Job Positions

Dean of First Year Students

Categories: Not Region Specific


Dean of Students


Wellesley College

Date Posted:

Apr 15 2022 11:17AM

Close Date:


Position Description

Position Summary
The Dean of First-Year Students is responsible for academic advising, New Student Orientation, and transition programming and support for approximately 600 first-year students annually. The Dean counsels first-year students about academic decisions and policies, helps them develop meaningful academic plans, and works collaboratively with campus colleagues as students establish and evaluate their educational goals.


Key responsibilities include:
(1) First-Year Student Advising: Advises first-year students, individually and as a class, about making the transition to college-level academics, understanding the Wellesley curriculum and degree requirements, and utilizing campus resources in pursuit of their academic goals.
(2) New Student Orientation: Provides leadership to staff, student coordinators, and a campus-wide committee responsible for designing and implementing New Student Orientation, and facilitates a year-round planning process.
(3) New Student Transition Programming and Support: Implements and collaborates on programs and initiatives designed to support students during the course of their first year at Wellesley, including the Orientation Mentor Program and other first-year initiatives.

Primary Position Responsibilities
Provide academic advising and transition support to a class of 600+ first-year students on such issues as selecting courses, utilizing campus resources to support academic progress, degree requirements, and learning to navigate the College environment. Along with other Class Deans, counsel students in academic difficulty, work as a liaison between individual students and faculty, and interpret academic legislation. Oversee the annual process of planning and implementing New Student Orientation, which involves development of a theme and logo, providing leadership to the Orientation planning committee, engagement of faculty and other campus partners, recruitment of student Orientation coordinators, and providing direction for the production of Orientation publications and materials. In the development and coordination of the Orientation Mentor Program, recruitment and supervision of Student Orientation Coordinators, and other initiatives to support new students in their transition to the College. In conjunction with the Associate Dean of Students for Academic Integration and Advising, help to coordinate, assess and support faculty advising for first-year students. Serve on key College-wide committees, including, but not limited to the Academic Review Board, Admission and Financial Aid, and other committees as assigned by the Associate Dean of Students for Academic Integration and Advising.

Application Process

Please apply directly through the Wellesly College's website:

Institution Information

Wellesley College is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and we are committed to increasing the diversity of the college community and the curriculum. Wellesley College and all its subcontractors shall abide by the requirements of 41 CFR 60–1.4(a), 60–300.5(a) and 60–741.5(a). These regulations prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals based on their status as protected veterans or individuals with disabilities, and prohibit discrimination against all individuals based on their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin. Moreover, these regulations require that Wellesley College and all of its subcontractors take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability or veteran status. Candidates who believe they can contribute to that goal are encouraged to apply.

Additional Information

The role of Dean of First-Year Students includes almost equal amounts of advising, administration, planning and collaborating. In addition to regular interaction with individual students, the Dean of First-Year Students works collaboratively with faculty and staff in support of the overall goal of helping all new students make a smooth transition into the College community. The Orientation program and related programs and initiatives are designed to enhance student development and help students approach important decisions. Wellesley’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusion help to support a campus climate in which all campus members are fully engaged, and the values of diversity are seen as essential for excellence in the experience of all members of the Wellesley College community. Wellesley College is currently piloting a flexwork plan for administrative staff that incorporates both flexible hours and hybrid teleworking components, though all employees must live in New England. All employees hired after August 2, 2021 are required to upload proof of vaccination against COVID-19, subject to approved medical or religious exemptions or disability accommodations.

Contact Information

Name: Cristina Degaetano


Required Qualifications


Education Required
Master’s Degree in higher education, counseling, or related field required; PhD preferred. Experience Required Five to seven years of advising and related work in a higher education setting required, preferably working with first-year students and other students in transition. Experience with New Student Orientation programming is essential.

Skills and Abilities Required
Demonstrated ability to design, implement, and assess programming that supports the overall academic achievement of today’s students, with a focus on first-year students. Demonstrated knowledge of college student and young adult development. Philosophical and practical understanding of issues related to a women’s college. Commitment to, and understanding and experience of, issues relevant to a multicultural, global community.

Preferred Qualifications

Performance Profile
Provide thoughtful, well-informed, and supportive guidance to students about their academic goals, personal concerns, and individual aspirations, in accordance with campus policies, academic legislation, and relevant procedures. Design and implement a strong Orientation program annually, both for the Fall and Spring semesters, that addresses the needs of all students and families who are new to the Wellesley community. Keep accurate, reliable, thorough and confidential records of communication with, from or about first-year students, and respond promptly to requests for information or support from students, faculty, staff and parents. Develop outreach programs designed to enhance the academic skills and experience of first-year students in collaboration with key constituencies, and refer students to other departments for support as appropriate. Demonstrate a commitment to the College’s goal of inclusive excellence, and take proactive steps to ensure inclusive practices.