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Academic Advisor for Biology

The University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS

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Position OverviewThe Academic Advisor for Biology is primarily responsible for providing comprehensive advising for undergraduate students with declared Biology majors to assist their progression toward degree completion. Biology has large enrollment (~1700 majors), diverse degrees and requirements, and specific course sequencing. They will also help support faculty advisors/mentors in the Departments of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) and Molecular Biosciences (MB). This position collaborates with campus partners on key advising initiatives. The Academic Advisor helps create an advising environment where differences are valued and each person is supported. Students are provided with equitable, inclusive opportunities and connected to services to create student success. The Academic Advisor in Biology is supervised by and will work closely with the Assistant Director.
Job Description50% Provides continual advising and targeted outreach, providing a focus to higher risk students in Biology.
1. Responds appropriately to Biology students’ questions and concerns regarding academic progress and enrollment.
2. Facilitates students’ engagement in the shared completion of a detailed semester-by-semester degree plan, which may include prerequisite courses for post-graduate plans.
3. Covers long range progression plans and has ongoing discussions with students regarding opportunities for support and engagement.
4. Communicates deviation from plan and initiates advising meeting with students not on track for progression. Reviews performance in semester following to determine if course has been corrected.
5. Focuses efforts on students with academic difficulty within Biology.• Reaches out to students in at-risk groups at the direction of the Assistant Director.
• Advises students who are in “notice” status.
• Advises students in “warning” status as a targeted group based on academic standing policy.
• Provides additional focus on non-progress in key introductory courses that immediately impede progressions in the major and discuss alternate pathways.
• Provides data regarding term grade point averages for the warning status group and documenting total number of contacts per student in the at-risk student group and number of students reached.6. Advise students at all advising functions related to new student orientation, which may include 1-2 weekends per year.
7. Tracks students in targeted concern groups who have not engaged in advising services.
8. Completes periodic follow up contacts by various means to encourage students to connect each semester.
9. Using data provided by the Associate and Assistant Directors, reviews progress of students in each of their assigned majors to determine milestone progression.
10. Provides Assistant Director with student data each semester including, but not limited to: number of declared majors/minors, number of intake appointments, student feedback results, number of completed degree plans, and other related student success data.
11. Reviews student feedback regarding satisfaction of advising services.
12. Assist Associate Director with graduation ceremony one weekend per year.
20% Provides comprehensive initial advising to students at the time of their declared interest in a major.
1. Works with student at the time of major selection to develop graduation pathway, explore area-specific opportunities, determine career possibilities, and connect the student to faculty advisor/mentor.
2. Connects declared students to faculty with specific focus area of interest.
3. Maintains informational resources to include major-related opportunities such as research, study abroad, internships, clubs, and career pathways.
4. Conducts follow up communication with students who have not set milestones as determined in collaboration with Assistant Director.
5. Assists with instruction of biology orientation seminar.
10% Maintains current knowledge of University and CLAS policies and procedures affecting undergraduate education at KU.
1. Effectively communicates and explains policies and procedures to students and stakeholders.
2. Collaborates with faculty on matters relating to University undergraduate policy and procedures across units, including student petitions, the curricular and program change process, and the Academic Catalog.
3. Attends undergraduate faculty meetings and other relevant committee meetings as needed.
4. When appropriate, collaborates with faculty regarding use of systems related to advising.
5. Participates in regular training, professional development, and work group/committee opportunities.
10% Collaborates with campus partners on key advising initiatives.
1. Working with Associate and Assistant Directors, collaborates with a variety of campus partners to facilitate students’ progression from exploration to chosen pathway, giving attention to support services and enrichment opportunities throughout their undergraduate academic career.
2. Coordinates career and placement activities with the University Career Center (UCC) for targeted student groups at milestones.
3. Works with student success units to create and implement programming for incoming students.
4. Meet with prospective students interested in biology majors as needed.
10% Assists with faculty advisor training and curriculum feedback.
1. Assists Associate and Assistant Directors with training as needed to new faculty undergraduate coordinators and advisors on the basics of advising, policy, procedure, DPR, portal, etc. and serves as a resource as needed.
2. Communicates feedback from a student/advisor perspective. May assist with curriculum process as needed. Position Requirements
  1. This position will mostly be on-site with the option to work 1-2 days remotely.
Required QualificationsEvaluation of the following requirements will be made through (1) descriptions of work experience and educational experiences in letter of application, (2) record of accomplishments and productivity addressed in resume, and (3) information provided from professional references.
  1. Bachelor's degree with one year relevant experience.
  2. One year minimum experience working directly with students in a college or university setting as evidenced by application materials.
  3. One year minimum of work experience that demonstrates ability to perform detailed work, prioritize multiple tasks, and meet deadlines as evidenced by application materials.
  4. Demonstrated strong communication and organizational skills as evidenced by letter of application and work history.
Preferred Qualifications
  1. Master's degree in Higher Education or related field.
  2. Degree in biological sciences-related field.
  3. Degree in the liberal arts and sciences.
  4. Demonstrated academic advising experience with students in a college or university setting.
  5. Demonstrated experience with and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
  6. Knowledge of KU and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences' requirements, policies, and procedures.
  7. Demonstrated experience with relevant computerized student information and communication systems, including but not limited to, Excel and Tableau.
Additional Candidate InstructionsA complete online application includes a cover letter, CV and contact information for three professional references.
Application deadline is Nov 28th, 2021. For first consideration, please apply before that date.

