Director of the First-year Experience

Lewisburg, PA
Mar 07, 2017
Administrative Jobs
Student Affairs
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
The Director of the First-year Experience is a key staff member within the Division of Student Affairs. Reporting to an Associate Dean of Students, the Director of the First-year Experience develops, evaluates, and facilitates transition programming grounded in a deep understanding of student development theory and new students' lived experiences. Serving as a bridge between academic and student affairs, the Director works with partners across the University and draws upon national best practices and emerging trends in student transition, retention, and engagement. The Director will oversee orientation programs, including the five-day first-year program and fall/spring transfer orientations; coordinate the First-year Reading Program; and manage the First-year Integration Series. The Director will also create ongoing opportunities to assist in the academic and social transition and integration of first-year students to the Bucknell community.

The Director will have experience and expertise that will contribute to Bucknell's commitment to diversity and inclusiveness.

Job Duties:

Manage and direct all aspects of the Orientation program, including but not limited to:

- Mentor and train student Orientation staff, fostering a strong sense of community and responsibility with expectations commensurate to role and experience level (Orientation Assistants, Orientation Leaders, and Orientation Coordinator/Assistant Orientation Coordinator).

- Coordinate the recruitment, selection, and training of 100+ Orientation Leaders (OLs) and Orientation Assistants (OAs).

- Design and implement an intensive training program to equip student staff for their leadership roles during and after the Orientation program centered in both the program and University missions.

- Oversee fall and spring transfer student orientation, including collaborating with International Student Services in order to incorporate international exchange students.

- Coordinate communication to first-year students including creation and dissemination of both printed and virtual materials.

- Manage the budgetary process for Orientation and first-year programs.

- Assess first-year and transfer Orientation programs in order to innovate beyond best practices and ensure that the current programmatic model and offerings assists students in the transition to academic and co-curricular life at Bucknell.

- Facilitate the integration of first-year students to the University community by coordinating major campus events designed to introduce first-year students to university traditions and create a foundation for developing community. Such events include Matriculation, Convocation, First-year Reading, and First Night.

- Work closely with campus partners (including Academic Affairs, Residential Education, Residential Colleges and pre-orientation programs) to create an intentional, collaborative experience for first-year students.

- Collaborate with staff of pre-orientation programs to provide coordinated arrival day for pre-orientation program participants and their families.

- Lead the First-year Reading Program including recruiting for and convening the First-year Reading committee, soliciting recommendations and feedback from the campus community, working with the Provost's office as related to the budget and final book selection, and promoting ongoing student engagement with the book through various programs.

- Advise the First-year class government, supporting and guiding their University initiatives and fundraising efforts.

- Organize First Night, collaborating with Alumni Relations to engage the alumni community and advising the first-year class officers in the development of their class colors, crest, motto and presentations.

- Lead all aspects of the First-year Integration Series (FYIS) including soliciting workshop proposals from across the University, actively seeking campus partnerships, supporting administrative needs of workshop facilitators, maintaining accurate progress and completion records, communicating technology needs with University assessment liaisons, and responding to the needs and concerns of first-year students. Assess the FYIS, continuing to develop and coordinate a co-curricular experience for first-year students.

Student Affairs Divisional Involvement
- Attend and actively participate in office and divisional staff meetings and retreats.
- Represent the Division of Students Affairs by serving on University committees.
- Maintain a high degree of visibility and availability to students, faculty, and staff.
- Complete other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

1. Master's degree in college student personnel, higher education administration, or a related field
2. At least three years of professional full-time experience working with first-year students
3. Knowledge and a working understanding of student development theory
4. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
5. Strong commitment to student growth and development
6. Ability to work collaboratively across cultures and styles at all levels of the organization

This position requires some evening and weekend work.

Bucknell University provides equal opportunity without regard to race, color, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, national or ethnic origin, marital status, veteran status or disability in admissions, employment and in all of its educational programs and activities.

Bucknell University believes that students learn best in a diverse, inclusive community and is therefore committed to academic excellence through diversity in its faculty, staff, and students. We seek candidates who are committed to Bucknell's efforts to create a climate that fosters the growth and development of a diverse student body, and we welcome applications from members of groups that have been historically underrepresented in higher education. Bucknell University is a private, highly ranked, national liberal arts institution that also offers strong professional programs in engineering, business, education, and music. Located in Central Pennsylvania along the Susquehanna River, Bucknell is nestled in the Borough of Lewisburg, an architectural gem that has been ranked as one of America's best small towns.

Bucknell is a NCAA Division I (FCS) and Patriot League member institution, that sponsors 27 varsity athletics programs.


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