Job ID 37546
Victoria University in the University of Toronto
Union (USW Local 1998) Job Opportunity
Office of the Registrar and Academic Advising
Posting Date: February 6, 2024
Closing Date: February 13, 2024
Position Title: Academic Advisor, Equity and Outreach
Department: Office of the Registrar and Academic Advising
Appointment Type: Continuing / Permanent
Classification: USW PB 13
Salary: $79,126 with an annual step progression to a maximum of $101,188
Victoria University is committed to equity in access to employment and a diverse and inclusive workplace. The University encourages applications from racialized persons/persons of colour, women, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities, 2SLGBTQI+ persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. If you require accessibility accommodation, please contact the Human Resources Department firstname.lastname@example.org
The incumbent, under the supervision of the Manager, Student Success & Academic Advising, and with lead direction from the Academic Advisor, Progress and Retention, is responsible for developing, implementing, supervising, and assessing the Victoria College VOLTS program. This program aims to recruit and support students from underrepresented communities, particularly Black and Indigenous Communities, in pursuing STEM-related learning and careers through Victoria University and the University of Toronto. The incumbent works on building partnerships with family, community, secondary schools, alumni, professional organizations, and university leadership to achieve these goals.
The responsibilities include assessing and reporting on the program’s progress and development, establishing success measures and key performance indicators, and recommending changes and new initiatives based on assessments. The incumbent also provides core, holistic academic advising to students through various channels, addressing academic or personal challenges, financial issues, program enrollment, and other related matters. Additionally, the incumbent offers individualized academic advising and support for students in the VOLTS program, including check-ins, specialized programming, and collaboration on tailored plans to meet academic and personal goals. The incumbent actively recommends training, programming, and processes to support underrepresented students and enhance the University’s commitment to equity, diversity, inclusivity, and accessibility.
KEY JOB RESPONSIBILITIES
- Provides comprehensive, confidential advising through one-on-one appointments (in-person, online, or by phone) or email. Addresses academic, financial, career, and personal concerns, considering individual circumstances.
- Offers guidance on degree progress, graduation requirements, and non-degree studies, referring students to relevant academic units or resources.
- Interprets academic regulations, attends university meetings, and provides documentary support upon student request.
- Assists with short-term and long-term academic planning, recommends community-engaged experiences, and advises on transfer credits. Offers information on fees, financial issues, and supports students in academic consideration and accommodation negotiations.
- Guides students through processes related to petitions, appeals, and academic misconduct. Provides immediate support for mental health concerns, maintains safety training, and escalates complex cases when necessary.
VOLTS Program Lead and EDI-Informed Academic Advising:
- Acts as program lead of the VOLTS program, which serves prospective and current students from underrepresented communities, particularly Black and Indigenous. Is responsible for developing events, online and print resources, and academic supports for prospective and current VOLTS students.
- As part of the VOLTS program, engages in relationship building and establishes partnerships with community organizations, schools, parents and families, educators, current students, University of Toronto EDI recruiters, and alumni in the support of finding and recruiting student candidates.
- Provides tailored advising for student members of the VOLTS program including regular check-ins and tracking progress, offering proactive and timely support as needed.
- In collaboration with stakeholders and immediate supervisor, develops strategic goals and key-performance indicators to measure success, and both gathers and assesses data to this end. Provides annual reports on program progress and achievements.
- Offers, as a subject matter expert, broad cross-training to advisors in the ORAA on the VOLTS program and University EDI recruitment strategies and the intersection of the Black and Indigenous experience with academic advising, including Victoria College-based resources as well as wider University of Toronto and community resources.
- Maintains a high level of familiarity with research, best practice, and trends around access and equity in higher education, particularly as it pertains to access and support for Black and Indigenous students.
- Recommends training and changes in advising processes changes to better support underrepresented students, particularly Black and Indigenous students.
- As needed, provides specialized, holistic advising for students who face ongoing, systemic challenges to equitable access, stemming from a lack of support networks, and to their academic success, collaborating with student support services for multi-appointment work with such students.
- Hires and trains casual staff in support of academic progress and petitions/appeals processes, including, as needed, work study staff.
- Follows rules and procedural processes related to Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), including local and institutional best practices for notes and record keeping, information retention, and the secure storage of confidential information.
- Maintains up-to-date knowledge of University and Faculty policy, rule, and regulations; keeps up-to-date on best practices in academic advising, trends regarding student issues and needs supports, and mental health support; actively pursues and evolves understanding of equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility issues and needs of the student body, including following rules and procedures with respect to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA); engages in regular learning focused on the specific specialization of their role in collaboration with their supervisor; and completes ongoing professional development and training as mandated by Victoria University or as determined in collaboration with immediate supervisor.
- Assists Frontline Advisors and casual staff with student support processes including advising and registrarial tasks, as needed.
- Assists in the training and onboarding of new staff by providing lateral role-modelling, knowledge sharing, and task understanding.
- Other duties as assigned in support of ORAA mandate, role’s responsibilities, or, on a limited basis, in support of professional development goals.
Master’s degree in one of the following areas: higher education, adult education, student development, counseling, mental health, equity and inclusion, student disability; or acceptable combination of education and experience.
Minimum four years of experience in a university or educational environment in a student-facing role, with experience in one or more of the following areas: academic advising, student retention, advising/recruiting underrepresented communities to post-secondary programs. Must include at least one year of experience supporting underrepresented student populations or equivalent in specialized training. Experience working with university policies and regulations and cooperating with mental health, accessibility, and/or academic skills partners.
Assets include: good knowledge of Faculty of Arts and Science rules and regulations; familiarity with the electronic student registration system (ROSI); familiarity with the Canvas (Quercus) learning platform; familiarity with student retention best practices and strategic enrolment management (SEM); experience in assessing programming success and impact; experience supervising ongoing staff or casual staff, including peer-led programming.
Demonstrated commitment to advising and programming in support of equity, diversity, and inclusion; ability to communicate with a diverse student population; excellent written and oral communication skills; demonstrated effectiveness in public speaking and presentations to groups; strong interpersonal, advising and organizational skills; sensitivity, diplomacy and tact in addressing the needs and concerns of students.
Ability and interest in working with students in a very busy student services environment while managing a set of competing priorities; ability to work to deadlines under pressure while multi-tasking; flexibility; initiative and commitment to providing feedback to improve service standards and efficiency: accuracy, and attention to detail; ability to assimilate new information quickly and to implement complex procedures; analytical and problem-solving ability; sound judgment; ability to be a good team member.
Well-developed computing skills with working knowledge of a wide variety of software: including Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, and Outlook). Ability to learn new software quickly.
Please visit https://www.vicu.utoronto.ca/careers/ and click External Opportunities and apply.
Candidates who are members of Indigenous, Black, racialized and 2SLGBTQI+ communities, persons with disabilities, and other equity deserving groups are encouraged to apply, and their lived experience shall be taken into consideration as applicable to the posted position.
Victoria University thanks all applicants for their interest, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.