Associate Director, Family Engagement (17360)

American University
District of Columbia, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted date
Sep 20, 2021

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Position Type
Administrative, Academic Affairs, Other Academic Affairs, Business & Administrative Affairs, Community Relations & Institutional Outreach, Alumni Affairs, Student Affairs, Other Student Affairs, Student Activities & Services
Employment Type
Full Time


As a part of the New Student and Family Programs team, the Associate Director for Family Engagement plays a critical role in fulfilling the department’s work by focusing on the needs of parents and families throughout their experience with AU. The Associate Director develops and provides resources, services, and programs for parents and family members of undergraduate students that promote successful student transitions, retention, and success. As a department in the Office of Campus Life, we work to intentionally guide, challenge and support students as they grow and thrive as members of the AU Community on campus and beyond. The Associate Director, Family Engagement engages ‘parents as partners’ in this work. This requires effective collaboration, program management, case management and strategic communication efforts. This position contributes to the training, supervision and professional development of student and para-professional staff members on the New Student and Family Programs team. Family Engagement work is supported by the team’s resources which includes a dedicated budget for events and programming. This position supports more than 2,000 students and 15,000+ families each year with an annual budget of more than $500,000.

Note: we use “families” in a broad sense to also include anyone that a student considers a supporter or champion regardless of relationship.

Essential Functions
  1. Parent & Family Program Development and Administration: Coordinate day-to-day operations for parent and family focused orientation and transition activities and programs. In collaboration with the New Student and Family Programs team, develop orientation resources and programming for parents and families including, but not limited to summer, fall, and spring sessions for first year or transfer students and families, Welcome Week activities, Family Weekend, and Commencement; Produce a planned series of webinars/virtual events throughout the year that to help families to recognize and support the developmental and seasonal needs of students. Collaborate with campus partners to foster a university-wide culture that anticipates and addresses family needs and welcomes family engagement in appropriate ways that best support students and the institution; Analyze data from program evaluations and make recommendations to the Director for program improvement.
  2. Management: Serve as centralized point of contact for parent and family inquiries and case management needs. Provide timely and accurate responses, referrals and follow-up in ways that cultivate partnerships with families in supporting students. Coordinate efforts with the Dean of Students to evaluate student needs and implement corrective interventions, submitting CARE reports on behalf of parents and families as appropriate; Maintain a case management software system to log and track cases and ensure high quality customer service. Provide regular and timely reports on trends and offer informed recommendations for action.
  3. Communications: Execute a communications plan to serve the families of undergraduate students that includes both web and hard copy publications. Develop and curate “just in time” content that anticipates and meets the needs of families supporting their students such as: preparing for transitions, managing key dates and deadlines, identifying support services, celebrating milestones. Leverage appropriate tools to share time sensitive or critical updates. Generate and promote engaging content for social media to share updates, foster pride in the institution and promote positive on-line community engagement. Collaborate with New Student and Family Programs staff and campus colleagues to align messages for family audiences.
  4. Volunteer Management: Develop a family volunteer program to support positive peer-to-peer engagement, assist with family events and equip family members to serve as ambassadors for the university. Create appropriate roles, select, train and acknowledge volunteers. Collaborate with colleagues in Parent and Family Philanthropy to engage the Parent Leadership Council.


Championing Customer Needs
Evaluating and Implementing Ideas
Making Accurate Judgments and Decisions
Building and Supporting Teams
Developing Plans

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work
  • Full time
  • Project Leader/Advisor B
  • Exempt
Required Education and Experience
  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent
  • 3-5 years of relevant experience
Preferred Education and Experience
  • Master's degree or equivalent
  • 4-6 years of relevant experience
Additional Eligibility Qualifications
  • Ability to provide high levels of customer service and exercise tact and diplomacy while interacting with parents/ families, students, university staff and faculty on sensitive matters.
  • Ability to develop effective communication strategies and deliver content through multiple forms and channels including newsletters, websites, podcasts, social media, training materials and general correspondence.
  • Proven record of successful experience in student-oriented service environment.
  • Proven record in working successfully with diverse populations.
  • Proven ability to work cross functionally, influence others and problem solve.
  • Exemplary written and verbal communication skills, including careful attention to accuracy and detail.
  • Strong interpersonal and self-management skills.
  • Skill using Microsoft Office suite including Word, PowerPoint and Excel to develop briefings, presentations and reports and conduct data analysis.
  • Hiring offers for this position are contingent on successful completion of a background check.
  • To ensure the health and safety of our community AU requires COVID-19 vaccinations for faculty and staff. Click here to learn more about our health and safety directive.
  • Click here to learn about American University's unique benefit options.
  • Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.
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Contact Us:

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American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively "Protected Bases") in its programs and activities.

Nearest Major Market: Washington DC

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