Graduate Academic Advisor

Job description

Areas of Intereset: Academic Advising
Functional Areas: College of Engineering & Applied Science
Department: Ann and H.J Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences
Requisition Number: 14525
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Employment Type: University Staff
Schedule: Full-Time
Posting Close Date: 03-Dec-2018

Job Summary

The College of Engineering & Applied Science (CEAS) is committed to developing collaborative, student-centered relationships between graduate program advisors and graduate students that support achievement of academic success, promote personal and professional development of students, and foster a sense of community for our graduate students. CEAS graduate program advisors support the whole student through a developmental, student-focused approach. Graduate program advisors are charged with developing and implementing advising strategies and interventions to enhance the performance and persistence of students and support the graduate education mission of their unit more broadly by supporting the faculty who oversee the unit’s graduate programs. Experienced career professionals in this position typically maintain their regular student caseloads but contribute an expanded role by performing elements of service to the college and/or campus graduate advising community.

This professional advising position has responsibility for providing academic and developmental advising for graduate students in the Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences (AES). This position manages a unit’s graduate students and is responsible for proactive outreach and communication to these students. The position informs and advises students of graduate milestones and tracks their progress towards fulfilling them; advises students about the nature and content of the unit’s curricula; helps prepare students to take advantage of fellowship, professional development, and community-building opportunities; informs students and faculty of how to navigate systems, academic processes, and policies at CU Boulder; encourages students to become contributing members of the CU community; assists in the recruiting, admitting and onboarding of new graduate students through the annual admissions cycle; develops and executes marketing and recruiting strategies in collaboration with their unit’s graduate committee, and prepares students to become future leaders in their field. Proof of eligibility to work in the United States must be produced within three (3) days of hire.

Who We Are

CU Boulder's Ann and H.J. Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences is nationally known for teaching and research that address both challenges and opportunities facing the aerospace profession. Students work extensively on hands-on experiments in the Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory and design projects alongside expert faculty in the department's world-class research centers. CU aerospace alumni are working at top companies and research labs, including the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Johnson Space Center, The Boeing Company, and Lockheed Martin.

We are home to 42-tenure track, research, and instructional faculty, over 200 graduate students and 400 undergraduates. Our vibrant community of engineers and scientists tackle challenges in aerospace technology and science.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

Academic Advising

  • Perform academic advising for graduate students consistent with current advising standards and protocols with tasks including but not limited to:
    • Tracking student progress by maintaining student records.
    • Maintaining and updating degree plans, if applicable.
    • Reviewing and approving plans of study.
    • Reviewing and processing transfer credit requests, distinguishing between routine cases and those that require faculty involvement.
    • Helping students with course registration issues as needed.
    • Serves as graduate student liaison with the graduate committee, presenting student petitions, internal and College fellowships, etc. as needed.
    • Serves as liaison with the CEAS Graduate Education Council, sharing departmental concerns and communicating information and issues back to the department as needed.
    • Serves as liaison with the Graduate School on all aspects pertaining to department’s graduate students.
  • Advise faculty on progress of graduate students’ course work, preliminary exam progress, proposal and defense time-frames and makes recommendations to the Graduate Committee regarding receipt of proposed degrees. Exercises signature authority for graduation requirements on Admission to Candidacy forms by certifying graduates' completion of all degree requirements.
  • Track graduate student progress with respect to departmental milestones such as completion of course work, completion of preliminary and comprehensive exams, and completion of topic proposal and final defense requirements. Recommends corrective actions for graduate students who are not meeting program goals or requirements.
  • Advise students regarding academic requirements and options for completing them. Stays current about changing curricula, rules, and policies at the department/program, college, and university levels and how to apply them consistently to different circumstances.
  • Proactively tracks, contacts, and works with special student populations (e.g., students in academic difficulty, non-traditional students, student parents, members of underrepresented groups, etc.) and escalates critical issues to faculty and/or college and campus resources.
  • Advise and counsel current students, faculty, and staff on policies, procedures, rules, regulations, and graduation requirements. Is deeply knowledgeable about department, college, and Graduate School policies and procedures.
  • Offer guidance to faculty advisors and the Associate Chair for Graduate Affairs through the use of personal judgment and resourcefulness in tailoring existing guidelines to apply to students’ particular circumstances and emergencies.
  • Meet individually with graduate students to determine progress in the program and aids graduating students to prepare them for searching job opportunities.
  • Assign faculty advisors to graduate students (BS/MS, MS and PhD).
  • Coordinate the administration of comprehensive and PhD preliminary exam.
  • Consult with appropriate undergraduate advisor as needed regarding BS/MS concurrent degree students. Serves as a backup to the department's undergraduate advisor(s) when needed.

