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

Date: Jun 3, 2021

Location: Washington, DC, US, 20016

Company: American University


The Assistant Director for Student Success, Transition, 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. In alignment with other CDI positions, the assistant director is responsible for individual and cohort-based advising, delivering educational trainings for the campus community, and serving as a resource and liaison for students, staff, and faculty. The assistant director reports to the Associate Director for Student Equity, Access, and Retention and serves on campus committees connected with Academic Affairs, Office of the Dean of Students, and varied campus partners focused on campus climate and the student experience.

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.
  • Monitor academic progress of students including analyzing progress reports from instructors, identifying current and potential needs or problem areas (e.g., study skills, tutoring) and referring students to appropriate campus resources for assistance and communicating findings of trends to campus partners.
  • Track retention related data such as enrollment retention from semester to semester, persistence rates.
  • Serve as point person for knowledge on CDI’s student populations.
  • Provide leadership, management, and assessment for the Summer Transition Enrichment Program (STEP)
  • Hire, train, and supervise the student staff and manage the STEP budget.
  • Review and update program content and hire seminar leaders and faculty in consultation with the CDI Director.
  • Evaluate program effectiveness and track participants’ transition, retention, and graduation.
  • Guide communication and marketing, strategy for STEP website.
  • 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.
  • Serve as a thought partner and assist in delivering campus wide trainings, workshops, and facilitated discussions on class, race, gender, age, disability, sexuality, immigration status etc.
  • Collaborate with key units on campus to develop programs and co-curricular activities
  • Present and provide leadership at workshops or university-wide projects focused on student success and transition, and retention for a wide-range of communities, including students, staff, faculty and alumni.

Essential Functions (continued)

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.
  • Research and implement best practices to enhance the educational experiences of the first-generation college, multicultural, women, LGBTQ and emerging student populations.
  • Collect, report and maintain relevant data for program evaluation and student progress (e.g., retention, academic performance and graduation).

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, AU District Scholars.
  • Refer students to scholarship opportunities as needed.
  • Provide leadership and community opportunities.

4. Outreach & Administration

  • With CDI Director, administer the STEP budget of $330,000+ operating and programming budget.
  • Maintain and reconcile STEP purchasing card, and expenditures.

Essential Functions (continued)

5. Staff Supervision 

  • Co-supervises 7-10 undergraduate and graduate student staff (including 2-3 STEP coordinators) and coordinates the STEP faculty appointments.

6. Committee / Liaison 

  • Serve on various Campus Life and university committees tied to academic affairs.
  • Provide advisement/consultation to campus partners on first-generation college, multicultural, and LGBTQ student issues and works in an advisory capacity with student clubs and organizations as requested.

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 A
  • Exempt
  • Flexible work hours, some evenings, and weekends.
  • Some travel required

Salary Range

  • Upper 50’s-low 60’s

Required Education and Experience

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in education, training and relevant work experience required
  • 4 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

  • Fluency in Spanish


  • Click here to learn about American University's unique benefit options


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Contact Us:

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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.

Nearest Major Market: Washington DC