Job Positions

College Specialist/Academic Counselor / Job #505446

Categories: Pacific Region 9


Student Success Office, in the Division of Undergraduate Education and Academic Planning (DUEAP)


San Francisco State University

Date Posted:

Oct 19 2021 11:59AM

Close Date:

Dec 19 2021

Position Description

The College Specialist/Academic Counselor supports the University’s strategic plan, the Graduation Initiative 2025, and the Campus Student Success Plan by providing comprehensive academic counseling to help undergraduate students achieve their academic, personal and career goals. This position is a shared advising role that is split (50/50) between the Undergraduate Advising Center and one of our colleges (College of Business, College of Ethnic Studies, College of Liberal and Creative Arts, College of Health and Social Sciences, and the College of Science and Engineering). The incumbent collaborates with faculty, staff, and administrators both in their assigned college and in the Undergraduate Advising Center to improve the communication of advising-related information and to develop systems for delivering cross-campus, coordinated advising services. The College Specialist/Academic Counselor will advise both declared and undeclared students in confirming their major selection, exploring and declaring into a major, identifying strengths and interests, and overcoming academic and personal challenges. Additionally, the College Specialist/Academic Counselor will help students understand SF State’s general education and degree requirements as well as to understand college-based and university-wide policies and procedures. The College Specialist/Academic Counselor is responsible for providing consistent, accurate, complex, academic counseling services to current undergraduate students. Working independently, the counselor will provide individual and group counseling that requires the use of counseling techniques to evaluate students’ academic interests and to facilitate major and career exploration. The College Specialist/Academic Counselor will assist students in setting goals to facilitate student success, persistence, and degree completion in a timely manner. In addition, the incumbent will independently lead, develop, plan, implement, and evaluate advising-related projects in the Undergraduate Advising Center and in their assigned college. The College Specialist/Academic Counselor reports directly to an advising manager in the Division of Undergraduate Education and Academic Planning. The College Specialist/Academic Counselor also works closely with the Association Dean and/or Advising Lead/Director of their assigned college. The position functions under general supervision, but with a high degree of autonomy. This position requires strong judgment, flexibility, persuasiveness, and imagination in order to develop and institute coordinated advising approaches across SF State’s campus. The incumbent will need to apply careful administrative planning when cultivating and launching creative solutions to address specific advising problems and to launch new advising initiatives. San Francisco State University has long-standing commitments to teaching, learning and social justice. Individuals interested in advancing the University’s mission are strongly encouraged to apply.


The College Specialist/Academic Counselor splits time between their assigned college and the Undergraduate Advising Center. Typically, the split is 20 hours per week at each location. Duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

Academic Counseling:
- Provide academic counseling to undergraduate students on general education, major, graduation requirements, college-based policies, and other related policies and procedures; support declared majors in their assigned college and undeclared/exploratory students in one-on-one appointments, drop-in advising, and group workshops. - Independently coordinate and deliver academic advising to an assigned group of students each year; develop action plan for success based on the unique needs of each student; monitor and assess student progress in achieving their path to success and make adjustments to their path based on the progress and changing needs of the student; identify current and potential challenges (e.g. adjustment to college, time-management, academic success strategies) and counsel students through complex academic/personal challenges; make appropriate referrals to campus resources.
- Assist students on academic probation, subject to disqualification, and who have been academically disqualified, providing follow-up guidance and support.
- Use Educational Advisory Board (EAB)/Navigator to strategically outreach to students who need additional guidance or support such as murky middle, low-term GPA, and low unit completion rate.
- Create and implement messaging and appointment campaigns to identified populations of non-enrolled students, resolving academic issues and offering resource referrals to facilitate their re-enrollment.
- Resolve complex advising-related situations by applying in-depth knowledge of academic policy and recommending an appropriate course of action to students
- Serve as an advising expert for faculty and staff who need assistance resolving complicated advising issues.

Project Coordination:
- Lead, develop, plan, implement and evaluate Undergraduate Advising Center and college based projects (priorities will be identified in conjunction with their supervisor and the leadership team of the assigned college).
- Collaborate with Undergraduate Advising Center, College Resource Center, and major departments to develop and deliver ongoing training for staff.
- Serve as a liaison to the assigned college, improving cross-campus communication of advising-related information.
- Coordinate and deliver strategic advising initiatives established by the campus as part of the Campus Student Success Plan.
- Develop and implement strategies to address the academic support needs of at-risk students.
- Serve as an active member on the Advisory Board for Advisor Training & Professional Development participating in subcommittees aimed at creating and implementing campus-wide advisor trainings and professional development opportunities for the campus advising community.
- Serve as an advising ambassador through a train the trainer approach when implementing new advising tools and initiatives such as EAB, Degree Planner, Gator Scheduler, etc.
- Partner with campus leadership to identify shared challenges and opportunities related to student success especially as they relate to students from low-income, underrepresented minority and/or first-generation backgrounds.
- Create and lead college-based workshops (e.g. major exploration, major planning, career planning, major impaction) for undeclared/exploratory students to ensure acceptance to their desired major within 60 units/two-academic years.

