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Academic Advisor, Exploratory Students

Job ID: 32325
Location: Main Campus
Updated July 11, 2024

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We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta.
The City of Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Districts 5 and 6.


The Student Success Centre in Student and Enrolment Services is currently seeking a Full-time Regular Academic Advisor.

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 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. The Academic Advisor, Exploratory Students serves as a mentor and coach to student staff and advisors, and will support the recruitment, training and supervision of student staff as part of the Student Registration Assistant program. The Advisor operates with minimal supervision and is responsible for the quality of their own work.

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.
  • Works 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 (Master's degree preferred) and 3-5 years of student services, student affairs, counselling or academic advising experience.
  • Advanced expertise of all aspects of university rules and regulations in relation to undergraduate student registration, curriculum sequencing, academic status and University policies and procedures including Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP).
  • Knowledge of admission criteria and degree program requirements for all faculties and their various programs as well as the selection criteria of limited enrolment faculties/programs.
  • Advanced expertise in developmental advising and experience in supporting students' academic planning in relation to their interests, motivators, personal strengths and career goals along with familiarity with facilitating skills and interest inventories.
  • Experience in conceptualizing, designing curriculum, and implementing programs and resources that assist exploratory students required.
  • Experience successfully handling a large student caseload with a positive student-centric attitude in a highly collaborative environment.
  • Demonstrated commitment to exceptional, proactive student service that upholds the credibility of the University in all areas of responsibility.
  • Outstanding interpersonal communication skills, including written, oral, one on one and workshop facilitation.
  • 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 and consistently demonstrate strong negotiation, leadership and customer service skills and upholds the credibility of the University in all areas of responsibility.
  • Excellent technical skills including experience using advising tools (such as student information management systems like People Soft or Banner, Degree Audit software and Microsoft Office.

Application Deadline:  July 25, 2024

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.

This position is part of the AUPE bargaining unit, and falls under the Specialist/Advisor Job Family, Phase 2.

For a listing of all management and staff opportunities at the University of Calgary, view our Management and Staff Careers website

About the University of Calgary

UCalgary is Canada¿s entrepreneurial university, located in Canada¿s most enterprising city. It is a top research university and one of the highest-ranked universities of its age. Founded in 1966, its 36,000 students experience an innovative learning environment, made rich by research, hands-on experiences and entrepreneurial thinking. It is Canada¿s leader in the creation of start-ups. Start something today at the University of Calgary. For more information, visit

The University of Calgary has launched an institution-wide Indigenous Strategy committing to creating a rich, vibrant, and culturally competent campus that welcomes and supports Indigenous Peoples, encourages Indigenous community partnerships, is inclusive of Indigenous perspectives in all that we do.

As an equitable and inclusive employer, 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 academic and professional success while they are here. In particular, we encourage members of the designated groups (women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible/racialized minorities, and diverse sexual orientation and gender identities) to apply. To ensure a fair and equitable assessment, we offer accommodation at any stage during the recruitment process to applicants with disabilities. Questions regarding [diversity] EDI at UCalgary can be sent to the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion ([email protected]) and requests for accommodations can be sent to Human Resources ([email protected]).

Do you have most but not all the qualifications? Research show that women, racialized and visible minorities, and persons with disabilities are less likely to apply for jobs unless they meet every single qualification. At UCalgary we are committed to achieving equitable, diverse, inclusive and accessible employment practices and workplaces and encourage you to apply if you believe you are right for this role. 

We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.