Graduate Admissions and Recruitment ASEN Graduate Program

  • Implement the spring and fall graduate admissions review process and tracks applications received. Position is responsible for the data stored in the electronic admissions review process used by the department’s Graduate Committee.
  • Compile data from the previous year's applications and admissions and makes recommendations to the Graduate Chair for changes in the graduate application review process to ensure that top applicants are recruited and apply to the department.
  • Use a metrics-driven approach to create and propose annual recruitment strategies and budget to the Graduate Chair and Graduate Committee; leads the execution of this strategy with the Graduate Committee.
  • Serve as main point of contact for all applicants to the graduate program and guides applicants through the entire application process. Advises prospective graduate students about departmental offerings and the requirements for admittance into the department’s graduate programs. Connects applicants to relevant college and campus resources/programs as needed.
  • Design and determines the process for gathering, maintaining, and analyzing graduate statistics and recruitment data regarding applicants, matriculants and graduates, and benchmarks against peer programs.
  • Assist with and implements the administrative process for utilizing graduate fellowships as a tool for recruiting the top applicants to the graduate program; Recommends appropriate and creative ideas for distribution of recruitment funds.
  • Inform the Graduate Committee about individuals from underrepresented populations in the applicant pool.
  • Track recruitment, retention, and performance of women and underrepresented minorities in the graduate program and informs the Chair and Graduate Chair of relevant trends.
  • Notify applicants of acceptance or non-acceptance to graduate degree programs.
  • Oversee the coordination of annual graduate student recruiting programs, such as information sessions and visits.
  • Design and determines the process for graduate student admissions and orientation, working with AES faculty members and staff, CU Library Services, the AES lead TA, and the Aerospace Graduate Student Organization, to plan for and to prepare presentations.
  • Disseminate information regarding specific AES focus-area research opportunities and curriculum requirements, available university services, department and Graduate School regulations and policies, and general information about the surrounding Boulder community.
  • Work with the Associate Chair and faculty members to determine the process and standards for selecting Smead Fellows, recipients of other various awards, and maintains regular work contacts to verify that fellowships are properly awarded.
  • Coordinate and administer the PhD preliminary exam by requesting AES and other College of Engineering and Applied Science faculty members to compile components of the written preliminary exam, including exam forms and exam questions; serves as written-exam proctor, and reports any acts of academic dishonesty to the Associate Chair.
  • Responsible for the preliminary assignment, verification of salary parameters, and offer letters of graduate Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Class Assistants (CAs) to specific courses using the program objectives and regulations established by the Associate Chair and Department Chair.

Graduate Program Administration

  • Evaluate graduate student applications for completeness and minimum entry requirements for evaluation and review, takes instruction from faculty and Associate Chair on any final PhD admission decisions; and coordinates/recommends final degree admissions to the Associate Chair.
  • Design and determine the process for gathering, maintaining, and analyzing graduate statistics and recruitment data regarding applicants, matriculants and graduates, and benchmarks against peer programs.
  • Work with the registrar office, student records leaders, and academic advisors across campus to recommend best practices for various ISSS and student record-related issues.
  • Recommend improvements to reports and processes designed to meet campus needs.
  • Assist faculty in the administration of preliminary/comprehensive exams.
  • Support the process of generating offer letters for TA and RA appointments, entering relevant information in CU-SIS as necessary.
  • Work with the Graduate Chair and faculty members to determine the process and standards for selecting fellows and recipients of awards, and verifies that fellowships are properly awarded.
  • Work with the Office of Admissions, Office of International Admissions, Be Boulder Anywhere Program, and other engineering graduate program assistants in the college on broader programmatic issues. Informs students and faculty about fellowship opportunities for women and underrepresented minorities, and updates the Admissions Committee and faculty about diversity opportunities in the application pool.

