Senior Academic Advisor and Assistant Director of New Student Orientation & Transitions

Apply now Job no: 521319
Work type: Staff Full Time
Campus: UMass Amherst
Department: CNS Advising Center
Pay Grade: 27
Categories: Academic Advising & Learning Resources, Professional Staff Union (PSU), College of Natural Sciences

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

Under the direct supervision of the CNS Assistant Dean of Advising, the Senior Academic Advisor and Assistant Director of New Student Orientation & Transitions provides complex comprehensive advising for upper-level students (sophomore- senior) in CNS majors. Ensures high quality advising and academic services for students, with particular emphasis on needs for sophomore, transfer, and students in academic jeopardy. Uses computer-based registration and academic records technology to track student success. Responsive to the widely varied needs of diverse student populations and works in a high volume and fast-paced work environment.


Essential Functions

  • Serves as Chief Undergraduate Advisor (CUA) for the CNS Science major.
  • Manages communications for the CNS Advising Center, including but not limited to updating office website, development and dissemination of the CNS Advising newsletter and social media outreach to students (e.g., Instagram, Twitter, Facebook accounts).
  • Supervises a graduate student editor.
  • Leads the development and execution of a college-wide specialized advising program, based on best practices and analysis of outcome data, to support and mentor students on academic probation.  Expands and refines these programs to other populations in academic jeopardy, including those with academic warnings and returning from suspension.
  • Provides comprehensive, individualized, and small group advising to a diverse population of upper-level students (sophomore- senior) students during the academic year, and registration periods. 
  • Directs the review of CNS academic petitions and forms (e.g., Late Add, Late Withdrawal, Late Pass/Fail, Credit Overload).
  • Directs the CNS Peer Advising Program, including the advertising, selection, payment and supervision of the Peer Advisors.  Offers the CNS Peer Advisors training in a fall offering of NATSCI  391A Seminar- CNS Peer Advising course.
  • Participates and offers support in CNS New Student Orientation and Transitions.
  • Responds to common issues such as registration-related matters including fulfilling University general education requirements, interpreting major and college requirements and providing guidance for dual degrees, double majors, and minors.
  • Assists students with matters that involve goal setting, self-assessment and time management skills, planning and decision-making such as establishing an academic plan, choosing a major within and outside of CNS, selecting courses, and evaluating courses for study-abroad experiences.
  • Responds to at-risk students experiencing academic and often critical personal difficulties by addressing relevant issues and making appropriate referrals to University agencies.
  • Responds to and manages high-stress and sensitive inquiries from parents in accordance with FERPA and in a professional and respectful manner/tone.
  • Participates in evening and weekend activities including Open Houses, Destination Days, Senior Celebration, and other activities and events that may be developed.
  • Contributes to the college-level graduation clearance process.


Other Functions

  • Performs related duties as assigned or required to meet Department, College, and University goals and objectives.
  • Understands responsibilities with respect to Title IX, FERPA, and other compliance requirements.
  • Demonstrates capacity, skill and willingness to engage students and contribute to student success.
  • Works collaboratively with other campus stakeholders to fulfill the mission of Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Student Success.
  • Works collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality and inclusiveness. 
  • Works in partnership with colleagues within the CNS community and across the campus to support the Dean’s strategic priorities.


Minimum Qualifications

  • Master's degree in Math, Science or Higher Education and three (3) years of professional student-facing experience in areas such as student life, advising, or counseling OR Bachelor’s degree and five (5) years of professional experience in areas such as student life, advising, or counseling. 
  • Experience in serving a large, culturally diverse population.
  • Demonstrated capacity for supervision of staff and/or students.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a high volume of complex and varied client needs.
  • Excellent oral and written communication, strong organizational and interpersonal skills, and intermediate level computer proficiency. 
  • Skilled in small group presentations.
  • Able to take initiative and work independently and collaboratively with various university personnel. 


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Professional teaching experience.
  • Knowledge of university academic rules and regulations.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  • Monday - Friday, 9:00am - 5:00pm.
  • Required to work some nights and weekends.


Salary Information

Level 27

PSU Hiring Ranges


Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a cover letter, resume, a statement of your advising philosophy and experience in student success, a diversity statement (see below), and contact information for three (3) professional references. The search may remain open until a suitable candidate has been identified.  

As part of a commitment to their own multicultural community, CNS seeks an individual with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and one who will understand and embrace university initiatives and aspirations. In addition to application materials above, candidates will need to submit a Statement of Contribution to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The Diversity Statement should identify past experiences and future goals. These contributions may result from lived experiences, scholarships, and/or mentoring, teaching, and outreach activities. (


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, caste, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, disability, political belief or affiliation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related condition(s), veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, natural and protective hairstyle and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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Applications close: Eastern Daylight Time

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The University of Massachusetts is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action, Title IX employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age over 40, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, or other protected class.