Contact Information to ApplicantsLauren Spain
[email protected]
Advertised Salary Range$40,000 Work Schedule40 hours/week; 8AM - 5PM Application Review Begins29-Nov-2021 Anticipated Start Date03-Jan-2022


Working at the University of Kansas 

Join the University of Kansas, and you’ll become part of a Jayhawk family that spans the globe. Wear your KU shirt in London, Istanbul, Buenos Aires, Nairobi or anywhere else, and you will likely hear a resounding “Rock Chalk!” from a stranger. Of course, the appropriate response is an enthusiastic “Jayhawk!” Because, after all, they’re not really strangers, they’re family.

The Jayhawk community is united by more than 150 years of tradition and by our commitment to pushing the boundaries of knowledge, transforming the academic experience, and creating solutions through innovative research. KU’s mission is to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that change the world.  

The University of Kansas is the state’s flagship university and one of just 66 invited members of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU). We consistently earn high rankings for academics and recognition as a premier research university.

KU faculty and staff embrace our role as the state’s flagship university, AAU member and R1 institution that serves the state, nation and world. We celebrate the energy and compassion that infuse the Jayhawk spirit; and, we remain true to KU’s historic values: the elevating force of education, the transformative power of research and the healing power of service.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging 

The University of Kansas is committed to a learning and workplace environment that is representative of our nation and global society, accepts and values everyone, appreciates our common humanity and understands that our multiple differences are the cornerstone of academic preparation, professional excellence and distinction. KU must be a place where all people feel they belong and have access to resources and support that help them attain their educational and professional goals.

We recognize there are inequalities and privileges generated by historical and persistent intersecting differences by race, ethnicity, gender identities, gender expressions, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, abilities, religion, regional background, veteran status, citizenship status and nationality. And we hold ourselves accountable for policies, processes and programs that appreciate these and other differences and create more fair, safe and just learning, working and living environments for KU students, faculty and staff.


KU offers a broad array of undergraduate and graduate study programs, and we fulfill our mission through academic and research programs of international distinction, coupled with outstanding libraries, teaching museums and information technology. These resources enrich the academic experience for students from all 50 states and 112 countries, and provide enrichment resources for KU faculty and staff.


The university attains high levels of research productivity and recognizes that faculty are part of a network of scholars and academicians that shape a discipline as well as teach it. KU staff are integral to our research success, participating in and supporting discoveries that expand knowledge and improve lives.


The university and our employees serve society through research, teaching and the preservation and dissemination of knowledge. KU's academic programs, arts facilities and public programs provide cultural enrichment opportunities for the larger community. And, KU offers educational, research and service programs throughout the state. KU employees are encouraged to participate in and serve the campus and surrounding communities in a way that is meaningful to them.

International Dimension 

KU offers more than 100 programs of international study and cooperative research for KU students and faculty at sites around the world. The university offers teaching and research that draw upon and contribute to the most advanced developments throughout the United States and abroad. At the same time, KU's extensive international ties support economic development in Kansas.


The University of Kansas, our students and employees are committed to excellence. We foster a multicultural, inclusive environment in which the dignity and rights of individuals are respected. Intellectual diversity, integrity and disciplined inquiry in the search for knowledge are of paramount importance.

Our City and State 

KU sits atop Mt. Oread in the center of Lawrence, a town full of natural beauty and culture. In fact, Rolling Stone magazine named Lawrence one of the best college towns in the United States. Lawrence is home to more than 100,000 people, and has a charming, Midwestern friendliness that welcomes visitors and celebrates diversity. In addition to KU, Lawrence is home to Haskell Indian Nations University, the premiere tribal university in the United States.

Lawrence’s historic and thriving downtown features restaurants, nightlife and local shops offering unique finds that you won’t find anywhere else. The town has more than 50 parks, an encompassing mixed-use trail, and quick access to biking/hiking trails along the Kansas River and around Clinton Lake. A five-minute drive from Lawrence, Clinton Lake offers fishing, boating, beaches, camping and other outdoor activities.

Located just 40 minutes west of Kansas City, Lawrence offers the appeal of a mid-size, suburban town with quick access to the amenities of a large city, including an international airport. The Kansas City metro area is home to world-class museums and cultural activities, Jazz clubs and other nightlife venues, expansive shopping options, and exciting professional sports with the Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Royals and Sporting KC.

Kansas is in the center of the country, making it convenient and cost effective to fly or drive to destinations throughout the United States. Far from flat, the Flint Hills, just 90 minutes from Lawrence, offer panoramic vistas that showcase the breathtaking beauty of America.

Making KU Your Home 

Something about Lawrence is magnetic. Long-time residents are never surprised when a KU student or employee from out of state decides to make Lawrence their permanent home. And, even those who do leave often find themselves returning to “the nest” at some point in the future. In fact, Lawrence has been named by several publications as one of the best places to retire.

At the University of Kansas, you’ll join a global Jayhawk family and find a place to call home.

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