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Academic Advising Specialist, CHANCE Program (4563)

Position Summary

The Academic Advising Specialist (student success counselor/ CHANCE counselor) is responsible for implementing high touch student retention and success programs and services for the CHANCE Program. Primarily, the Academic Advising Specialist is responsible for managing a case load of students, delivering, and participating in programs and services that support student retention and success, and interacting with internal and external partners beneficial to the CHANCE program. The Academic Advising Specialist is also involved in planning, developing, evaluating, and reporting program activities.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Advise Students
  • Manage a caseload of students with frequent individual and group interactions and meetings, particularly students in their first and second years of college.
  • Develop plans of action and advise students on strategies, resources, and opportunities for academic and personal success.
  • Work with students from their transition into and until their completion of college.
  • Assess student needs and provide appropriate referrals or direct support for interventions.
  • Monitor student academic and personal progress.
  • Maintain positive working relationships with students and their families.
Program Activity
  • Participate in departmental and college activities that support the orientation, transition, persistence, and well-being of students. Activities include, but not limited to, departmental meetings, events, and staff development, facilitation of workshops, courses, and other activities to support students, orientation and advising days, admissions events, first-year experience programming, other student support programs and services related to student retention and completion, student clubs and organizations, alumni events, etc.
  • Communicate with other departments about student progress and needs.
  • Refer students to appropriate resources and opportunities.
  • Exercise judgement and discretion in work based on programmatic and university criteria and procedures, student needs, and partner needs.
Technical Knowledge
  • Maintain professional and technical knowledge related to and for the interpretation and implementation of NIU policies and procedures, student success, retention, diversity and equity, and other relevant knowledge and skills for effective job and program performance.
  • Exhibit and share deeper knowledge and skills for addressing the needs of diverse students, particularly students who are first-generation, eligible for federal or state grant funds, from urban or rural areas, and from underprepared educational backgrounds
Serve on Committees
  • Serve on and participate in appropriate college and external committees, groups, and activities that enhance programmatic services and student retention, success, and completion.
  • Maintain positive working relationships with partners.
  • Document student contact and progress reports in appropriate college computer systems.
  • Exercise discretion and confidentiality in the maintenance of student records and data.
  • Assist in the analysis and reporting of program and student data.
Other Duties
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the program director and other appropriate levels of administration.
Minimum Required Qualifications (Civil Service)
  • Requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.
  • Requires a minimum of four years professional experience working in higher education, secondary school, nonprofit organization, or related field in program(s) designed to support the retention and success of students, including diverse or underrepresented students.
  • Requires a minimum of a master’s degree.
  • Requires a minimum of three years professional experience working in higher education, secondary school, nonprofit organization, or related field in program(s) designed to support the retention and success of students, including diverse or underrepresented students.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) (Civil Service)

Classification-Specific KSAs
  1. Customer and Personal Service – Knowledge of principles and processes for providing quality educational guidance. This includes student needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of student satisfaction.
  2. Administration and Management – Knowledge of business and management principles involved in the presentation and delivery of academic programs, strategic planning, resource allocation, leadership techniques, recruitment methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  3. Active Listening – Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  4. Critical Thinking – Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  5. Knowledge of educational, evaluation, and measurement principles, practices, methods, and techniques, university policies and procedures.
  6. Speaking – Talking to others to convey information effectively; ability to develop a rapport with students.
  7. Written Expression – The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  8. Ability to establish effective working relationships with students, faculty, and staff.

Position-Specific KSAs
  1. Requires familiarity with successful strategies to lead group and individual meetings across a range of ages, racial and cultural groups.
  2. Knowledge of working with students in academic or student affairs support unit.
  3. Ability to work independently to execute retention and program initiatives.
  4. Ability to work as a team player.
  5. Must have strong computing skills
  6. Ability to deal with sensitive student matters.
  7. Must have the ability to interact effectively with people from diverse backgrounds, including culturally diverse and academically under-prepared students.

Specialty Factors (Civil Service)


Preferred Qualifications (Civil Service)
  • Desire Spanish/English bilingual skills.
Minimum Required Qualifications (SPS)


Additional Requirements (SPS)


Preferred Qualifications (SPS)


Physical demands/requirements


Appointment and Compensation Details

Appointment and Compensation Details

Anticipated Appointment Start Date


Anticipated Appointment End Date

Percent of Staff Year


Standard Hours Per Week


Working Hours

M-F 8:00 am-4:30 pm, one-hour lunch, some evenings and weekends may be possible


Commensurate with experience and qualifications. NIU offers a robust Benefits Package.

