Full-Time Student Success Advisor
This regular, full-time position is available as of Monday, February 1, 2021. Regular hours of work are Monday – Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Modified or flexible schedule may be available after probationary period and based on departmental needs.
This position will require working at all campus locations on a routine basis. Regular evening shifts will be required as well as the occasional weekend shifts.
What Douglas Offers
DO what you love. Be good at it. That’s how Douglas College defines a great career. It’s a philosophy that resonates through our classrooms, our offices and our boardrooms. It inspires our students and drives us to make Douglas College one of BC’s Top Employers. We love what we do. And we’re looking for passionate, motivated people to join us in making one of Canada’s best colleges even better.
The Student Success Advisor is a key resource in student retention and success and acts as a transitional guide for students and external stakeholders in navigating student’s academic experiences. The Student Success Advisor is responsible for guiding, developing, and supporting students academically and financially throughout their entire student experience. The Student Success Advisor provides high quality and professional service, advice and counsel to students on the appropriateness of the selected program, presenting options in consideration of their unique situation, advising on options available when in academic difficulty and referral to resources available at the College and the community, advising on financial planning and the various student assistance options available to them. The Student Success Advisor will make appropriate recommendations to the Registrar or designate about student’s ability to continue studying at the College.
The Student Success Advisor position is unique in that the Advisor is assigned a portfolio of students to case manage, and is heavily customer facing and will serve students through phone, email, in-person daily while being responsible for various aspects of the administration of programs. The Student Success Advisor is also responsible for various aspects of the administration of a range of academic merit-based awards and financial need-based student awards and assistance programs, and other programs and projects that support the academic success, personal development and retention of students to ensure they meet their full academic potential through the course of the student’s academic career. The Student Success Advisor shares responsibility for outreach activities such as conducting workshops and representing the office, as required, on internal and external committee relating to student assistance programs. The Student Success Advisor is part of a network of advising and service professionals across the College that collectively contributes to improving the student experience to ensure success.
The Student Success Advisor acts as a liaison for students with internal and external departments and agencies, including other post-secondary institutions, provincial and federal agencies. The Student Success Advisor regularly interacts with other units across campus and within Enrolment Services to ensure effective delivery of service and advising to students. The Student Success Advisor works closely with the Assistant Registrars, and Associate Registrars in Enrolment Services. The Student Success Advisor cultivates relationships with key stakeholders across the campus and with other units in Enrolment Services, and identifies new opportunities for collaboration and innovation.
1. Academic and Financial Advising
a. Investigates and resolves complex student program issues
b. Diffuses upset, angry or hostile students and provides guidance and information and refer appropriately
c. Adjudicates exceptional cases and approves monetary assistance in the form of emergency funding, which may include, but not limited to emergency loans, bursaries, grocery cards, fee deferrals, etc., for students with exceptional circumstances
d. Makes and receives referrals, when appropriate and follows up to ensure referral accuracy, as appropriate
e. Identifies students at risk or in crisis and proactively connects students with the appropriate resources and supports
f. Proactively troubleshoots student challenges, problems and issues by referring to appropriate services and holding targeted advising intervention
g. Evaluate students’ academic performance and provide appropriate advice and recommendation to Registrar about students on academic probation and their ability to continue studying at the College, and follow-up accordingly
h. Evaluates and makes recommendations to faculties, program areas and/or Registrar for academic requirement waivers for graduation
i. Advises and recommends faculties and program areas on curriculum and program requirements for government loan and student awards eligibility
j. Reviews program proposals presented to Education Council and provides feedback to faculty and program areas on policy and curriculum changes affecting students
k. Interprets and communicates policy regarding student loans, withdrawals, registration, academic requirements, etc., ensures they are applied accordingly and maintains current knowledge on College policies, procedures and curriculum requirements to ensure accurate and consistent information is provided to students
l. Develops financial strategies that incorporate College policy and support students on the various financial assistance options available in order to develop a spending plan to finance their education
m. Educates and supports students to develop a holistic view of academic and career plans in order to balance academic, professional, social and personal demands
n. Coaches students towards independence and self-direction and maintains up-to-date knowledge of best practices and current advising theories in the field
o. Assesses and interprets student’s academic and personal goals and identify appropriate programs
p. Advises, supports and counsel students on college educational policy appeals, student loan appeals and reassessments, which involves interviewing appellants to review the facts, explains the initial needs assessment to students, assesses whether the student requires additional funds, determines if any false assumptions have been made
q. Advises students on financial planning such as scholarships, bursaries, student loans, student bank loans and student lines of credit and making the maximum use of available student financial programs and other supports
r. Advises students of the academic requirements of their program of choice, which may include programs at the College or program available at other post-secondary institutions; this requires extensive knowledge of all programs offered by the College and other post-secondary institutions to assist students in determining programs that may be of interest to them, suit their talents or lead to their career goal or institution to transfer to, and research areas of change and growth in post-secondary education to ensure students are well informed about their future academic options and plan their studies at the College appropriately
s. Advises students in academic difficulty, and students on academic probations regarding college regulations on academic standing and continuance, appeal, and readmission procedures, and recommends appropriate alternatives to students in academic difficulty, including transfer courses and programs available at other post-secondary institutions; identifies methods for improvement, refers to services and courses to develop study skills, and explains and assists with withdrawals and appeals.
