The Office of Intercultural Student Engagement (ISE) at Rhode
Island School of Design (RISD) seeks an Assistant Director of First
Generation Student Support to directly support students who are the
first in their families to attend college.
The ISE cultivates an environment that recognizes an ever-changing
campus and global community. This office supports historically
excluded groups including but not limited to First Generation,
International, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer,
Intersex, Asexual, Polyamorous, Religious, Social Economic Status,
Spiritual, Students with differing physical and psychological
abilities, Students of Color, and those of all ages.
Reporting to the Director of Intercultural Student Engagement, the
Assistant Director of First Generation Student Support leads
Project Thrive and the First Generation to College Pre-Orientation
Program (FGC POP) and works closely with other areas of RISD to
deliver high-quality programming that supports first generation
students as they transition into RISD and navigate their way to
graduation. Students who interact with the ISE typically go on to
serve in campus leadership roles in Resident Life and other
The successful candidate is deeply committed to connecting with
students, has exceptional interpersonal skills, an open and
welcoming attitude, and approaches the work with a sense of
curiosity, sensitivity, and generosity of spirit. The Assistant
Director is highly diplomatic, working cross-departmentally and
maintaining a relationship with the Alumni Office to support a
first generation alumni network. This position also makes
recommendations to the Director of ISE on the alignment of first
generation programs and opportunities with campus stakeholders to
advance the recruitment, retention, and completion of first
We seek a culturally competent candidate whose professional
practice is aligned with advancing the principles of social equity
and inclusion, environmental and climate justice, and equal access
to resources and opportunities.
Cultural Advising & Collaboration
- Offer advisement based on social identity development, Imposter
Phenomenon, oppression, privilege, and liberation theory and
practice for first generation students who may hold a multiplicity
of identities (ex. LGBTQIA+, race/ethnicity, religion/spirituality,
low income, etc.)
- Provide leadership and advocacy toward outcomes that benefit,
welcome, and support first generation students.
- Work with RISD offices to ensure support for first generation
students (Admissions, Financial Aid, Residence Life, Alumni,
- Plan and execute the ISE portion of First Generation to College
Pre-Orientation Program (FGC POP): Work with Academic Affairs
partners to create programming that helps transition new students
into RISD during the summer. Deliver workshops and programs to FGC
POP students. Oversee FGC POP Student Leaders. Collaborate with
other areas of the college to deliver programming (ex. CAPS, DSS,
Residence Life, etc.). Create and administer assessment of FGC POP
(with Academic Affairs partners)
- Plan and execute Project Thrive: Plan all weekly Project Thrive
sessions for first year students. Plan all monthly sessions for
students in years 2+. Collaborate with campus partners to deliver
programming (ex. Alumni Office, CAPS, DSS, Career Services, etc.).
Create and execute surveys for Project Thrive workshops and other
Thrive-related events. Plan and deliver training for Project Thrive
staff and faculty mentors. Hold regular check-in meetings with
Project Thrive mentors.
- A Master’s degree or equivalent combination of education and
professional experience with a focus in either multicultural or
social justice education or education and experience related to
working with nonprofit and community organizations that focus on
identity, culture, and inclusion.
- Minimum of three years in student advising and working with a
wide spectrum of students that represent the intersectionality of
social identities. Experience supporting first generation college
students and/or personal experience as a first generation college
student highly preferred.
- Demonstrated understanding and sensitivity apropos to the
intersections of ability, class, ethnicity, gender, gender
identity, race, religion/spirituality, and sexual
- A demonstrated knowledge of historical and contemporary
multiculturalism with an American context.
- Ability to foster and build relationships with internal and
external partners in order to achieve common goals required.
Experience working with Admissions on recruitment initiatives and
outreach in higher education highly desired.
- Demonstrated ability to engage in personal development
practices around social identities, oppression, privilege,
liberation, and ally-ship.
- Knowledge of social identity theories for minoritized students
and the ability to incorporate those paradigms in student
development practices, services, and program development.
- Demonstrated proficiency in working as a team member and
collaborator among a variety of constituents including faculty,
staff, academic and student affairs practitioners, community
- Ability to handle and address sensitive, personal situations
with confidentiality, decorum, and protocol.
- Demonstrated commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity,
equity, and cultural competency.
- Demonstrated interpersonal, communication, and time management
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
- Strong computer skills, i.e. MS Office (Excel, Word, Gmail, and
- Ability to mentor and guide students.
- An appreciation for art and design, developed through
education, employment, or personal interest is highly
35 hours per week; 12 months per year
Some evenings and weekends required throughout the year.
Documents Needed to Apply:
Cover Letter (required)
Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please upload
all required documents.
The successful candidate will be required to meet our
pre-employment background screening requirements.
For certain positions, RISD is currently supporting remote work
arrangements due to the pandemic. When work resumes in person,
employees are expected to perform work on campus.
RISD recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to its
learning community and integral to an art and design education. We
welcome candidates whose experience has prepared them to contribute
to our commitment to diversity and excellence. RISD is an Equal
Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard
to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability,
veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression,
genetics, or any other protected characteristic as established by
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