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University of Massachusetts Amherst Principal Academic Advisor - Psychological & Brain Sciences (CNS) in Amherst, Massachusetts

Principal Academic Advisor - Psychological & Brain Sciences (CNS)

Apply now ( Job no: 516460

Work type: Staff Full Time

Location: UMass Amherst

Department:Psychology and Brain Sci


Categories: Academic Advising & Learning Resources, College of Natural 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 Associate Chair for Teaching,the Principal Academic Advisor supervises a small team of academic advisors and provides complex, comprehensive advising for Psychology students in College of Natural Sciences (CNS). This position ensures high quality advising and academic services for all students, with particular emphasis on programmatic needs for first-year, transfer, and at- risk students. 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

  • Leads a small team of academic advisors providing services for CNS students. Trains, mentors, and supervises employees to ensure high-quality and highly responsive academic advising services.

  • Provide 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.

  • Assist students with matters that involve goal setting, self-assessment, time management skills, planning and decision-making such as establishing an academic plan, choosing a major within and outside of CNS, selecting courses, and evaluating courses for study- abroad experiences.

  • Responds to at-risk students experiencing academic and often critical personal difficulties by addressing relevant issues and making appropriate referrals to university agencies.

  • Responds to complex and sensitive inquiries from parents in accordance with FERPA and in a highly-professional and respectful manner. Alerts the Associate Chair for Teaching when unanticipated issues arise and assists in finding solutions. Manages higher risk students and students with specialized needs with the support of the CNS Advising Office.

  • Represents CNS Undergraduate Advising on college and university-level committees and councils; participates in evening and weekend activities including Open Houses, Destination Days, Senior Celebration, Undergraduate Commencement, and other activities and events that may be developed.

  • Manages complex graduation clearance processing for more than 400 students per year. Maintains familiarity with all changes in degree programs and determines any curricular exceptions.

Other Functions

  • Executes special projects as needed to support the Assistant Dean for Advising and the mission of the CNS Advising Office, departments, and the College.

  • Performs related duties as assigned or required to meet department, college, 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 other campus stakeholders to fulfill the mission of Student Affairs, Campus Life, and Student Success.

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

  • Master's degree in counseling, education or a related field and five years of professional experience in the areas of academic admissions, advising, recruiting, or counseling.

  • Previous experience serving a large, culturally-diverse population.

  • Demonstrated capacity for supervision of professional staff.

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

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

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills; strong interpersonal skills.

  • Strong organizational skills.

  • Intermediate level computer proficiency.

  • Skilled in small group presentations.

  • Awareness of confidentiality issues.

  • Ability to take initiative and work independently and collaboratively with various university personnel.

  • Expert level knowledge with respect to FERPA and Title IX.

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

  • Professional teaching experience.

  • Knowledge of university academic rules and regulations.

Physical Demands/WorkingConditions

  • Typical office environment.

Work Schedule

  • Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm.

  • Required to work some nights and weekends.

    Salary Information

Level 27

PSU Hiring Ranges (

Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a CV, cover letter, Advising Statement, Diversity Statement (see below) and contact information for three (3) professional references. The search will remain open until filled.

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 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, 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: Nov 3 2022 Eastern Daylight Time

Applications close: