Academic Advisor, SocialWorkSimmons

Massachusetts, United States
Salary Not specified
Apr 30, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Academic Advisor, SocialWorkSimmons

Main Campus - Boston, MA

The Academic Advisor is responsible for managing the advising functions for new and enrolled graduate students in the College of Social Sciences, Policy & Practice (CSSPP) at Simmons University, primarily within the School of Social Work (SSW). This position will primarily support online students enrolled in the newly established Doctor of Social Work (DSW) students but will also include Masters' level students in both the online and on ground platforms. The Advisor participates in the planning, implementation and evaluation of the academic advisement program's goals and objectives.

The Academic Advisor will facilitate student success by defining and implementing strategies that help students fulfill educational goals. The Advisor will monitor degree completion, interpret Simmons School of Social Work policies and procedures, use judgment to provide solutions and resolve student problems.

The Advisor takes a leadership role in addressing retention and persistence for online students. Specifically, the Advisor works more intensively with students admitted to the Doctor of Social Work (DSW) program. The Advisor collaborates with the external partner and the Simmons University registrar to manage data on persistence and retention, the Advisor works with the Associate Program Director—Student Facing and the team of Academic Advisors to analyze this data and presents it to the weekly Core team meeting for the purpose of addressing needs of students at risk for program non-completion and for reviewing policies impacting student retention that may be in need of revision.

The Academic Advisor reports to the Associate Program Director—Student Facing and works collaboratively with the University's external partner and has regular contact with their Student Success team, Admissions Counselors, and Associate Program Director of the DSW program.

This is a full-time position located on the Simmons University campus in Boston, but remote options can be considered for the right candidate.

As an MSW-prepared social worker, the Academic Advisor ensures that academic advising is provided within the framework of doctoral preparation for professional practice as a \ social work leader and educator.

1. Provides comprehensive academic advisement to all students including:
  • Provides students pre-emptive guidance on acclimating to new graduate online learning environment;
  • Provides individual and group advising sessions in which policies and requirements are communicated, concerns are addressed and problems are identified;
  • Establishes and implements referral and follow up procedures for students needing additional services;
  • Ensures all information regarding academic standards, academic requirements and policies is current and easily accessible to students;
  • Assesses cohort need for additional group or community supports; designs and implements supports (e.g., group meetings, drop-in times, social events, connection through social media);
  • When consulted by classroom faculty, uses discretion to advise the modification of an academic policy (e.g., consequence for absence or late assignment) and in that way interprets program policies and best practices for classroom faculty on behalf of program;
  • Understands and applies College's interpretation of FERPA rules regarding student privacy and records.

2. Identifies at-risk students and oversees appropriate services and actions, including:
  • In consideration of educational risk factors, uses judgment to determine whether an individual student needs more frequent contact with advisor or referral to additional support services;
  • Works closely with students who are at risk for dismissal or withdrawal to assist in working toward academic success, in that way directly impacts retention rate. In addition, maintains data on retention and based on analysis of that data recommends changes in program's policies and procedures;
  • Collaborates with the DSW Director, and other members of the DSW program, to determine needs of at risk students;
  • Determines whether student performance issues should be addressed through the formal review process that can include Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3 reviews process (can be in conjunction with faculty), facilitates decision making that will address student retention;
  • Assists with probation, dismissal and reinstatement decisions, makes recommendations on specific cases;
  • Interprets and applies ethical framework represented in Simmons School of Social Work Social Work Standards for Professional Practice Education and the National Association of Social Work (NASW) Social Work Code of Ethics to academic advising activities and decision-making, in advisement responses to student unethical or unprofessional behavior in classroom and school community.

3. Creates and maintains administrative structures and organizational relationships (internal and external) to ensure efficient and effective functioning of academic advising services, including:
  • Creates and maintains systems for tracking student performance issues;
  • Establishes and maintains relationships with Simmons University offices such as the Writing Center, Library and the Office of Accessibility Services; helps facilitate accommodation requests;
  • Coordinates with College Registrar's Office and external partner's Post-Enrollment Services Office.

4. Reviews and improves of effectiveness of online academic advising
  • Collects and interprets data using student information reports and program surveys and/or assessments; analyzes data, and presents results to associate program directors and Director and to external partner; uses data to implement program improvement measures;
  • When policies need review or revision, participates in formulating new policies; identifies policies that need revision.

5. Other administrative, advising and/or student related tasks as needed.

Qualifications: MSW required; LCSW or LCSW-eligible preferred. (Note that this job does not constitute clinical social work and therefore supervision hours towards licensure cannot be earned.)

Required Application Materials: Please submit, as attachments in the “Resume/CV”section of the application:
  • Resume
  • Cover letter
  • Contact information for and relationship to three references

Salary Grade

Instructions to Applicants: Please upload all applicable application materials (e.g. resume/cv, cover letter, writing sample, teaching philosophy, etc.) in the "Resume/CV" box on page 2 ("My Experience") of this application. Documents can be uploaded individually or as a combined document (e.g. PDF).

Simmons University is committed to inclusive excellence in all aspects of an individual's community experience. As a university committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, Simmons encourages applications from all under-represented groups. Simmons is committed to creating, developing, promoting, and enhancing inclusive hiring practices-at all levels, for all positions-ensuring diverse talent pools and the delivery of a consistent positive candidate experience. Simmons is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to continuing to develop a more diverse faculty, staff, student body, and curriculum.

To apply, visit

Located in Boston’s historic Fenway area, Simmons College is a small, private, non-sectarian College which has educated students for enriching careers and purposeful lives since 1899. Working at Simmons means joining a collaborative, diverse and mission-driven community of educators and professionals.

We prepare students to be leaders for themselves, their communities and the world. Our faculty and staff members lead by example - sharing a commitment to excellence and putting the students first.