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First Year Success Navigator

The University of Olivet
49076, Olivet (US)
Salary commensurate with education and experience; comprehensive benefits package.
Date posted
Apr 19, 2024

Job Details

These positions are fully funded by a Title III Strengthening Institutions Program grant from 2024-2026; partially grant-funded from 2026-2028 and are expected to be fully funded by the institution beginning Fall of 2028.


The University of Olivet was founded in 1844 on the principle that the future of humanity rests in the hands, hearts, and minds of those who will take responsibility for themselves and others in an increasingly diverse society. Open since its founding 179 years ago to all regardless of race, gender, or ability to pay, The University of Olivet was founded as the first college in Michigan to admit women and persons of color on a co-equal basis with white men and proudly defines itself by who it includes, rather than who it excludes. As such, it is one of the most diverse private liberal arts institutions in the state and actively seeks diversity in its students and employees.

Consistent with this history, The University of Olivet strongly encourages women and members of historically underrepresented groups to apply.



The University of Olivet is seeking to fill four (4) First-Year Success Navigator positions in its Office for Student Development. The First-Year Success Navigator supports a caseload of students from the time each student submits their deposit through their third semester. The First-Year Success Navigator will also instruct at least two sections of first-year courses each semester. This position requires facilitating student success initiatives related to the following:

  1. Assisting students throughout the onboarding process, including orientation, registration, intentional advising, and applicable services (e.g., financial aid, housing, etc.);
  2. Supporting a robust first-year college experience focused on increasing first-year retention rates;
  3. Incorporating proactive, data-informed academic exploration and academic support tools;
  4. Fostering a success-oriented mindset by creating a powerful sense of belonging;
  5. Guiding students in initial academic exploration and academic support practices;
  6. Promoting Student Development, Student Life, and other departmental resources for first-year students (e.g., Career Readiness and Leadership Development, Health and Wellness Center, Comets’ Cupboard, etc.).

Under the supervision of the Director of Student Transitions and Academic Success, the First-Year Success Navigator will work collaboratively to ensure these strategic priorities and programs are intentionally supported and assessed. The Lead First-Year Success Navigator will oversee all other Navigators’ teaching and classroom administrative responsibilities.



The requirements listed below are representative of the education and experience required for an individual to perform the essential responsibilities satisfactorily:

  1. Master’s degree;
  2. Two or more years of experience in education. Preference is given to those with higher education experience in the areas of student life, student affairs, and/or academic affairs, etc.;
  3. Knowledge of best practices related to student transitions, academic exploration, retention, and student support initiatives.



The candidate must have the following:

  1. Professional written and verbal communication skills;
  2. Exceptional planning, organization, and time-management skills;
  3. Ability to work effectively, both independently and within a diverse team environment;
  4. Ability to prioritize and implement program activities to efficiently support caseload and other demands;
  5. Knowledge of established and emerging trends, standards, practices, procedures, undergraduate education, student development, retention, and student learning;



This is a full-time, 12-month, position with a salary of $40,000, a comprehensive benefits package, and generous paid holiday and leave time. Tuition programs available.



Review of applications will begin immediately.  Click the application link to go to the Career Center, then select this position and click on the “Apply” button. From there, follow the instructions to complete a profile and upload a cover letter, resume, and information for three references.




Success as a First-Year Success Navigator will include, but is not limited to:

  1. Increased and improved student success as measured by retention of our first-year students;
  2. Improved measures of students’ sense of belonging and increased engagement in campus programming;
  3. Increased and improved measures of success, retention, and inclusion of historically marginalized subgroups (e.g., Pell-eligible students, first-generation college students, etc.);
  4. Demonstrated The University of Olivet’s Compact-guided behavior in all facets of work.



  1. Instruct at least two sections of first-year coursework each semester, meet deadlines regarding classroom documentation, and serve as intentional supportive staff to students enrolled in the Navigator’s class;
  2. Maintain current knowledge of instructional methods and innovative technologies pertinent to assigned programs; learns and implements emerging technologies and advances (e.g., computer software applications) as necessary to perform duties in an efficient, organized, and timely manner;
  3. Ensure the overall development of each student as a unique person within the collective context of Olivet’s vision of “Education for Individual and Social Responsibility,” with an emphasis on active engagement in the student’s first-year academic exploration and academic support;
  4. Perform duties dependably and effectively in a diverse, challenging, and occasionally stressful environment;
  5. Promote diversity, understanding, and respect for all peoples and cultures;
  6. Partner effectively with campus staff and faculty to support first-year undergraduate students via onboarding, orientation, and Student Development or campus initiatives designed to improve retention, persistence, and graduation rates;
  7. Utilize campus advising technology tools to tailor support for each student's unique needs and intervene as necessary on identifiable risk factors;
  8. Serve on committees as assigned;
  9. Performs other duties as assigned.



The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodation may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.

  1. The employee must be able to perform duties dependably and effectively in a diverse, challenging, and occasionally stressful environment.
  2. While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to:
    • Stay in a stationary workplace position for prolonged periods;
    • Use common business office machines, such as a computer, keyboard, copier, and telephone;
    • Handle materials weighing less than 20 lbs.;
    • Traverse campus;
    • Communicate verbally with diverse constituencies;
  3. The noise level in the work environment is usually mild to moderate.

*This position description is subject to change at any time with notice to the employee.



The University of Olivet’s mission is to provide an education that enriches lives intellectually, morally and spiritually to a diverse campus community. Having attained these qualities through their educational experiences at Olivet, our hope is that our graduates will embody the “divine art and science of doing good to others,” as stated by the University’s founding fathers in 1844.

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