t. Advises students with course selection to ensure they meet degree requirements and other external program eligibility regulations (ie: athletic eligibility)
u. Advises students about development of career plans in relation to their academic program and provide referrals to other appropriate units for further exploration
v. Conducts sessions to students in Student Success (STSU) courses, which may cover, but not limited to, academic program planning, developing goals short and long term goals with students, identifying opportunities to help students in becoming independent learners and being successful at the College
w. Conducts presentations, outreach activities, and develops workshops on topics relating to academic and/or financial planning and literacy on and off campus
2. Administration and Operations
a. Uses knowledge of systems, policies, procedures and exercises professional judgement to solve unusual or complex problems
b. Administers College and government student loan policies and procedures as relevant regarding student academic and financial situations
c. Adjudicates and/or oversees the selection of award recipients in keeping with established policies
d. Approves loan eligibility
e. Evaluates and maintains program eligibility for student loan eligibility
f. Evaluates records management policies and practices and makes recommendations for changes in including evaluating exceptional requests for records
h. Develops and interprets complex statistical and qualitative reports, and makes recommendations and presentations (e.g. related to student funding, advising services, etc.)
i. Makes recommendations to enhance overall advising practices
j. Ensures student data confidentiality and privacy according to Registrar, College and FIPPA regulations
k. Updates, safeguards, maintains student records in accordance with applicable legislation and policy
l. Designs and coordinates programs to encourage student retention and progress
m. Updates and contributes to the writing of training and procedures manuals
n. Participates in the interview process of hiring student assistants
o. Performs other duties as assigned
3. Knowledge Expertise and Continuous Improvement
a. Participates as an active member on Canadian financial aid associations and help to provide professional input in development and delivery of student success (e.g. CASFAA, ASAP, NACADA, CACUSS, etc.)
b. Leads and actively participates and contributes to projects, when applicable
c. Evaluates programs and makes recommendations for improvements
d. Continuously contributes to the service values to ensure relevant, up-to-date information
e. Keeps abreast of changes and trends in employment opportunities for new graduates; this requires liaising with Career Services and academic departments and maintaining knowledge of reference and resources regarding career opportunities to ensure students are well informed about available options and skills required
f. Keeps abreast of FIPPA regulations
g. Follows best practices in advising and emerging trends that may impact advising and student retention and the means to overcome them
h. Participates in ongoing training to ensure a deep knowledge based in a wide variety of College service areas
To Be Successful in this Role You Will Need
1. Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field from a recognized post-secondary institution and 4 to 5 years related work experience or a combination of education and experience.
2. Minimum of 4 years of direct experience in service-centred and/or academic centred role evaluating complex student academic and financial issues; a proven ability to provide exceptional service in a fast-paced environment is required.
3. Experience with interpreting, applying and advising on policies and procedures.
4. Sound and current knowledge on best practices in enrolment or registrarial services or comparable work experience.
5. Ability to provide effective and appropriate guidance and counsel.
6. Proficiency with standard office software required.
7. Comfortable with evolving technology and processes.
8. Strong team player and adaptable to changing information.
9. Experience using a Student Information System or other enterprise database solutions/customer relationship management systems.
10. A skilled listener, with the ability to identify, respond and handle confidential and/or sensitive issues and/or material with empathy, diplomacy and discretion.
11. Must be resourceful and able to analyze problems, identify key information and issues and develop effective solutions.
12. Ability to independently exercise judgment to make decisions on matters of varying complexity.
13. Proven ability to use an inclusive approach to develop and cultivate relationships with students, faculty, staff and members of the external community.
14. Excellent interpersonal, communication and presentation skills required.
15. Ability to multi-task, apply organizational skills to meet deadlines.
16. Demonstrated accuracy and attention to detail.
17. Ability to collaborate and share expertise within a team environment.
18. Enthusiasm and capacity for continuous learning and development.
19. Experience working with different cultures.
20. The position requires interacting with people directly for long periods of time; the ideal candidate will enjoy and have strong communication skills in interacting with all types of customers through both face to face, verbally and written.
Link to Full Position Profile
Douglas College is committed to being a workplace that is free of discrimination, that values diversity and is representative, at all job levels, of the communities we serve.
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