Job Positions

Learning Skills Specialist

Categories: Northwest Region 8


Shepard Academic Resource Center (SARC)


University of Portland

Date Posted:

Jul 14 2022 2:55PM

Close Date:

Sep 15 2022

Position Description

The University of Portland seeks a Learning Skills Specialist. This position is responsible for supporting the academic growth of students at University of Portland through the development and strengthening of their academic skills and learning strategies, achieved via student support, programming and outreach. This position reports to the Associate Director of Peer Assistance Learning and works within the Learning Commons, a division of the Shepard Academic Resource Center (SARC). This position includes teaching duties and the supervision of student employees.


Primary Duties: Meet with students individually and in groups, both online and in person to assess learning styles and academic skills while guiding and supporting students as they develop their academic identity, goals and interests. Teach and support students to develop academic skills and learning strategies such as time management, executive functioning, note-taking, academic reading, test-taking techniques, motivation and management of test anxiety. Teach multiple course sections (specifically ED 101 and ED 102) to help students transition to university-level coursework and expectations and improve their academic skills and learning strategies. Work with the Associate Director of Peer Assistance Learning to develop student learning outcomes, curriculum and assessments for ED 101 and 102. Coordinate instructors as convener of ED 101 and ED 102 courses when additional instructors teach the classes. Develop, grow and maintain Learning Skills Co-Pilots, the Learning Commons’ peer academic support program, to improve students’ academic skills and learning strategies. Train, hire, support and evaluate Learning Skills Co-Pilots. Promote peer academic support services and conduct outreach to expand participation in the program. Create materials such as handouts, videos, and website content and maintain a resource library focused on academic skill development Perform outreach to students based on midterm and final grades, academic warnings, Care Team referrals, and other feedback in order to provide students with skill development, support and information on academic assistance resources Work collaboratively with faculty and Associate Deans to coordinate academic support for students. Work with faculty to develop course-specific presentations and materials. Conduct outreach to faculty across campus. Develop, organize, lead and facilitate workshops, in-class presentations and other group presentations on academic skill development. Use University systems to track student meetings and workshops, write meeting reports, and analyze data on learning skills and assistance services. Secondary Duties: Assist with promotion of the Learning Commons and its services by working with the Associate Director of Peer Assistance Learning and student workers Assist the Associate Director of Peer Assistance Learning with training, hiring, supporting and evaluating Learning Commons tutors following the guidelines of the College Reading & Learning Association (CRLA) to certify and maintain certification of Learning Skills Co-Pilots and Learning Commons tutoring services. Collaborate with Shepard Academic Resource Center programs (Accessible Education Services, First Generation Student Programs, First Year Experience, and Care Team) to provide effective services and programming focused on building students’ academic skills In collaboration with the Associate Director for Peer Assistance Learning, work with Learning Commons student staff to encourage student-led development of resources and presentations on academic skills and learning strategies Learn, understand and respond to basic inquiries of students in areas related to residence life, financial aid, student life and other areas as deemed appropriate. Develop effective collaborations and working relationships with parents and family members of students to aid in students’ academic experience. Respond to inquiries from student family members regarding student academic and personal well-being, consistent with all legal and University requirements (including FERPA); refer inquiries to other departments as appropriate. Represent the Learning Commons and SARC at campus events such as orientation, admissions visitation days, wellness day, etc. Stay current on new research and best practices by attending professional development and trainings. Assist with department-wide assessment initiatives. Cover SARC front desk when necessary. Other duties as relevant to the duties of the position or as assigned by supervisor or designee. Please note that the above list of duties is not comprehensive but generally demonstrates the types of matters under this position’s purview and responsibility.

Application Process

Visit the UP job posting website: Click the apply to job button. You will be directed to create a free account and begin your application. A cover letter, resume, list of references, and response to supplemental questions are required. Supplemental questions: Why do you want to work with students to help develop their learning skills at the University of Portland? What are your work-related strengths and how will they help prepare you for this position? In what areas would you like to grow? How would you use your skills and experience to contribute to supporting diversity, equity, inclusion and justice in this position at the University of Portland?

