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Senior Academic Affairs Specialist


Senior Academic Affairs Specialist

  • req3154
  • Richmond, Virginia, United States, 23284
  • Office of Student Services, College of Humanities and Sciences
  • Virginia Commonwealth University

The Office of Student Services in the College of Humanities and Sciences invites applicants to apply for an outstanding opportunity to join their team as a Senior Academic Affairs Specialist. The Office of Students Services in the Dean's Office provides essential academic administration services to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and all undergraduate students in the College.

Student Services Specialists perform professional work requiring an in-depth knowledge of one or more specialized student services functional areas. Their typical duties may include designing and executing programs for student groups, developing and enhancing resources for student groups, collaborating with student leaders, and assessing programmatic efforts to ensure efficiency and adherence to policies. They may work independently or as a member of a team. Student Services Specialists work under limited supervision, making complex decisions independently and referring unprecedented issues to an upper-level manager. Student Services Specialists typically report to a manager or director or in some units may report to an administrator.

Senior Student Services Specialists possess greater knowledge of the student services field, distinguishing them from Student Services Specialists. They are further distinguished by the complexity of assigned work; an ability to identify options and develop solutions for unique or unprecedented situations; greater decision-making authority; and the judgment, resourcefulness, and ability to identify issues and/or areas that should be addressed differently. They are resources for others, participating in mentoring, coaching, and training.

Job-Specific Duties

The Senior Academic Affairs Specialist is responsible for:
•Ensuring graduation applications are processed accurately from onset, completed, recorded in the database, and properly reviewed by the advisor. They will also make certain the Office of Student Services maintains a confidential filing system that is in compliance with University, state, and federal guidelines.
•Maintain up to date information on overall university and CHS policies and procedures as it relates to advising and degree requirements, plus additional requirements related specifically to student bulletin year.
•Work with the Office of Records and Registration to make certain the Office of Student Services complies with the graduation deadlines, requirements, and processes set forth by the Graduation Office.
•Coordinate the collection of undergraduate student names with department honors in CHS for the VCU Commencement Book and submit to the Graduation Office.
•In absence of Advising Directors, lead monthly CHS Advisor Meeting for all applicable faculty/staff in the College, providing tools necessary for successful advising and a well-organized graduation process; meetings will provide opportunities for exchange within CHS units to express their concerns, victories, and areas of improvement.
•Develop advising materials for CHS units when necessary.
•Work with all faculty/staff regarding routine graduation issues and their resolutions.
•Serve as liaison to department chairs and advisors regarding advising and graduation for CHS.
•Provide accurate graduation data to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate programs and the Directors of Advising and ad hoc reporting.
•Notify students that did not meet degree requirements of graduation cancellation. Coordinate the approval and dissemination of “walker” data for May graduation to all CHS units.
•Assist with commencement events on the day of graduation.
•Serve as a backup to the Associate Dean for presenting the CHS academic overview at new student orientation events.
•Provide academic counseling to students in the CHS as needed.
•Refer students to the correct VCU administrative offices and CHS units for a variety of needs.
•Maintain an “open-door” policy for undergraduate students, parents, faculty/staff, and others.
•Advise CHS students on CLEP options for general education and graduation requirements.
•Assess transcripts for readmitting students as needed and work with departmental advisors to create a graduation plan.
•Review graduation applications.
•Assist with other academic administration related to change of majors/minors, curriculum substitutions, overloads, change in course modality requests and other processes as needed.
•Maintain compliance with Commonwealth, University and College policies regarding confidentiality, record keeping, graduation requirements, etc.

This individual will also work with other members of the Office of Student Services to coordinate the ARAC appeal process for CHS, to include maintenance of records and the appeals database and to advise students on the process.

Typical Education and Experience

Minimum hiring standards :
•Advanced degree in Humanities or Sciences or Higher Education Administration or equivalent experience.
•At least four years of advising or other significant student interaction/mentoring or academic administration experience.
•Ability to manage processes within and across academic units.
•Proven record of working independently.
•Excellent oral and written communication skills.
•Excellent customer services skills and the ability to deal effectively with a wide variety of people in person, on the telephone, and electronically.
•Knowledge of Banner, student databases, graduation application software, Google suites, computer proficiency and other software/database knowledge as it develops.
•Ability to multi-task and handle seasonally stressful conditions professionally.
•Must have demonstrated the ability and appreciation of working with diverse faculty, staff, and student environments and must exhibit a commitment to foster diversity as a staff member at VCU.

Preferred hiring standards :
•Familiarity with the operations of the CHS Office of Student Services, including coordination with the Graduation Office.
•Knowledge of VCU academic policies and procedures, including change of program procedures and academic appeals procedures.
•At least one full academic year of graduation application processing.

Job Specific Physical and Cognitive Requirements

Physical Demands :
Light Lifting ( Moderate Lifting: marginal
Heaving Lifting (>50 lbs): marginal
Pushing/Pulling: essential
Standing: essential
Sitting: essential
Repetitive Motion: essential
Walking: essential
Reaching: essential
Bending: essential

Emotional Demands :
Fast Pace: essential
Average Pace: essential
Multiple Stimuli: essential
Intense Customer Interaction: essential
Frequent Change: essential

Mental/Sensory Demands :
Memory: essential
Reasoning: essential
Hearing: essential
Reading: essential
Analyzing: essential
Logic: essential
Verbal Communication: essential
Written Communication: essential


Each agency within the Commonwealth of Virginia is dedicated to recruiting, supporting, and maintaining a competent and diverse work force. Equal Opportunity Employer

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