Academic Programs Director

Updated: 3 months ago
Location: Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA

The University of Southern California (USC), founded in 1880, is located in the heart of downtown L.A. and is the largest private employer in the City of Los Angeles.  As an employee of USC, you will be part of a world-class research university and a member of the “Trojan Family,” which is comprised of the faculty, students and staff that make the university what it is.

The USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences is seeking an Academic Programs Director in the Spatial Sciences Institute. The largest and oldest of the USC schools, USC Dornsife functions as the academic core of the university, offering courses and advancing knowledge across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.

Since its founding in 201, the USC Spatial Sciences Institute has been using the power of connecting place, space and time to help address global challenges, including those connected with population growth, environmental sustainability and human well-being. The Institute educates and trains today’s leaders who are capable of deploying spatial thinking and analysis in every possible discipline and industry. Students work with members of our internationally recognized faculty who are contributing to the rapidly evolving body of geospatial knowledge and are innovating ways to empower decision makers with the analysis, modeling and visualization of location-based data. The Spatial Sciences Institute is unique in combining a robust research enterprise with interdisciplinary undergraduate, masters and doctoral programs.

The Academic Programs Director is a critical role in the Spatial Sciences Institute, with responsibilities that span the entire student life cycle for all of our numerous academic programs—communications and recruitment, admissions, academic advisement, degree progress, experiential learning (including internships and research assistantships), assessment, and alumni relations. This position works with prospective students, applicants, current students, alumni, SSI faculty and staff, a large number of faculty and administrators across the university, and industry leaders. The ideal candidate will represent the Institute academic programs well with senior executives in the geospatial community and other important individuals at conferences and with other external stakeholder engagements and will organize and conduct ongoing admissions and student engagement events. This individual will have effective and polished communication and presentation skills, a student-centered perspective a creative, team-oriented spirit. 

This position reports to Managing Director of Spatial Sciences Institute and oversees an admissions program specialist.

Major responsibilities include:

  • Creating, maintaining, and analyzing student recruitment, enrollment and degree progress statistics for academic and financial analyses, and developing and executing schedules for producing statistical analyses.

  • Providing academic advisement and student retention support for undergraduate majors and minors, professional masters, and doctoral students on University policies and procedures, curriculum, course selection, degree progress, and degree completion.

  • Creating and executing programs to build and maintain a robust admissions pipeline to all academic programs.

  • Overseeing the Institute’s internship and research assistantship programs and developing external relationships in support of these and other experiential learning opportunities.

  • Evaluating student issues and following up with Institute leadership and other appropriate University offices to facilitate problem resolution.

  • Representing Institute academic programs at conferences, fairs, and other events on-campus and off-campus as requested.

  • Supporting Institute external communications, in particular with prospective and current students and alumni.

  • Supervising student workers as assigned; providing training, scheduling workloads and deadlines; ensuring timely completion of projects and tasks.

  • Performing other related duties as assigned or requested.

Minimum Qualifications: 

Minimum Education:                     Bachelor’s degree. Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education

Minimum Experience:                    3 years. Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum experience

Preferred Qualifications:

Preferred Education:                      Master’s degree

Preferred Experience:                    5 – 7 years of experience

Salary Range: $77,374.23 - $99,765.03 - will commensurate with experience and skills.

Required Documents and Additional Information:

  • Resume and cover letter required (may be uploaded as one file). Please do not submit your application without these documents.
  • Job openings are posted for a minimum of (5) five business days. This job may be removed from posting boards and filled any time after the minimum posting period has ended, so please apply on the same business day if interested.
  • USC has excellent benefits, including health benefits for staff and their family with access to the renowned university medical network; eligibility for retirement plans with employer contributions after six months of employment; tuition benefits for staff and their family; free Professional Development classes; central Los Angeles location with easy access to commuter trains, buses and free tram pick up services; discounts to sporting and other campus events.

The University of Southern California is an Equal Opportunity Employer that Values Diversity.


Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree. Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education Minimum Experience: 3 years. Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum experience Minimum Field of Expertise: Experience managing learning programs for adults. Proven ability to build and maintain positive relationships with stakeholders. Demonstrated experience in management/leadership roles, building and maintaining relationships with domestic and international stakeholders. Proven budget oversight and planning experience. Outstanding interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills, with exemplary attention to detail. Experience in higher education and/or customer service. Proven ability to plan, implement, and coordinate program logistics. Demonstrated database/data entry experience. Proven project management and problem solving skills, able to handle multiple timelines, changing priorities, and fluctuating workloads
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