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Retention Specialist - Transitional Studies


Columbia Basin College ('CBC' or the 'College') seeks Retention Specialist’s, who's primary function is to assist enrolled and prospective students in the development of meaningful educational and career goals by providing developmental, educational and career planning services. This position focuses on services in Adult Basic Education, English Language Acquisition, GED and HS+ students. This position reports to the Dean for Transitional Studies.

This position is open until filled. First consideration will be given to applicants whose complete application has been received by September 21, 2023 @ 11:59 PM Pacific Time.

If you have questions or need assistance during the application or search process, please contact the recruiter for this position, Ashley Jordan at or (509) 542-4567.

Primary Responsibilities
  • Assist prospective and enrolled students regarding academic and college and career education programs, admission procedures, degree requirements and transfer requirements;
  • Work to assist Transitional Studies students into successfully transitioning from ABE/ELA/GED test preparation courses/High School+ courses into Integrated Basic Education and Skill Training (I-Best) and other career training programs;
  • Assist students in developing comprehensive educational plans and in developing and clarifying educational, career and life goals;
  • Participate as a team member in implementation of advising procedures and objectives;
  • Collaborate with Transitional Studies staff, faculty and other College staff to develop and implement innovative advising activities;
  • Design and deliver group advising sessions, orientation workshops and information sessions;
  • Liaison to other campus student support services assisting students to find services for which they are eligible; Link students to appropriate campus and community services and resources;
  • Collaborate with professional-technical faculty and student services personnel in placing students into appropriate levels of study and monitor student progress and participation;
  • Assist with development and placement of service learning opportunities for I-BEST and other career pathway cohorts as appropriate;
  • Initiate appropriate interventions for students who are experiencing academic difficulties;
  • Provide retention and follow-up services to students to ensure student compliance and student success;
  • Assist with the collection and reporting of data to college and agency systems;
  • Provide excellent customer service to students, potential students, campus partners and community partners;
  • Participate in college and community meetings, as appropriate; and
  • Contribute to the College’s commitment to diversity by fostering a climate of multicultural understanding and appreciation.
Required Qualifications
  • Bachelor's degree in Education, Counseling, Psychology, or related field from an institutionally accredited college or university; and
  • One (1) year of experience in higher education with diverse populations of varied ethnicity, ages, backgrounds and abilities.
Preferred Qualifications:
  • Master's degree in College Student Personnel, Counseling, Psychology, or related field from an institutionally accredited college or university;
  • One (1) year of experience working with under prepared adults, first generation college students, and/or students with special needs; and
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certification.

Accuracy : Monitor accuracy of own work; recognize and corrects errors; maintain accurate records; accomplish tasks thoroughly through concern for all the areas involved, no matter how small;

Analytical Skills : Synthesize complex or diverse information; collect and research data; identify data relationships and dependencies; design workflows and procedures;

Resourceful & Entrepreneurial : Consistently focus on end results and find most effective way to achieve goals and objectives; act on opportunities; take calculated risks; generate non-routine, non-traditional actions to overcome obstacles and achieve results;

Attitude Toward Progress & Change : Cooperate and support change and new processes; acceptance and quality performance throughout change;

Oral & Written Communication : Speak clearly and persuasively in positive and negative situations; listen and get clarification; respond well to questions; demonstrate group presentation skills; participate in meetings; structure and convey information clearly and effectively through both formal and informal documents; review and edit written work constructively; ability to tailor to audience in mind;

Student Centered : Attention, interest, activities and efforts are centered upon the best interest of students; create and support an environment that enables learners to achieve their personal, academic, and professional goals; provide courteous and helpful responses to all customers, whether they be students, general public or employees from another department;

Support for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion : Reflecting CBC's mission, vision and values, support initiatives that expand the human qualities that differentiate our workplace and educational setting. Demonstrate and advocate an understanding of differences, open mindedness, compassion, sensitivity and interest in differing viewpoints given the diverse population and show a deep commitment to the involvement of colleagues, students and community members to student experience and success honoring freedom of expression as fundamental to personal, professional and organizational growth;

Accountability : Accountable for own actions, decisions, errors, mistakes and/or failures to act when appropriate; accept responsibility when given, understand what duties employee is responsible for and can be counted upon to carry out those responsibilities; and

Teamwork : Demonstrate a willingness to work with, and help others in completing job assignments, the ability to accept constructive criticism, and to cooperate with fellow employees and supervisors; demonstrate alignment with the 'Yes And' culture, (e.g., being present and listening, making each other look good, embracing change and failure and choosing positivity).


This is a full-time, overtime eligible, professional staff position. The typical work hours are Monday through Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.; however, must be available to work a flexible schedule when prior notice is given by the College.


Prior to a new hire, a background check including criminal record history will be conducted. Information from the background check will not necessarily preclude employment but will be considered in determining the applicant's suitability and competence to perform in the position.

Additionally, pursuant to RCW 28B.112.080, applicants must declare whether they are the subject of any substantiated findings of sexual misconduct in any current or former employment or are currently being investigated for, or have left a position during an investigation into, a violation of any sexual misconduct policy at the applicant’s current or past employer. By law, post-secondary education institutions cannot hire an applicant who refuses to declare the existence or non-existence of an investigation or findings subject to this statute.


In the interest of providing a healthy, safe and secure educational and work environment, and in order to meet the requirements of federal legislation, it is the policy of Columbia Basin College to maintain an alcohol and drug-free workplace for our employees and students.

If you are hired, you will need to provide proof of identity and documentation of U.S. citizenship or appropriate authorization to work in this position as required by the Immigration Reform Control Act of 1986.

Columbia Basin College operates under an approved affirmative action plan and encourages applications from persons of color, women, veterans and persons of disability. The Human Resources Office is accessible to those with disabilities. If you need accommodation in application or employment, contact the Human Resources Office at (509) 542-4740.


The working conditions listed below represent those that must be met by an incumbent to successfully perform the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with qualified disabilities to perform the essential functions.


While performing the duties of this position, the employee is frequently required to sit, stand, bend, kneel, stoop, communicate, reach and manipulate objects. The position requires mobility including having the ability to move materials on a regular basis such as files, books, office equipment, etc. and travel between buildings on campus. Manual dexterity and coordination are required to operate equipment such as computer keyboard, calculator, and standard office equipment.

Usual office working conditions. The noise level in the work area is typical of most office environments with telephones, personal interruptions, and background noises. There is an occasional need for travel in this position.

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