Marketing and Communication

  • Create marketing materials that target underrepresented minorities; researches and targets schools with engineering undergraduate programs in geographical regions with high UMR populations to encourage higher education in the STEM disciplines, and coordinate efforts to distribute those materials.
  • Maintain regular work contacts with others outside the supervisory chain to ensure that the department’s Graduate Handbook is an accurate resource and guide to the students, and others inside and outside the department.
  • Plan and prepare a high-quality departmental visit by selecting top applicants from the applicant pool, creating an interesting and informative agenda consisting of AES faculty presenters, and presenters from others on campus such as Career Services and Housing, and reserving a hotel room block for top applicants.
  • Work with Communications Specialist to maintain high quality graduate webpages on the department’s website; and to create graduate program marketing materials for AES for distribution to prospective students, alumni, and interested persons in industry.
  • Coordinate with the college marketing team and faculty to implement marketing and recruitment campaigns that have both national and international outreach.
  • Develop marketing materials for distribution to prospective students, alumni, industry, and other stakeholders. Keeps recruitment materials up-to-date.
  • Ensure information on the department’s graduate program website is accurate, compelling, and up-to-date.
  • Plan and coordinate with other staff a fall welcome back social event for AES faculty, staff and students; and works as team member with AES staff for other departmental events.

Additional Duties

  • Participate in professional development activities.
  • Design and coordinate student-focused events to promote a sense of community and increase retention rates among current graduate students.
  • Other graduate-student support duties as assigned.

What We Can Offer

The anticipated starting salary is $48,000, commensurate with experience.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Be Statements

Be Authentic. Be Excited. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and one year of professional-level experience as an academic advisor at an educational institution including experience with admissions and recruiting cycles and processes.

What You Will Need

  • Ability to communicate effectively, both in writing and orally.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with employees at all levels throughout the institution.
  • Outstanding customer service skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work as a member of a team and within a collaborative work environment.
  • Exceptional organizational, planning, analytical, and technical skills.
  • Exceptional attention to detail.
  • Ability to work independently, prioritize multiple projects and requests, and work in a fast-pace environment.
  • Demonstrated passion for working with students from onboarding to graduation within a high-volume setting.
  • Sensitivity to and appreciation of cultural, political, and geographical differences, with ability to work well with faculty, staff, and students from around the world.
  • Demonstrated commitment and leadership ability to advance diversity and inclusion.
  • Demonstrated experience with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Power Point).
  • Demonstrated experience with Cloud-based services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and/or Google’s G Suite.
  • Willingness to work in an environment which may demand some flexibility or evening/weekend work.
  • Sensitivity to and appreciation of cultural, political, and geographical differences, with ability to work well with faculty, staff, and students from around the world.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and two years of professional-level experience as an academic advisor for graduate students in STEM disciplines at a college or university setting.
  • Two years of experience with admissions and recruiting cycles and processes.
  • Familiarity with Graduate Student Admissions and Recruiting cycles and processes.
  • Successful experience working with faculty.
  • Familiarity with University of Colorado's student information systems.
  • Experience with software that handles on-line applications and CRM for graduate student recruiting and admissions (Slate and Access).
  • Established skills and experience using technologies that support academic advising best practices.
  • Experience in serving as a liaison to link individuals or groups to varied resources.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:

  1. A current resume.
  2. A cover letter that specifically addresses how your background and experience align with the requirements, qualifications and responsibilities of the position.

You will not be asked to upload references at this time.

Please apply by December 03, 2018 for consideration.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

Posting Contact Name: Boulder Campus Human Resources

Posting Contact Email: [email protected]

The University of Colorado is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer





Diversity Profile: University



View more

Learn more on Inside Higher Ed's College Page for University

Arrow pointing right
Job No:
Posted: 12/20/2018
Application Due: 2/11/2019
Work Type: