increase student persistence and retention through OA.


Essential Functions

  • ONSA:
    • First-step advising for students who are preliminarily interested in National, Presidential, and International scholarships.
    • Assists the director with the administration of the International Scholars Program and scholarship
    • Advises prospective students on national scholarship programs.
    • Supports the ONSA director with reviewing and administration of Presidential scholarships.
    • Advises students throughout all phases of the application process for ONSA scholarships, such as eligibility requirements, application essay feedback, coordinating campus interviews, and submitting university nominations to national foundations.
    • Creates and delivers information sessions, workshops, and other on-line resources to inform and attract students to apply for national and international scholarships, such as Fulbright, Boren, Gilman, Beinecke, Truman, Goldwater, and others.
  • OA:
    • Provides holistic advising to CHC students regarding fulfillment of CHC and University requirements, academic regulations and policies, and resolution of academic challenges.
    • Motivates students to understand the importance of undergraduate research, and engages students in the planning process so their completion of an Honors Thesis or Portfolio can help them reach academic and professional goals.
    • Actively participates in the planning and delivery of New Student Orientation & Transitions programming, Group Advising Sessions for First-Year Students and Sophomores, thesis planning workshops and other programs.
    • Advises prospective transfer students from other institutions and current UMass students interested in applying to CHC to help them understand the curriculum options and requirements.
    • Works proactively to ensure that students are making progress towards honors course completion and grade performance to facilitate graduation clearance.
    • Works closely with students who are struggling by providing targeted referrals and follow-up to ensure student success.
    • Collaborates with Residence Life staff to provide support around curricular issues for all CHC students, as relevant.
    • Participates in professional development to keep abreast of new trends in academic advising and student success.
    • Collaborates with advising network on campus to stay current on cross-functional knowledge about advising, school/college updates and student support centers at UMass.
    • Keeps technological skills up to date to be able to utilize university systems to their fullest capacity and/or be prepared to learn new systems.


Other Functions

  • Assists ONSA director to develop and maintain institutional partnerships, including those with colleges, academic departments, academic centers, and UMass offices to aid in the identification of applicants.
  • Collects and manages data on applicants and application trends to conduct meaningful assessment of advising efforts.
  • Manages student resources and website content for fellowships.
  • Assists with on-going training and/or oversight for the Peer Advising Assistants/Coordinators.
  • Works with the Advising team to provide training and/or support to new professional staff, graduate students, or peer advising assistants. Represents CHC at University wide and CHC events, as needed.
  • Understands responsibilities with respect to FERPA, Title IX, Clery and other compliance requirements.
  • Contributes toward maintenance of a positive and respectful workplace, defined by personal competence.
  • Understands and contributes to the implementation of college and institutional goals for achieving a respectful, equitable and inclusive environment.
  • Performs related duties as assigned or required to meet Department, College and University goals.


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

  • Bachelor’s Degree with three (3) years of experience in academic and/or scholarship advising in higher education.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to collaborate and interact effectively with faculty, staff, students, administrators, and the public in a friendly and professional manner.
  • Ability to establish a rapport, maintain harmonious working relationships.
  • Ability and willingness to work empathetically with a diverse student population.
  • Strong written and verbal skills, demonstrated by the ability to write concisely, express thoughts clearly and develop ideas in a logical sequence.
  • Independent initiative with the ability to stay on task and work productively with minimum amount of supervision or guidance and the ability to adapt and work effectively as the college 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.
  • Intermediate proficiency in computer skills, including ability to use Word, Excel, and Access. Familiarity with calendar software, website software, and social media.
  • Ability to exercise sound judgement and discretion in handling confidential information.
  • Ability to understand, explain, and apply policies and procedures.
  • Understanding of and ability to apply current principles of “whole student” academic advising.


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

  • Master's Degree.
  • Success in working with students from historically marginalized communities, first generation college students, low income, and non-traditional students.
  • Experience with grant or proposal writing.
  • Experience working with faculty in higher education setting.
  • Ability to market events, information sessions, and other events.
  • Experience with study abroad, either advising or living abroad.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of student leadership, experience working with student leaders.
  • Training in social justice and/or understanding of Inclusive Excellence.
  • Experience guiding students through the process of engaging in undergraduate research.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  • Typical office environment.


Work Schedule

  • Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm.
  • May work occasional nights and weekends.


Salary Information

Level 26

PSU Hiring Ranges


Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a resume, cover letter, Diversity Statement (see below), and contact information for three (3) professional references. The search will remain open until a suitable candidate pool has been identified.  

The Diversity Statement should identify previous experience and future goals. These contributions may result from lived experiences, academic and/or professional experiences, and/or mentoring, teaching, and outreach activities.


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. 

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