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Assistant Director of First Generation Student Support, Rhode Island School of Design

Rhode Island School of Design
Rhode Island, United States
Salary Not Specified
Closing date
Sep 14, 2021

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Position Type
Administrative, Student Affairs, Academic Advising & Academic Support Services, Disabled Student Services, Minority & Multicultural Affairs, Other Student Affairs, Student Activities & Services
Employment Type
Full Time
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Job Details

Job Summary

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 critical areas.

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 generation students.

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.

Essential Functions

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, etc.)


  • 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.

Required Knowledge/Skills/Experience

  • 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 orientation.

  • 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 leaders.

  • 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 skills.

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

  • Strong computer skills, i.e. MS Office (Excel, Word, Gmail, and Google Docs).

  • Ability to mentor and guide students.

  • An appreciation for art and design, developed through education, employment, or personal interest is highly desirable.



Work Schedule:

35 hours per week; 12 months per year

Some evenings and weekends required throughout the year.

Employment Status:

Full-Time; Regular



Documents Needed to Apply:

Resume (required)

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 law.

For internal use only - Job Family:

Student Affairs
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