Academic Advisor

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 23 Jun 2023

This position is a part of the Non-Academic Staff Association (NASA).

This position offers a comprehensive benefits package which can be viewed at: Faculty & Staff Benefits .

Location - North campus. This role is in-person

Department summary

With over 7300 undergraduate students, the Faculty of Science has the largest undergraduate population at the University of Alberta.

Home to seven teaching departments, 18 museums and 9 centres and institutes, the Faculty of Science offers a welcoming and supportive environment for students, staff and faculty.

Position summary

The Student Services Office in the Faculty of Science at the University of Alberta invites applications for a dynamic individual who is interested in supporting student success and wellness.

Reporting to the Team Lead, the Academic Advisor is part of a team that advises students on all queries with respect to their academic program. Duties include the provision of advice to students on academic decision making such as program progression and course selection; assessment of student applications based on policy and procedure; makes decisions on the satisfying of degree requirements, academic standing, academic deadlines, and the acceptability of exchange and/or transfer credit; and may provide advice on academic exchanges or course transfers. The successful incumbent may be called on to assess student life issues and refer students to other resources and will escalate issues to supervisor which may affect the success of a student or are outside of decision-making authority


Application Assessment

  • Processes applications for program admission from inquiry to decision stage. Ensures completeness of required information (e.g. transcripts, reference letters, etc.)
  • Conducts admissions reporting, including collecting and analyzing data to inform decision making processes.
  • Evaluates and makes decisions on applications for admission ensuring program admission requirements are met.
  • Evaluates domestic and international credentials.
  • Participates in documentation and procedure development
  • Conducts research into the credit and course level systems for institutions and courses that have not yet been evaluated; develops and maintains a database of international and domestic transfer credit decisions
  • Evaluates the records of international applicants to determine if students qualify for admission and assigns transfer credit for the same.
  • Calculates Admission Grade Point Average (AGPA) from institutions around the world, converting to the U of A's grading system, using standardized weighted average conversion methods.
  • Exercises full signing authority to approve or deny admission applications

Program Advising Post Acceptance

  • Advises continuing and prospective students on program related matters such as: advising on academic standing, providing GPA calculations and scenarios, providing options for activities (e.g. coop, student abroad), advising on program changes, advising on potential transfer credit and performing advanced program planning.
  • Identifies, assesses, refers, and advocates for students at risk.
  • Conducts continuing student reporting, including collecting and analyzing data to inform decision making processes
  • Provides students with information about alternatives, limitations, and possible consequences of academic decisions
  • Coaches students to identify problems and possible strategies and resources. Advises students on larger life issues such as health, isolation, financial stress, career planning.
  • Monitors progress of students. Assesses a student's academic standing.
  • Documents all student interactions and success plans. Re-connects with the student when necessary to monitor success.
  • Interprets and communicates calendar regulations.
  • Assists students in making academic decisions such as course selection, building timetables and using online registration systems, degree requirements

Program Decisions/Policy development and Community Relations

  • Approves/denies program decisions such as: course-overload applications, requests for program interruption or deceleration, change of route, deferred examination applications, transfer credits, requests for student abroad and exchange programs.
  • Supports the Associate Dean, Undergraduate in the formulation or modification of policies and identifies progressive and equitable policies and procedures that promote high academic and student service standards.
  • Handles tasks and projects assigned on an ad hoc basis by the Associate Dean (Undergraduate) or Director (Undergraduate Programs), sometimes acting on their behalf - such as the transfer process for the BSc/BEd Combined degree program or tracking and evaluating Education Abroad participation results. Must be prepared to stand in for the Director (Undergraduate Programs), at meetings of university committees dealing with student-related issues (admission and transfer, for example).
  • Develops, designs and produces faculty forms, presentations and handouts in accordance with faculty and university visual identity rules and FOIPP requirements as required.
  • Develops and leads information sessions for students and others as necessary, and represents the Faculty of Science at public outreach and information events such as Registration Workshops, Orientation and University Open House.
  • Acts as an expert resource to faculty advisors in science and medicine departments

Convocation/Program Completion

  • Completes convocation clearing for graduates to ensure full degree requirements are met
  • Reviews academic record to ensure program requirements and academic standing are met.
  • Evaluates and approves eligibility of students for degree specific notations such as: "With Distinction" or "First Class Honors"
  • Advises students of any program deficiencies and the consequences.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Minimum completion of post-secondary education, University degree preferred (equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered).
  • Minimum of two years working within a student service and/or client-based environment, including experience with one or more of the following: student advising/counseling, admissions and records, and program administration.
  • Proven writing and public speaking ability required

Preferred Qualifications

  • Proven ability to provide guidance and coach adult learners and advise students experiencing challenges to refer to appropriate resources as needed.
  • Ability to work independently and to build and maintain professional working relationships as a trusted team member and positive representative of the Faculty of Science.
  • Ability to work with multiple stakeholders, and to coordinate competing demands.
  • Excellent communication (oral and written), interpersonal and organizational skills
  • Proven ability to multitask, prioritize, and develop strategies to solve problems while maintaining superior accuracy.
  • Strong analytical and organizational skills, including problem assessment and escalation.
  • Working knowledge of University policies and procedures, including the Code of Student Behaviour
  • Ability to effectively communicate sensitive and/or complex material;
  • Proven ability to communicate effectively with students and staff who may be in crisis and refer to appropriate services.
  • Experience managing confidential material in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
  • Experience with PeopleSoft (Campus Solutions) and file management systems an asset.
  • Experience with student administration system technology in a post-secondary environment e.g. PeopleSoft(Campus Solutions), Slate, Academic Advisement Requirements Tool, and Alfresco
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Google Suite and file management systems.
  • Flexibility required. Some evenings or weekend work may be required

Note: Online applications are accepted until midnight Mountain Standard Time of the closing date.

We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those individuals selected for an interview will be contacted.

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