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University of Massachusetts Amherst Political Science - Senior Academic Advisor in Amherst, Massachusetts

Political Science - Senior Academic Advisor

Apply now ( Job no: 508867

Work type: Staff Full Time

Location: UMass Amherst

Department:Political Science


Categories: Academic Advising & Learning Resources, Professional Staff Union (PSU), College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

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.

Job Summary

Under the direct supervision of the Chief Undergraduate Advisor, this position provides comprehensive advising for College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) students in various social science majors, double majors, dual degrees, minors, as well as University exploratory track students. The position works closely with other advising personnel to ensure high quality advising and academic services for all students, with particular emphasis on programmatic needs for first-year, transfer, and at-risk students and uses computer-based registration and academic records technology, such as Spire and Navigate. As needed, teaches seminars or workshops which address adjustment to college, student success, and helps with self-assessment and goal-setting. The position is responsive to the widely varied needs of diverse student populations and works in a high volume and fast-paced work environment.

Essential Functions

  • Provides comprehensive, individualized and small group advising to a diverse population of students during the academic year, including new student & transfer orientation/registration periods and current student registration periods.

  • Responds to common issues such as registration-related matters including fulfilling University general education requirements, interpreting major and college requirements and providing guidance for dual degrees, double majors, and minors.

  • Assists students with complex matters that involve goal setting, self-assessment and time management skills, planning and decision-making such as establishing an academic plan, choosing a major within and outside of SBS, selecting courses, and evaluating courses for study-abroad experiences. Conducts one-on-one advising sessions for students with declared majors and/or exploratory-track students who will work toward identification and declaration of a major.

  • Identifies at-risk students experiencing academic and often critical personal difficulties. Addresses relevant issues and makes appropriate referrals to University agencies.

  • Advises a diverse incoming (first-year and transfer) population in a fast-paced, high-volume, individual advising format during New Student Orientation before the start of each semester.

  • Responds to and manages inquiries from parents and caregivers in accordance with FERPA and in a highly-professional and respectful manner/tone.

  • Responsible for complex graduation clearance processing, being familiar with changes in the multiple degree programs and determining any curricular exceptions.

  • Regularly holds information sessions for current SBS students, as well as for prospective students and students in other majors wanting to transfer into SBS. Participates in evening and weekend activities including Destination Days (Open Houses), Senior Celebration, Undergraduate Commencement, and other activities and additional events that may be developed.

  • Assists in training new professional and graduate student advisors and/or undergraduate peer advisors by providing them with and helping them understand the most current information about requirements in SBS and other majors of prospective SBS students.

  • Executes special projects and develop resources as needed to support the mission of the SBS Pathways Center, departments, and the College.

Other Functions

  • Performs related duties as assigned or required to meet Department, Executive Area/Division, and University goals and objectives.

  • Understands responsibilities with respect to Title IX, FERPA, and other compliance requirements.

  • Demonstrates capacity, skill and willingness to engage students and contribute to student success.

  • Works collaboratively with SBS colleagues and other campus stakeholders to fulfill the mission of Student Affairs and Campus Life, and Student Success.

  • Establishes and continually updates knowledge of faculty teaching, research, and interest areas as well as campus resources to appropriately refer majors for additional consultation, advising, and coursework.

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

  • Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences or related field plus three years full-time, or equivalent part-time, professional experience in the areas of academic advising, student development, or counseling.

  • Excellent oral and written communication, strong organizational and interpersonal skills.

  • Intermediate level computer proficiency. Ability to create and maintain organized systems for data/record management; strong administrative skills.

  • Skilled in small group presentations, aware of confidentiality issues and able to take initiative and work independently and collaboratively with various university personnel.

  • Able to manage a high volume of complex and varied client needs.

  • Able to recognize at-risk individuals and provide appropriate support and direction.

  • Knowledge of FERPA, Title IX, and University academic rules and regulations.

  • Understanding of student development and commitment to a “whole student” approach to advising.

  • Ability to work individually on self-directed assignments, with minimum supervision, and collaboratively in groups.

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

  • Master's degree in Social Sciences, Higher Education, or related field plus one year full-time, or equivalent part-time, professional experience in the areas of academic advising, student development, or counseling.

  • Experience in serving a large, culturally-diverse population.

Physical Demands/Working Conditions

Typical office environment.

Work Schedule

  • Monday – Friday, 37.5 hours/week.

  • Required to work some nights and weekends.

Salary Information

Level 26

PSU Salary Ranges (

Special Instructions to Applicants

Please submit a cover letter, CV, names of three professional references,and a one-page statement describing how your work is informed by and contributes to the promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education.

Applications received by July 5, 2021 ,will receive full consideration.

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences is explicitly committed to an anti-racist agenda and to promoting social justice and equity through our student success work. We actively and enthusiastically strive to build a diverse and inclusive advising staff and a welcoming work environment, and we are committed to hiring, training, mentoring, and promotion practices that honor all voices and provide opportunities for all members to thrive personally and professionally. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented groups to apply.

UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information 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 the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

Advertised: Jun 15 2021 Eastern Daylight Time

Applications close: