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University of Massachusetts Amherst Director of First Year Advising (Hybrid Opportunity) in Amherst, Massachusetts

Director of First Year Advising (Hybrid Opportunity)

Apply now ( Job no: 521952

Work type: Staff Full Time

Location: UMass Amherst

Department:CNS Advising Center


Categories: Academic Advising & Learning Resources, College of Natural Sciences, PSU A

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.

About the College of Natural Sciences

The College of Natural Sciences (CNS) houses 13 departments and offers 22 undergraduate majors for approximately 7000 students. CNS is the largest of the university’s colleges and offers a comprehensive range of student services and advising. To better serve the wide range of students and equally diverse range of majors, the college is transitioning to a model of first year advising where all incoming students will be assigned to a team of advisors specializing on the first-year experience with a goal of increasing retention, equity of access, and belonging in the sciences.

Job Summary

The Director of CNS First Year Advising will be responsible for the development, functioning, and supervision of the First Year Advising Program that supports all CNS first year undergraduates. The Director of CNS First Year Advising assists students, faculty, advisors, and parents with issues such as orientation, academic programming, and advising relating to progress within a degree program. In consultation with CNS student success team, the Director of CNS First Year Advising will develop, implement, promote and assess student success needs and initiatives.

Essential Functions

  • Oversee First Year Advising

  • Serve as direct supervisor of all First Year Advisors.

  • Collaborate with University leadership in the development and execution of the college level orientation programming and advising services for CNS incoming first-year students. Manage all First Year Advising activities for the college, using data analysis to design effective systems.

  • Oversee First Year Advising staff.

  • Develop and lead recruitment, onboarding, training, and ongoing support systems for First Year Advisors and peer advisors.

  • Dissemination of relevant policy information, initiatives or directives to first year advisors.

  • Work in conjunction with the Associate and Assistant Deans to prepare and conduct First Year Advisor meetings.

  • Manage communications and campaigns for the First Year Advising Program. Coordinate the schedule of campaigns for specific first year cohorts with first year advisors. Collect data and assess the effectiveness of campaign efforts.

  • Preparation and oversight of CNS First Year Advising budget.

  • Support advisor professional development.

  • Contribute to CNS Student Success Mission

  • Assist in development and execution of specialized advising programs to support and mentor students on academic alert, warning, and probation.

  • Respond to and manage high-stress and sensitive inquiries from parents in accordance with FERPA.

  • Assist higher risk students and students with specialized needs with the support of the academic deans.

  • Represent CNS on committees and councils; participate in evening and weekend activities including Fall Visit Days, Destination Days, Senior Celebration, Undergraduate Commencement, and other activities and events that may be developed.

  • Serve as part of the New Students Orientation and Transition (NSOT) leadership team.

  • Work with CNS staff to develop and deliver CNS content during NSOT.

  • Assist with advising during NSOT.

  • Strategic planning, development, and assessment of advising, retention, and graduation initiatives.

  • Coordinate the CNS First Year Seminar (FYS)Program

  • Participate in the CNS FYS curriculum design, course offerings, instructor compensation, and assessment. This includes regular collaboration with stakeholders to recruit and train seminar instructors, schedule the course sections, and assess the instructor and program effectiveness.

Other Functions

  • Program analysis and strategic planning and reporting.

  • Serve as Academic Dean as needed including but not limited to meeting with students in academic jeopardy, withdrawing from the university, or petitioning for exceptions to academic regulations.

  • Work collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality and inclusiveness.

  • Work in partnership with colleagues within the CNS community and across the campus to support the Dean’s strategic priorities.

  • Perform other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the College of Natural Sciences.

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

  • Master’s degree in a science, education, or related field.

  • Five (5) years of experience in college level programs focused on student success and progress.

  • Management and supervisory experience.

  • Strong oral and written communication skills.

  • Previous experience serving or working with a culturally diverse population.

  • Demonstrated experience and appreciation for current principles and methods of academic advising.

  • Demonstrated commitment to continued learning or professional development on diversity, equity, and justice issues.

  • Able to fulfill responsibilities in a fast-paced environment.

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

  • Ph.D. or Ed.D. in a science, education, or related field.

  • Able to successfully interact with a student body representing a range of socio-economic backgrounds.

  • Understanding and appreciation of science and science education including the synergy between research and the undergraduate experience at the university.

  • Understanding of and appreciation for the goals and values of an undergraduate liberal arts education within a major research university.

Work Schedule

  • Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 5:00pm.

  • Some nights and weekends.

  • This position has the opportunity for a hybrid work schedule, which is defined by the University as an arrangement where an employee’s work is regularly performed at a location other than the campus workspace for a portion of the week. As this position falls within the Professional Staff Union, it is subject to the terms and conditions of the Professional Staff Union collective bargaining agreement.

Salary Information

Level 29

PSU Hiring Ranges (

Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a letter of application, resume, a statement of your advising philosophy and experience in student success, and a diversity statement (see below). References will be checked at the finalist stage. Please be prepared to provide contact information for three (3) professional references.

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 the 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.

Advertised: Jan 19 2024 Eastern Standard Time

Applications close: Apr 19 2024 Eastern Daylight Time