Advising at Orientation:
- Provide academic counseling to freshmen students at New Student Programs/Orientation.
- Design and facilitate general education/registration workshops for incoming freshmen students attending Orientation (e.g. Academic Advising and Registration Workshop, Gator Scheduler, Campus Solutions/PeopleSoft). - Update college-specific advising materials and lead training for academic counselors and peer advisors on important major information for the assigned college.
- Participate in leading orientation training and provide updated advising tips and reminders for majors in the assigned college to the Undergraduate Advising Center.
Other duties as assigned.

At All Times:
- Demonstrate behaviors that are in line with the User Friendly Principles (P530C) and Principles of Conduct for a Multi-Cultural University (P30D).
- Demonstrate safe work practices for oneself, others and the office environment.

Application Process

For the complete job description and qualifications, please go to SF State’s online job posting: Position open until filled.

Institution Information

SF STATE IS NOT A SPONSORING AGENCY FOR STAFF OR MANAGEMENT POSITIONS. (i.e. H1-B VISAS). The Human Resources office is open Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and can be reached at (415) 338-1872. Please note that this position, position requirements, application deadline and/or any other component of this position is subject to change or cancellation at any time.

Additional Information

Environmental/Physical/Special Regular work hours are 8am – 5pm, Monday through Friday. Work hours are split 50/50 between the Undergraduate Advising Center and the college. Schedule to be determined by the supervisor and the leadership team of the assigned college. Ability to work occasional weekend hours and evening hours. Regular attendance is considered an essential job function; the inability to meet attendance requirement may preclude the employee from retaining employment.

Contact Information

To apply through San Francisco State University's website: Position open until filled.


Required Qualifications

Equivalent to graduation from a four-year college or university in a related field. A master’s degree in Counseling, Clinical Psychology, Social Work, or a directly related field may be substituted for one year of experience.

Knowledge and Abilities:
Thorough knowledge of the principles of individual and group behavior. General knowledge of the principles, practices and trends of the Student Services field as well as general knowledge of the policies, procedures and practices of the program area to which assigned; general knowledge of individual counseling techniques; general knowledge, or the ability to rapidly acquire such knowledge, of the organizational procedures and activities of the specific campus to which the position is assigned. Working knowledge of student services programs outside the program to which immediately assigned. Ability to analyze complex situations accurately and adopt effective courses of action; advise students individually and in groups on complex student-related matters; determine appropriate courses of action and proper techniques to utilize while engaged with individuals in personal interactions of an argumentative or sensitive nature; interpret and evaluate descriptions and explanations of problems brought forward by individuals or student organizations, analyze and define the problem, draw valid conclusions and project consequences of various alternative courses of action; carry out a variety of professionally complex assignments without detailed instructions; and establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with a variety of individuals.

Possession of these knowledge and abilities is typically demonstrated through the equivalent of three years of progressively responsible professional student services work experience.

Preferred Qualifications

Master’s degree from an accredited college or university in counseling, higher education, student affairs, or related-field.

Knowledge and Abilities:
- Advising and developing programs that support the needs of underrepresented, low income and first-generation college students.
- Providing effective academic counseling to students from diverse cultural, ethnic, socioeconomic, academic, sexual orientation and disability backgrounds in a one-to-one and group setting at a college/university.
- Using current software, technology, and online resources related to academic counseling.
- Facilitating workshops to small and large audiences using effective public-speaking techniques.
- Mastering complex information and communicating changes in university policy, regulations and requirements to students, faculty and staff.
- Assisting undeclared students explore their major options.
- Providing information on Title V, California State University, and San Francisco State University policies and procedures.
- Serving as a lead to develop, plan, implement and evaluate advising-related projects.
- Using PeopleSoft/Campus Solutions, the Educational Advisory Board (EAB), Microsoft Office Suite, and Learning Management Systems.

Core Competencies – embody the following competencies:
- Bias toward collaboration and teamwork.
- Effective oral, written and nonverbal communication skills.
- Customer/Client Focus with an emphasis in problem solving and resolution.
- Personal effectiveness and credibility as demonstrated by interpersonal and professional confidence.
- Diversity and inclusion.