Institution Information

The University of Portland is a thriving community of more than 4,000 students who come from around the nation and the world, as well as over 1,000 faculty and staff. The University is located on a bluff in a residential neighborhood overlooking the Willamette River and the beautiful, dynamic City of Portland. Since its inception in 1901, the University has been guided by the Congregation of Holy Cross, a Catholic religious congregation of priests and brothers. Through its mission of teaching and learning, faith and formation, and service and leadership, UP prepares people who respond to the needs of the world and its human family. The University of Portland is an equal opportunity employer dedicated to achieving a diverse faculty and staff. The University of Portland does not discriminate in its educational programs, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic and other school-administered programs, or employment on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, or any other basis protected by and consistent with the law. The University expressly reserves its rights and obligations to maintain its commitment to its Catholic identity and the doctrines of the Catholic Church. We offer our employees a competitive benefits package which includes: Comprehensive, affordable medical and dental insurance plans for you and your dependents which include vision and alternative care options 403(b) retirement plan which includes 11% employer contribution after two years of full-time service Tuition Remission for employees after 90 days of full-time service; spouses and dependents eligible after two years of full-time service 13 Paid Holidays in 2022 calendar year along with a 10-day vacation accrual upon hire Home Loan Benefit Program Access to Beauchamp Recreational & Wellness Fitness Center and Clark Library at no cost Discounts across University of Portland campus including Bookstore, Athletics events, Outdoor Pursuits/Bike Shop and Performing & Fine Art productions

Additional Information

This is a full-time, exempt position with benefits. Link to the full job description is available here:

Contact Information

All questions and inquiries regarding applications and/or open positions can be forwarded to the Human Resources team at or (503) 943-8484. Email is preferred.


Required Qualifications


Education and Experience Required: Master’s Degree in Education, Counseling or a related field or a bachelor’s degree with equivalent, related work experience. Required: Experience teaching, tutoring, mentoring or working with students. Required: Experience teaching students the academic skills and learning strategies necessary for success in university-level courses. Required: Experience successfully working with students with diverse learning styles, academic skill levels, attention deficit disorder and learning disabilities. Required: Experience successfully working with students from historically marginalized communities.

Required: Demonstrated experience in the field of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice. Or a combination of equivalent education and/or experience. Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Knowledge of the current academic skills required to succeed in university coursework. Knowledge of various teaching strategies to help students with diverse learning skills and abilities Knowledge of different learning styles and academic skill levels and how to assess them. Knowledge of various struggles and hurdles that students face that may impact their ability to succeed in college. Ability to analyze data in order to draw conclusions and to provide effective resources and services for students. Ability to use this data to improve existing resources and services. Excellent interpersonal and oral and written communication skills. Commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and justice. Demonstrated management, supervisory, team development, and training skills. Strong ability to work effectively with college-age individuals and groups, including in the supervision of student staff. Excellent organizational, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Ability to work both collaboratively and independently and to constructively receive supervisory direction. Ability to maintain confidentiality and effectively handle highly-sensitive and confidential information with sound judgment, tact and discretion. Ability to establish effective working relationships, professional rapport, and effectively accomplish work with colleagues, students and families from diverse backgrounds within a University setting that includes a wide array of individuals, groups, policies, and processes. Effective ability to use, learn and teach computers, technology, software, and applications at level of sophistication required for the duties of the position, including, without limitation, Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), the internet, computerized maintenance management systems, and learning and skills assistance technology (e.g., text-to-speech, calendaring and organizer programs, etc.).

Preferred Qualifications

Education and Experience Preferred: Experience teaching, tutoring, mentoring or working with university-level students Preferred: Experience successfully working with academically at-risk students.

Preferred: Experience supervising and managing professional or student workers. Or a combination of equivalent education and/or experience.