Assistant Director for Student Success, Transition, and Retention (10375)

Date: Nov 17, 2023

Location: Washington, DC, US, 20016

Company: American University

Get to Know American University

At American University we value open and honest inquiry, servant leadership, and the affirmation of the human dignity of all. We envision a thriving AU community where individuals of all identities and experiences are understood, appreciated, and fully included, and where equitable treatment, opportunities, and outcomes prevail. 


Our diverse community of students, faculty, and staff represent every state and more than 150 countries. Our internationally recognized faculty are today's thought leaders in the areas of public policy, law, the arts, communications, international development, and more. Our staff are innovative, service-oriented, and dedicated to moving the university towards achieving its strategic goals. We are committed to an excellent experience for all of our students, faculty and staff and share a passion for creating change through our knowledge and our work. 


Learn more about American University by clicking here.  


The Assistant Director for Student Success, Transition, Engagement and Retention is responsible for managing, implementing, evaluating equity, transition, and student success initiatives for the Center for Diversity & Inclusion's (CDI). This high-touch student-centered position requires excellent project management and problem-solving skills along with research and analysis to of issues affecting a wide range of students, including issues of disparities in educational background, family education history, class, race, gender, age, disability, sexuality, and immigration status. The assistant director serves as CDI’s advising lead for case-management and data-driven decision-making focused on equity, transition, student success, and retention. The position provides recommendations for enhancing undergraduate students’ personal, academic, and social development.
As a core function of the position, the assistant director provides well-grounded ideas, management oversight, and strategic direction for AU’s Summer Transition Enrichment Program (STEP), AU District Scholars, and other student success initiatives. As campus initiatives emerge, the assistant director will work collaboratively to develop, evaluate, and oversee co-curricular and first-year experience programs for AU's campus at-large and CDI specifically. 

Essential Functions

  1. Management, Programmatic Work, and Advising Services: Manage, implement and assess Center's advising portfolio. Organize and implement academic advising services for the center. Provide leadership, management, and assessment for the Summer Transition Enrichment Program (STEP) Advise 30-40 students each month, to include external national scholarships focused on communities which fall in CDI’s portfolio, first-generation college students, STEP participants and others, on academic, social and personal development and provide referrals and follow up to appropriate campus services and programs. 
  2. Assessment & Strategic Planning: ​​​​​​Analyze data from Institutional Research and Assessment and other campus partners in order to provide direction in meeting current and emerging needs of the student population. Assess and incorporate proactive intervention strategies to identify students who may benefit from advising services and initiate contact.
  3. Coordination of Support for Scholarship Students: Point person with Financial Aid and other offices to provide support to internal and external scholarship programs such as, Book Scholarship programs, and AU District Scholars. Refer students to scholarship opportunities as needed.
  4. Outreach & Administration: With supervisor and CDI Director, administer the STEP budget of $330,000+ operating and programming budget. Maintain and reconcile STEP purchasing card, and expenditures.
  5. Staff Supervision: Co-supervises two paraprofessional staff (undergraduate and graduate student staff) Additionally, provides supervision of 2-3 STEP coordinators and coordinates the STEP faculty appointments.
  6. Committee / Liaison: Serve on various Student Affairs and university committees tied to academic affairs and the division of student affairs (through the CARE Team & Student Accountability & Restorative Practices).

Supervisory Responsibility

  • Supervise one graduate and three undergraduate student staff assistant and indirectly supervise 20+ part-time student staff and student volunteers.

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • Full Time.
  • Coordinator/Analyst B.
  • Exempt.
  • Flexible work hours, evenings, and weekends are part of this role.

Salary Range

  • Commensurate with experience.

Required Education and Experience

  • Bachelor's degree.
  • 5+ years’ experience teaching, counseling, or advising experience with young adults of diverse backgrounds.
  • Knowledge of student development.
  • Experience working effectively as an advisor, mentor, and advocate with a wide range of demographic populations, including first-generation college students, LGBTQ, racial/ethnic diversity, and women.
  • Applicants should have demonstrated knowledge base in retention initiatives.
  • Experience with project management, problem-solving, and meeting deadlines.
  • Teamwork skills and ability to work collaboratively.
  • Excellent human relations, interpersonal, organizational, written and oral skills are essential. Mastery of computer software programs such as MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • Unquestionable discretion and strict understanding of confidentiality and the ability to handle sensitive information.

Preferred Education and Experience

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in education, training and relevant work experience.
  • 3-5 years of relevant experience.

Additional Eligibility Qualifications

  • Some travel required.


AU offers a competitive benefits package including a 200% matching retirement plan, tuition benefits for full-time staff and their families, several leadership development certificates, and has been recognized by the American Heart Association as a fit-friendly worksite. Click here to learn about American University's unique benefit options.


Other Details

  • Hiring offers for this position are contingent on successful completion of a background check.
  • Employees in staff positions at American University must deliver their services to the university from either the District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia, or perform work on-site at the university.
  • Please note this job announcement is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.


Current American University Employees

If you are a current employee at American University, please log into AsuccessfulU through the myAU portal. Once in AsuccessfulU, please select the Careers tile which will take you to our internal career page. 


Contact Us

For more information or assistance with the American University careers site, email


American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively "Protected Bases") in its programs and activities.

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