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Director, Undergraduate Advising (12471)

Date: Jan 12, 2022

Location: Washington, DC, US, 20016

Company: American University


The Director of Undergraduate Advising is responsible for the overall service delivery of undergraduate advising to students enrolled in the School of International Service and ensures there is high satisfaction in the SIS undergraduate student life cycle. This position leads the advising team through goal setting and strategic planning, ensures quality advising by all members of the advising team, and upholds school and university regulations. The Director sets the strategic direction for the undergraduate advising office, leads advising initiatives within SIS, and oversees the creation of advising programming that complements the learning outcomes of the undergraduate program. The Director serves as the primary liaison to campus partners that impact advising from admission through graduation, including student admission, registration, advising, retention, and career development. The incumbent carries a small caseload of direct student advisees. This position reports directly to the Associate Dean Undergraduate Education in SIS. This position supervises the Undergraduate Advising Assistant Director, one senior undergraduate academic advisor, and four undergraduate academic advisors. S/he works closely with the Assistant Director to lead undergraduate advising team. The incumbent organizes the Undergraduate Advising Office, oversees the hiring and training of academic advisors, organizes staff meetings, facilitates professional development opportunities for the advising team, and liaises with offices that impact the undergraduate advising experience while upholding the academic regulations.

Essential Functions

  1. Strategic Leadership: Serves as the central lead on issues related to undergraduate academic advising and related support services in SIS; Leads team goal setting and strategic planning cycles, including the ongoing assessment of the undergraduate advising office to ensure student needs are being met; Provides team leadership to promote effective communication and advising practices, and to maintain team cohesion; Works closely with Assistant Director and advisors to identify and develop best practices and procedures for the SIS Undergraduate Advising Office and across campus; Works closely with the Associate Dean and Assistant Director to develop SIS policies and procedures that uphold academic regulations and encourage student success; Leads staff meetings and defines milestones and deliverables for office wide initiatives; Maintains strong relationships with campus partners who work with the advising office on the admission, registration, advising and retention of students; Develops communication plans for targeted outreach to students based on their current academic standing; Facilitate decision-making on office policy and process; Determines when issues need to be referred to the Associate Dean for policy decisions.
  2. Program and Student Development: Oversees the creation of advising programming that complements the learning outcomes of the undergraduate program; Oversees student development programming and initiatives, using proven best practices, and working closely with other campus units to ensure an integrated and enhanced undergraduate student experience; Sets policies, requirements, and office standards for student development programming, activities, and events.
  3. Supervision and Coaching: This position supervises five professional academic advisors and one Assistant Director. Manage academic advising staff, including identifying staffing needs, addressing personnel questions/concerns, supporting and promoting professional development, identifying and managing resource needs, and managing the Performance Management Process; Hires and trains new advisors in conjunction with the Assistant Director. Develops training standards for new staff and provides ongoing training on process and policy changes; Coaches advisors on how to approach difficult or ambiguous situations; Coordinate staff work assignments.
  4. Undergraduate Advising: Advises a small number of students, primarily as a back-up for other advisors, at the Director’s discretion given overall office needs; Responsible for supporting students in their academic planning, maintaining records, and assisting students with requests for exceptions to policy when appropriate; Serves as academic lead on the Joint Degree Program with Ritsumeikan University in collaboration with the SIS Office of International Programs.
  5. Other duties as assigned


Championing Customer Needs
Evaluating and Implementing Ideas
Developing Plans
Making Accurate Judgments and Decisions
Building and Supporting Teams
Managing Talent

Supervisory Responsibility

  • This position supervises five professional academic advisors and one Assistant Director.

Work Environment

  • The Director is expected to exercise professional judgment in all aspects of the position and has broad decision-making authority subject to review by the Associate Dean.
  • Occasional evening and weekend work may be required.

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • Full time
  • This is Mid-Level leadership position
  • Exempt

Salary Range

  • $80,000.00 - $85,000.00 per year.

Required Education and Experience

  • Master's degree or equivalent
  • Minimum of 8-10 years’ related work experience in academic advising, student services, or directly related higher education experience. 
  • Strong student support focus, and applied knowledge of the higher education student experience required.
  • Knowledge of student development theories and practical applications required.
  • Understanding of academic rules and regulations 
  • Prior supervisory experience required.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills in developing a team approach to advising, supervising a diverse staff, implementing professional improvement, strategic goal setting, and managing for performance and quality in a service-orientated environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to and foster productive working relationships with multiple constituencies (students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents) including across institutional units and positions is required.
  • Must have strong interpersonal, collaborative, organizational and external representation skills.  Initiative, drive, flexibility, capacity for detail and multitasking.
  • Ability to excel in a multicultural environment. 
  • Ability to perform major job functions with little or no direct supervision.

Additional Eligibility Qualifications


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


  • Please note this job description 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.


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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.

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