The Academic Advisor/Retention Specialist provides support and education to elevate students’ learning experience at the University of Idaho.
The Academic Advisor/Retention Specialist fosters student success by building positive and professional student relationships and implementing proactive strategies that help students fulfill their educational goals.
The Academic Advisor/Retention Specialist will have content expertise in the College of Agriculture & Life Science (CALS) academic programs and help students select courses and engage in opportunities consistent with their developing goals and interests.
This position will also support students’ timely progress toward degree completion.
Additional duties include, but are not limited to, providing information and clarification regarding university academic policies, creating rapport and building academic advising relationships, and referring students to appropriate campus resources.
This position is expected to work collaboratively with university partners to ensure students have access to all campus support and enrichment opportunities.
The University Advising Services (UAS) unit is part of University of Idaho’s Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) Division.
UAS seeks to elevate the standard for excellence in academic advising by working collaboratively with students and the university community to engage in advising practices that are rooted in teaching, connection, accessibility, and mutual respect in order to cultivate citizens engaged in their education and beyond.
Our mission is to assist in the exploration and discovery of academic resources; educate students about university policies and procedures; promote engagement in high-impact opportunities, university life, and the community; and empower students to take ownership of their individual goals, decisions, and achievements.
Provide effective academic advising services to undergraduate students by:
• Working in collaboration with CALS and the University Advising Services team to serve students and meet advising needs.
• Implementing advising best practices, guided by the Council for Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) guidelines, NACADA, and Complete College America.
• Ensuring students are properly advised in regard to appropriate course selection and in compliance with academic regulations related to graduation eligibility.
• Assisting students in assessing their interests and abilities, examining their educational goals and developing short-term and long-term plans to meet their objectives.
• Assisting students with course registration and graduation planning.
• Providing accurate and timely information and interpreting institutional, general education, and major requirements; clarifying institutional policies and procedures.
• Evaluating and monitoring student academic progress and the impact on achievement of goals.
• Reinforcing student self-efficacy, self-direction and self-advocacy.
• Remaining up-to-date on university and college-specific curricular changes, communicating those changes to current and prospective students and high school and community college partners.
• Managing and maintaining accurate advisor assignments in VandalWeb as well as updating advisor records in Banner, Degree Audit and VandalStar to maintain student advising files electronically.
• Advising provisional admits and working with faculty advisors to ensure student success.
• Collaborating with college leadership and faculty to facilitate a successful student transition from Academic Advisor/Retention Specialist to faculty advisors.
• Maintaining current knowledge about advising tools such as Degree Audit and VandalStar and communicating that information effectively to students.
• Maintaining current knowledge of FERPA regulations.
Educate, engage, and enrich advisees by making sure they have awareness and access to multiple opportunities for enrichment and support by:
• Fostering a strong connection to the academic college by maintaining an accurate understanding of academic curriculum and student enrichment opportunities through regular communication with college personnel.
• Ensuring students are properly advised in regard to educational experiences including internships, study abroad, honors, research opportunities, etc.
• Demonstrating a close working relationship with key student support service offices, all academic departments within the assigned college by referring students to these resources when appropriate.
• Ensuring students receive adequate information about career options by working closely with Career Services.
• Directing students with educational or personal concerns, or skill/learning deficiencies, to appropriate campus resources and programs as necessary, including the Counseling and Testing Center, Dean of Students office, and/or Center for Disability Access and Resources.
• Participating in college programs to support student success and engagement. Support University retention and graduation efforts by:
• Implementing proactive advising strategies to support retention, progression, and on-time graduation.
• Monitoring progress survey (early warning grade) flags in VandalStar, mid-term grades flags and academic probation reports; implementing proactive interventions for appropriate student populations.
• Developing and maintaining knowledge and understanding of current admissions standards, college placement tests, curriculum prerequisites and degree requirements, and restrictions and exceptions for potential undergraduate transfers and high school applicants.
• Participating in and helping plan university orientation and student success events such as UIdaho Bound (pre-advising and onboarding), Vandal Welcome, Envision Idaho, Sneak Peak, Semester Refresh, Registration Night and other programs as approved by the director.
• Utilizing university data to help identify at-risk student populations; collaborating closely with the advising team and other university student support offices on strategic retention programs.
• Referring students to faculty mentors.
Contributes to the college administration effort by:
• Assisting in assigning students to their faculty advisor.
• Sharing oversight of the peer leader program with CALS departments.
• Coordinating CALS living community programming for student success.
• Managing plans for students on academic probation/disqualification, including return plan for students eligible to return and managing the FTFT list.
• Managing student reports and communication for CALS (e.g. probation, early warning grades, midterm grades).
• Organizing and directing college course registration sessions for UIdaho Bound events and conducting training of faculty advisors.
• Attending department/faculty meetings throughout the year.
• Serving as a member of CALS Academic Programs Advisory and Curriculum Committee.
• Reviewing 4 year plans and ensuring accuracy and implementation of viable degree programs. • Serving on Scholarship Committee.
• Supporting Academic Petitions (in absence of Assoc. Dean).
• Submitting substitution/waiver requests for caseload in collaboration with faculty.
• Working with Career Services and CALS intern to coordinate CALS Employer Networking Nights.
• Serving as CALS liaison with Financial Aid for financial reinstatements.
• Serving as CALS liaison with the Office of the Registrar for articulation agreements.
Ensure professional development and growth by:
• Maintaining membership in NACADA, as budget allows.
• Attending trainings, professional meetings, seminars, workshops and conferences, as budget allows.
• Keeping up-to-date with reading of the latest monographs and articles about current issues in advising and retention and share with faculty.
• Serving on UI committees as appropriate.
This position is open until filled; however, applications received on or before April 18, 2021 will receive first consideration. Posting will remain open until a suitable pool of candidates is identified. You will need to provide a resume/CV and a cover letter. Please address required and preferred qualifications in these documents.
The University of Idaho, based in the Northwest, is a leading research school, providing majors and degrees for graduate and undergraduate students. The University of Idaho (U of I) is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff.
• Experience delivering student-centered customer service.
• Experience presenting information clearly and concisely to individuals, small, and large groups.
• Experience compiling and analyzing information for leadership/administrative decisions.
• Experience interpreting and applying standards and regulations.
• Bachelor’s degree
• Must be eligible for membership in NACADA
• Willingness to travel and to work selected evenings and weekends.
• Degree or professional experience in a related discipline
• Master’s Degree
• Demonstrated experience providing academic advising in a higher education setting.
• Experience working successfully with diverse students and colleagues.
• Experience establishing and maintaining quality professional relationships.
• Experience analyzing information to identify and define problems/alternatives and developing recommendations. • Knowledge of University of Idaho academic rules and regulations for undergraduate level advising.
• Knowledge of student development theory and advising best practices.
• Ability to communicate effectively, both in writing and orally, complex ideas in a manner that adapts to student needs and to articulate program requirements to a variety of audiences, including students, parents, faculty, and campus partners.
• Ability to display strong organizational skills in to successfully manage competing prioritizes.
• Ability to work independently and take initiative with new and existing projects.
• Ability to motivate, encourage, and support students to recognize their potential and meet challenges.