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Academic Access Counselor

Fairfield University
Connecticut, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted date
Aug 19, 2021

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Position Type
Administrative, Academic Affairs, Academic Administration, Distance Education Programs, Other Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Academic Advising & Academic Support Services, Other Student Affairs
Salary Band
Not specified
Employment Type
Full Time
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Fairfield University is a co-educational, comprehensive Jesuit university with a 200-acre campus located along the scenic shoreline community of Fairfield, CT. The University is comprised of approximately 3,500 undergraduate and 1,200 graduate students pursuing degrees within 5 schools: The College of Arts and Sciences, The Charles F. Dolan School of Business, The School of Engineering, The Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies, and School of Education and Human Development. As an expression of our Jesuit, Catholic mission and identity, Fairfield embraces a liberal humanistic approach to education, encouraging critical thinking, cultivating free and open inquiry, and fostering ethical and religious values.

Job Description:

TITLE: Academic Access Counselor

Date: (start date anticipated for early September 2021 if possible)

DIVISION: Academic Affairs

DEPARTMENT: Office of Academic Support & Retention


Reporting to the Director of Academic Support and Retention, the Academic Access Counselor will be a key advising resource (in addition to the Assistant Deans and the faculty advisors) for various under-represented student populations (including first-generation, veterans, low income, and undocumented students). Further, the role directly supports the needs and initiatives of the Office of Academic Support and Retention (as determined by the Director), including: peer tutoring; tracking and advising on academic progress; conducting workshops on time management/study or organizational skills/etc.; supporting orientation and academic on-boarding of each incoming class. The Counselor also works closely with the Office of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, to support the academic component of the Academic Immersion program.

UNUSUAL WORK CONDITIONS: Ability to work with a consistently high volume of demand; High exposure to confidential information; May require some evening and/or weekend hours.

KNOWLEDGE AND SKILL NEEDED: Strong interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills are required. Must be proactive, possess strong attention to detail, and effectively prioritize and manage multiple tasks. Respect for and sensitivity to individuals from possibly disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds, and/or backgrounds where a college education is not recognized, understood, and/or traditionally pursued.

Can easily/quickly pivot from team to individual roles/responsibilities.

Proficiency in MS Office. Is able to effectively communicate (and conduct business if necessary) via email, zoom, and other electronic platforms.

Ability to learn additional software (e.g., Starfish student alert system; Banner student record-keeping system).

EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree required. A Master-level degree is encouraged. Compatible majors are counseling, social work, or higher education practice.

EXPERIENCE: Working with non-traditional college students and/or students who are at greater risk for struggling academically. Ability to quickly engage and establish trust with individuals.

Can manage and maintain confidential student records.

Experience in a higher education environment is strongly preferred.

REPORTS TO: Director of Academic Support and Retention


Advising- under-represented student populations

  • Work with Admissions, Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs to identify students, make initial outreach, and extend services of the office.

  • Work with existing students on academic advising, in conjunction with advising provided by faculty advisors and Assistant Deans.

  • Develop an atmosphere of trust and confidentiality, so students can be comfortable and gain confidence to success at Fairfield and use its myriad of academic resources.

  • Fully understand the various academic offices and resources across campus, so that you can properly advise/guide students for further support.

  • Have a strong understanding of the Magis Core curriculum, to advise students properly on its importance in Jesuit education.

  • Have a solid understanding of the various academic programs and majors, to be able to provide students initial information and guide them to appropriate follow-up resources.

  • Understand and be able to provide guidance on various academic procedures (e.g., declaring majors/minors; changing schools; course withdrawals; drop/add; faculty advising model).

  • Respect and maintain the confidential nature of interactions with students. This includes upholding confidentiality whenever required to interact with students’ parents/guardians.

  • Be able to utilize the Banner student information system to record student data and advise students on academic progress.

  • Work with the library, the bookstore, other entities on campus, to consider models of providing resources for students who are financially disadvantaged but need resources in order to move forward with their studies.

Support Initiatives- Office of Academic Support & Retention

  • Maintain a robust peer tutoring service, with a focus on foundational courses in the Magis Core and in various majors of study. With regard to working with under-represented students, be able to identify courses where peer tutoring can assist with increasing academic development.

  • Provide workshops to support student academic development, including: study skills, time management, organizational skills, choosing majors/minor, etc.

  • Understand, support and when needed utilize the Early Alert System (through the Starfish software platform). Be able to utilize early alert and midterm estimate data to track the progress/follow up on the needs of the under-represented student populations being serviced by this role.

  • Support the various initiatives related to on-boarding each new class (e.g., orientation, faculty advising training, schedule development, working with Deans Offices, etc.).

  • Other initiatives as indicated by the Director of Academic Support and Retention.

Work with Office of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs

  • Collaborating with the directors of SDMA to support efforts pertaining to the Academic Immersion (AI) program, including:

  • Being part of the welcome activities to on-board the AI cohort each summer.

  • Coordinating faculty/course offerings for the AI summer session.

  • Coordinate peer tutoring and academic advising for the AI summer session.

Related duties:

  • As a representative of the Office of Academic Support and Retention, promote an image of efficiency and courtesy throughout the University community and consistent with mission.

  • Work with the Office Manager to insure all logistical/operational needs of the Office are being covered.

  • Embrace being part of the Academic Support and Retention “team” (with the Director and the Office Manager), as the office focuses on providing high-impact interventions and resources to support academic development.

  • Promote a professional, safe and confidential environment.

This position is based at Fairfield University’s Fairfield, CT campus.

Duties may change and/or be added at any time.

Disclaimer: The above information on this description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification. It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities and qualifications required of employees assigned to this job.


Student Affairs - Admin Academic Year

All offers of employment are contingent upon a satisfactory background check.

Fairfield University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, committed to excellence through diversity, and, in this spirit, particularly welcomes applications from women, persons of color, Veterans, and members of historically underrepresented groups. The University will provide reasonable accommodations to all qualified individuals with a disability.

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