Hourly or Semi-monthly Pay Rate/Range

See above

Earn Type


Application Procedure

Application Procedure

Application Procedure

Required Procedures

  1. Fully complete the Education and Work History sections of the application. Be specific on your entire work history, including employment dates and duties for all positions held. Applicable part-time work experience will be considered toward qualifying for this position; however, it will be converted to a full-time equivalency to determine combined length of experience. Important: Please upload any unofficial transcript(s) and/or documentation that verifies any education, experience, and/or training you have received.
    • If eligible for Veteran’s Preference Points, DD214/DD215/NGB22/DD256 paperwork reflecting an Honorable Discharge MUST be uploaded to this application to receive the maximum eligible points on the Civil Service examination.
  2. After the posting has closed, your submission will be reviewed to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications for the classification, including any specialty factors associated with this position. If you meet the minimum required qualifications for this position, you will receive a score based on your education and experience, and your name will be placed on the active employment register.
  3. Please monitor your e-mail for further information regarding your application. Emails will be generated from and . Please add these emails to your address book to ensure timely delivery of any future communication.
  4. Illinois residency required within 180 days of the hire date.

Credentials Assessment Examination:
  • The examination for this position is a Credentials Assessment and is based on your application materials as submitted for this posting. A Credential Assessment is a rating by the Human Resources Office of an applicant’s/employee’s education, experience, and special credentials/qualifications (licenses, etc.). Applicants are required to upload documentation to verify the minimum qualifications for this position has been met.
  • Required documentation noted in the posting, such as a driver’s license, licensures, or certifications MUST be uploaded with your application materials.
  • After assessment of all qualified applicants has been completed for this position, the names with the top three (3) scores will be referred to the hiring department for interview.
Additional Details:
  • Click on Program/Student Advisor for more information including salary ranges, typical duties, minimum acceptable qualifications, and testing requirements.
    • Applicants who may assume they do not meet the exact minimum qualifications are still invited to apply. Within the application documents, applicants should be sure to explain how their credentials and related qualifications address the requested minimum requirements.
  • Please click on Human Resource Services – Benefits for detailed information about Northern Illinois University’s benefits package.
  • Employment is contingent upon your passing a criminal background investigation. You may not begin work until the criminal background investigation results have been received and cleared by Human Resources.
Special Instructions

Resume/C.V., Cover Letter, List of References, Unofficial Transcripts

Quick Link to Applicant

Is Background Check Required?


EEO Statement Summary

In accordance with applicable statutes and regulations, NIU is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, religion, age, physical and mental disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political affiliation, or any other factor unrelated to professional qualifications, and will comply with all applicable federal and state statutes, regulations and orders pertaining to nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action.

The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:

Ethics and Compliance Officer, Title IX Coordinator
Health Services 230

Visa Policy

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification document form upon hire.

ADA Accommodation

NIU remains committed to ensuring that its recruitment and application procedures include full opportunities for applicants with disabilities. Employment opportunities will not be denied to anyone because of the need to make accommodations for a person’s disability during either the application or interview process. An applicant who believes they require an accommodation to participate in the employment process due to a disability may request that accommodation through the Accommodation Request Form . For further assistance, please contact the office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity ( AAEO ) at .

Safety Information

NIU provides annual reports on campus security and fire safety.

Read the Annual Safety and Security Report. Contact the Ethics and Compliance Office at 815-753-1649 for a hard copy.

Read the Fire Safety Report . Contact the Department of Environmental Health and Safety at 815-753-0404 for a hard copy.
Applicant Documents
Required Documents
  1. Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  2. Cover Letter
  3. Transcripts (unofficial with official required at hire)
  4. List of References
Optional Documents
  1. Military Discharge Documents ONLY (DD214/DD215/NGB22/DD256)
  2. Other

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * How many years of experience do you have in this type of position?
    • 0-1
    • 1-3
    • 3-5
    • 5-7
    • 7+
  2. * Please provide the name of the employer and the dates of employment where you gained this experience. Please note that this information must be verified on an NIU application and/or resume.

    (Open Ended Question)

  3. * What is the highest level of education attained?
    • GED
    • High School Diploma
    • Associates Degree
    • Bachelors Degree
    • Masters Degree
    • PHD
  4. * Have you attached all transcripts to support the degrees you are submitting for consideration?
    • Yes
    • No
  5. * If applicable, have you attached a copy of your DD214, DD215, NGB22, or DD256 for consideration of Veterans Preference Points? The copy submitted should reflect the status of discharge in order to be considered.
    • Yes
    • No
    • Not Applicable
  6. * Are you currently a citizen or resident of the State of Illinois?
    • Yes
    • No

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