Academic Navigator

Jun 08, 2018
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

About Mills College:
Located in Oakland, California, in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area, Mills College is a liberal arts college for women and gender non-binary students, with graduate programs for all genders. Consistently ranked one of the top master's universities and one of the best value colleges in the West by U.S. News & World Report, Mills also has been named one of the Best Colleges in the nation by The Princeton Review. The Mills experience is distinguished by small, interactive classes, one-on-one attention from exceptional faculty, a culture of creative experimentation, and cutting-edge interdisciplinary learning opportunities which empower students to make a statement in their careers and communities. As one of the most diverse liberal arts colleges in the country, we have a strong record of academic success with first-generation students, students of color, Latinx students, LGBTQ students, and other underrepresented students. Mills College has recently become a Hispanic Serving Institution. Applicants with expertise and experience in supporting and promoting success for Latina/o students are encouraged to apply.

Mills College encourages diversity in hiring and particularly welcomes applications and nominations from women, gender non-binary individuals, and minorities. Mills College seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitment to equity, inclusion, and social justice and our desire to maintain the excellence of our faculty. In so doing, we offer our students not only the opportunity to learn about varied disciplines but to engage with diverse perspectives and ways of knowing and learning. For more information, please visit

Job Description:
Reports to: Assistant Dean of Advising, Careers, and Global Learning
Supervises: Student Workers
Summary of Position:

The incumbent is responsible for advising and providing academic support to students with the goal of increasing student success, retention, and completion rates. Under the supervision of the Assistant Dean of Advising, Careers, and Global Learning, the Academic Navigator will maintain a student-centered approach to empowering students while helping them navigate their academic experience at Mills College. Academic Navigators will work with faculty and staff from many different offices to problem solve and create academic support programming for students. Direct student-facing work is central to the success of this position, both as an Academic Navigator, and as a developer of student leadership opportunities. Through teaching courses, workshops, and direct student appointments, Academic Navigators will increase academic support with the goal of increasing student success, persistence, and completion.

Essential Job Functions:
Academic & Career Advising:
  • Monitor student academic progress and use a developmental and culturally appropriate framework and methodology to work directly with students to problem solve and empower them to navigate their educational experience at the College.
  • Participate in remote advising experiences, Advising Days, Student Orientation, and other major College events connected to student success.
  • Provide basic career advice and support for students interested in global learning experiences.
  • Work directly with staff in relevant offices (Records, Student Accounts, Financial Aid, etc.) to help solve students' academic advising and registration issues as needed.
  • Work effectively with faculty advisors to empower students to navigate the institution and accomplish their educational goals.
  • Serve as a resource and information source for faculty advisors.
  • Work with faculty advisors to develop best practices and to optimize the advising experience.
Academic Support:
  • Develop the skills of the graduate student assistants, and the peer tutors.
  • Collaborate to design and teach semester long courses and short sequence workshops on academic skills; learning theories and other relevant topics for student success.
  • Support students on academic probation.
  • Provide guidance and counseling for students needing improvement in learning strategies, time-management, or referrals for SASS consultations.
  • Develop unique relationships with students in specific programs designed to enhance student success (SAW, Hellman, probation, etc.)
  • Use evidence based strategies to recommend/implement changes in college processes to improve student success, persistence, and completion rates.
  • Participate in various College committees or working groups directed toward improving advising and student success.
ePortfolio Management and Development:
  • Promote and educate the campus community about theory, models, and use of the ePortfolio.
  • Collaborate with Assistant Dean of Advising, Careers, and Global Learning to provide training and support for ePortfolio use across the Mills community.
  • Work directly with students on their ePortfolios as they support learning, advising, and balance.
Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
  • Demonstrated ability to support students from diverse academic, socio-economic and racial/ethnic backgrounds, genders and abilities; demonstrated expertise and knowledge in the support needs of underrepresented and first generation students.
  • Demonstrated ability to juggle multiple demands with humor, diplomacy, and flexibility, while meeting deadlines.
  • Demonstrated ability to be empathetic toward students and maintain professional boundaries.
  • High level of emotional intelligence
  • Demonstrated ability to understand and follow rules around student data and privacy, including FERPA.
  • Ability to maintain positive working relationships with faculty, staff and students.
  • Demonstrated ability to work across multiple departments and with many different stakeholders.
  • Attention to detail and deadlines, and follow through.
  • Excellent judgment and decision making skills.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
Education and Training:
  • Master's degree in relevant field required.
  • Three years of relevant experience in higher education student affairs/student services, preferred experience advising. Comparable experience will be considered.
  • Theoretical and practical understanding of student success and student development research as they relate to advising, academic support, student transitions, and learning.
  • Academic and practical understanding of the ways that race, gender, class, immigration status, and other identities affect the student experience in higher education.
  • Understanding of the practical implications of legislation governing student data, privacy and student services.
Physical, Mental and Environmental Demands:
  • Work involves sitting and using office equipment. The incumbent will often spend hours on the computer entering and analyzing advising data, which requires attention to detail and high levels of accuracy.
  • Ability to multi-task in a fast-paced environment with multiple demands.
  • Must maintain a high level of confidentiality.
This position description is not intended to contain a comprehensive list of activities, duties, or responsibilities. Additional duties may be assigned based on business operational needs.

Additional Information:
This is an exempt, full-time position with an FTE of 1.0. Salary is commensurate with experience andincludes an excellent benefits package including medical/dental/vision/life/LTD insurance, 10 days of vacation for year one, 15 days of vacation for years 2-10, and 22 days of vacation years 10+ plus, 12 sick days and a minimum of 10 paid holidays annually. Staff members also receive free admission to campus events, use of the pool, fitness center, and tennis courts. Tuition remission is also available after an introductory period. Voluntary benefits include: 403(b) retirement plan (with matching after an introductory period), pet insurance, long-term care insurance and legal-assistance insurance.

Mills College does not permit discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, race, religious creed, color, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, age, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity. For more information on Mills' non-discrimination policy, please go to
Application Instructions:
To apply, please submit the following at
  • resume
  • cover letter and
  • contact information for three references
Review of applicants will begin immediately; applications will be accepted until the position is filled.


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