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Academic Advisor, Exploratory Students, Student Success Centre, Student and Enrolment Services

Job ID: 15554

Updated: May 17, 2018

Location: Main Campus

Position Overview

The Student Success Centre within Student and Enrolment Services is currently seeking a Full-time Temporary Relief Academic Adivsor, Exploratory Students for approximately 1 year.

As a member of a dynamic, student-centric team within the Student Success Centre, the Academic Advisor, Exploratory Students, provides advising and program management for a wide range of student cohorts served by the Student Success Centre, with primary focus on developmental and exploratory advising for prospective students, open studies students seeking a degree, and in-program undergraduate students considering a program change. As an expert in exploratory advising, the Academic Advisor will research, design and implement targeted University-wide advising programs to support the various exploratory student populations. The Advisor will also play a key role in the recruitment, retention, and success of University of Calgary exploratory students, from the point of initial inquiry through to acceptance and successful degree completion.

This unique role will require the advisor to have an in-depth knowledge of all undergraduate academic programs, degree progression, University rules, regulations and admissions processes, as well as student development theory, career development theory, academic major and career exploration tools and techniques, and the common transitional issues faced by new and exploratory students. This position involves considerable liaison and collaboration with student advisors, Faculty, and Associate Deans from all undergraduate faculties, departments, Enrolment Services, Admissions, student support units, high school guidance counsellors, and the parents and family of prospective students, in order to develop programming and services to support the needs of exploratory students.

The Academic Advisor, Exploratory Students serves as a mentor and coach to peer helpers and advisors, and is responsible for the recruitment, training and supervision of student staff as part of the Student Registration Assistant and Choosing a Major Peer programs. The Advisor operates with minimal supervision and is responsible for the quality of their own work. The Advisor consistently demonstrates strong communication, facilitation, negotiation, leadership and customer service skills and upholds the credibility of the University in all areas of responsibility.

The Advisor works in an environment that operates with a high impact of error and that demands efficient time management, and requires strict adherence to deadlines and confidentiality.

This position will report to the Senior Specialist, Academic Advising and will work closely with senior leadership on the Enrolment Services team, Associate Deans, and Faculty advisors.

Position Description

Summary of Key Responsibilities (job functions include but are not limited to):

  • Work in collaboration with the Senior Specialist, Academic Advising in developing programming targeted at exploratory student populations, including prospective, open studies, and undecided students, with the aim of improving conversion, retention and completion rates, and service to exploratory students
  • Work to develop and deliver university-wide programs and web-based tools to assist students in academic and interest exploration, timely degree completion, understanding rules and regulations, and preparing for university level study
  • Provide proactive, tailored, and timely outreach, referrals and intervention with the exploratory student population through a variety of communication methods, and through consultation and collaboration with Faculties and other support units
  • Report on and evaluate the effectiveness of advising programs and interventions
  • Support the Senior Specialist in conducting best practices reviews, and reviews of other higher education institutions as a means of acquiring data to inform the University of strategies to enhance student success
  • Administer, hire train and supervise student staff, and provide continual feedback on how to enhance peer-based programs and provide better support for exploratory students
  • Maintain direct contact with and advise a caseload of students including prospective, open studies, exploratory, undecided, and undeclared undergraduate student groups from all Faculties. This includes meeting with individuals as well as small groups on an ongoing basis to build rapport, interpret university calendar, degree requirements, and regulations, identify barriers, and set goals and develop action plans to support educational decision making
  • Closely monitor student progression through degree programs, and proactively identify at-risk scenarios and opportunities to create, implement, and measure support programing, to ensure progression requirements are being met
  • Guide students to develop accountability for their decisions and an understanding of how those decisions impact their choice of program
  • Facilitate and interpret a variety of skills, personality and interest inventories
  • Assist students in identifying progression/success obstacles as well as concrete plans to assist students in moving forward toward program selection and degree completion. Determines barriers, distractions, and complications affecting a student's success in a program
  • Ensure that the integrity of information provided to students is accurate and timely, and is offered with discretion and tact. Identifies and makes appropriate referrals for additional therapeutic counseling and/or assistance from other units
  • Attend recruitment and other events/activities as appropriate
  • The Advisor is expected to recommend changes to streamline workflow and improve service delivery to students, with particular emphasis on exploratory students advising, and is included in the design and development of advising processes
  • Work with Enrolment Services and the Admissions Office to develop services and effective communication strategies to ensure that prospective and open studies students feel supported in their advising needs by the University of Calgary. Foster and maintain cooperative and trusting relationships with these offices and other student affairs and service units across campus in order to provide seamless and efficient student support processes
  • Be proactive in staying current with academic affairs and governance to understand, monitor and convey all aspects of curriculum, sequencing, academic status, registration and University policies and procedures for all student cohorts. Collaborate with Faculty partners regarding student concerns, student progress and degree requirements
  • Support the contributions made to the Institution's enrollment management initiatives by providing input and feedback when requested. Participate in and support all key departmental operations including tracking and analyzing statistics, proper file documentation, departmental meetings, strategic planning, program assessment and participation at events as required. Understand and monitor institutional priorities, decisions and benchmarks
  • Participate in committees and working groups relating to student success and retention, enrolment management and recruitment and admissions
  • Participate in cross-training to assist in other areas when needed and to meet Student Success Centre priorities
  • Identify professional development needs and skill priorities; continues own personal development, learning and training

Qualifications / Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree and 3-5years of student services, student affairs, counselling or academic advising experience which provides the following knowledge, skills, and abilities:
  • Understanding of university rules and regulations
  • Familiarity and experience with facilitating skills and interest inventories to assist students with educational planning and program selection
  • Good general knowledge of admission criteria and degree program requirements for all faculties and their various programs as well as the selection criteria of high demand and limited enrolment faculties/programs is maintained and up-to-date
  • Ability to conceptualize, design, and implement programs and resources that assist exploratory students
  • Ability to successfully handle a large student caseload with a positive student-centric attitude
  • Demonstrated commitment to exceptional, proactive student service
  • Outstanding interpersonal communication skills, including written, oral, one on one and in presenting workshops
  • Strong critical thinking, judgement and decision making skills
  • Abilities in problem identification, reasoning, and ability to develop original ideas to solve problems
  • Demonstrated ability to be resourceful, creative, innovative, and flexible
  • Ability to work effectively individually and as a member of cross-functional teams
  • The Advisor consistently demonstrates strong facilitation, negotiation, leadership and customer service skills and upholds the credibility of the University in all areas of responsibility
  • Experience developing and providing presentations for students
  • Excellent computer skills including experience using technical advising tools (such as People Soft or Banner, Degree Audit software and Microsoft Office)
  • Thorough knowledge of University policies, procedures and requirements including the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP Act)

Application Deadline:  May 31, 2018

We would like to thank all applicants in advance for submitting their resumes. Please note, only those candidates chosen to continue on through the selection process will be contacted.

Additional Information

This position is part of the AUPE bargaining unit, and falls under the Specialist / Advisor Job Family, Phase II.

To find out more about management and staff opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Management and Staff Careers website


About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their professional success while they are here. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.


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