Academic Retention Specialist (2 positions)

University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Wisconsin, United States
Salary Not Specified
Jun 02, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time

Working Title: Academic Retention Specialist Official Title: Student Services Coordinator Employment Class: Non-Instructional Academic Staff FTE: 1.0 Compensation: $43,870 - $52,000 FLSA Status: Exempt Terms of Employment: Annual, Fixed-Term Renewable Position Summary:

The Academic Retention Specialist in the Multicultural Retention Programs serves as a student academic success counselor responsible for monitoring students’ academic progress, advise/counsel students on various academic subjects, plan and coordinate social/cultural programs and events and provide a structure of support to ease students’ transition into, and through the university during their entire academic career. This position will also design programs and activities to promote the academic success and retention of underserved and underrepresented students who self-identify as one or multiple of the following groups: African American/Black, Asian American, Southeast Asian, Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Chicano/a/Latino/a/x, and Native American/American Indian/Indigenous. The position will also foster student persistence/retention and develop programs, in conjunction with instructional and student development units, that will help ensure the academic and social success of at-risk populations.

Some night and weekend work required. Some travel required.

UW Oshkosh provides a competitive benefits package for all benefits-eligible positions. Click here for more information.


Persistence/Retention/Advocacy Activities (60% of Time)

  1. Assists in the development and implementation of student academic success programs.
  2. Identifies, promotes, and maintains internal partnerships to coordinate institutional diversity efforts and initiatives by facilitating cross-student retention efforts to raise awareness and involvement in diversity and inclusion programming. The ideal candidate will have a similar lived experience as the students being centered and served.
  3. Assist/lead in the coordination of processing, outreach, and follow-up of bias motivated incident or crime reporting.
  4. Designs, delivers, and evaluates interventions, programs, and services for underrepresented, marginalized, and targeted minority students.
  5. Develops and coordinates high impact practices, academic support, and advising initiatives for identified student populations.
  6. Work closely with the director to advance division priorities for improved student persistence, retention and graduation of at-risk populations.
  7. Assist in designing, organizing, and implementing programs and events dedicated to the academic success of multicultural/multiracial students.
  8. Prepare a comprehensive plan for communicating with students via face-to-face contact, group sessions, e-mail, social media, etc., to ensure the number of contacts are enhanced and maintained.
  9. Establish a supportive environment that encourages participation, dissemination of information, networking, coalition building, academic achievement, community service and mentoring.
  10. Develop a collaborative relationship and partnership with colleagues in the Center for Academic Resources, Writing Center, Math department, Project Success, Reading and Study Skills Center, University Studies Program, and other learning assistance programs to address students’ academic needs.
  11. Develop, plan, and implement programs to assist with students’ transition to the campus environment and collaborate with other departments and faculty to facilitate the implementation of programs and activities. These include workshops in time management, test taking and overcoming anxieties, note-taking, mentoring, etc.
  12. Collaborate with division units and campus departments to implement programs to educate the campus community about cultural diversity and inclusion to educate and promote awareness of multicultural, multiracial and social justice issues.
  13. Implement academic support services for multicultural/multiracial students including referrals to tutoring, supplemental instruction and other learning assistance resources such as academic advising, English language assistance, counseling, financial assistance, career development and graduate school advising.
  14. Promote the academic success of multicultural/multiracial students by offering distinctive programs and activities that introduce students to a community of networks and teach students how to navigate and/or negotiate processes within the institution (e.g., financial aid, housing, campus employment).
  15. Provide multicultural/multiracial students with support services that assist in achieving educational goals and attaining or refining academic skills by establishing first and second-year milestones for academic success. Along with post-graduate career success.
  16. Assist multicultural/multiracial students by advocating and encouraging them to take advantage of campus and community resources/services including leadership opportunities, practice in leadership training, education and development and access to appropriate mentors and role models.
  17. Apprise and advise the director and the Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer regarding issues, needs and concerns of persistence and retention.
  18. Through strategic and student-centered policies, practices, and programs, this position will foster an equitable and inclusive learning environment that affirm each student’s ability to achieve their goals.
  19. Establish connections with Access Campuses (Fond du Lac and Fox Cities) student support services and resources to foster outreach for networking, coalition building, academic achievement, community service and mentoring. Travel and attend programs and events on both campuses geared around academic achievement, retention, graduation, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

General Administrative (35% of Time)

