Director of Advising & Retention
Reading Area Community College welcomes Diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, age, class, gender, ability, sexual orientation, and belief system among others. As an institution, we value and respect diversity; therefore, it is important for students, faculty, staff, and administrators to understand differences, to interact effectively with others, and to prepare for the demands of a globalized world. As an open admission institution, RACC serves students of all levels of academic preparedness. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Summary: The Director of Advising & Retention reports to the Vice President of Enrollment Management and will have the overall responsibility for coordinating and directing College advising services in support of the College’s strategic initiatives. These services shall be coordinated in concert with the other student services departments as well as all academic divisions. Academic advising is an essential educational activity which ensures that students have access to accurate, reliable and timely information throughout the course of their college careers. Further, advising seeks to educate and guide students in making sound academic and personal choices that will allow for student success. The person in this position will assist with other assigned retention initiatives. In addition, the Director of Advising and Retention will act as an academic advisor to an assigned group of students and regularly providing advising services to students who come to the Advising Center. The following are indicative of the responsibilities that fall within this position.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
- Oversee the day-to-day operations of the College Advising Center including the front desk operations, scheduling of staff and faculty advisors, and advising services and processes.
- Set and maintain a high standard of quality student service in the Advising Center This includes ensuring that anyone who enters the Advising Center receives a friendly greeting, holding staff and student workers accountable for proactively addressing inquiries and concerns with expedience and friendliness and handling any conflicts that may arise with respect and discretion.
- Assess and improve the onboarding process of new students and advising services for current students, improving both efficiency and effectiveness.
- Ensure the delivery of accurate, relevant, and timely information to students concerning the culture of higher education, placement test results, academic standards and expectations, and program options and requirements.
- Coordinate retention programs and services with Academic Affairs and other college departments, including data collection, analysis and reporting outcomes.
- In cooperation with the Vice President of Enrollment Management, identify priorities, strategic goals and action plans to enhance student progress to degree completion. Lead, support and provide direction to advising staff with retention and completion initiatives.
- Manage advising assignments and oversee the advisement of special populations that are assigned to direct reports.
- Update and implement procedures and practices to promote the success of students.
- Design and implement a comprehensive advisor training program for all faculty and staff that are involved in advising students. Utilize various technologies to promote the program.
- Maintain and update advisor and advisee information found on the college website and online catalog.
- Serve as an assigned advisor to a designated student group and provide academic advising services to students through walk-ins and appointments on a regular basis.
- Collaborate with the IT department to develop reports needed to manage the advising process and to report on advising outcomes.
- Participate in meetings and serve on committees as required and function as an advocate for advising within the college community.
- Work cooperatively with the marketing and academic staff to develop program brochures and other informational materials.
- Hire, schedule and train student workers. Ensure that student workers provide excellent student service and are trained to adequately answer questions, make appointments with appropriate staff; assist students through the registration process and technology onboarding and to adequately support the Advising Center.
- Serve as the Vice President of Enrollment Management’s delegate as appropriate to ensure the department functions in a professional and appropriate fashion.
- Other job-related duties as assigned.
Supervisory Responsibilities: Directly supervise full-time, regular part-time and other part-time employees assigned to the position. Carry out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with College policies, Collective Bargaining Agreements and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance, and taking corrective action with employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.
Qualifications: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Education and/or Experience
Master's Degree in Counseling, Education, Student Affairs or related field is required. A minimum of three (3) years experience working with students in an educational setting is required. Management and administrative experience required.
Management experience in a union environment
Experience as an Academic Advisor in a college or university setting
Community College experience
Experience working with a Student Information System (Ellucian Colleague strongly preferred)
Other Qualifications: Self-motivated with the ability to function productively and independently;
Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to establish positive working relationships;
Excellent management/supervisory skills.
Language Skills: Ability to read, analyze, and interpret the most complex documents. Ability to respond effectively to the most sensitive inquiries or complaints. Ability to write speeches and articles using original or innovative techniques or style. Ability to make effective and persuasive speeches and presentations on controversial or complex topics to top administration, the public, students and/or boards of directors.
Mathematical Skills: Ability to work with mathematical concepts such as probability and statistical inference. Ability to apply concepts such as fractions, percentages, ratios, and proportions to practical situations.
Reasoning Ability: Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists. Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form.
Computer Skills: To perform this job successfully, an individual should be proficient in the use of Microsoft Office products, with proficiency in Outlook, Word and Excel.
Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
While performing the duties of this Job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear. The employee is frequently required to sit. The employee is occasionally required to stand. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision and ability to adjust focus.
Work Environment: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.