  1. Monitor attainment of the division’s goals and objectives, ensure assessment practices are maintained and reported.
  2. Ensure contacts with multicultural/multiracial students are consistent and frequent to ensure academic success of all students through the Multicultural Retention Programs.
  3. Collaborate with the LGBTQ+ Resource Center and Women’s Center including other departments on campus to address intersections in diversity and its impact on student success. Engage, promote, and create programming for various intersections of populations as it relates to diversity and inclusion for race, gender, sexual orientation, grade level, career pathways, etc.
  4. Work collaboratively with office support personnel to ensure appropriate documentation, contracts, budgets, and other information are within departmental and university guidelines and policies.
  5. Work collaboratively with all units in the Division of Academic Support of Inclusive Excellence and other campus community departments to plan and implement programs and services to foster greater persistence, retention and graduation of multicultural/multiracial students.
  6. Generate annual reports outline yearly outcomes consistent with job responsibilities and as determined by goals and objectives of the department.
  7. Complete additional duties as assigned by supervisors.
  8. Consult with the Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer, unit director and/or colleagues on performance practices, assessments, and activities.
  9. Conduct research activities on best practices to improve retention of underserved and underrepresented students that self-identify as African American/Black, Asian American, Southeast Asian, Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Chicano/a/Latino/a/x, Native American/American Indian/Indigenous.

Professional Development (5% of Time)

  1. Attend on-campus, off-campus activities related to program development and professional activities.
  2. Based on program offering and availability, attend conferences, workshops, seminars, speakers, programs and activities to enhance skills.

Some night and weekend work required. Some travel required.

Qualifications Required:

  1. Bachelor’s degree in counseling, communication, education, or a related field.
  2. Professional experience working in higher education or related setting.
  3. Proven ability to connect with and communicate with underserved/underrepresented, at-risk student populations.
  4. Strong interpersonal and written/verbal communication skills.
  5. A collaborative attitude and evidence of successfully working within a team structure.
  6. A high level of organization.
  7. Ability to work with varied campus communities.
  8. Strong advocate and demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion with proven ability to work with a diverse student and workplace population.
  1. Master’s degree in counseling, communication, education, or a related field.
  2. 3-5 years of professional experience in a higher education setting.
  3. Bilingual (preference on Spanish or Hmong)
  4. Successful experience with retention and high impact practices in higher education.
  5. Proven skill in working with an electronic student record-keeping database (i.e. PeopleSoft, Navigate) and Microsoft Office Suite computer applications; and a facility for mastering new software formats as needed.
  6. Experience working with faculty and instructional academic staff.
  7. Grant writing experience.
  8. Strong public speaking and presentation skills.
To Apply:

Applicants must submit the following documents using the online application:

Cover letter, resume, and contact information for 3 professional references.

For questions regarding your application and additional options to apply, contact Human Resources at or 920-424-1166.

The University of Wisconsin System is engaged in a Title and Total Compensation (TTC) project to redesign job titles and compensation structures. As a result of the TTC project, official job titles on current job postings may change in 2021. Job duties and responsibilities will remain the same. For more information please visit: .

Application Deadline:

TO ENSURE CONSIDERATION: Applications received by June 21, 2021, are ensured full consideration. Applications received after that date may be given consideration at the discretion of the search committee. Application materials will be evaluated and the most qualified applicants will be invited to participate in the next step of the selection process. Incomplete and/or late application materials may not receive consideration.

If you have questions regarding this recruitment, or if you are not able to complete the application online due to a disability or system problem, please contact the Office of Human Resources.

Legal Notices:

AA/EO Statement
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (UWO) is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. We strongly encourage women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans to apply. UWO, in compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, or protected veteran status.

DEI Statement
Diversity drives innovation, creativity, and progress. At the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, the culture, identities, life experiences, unique abilities, and talents of every individual contribute to the foundation of our success. Creating and maintaining an inclusive and equitable environment is of paramount importance to us. This pursuit prepares all of us to be global citizens who will contribute to the betterment of the world. We are committed to a university culture that provides everyone with the opportunity to thrive.

Reasonable Accommodations
UWO provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities who are employees or applicants for employment. Employment opportunities will not be denied because of the need to make reasonable accommodations for a qualified individual with a disability. If you need assistance or accommodation in applying because of a disability, please contact or 920-424-1166. This job announcement and other material on this site will be made available in alternate formats upon request to an individual with a disability.

Confidentiality of Applicant Materials
UWO is a State agency and subject to Wisconsin's Open Records Law. UWO will not, however, reveal the identities of applicants who request confidentiality in writing except as may be required by Wisconsin's Open Records law. In certain circumstances, the identities of "final candidates" and/or the identity of the appointed applicant must be revealed upon request.

CBC & Reference Check Policy
All candidates for employment are subject to a pre-employment screening which includes a criminal background check, work authorization, and verification of education. It will also require you and your references to answer questions regarding sexual violence and sexual harassment.

Work Authorization
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh does not offer H-1B or other work authorization visa sponsorship for this position. Candidates must be legally authorized to work in the United States at the time of hire and maintain work authorization throughout the employment term.

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report (Clery Act)
For the UWO Annual Security and Fire Safety Reports (i.e., Clery Report), which includes statistics about reported crimes and information about campus security policies, see , or call UWO Police Department, at (920) 424-1212 for a paper copy.

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