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Senior Director of Student Success and Retention

Emerson College
Massachusetts, United States
Salary Not specified
Posted Date
May 19, 2022

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Business & Management, Accounting & Finance
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Senior Director of Student Success and Retention
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The Senior Director will be responsible for leading and supporting the retention of undergraduate and graduate students at Emerson College and for implementing innovative practices and strategies around retention and student success.

  • The Senior Director will provide strategic direction in order to create a seamless structure to support retention and persistence practices through a formal written retention plan and in helping to support campus wide retention efforts.

  • The Senior Director provides leadership and direct supervision to the Director of Access, Belonging and Student Success, the Associate Director of Student Success, the Assistant Director of Student Success for Leaves, Returns and Transfer Student Support, the Assistant Director of Student Success (Generalist), and an Administrative Assistant to guide the holistic approach to support services for students at risk of not completing their degree to increase retention, access, belonging and satisfaction across degree programs at Emerson.

  • The Senior Director serves on the Enrollment Management Leadership team.

  • The Senior Director will closely collaborate across all departments and divisions, as well as partner institutions, to support the college's retention and persistence goals for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in on-campus, degree seeking programs, as well as current and future undergraduate partnership programs with other colleges.

  • The Senior Director will work in close partnership with the Student Financial Services leadership team to conduct research and implement programming and financial support structures for specific student populations, including but not limited to low income students, first generation students, student veterans, online students and BIPOC and students of color.

  • The Senior Director will work in close partnership with the Director of Student Care & Support to provide resources and case management, when needed, for students with complex needs that impact retention. This includes holding a position as Co-Chair of the college's behavior intervention team, CAST, as well as collaborating on campus-wide education initiatives for students, faculty, and staff about supporting students with complex needs and students in crisis.

  • The Senior Director, while providing strategic leadership, is also expected to actively engage with students through 1:1 support meetings and programming development geared toward students and families at varying levels of experience, and institution-wide initiatives that impact student retention.

  • This position will physically be housed in the Offices of Student Success and Support, and will report to the Assistant Vice President for Student Success.

Essential Responsibilities
  • Work in partnership with all areas of the college to reach and maintain the college's retention and persistence goals through a fully supportive student experience.
    • Evaluating processes and procedures that impact retention and persistence.
    • Providing targeted outreach and support to students who need to take time away from the college and who are planning to return from a leave of absence.
    • Collaborating on outreach campaigns and engagement initiatives for specific student populations
    • Managing academic concerns case management
    • Coordinating the Satisfactory Academic Progress appeals process
  • Responsible for supporting financial education initiatives, student veteran support service events and initiatives, and educational materials for students, families, faculty, and staff that support the college's retention efforts.
  • Develop personal and collaborative relationships with students by maintaining regular contact with the use of multiple communication platforms to provide coaching around academic programs and support to keep students connected with campus resources.
  • Collaborate with students to identify barriers, explore solutions, and leverage resources by encouraging students to take an active role in their learning.
  • Partner with on-campus departments (including, but not limited to: UG and G Admission, Student Success, Intercultural Student Affairs, Career Development Center, Student Care and Support, Housing and Residential Education, WARC, Academic Advising, Athletics, Internationalization and Global Engagement, Health, Wellness and Counseling, Social Justice Center, Alumni Relations, and ArtsEmerson), to ensure that students receive support related to financial aid, academic advising, student services, and other campus resources.
  • Help students to demystify college/university policies and procedures.
  • Encourage students to achieve self-awareness in order for them to gain a greater understanding of their personal strengths, values, and interests.
  • Leverage data analytics to proactively support students who may be displaying at-risk factors.
  • Participate in prospective student recruitment events, pipeline programs, new student orientation sessions, staff meetings, and student community engagement events.
  • Compile data from a wide variety of sources for the purpose of analyzing issues, ensuring compliance with organization policies and procedures, and/or monitoring program components.
  • Prepare a wide variety of often complex materials (including plans, reports, analyses, recommendations, and procedures) for the purpose of documenting activities and issues, meeting compliance requirements, providing audit references, making presentations, and/or providing supporting materials for requested actions.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned to ensure efficient and effective functioning of the Student Success and Enrollment Management leadership teams.

Skills and Experience:
  • Current knowledge of evidence-based best practices related to retention and student success
  • Ability to collect, analyze, and synthesize quantitative and qualitative data for the purposes of implementing innovative practices and strategies around retention and student success.
  • Excellent organizational, communication, interpersonal, and creative problem-solving skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills in interacting with students, staff, faculty, families, alumni and external parties.
  • Passion for working with college students and the ability to work skillfully and sensitively with students who may be experiencing challenges or seeking additional support.
  • Demonstrated commitment to a culturally and socio-economically diverse learning environment.
  • Given Emerson's commitment to fostering an intellectually enriching and inclusive educational environment, our expectation is that the successful candidate will demonstrate competence and sensitivity in leading, managing, and advising professional staff and students who are broadly diverse with regard to various aspects of identity, such as race, ethnicity, ability status, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, nationality, and religion.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills that include comfort with public speaking and an ability to discuss difficult topics with students in one-on-one settings. Must be able to generate enthusiasm among students and colleagues for programs and initiatives.
  • Understanding the importance of working collaboratively across areas to create conditions for student success, the successful candidate must have the ability to work successfully with an array of partners and stakeholders.
  • Ability to handle stressful situations in a courteous and professional manner.
  • Excellent organizational skills with the ability to multi-task and successfully prioritize tasks.
  • Understanding of the importance of documentation, data collection, and data analysis in working with student populations.
  • Must represent Emerson with the highest degree of professionalism to both internal and external audiences.
  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience.
  • A minimum of 5+ years of related experience in higher education, experience with retention efforts strongly preferred.
  • Experience developing, leading or supporting retention programs for college-aged students.

Nice to Have:
  • Master's Degree. Working knowledge of college financial aid and/or billing practices.
  • Progressively responsible experience in higher education working directly with students.
  • Experience with Banner, Slate, Google Suite and Maxient.
  • Be or be willing to become an Emersion: Foundations of Success FYS Instructor, Accredited Financial Counselor and/or a Gallup's Strengths Assessment Practitioner.

Grade of Position: A19E

Scheduled Weekly Hours: 36.25

Salary: $107,700.00

In addition to a competitive salary, Emerson College is committed to the health and well-being of our employees and family members. We offer a generous benefits package to regular staff scheduled to work 20+ hours per week.

Benefits include outstanding health plans with limited out-of-pocket expenses, dental plans, generous time-off programs, and a 403(b) retirement benefit with a 9% employer contribution once eligible. Additional benefits such as life and disability coverage as well as commuter offerings are available.

Please refer to our benefits website for a full list of benefits and eligibility requirements.

To apply, please visit:

About Us
Emerson College is the nation’s only four-year institution dedicated exclusively to majors in communication and the arts in a liberal arts context. Its main campus is located in the center of the dynamic multicultural city of Boston, in close proximity to major publishing houses, arts institutions, and research centers. The college also has campuses in Los Angeles and the Netherlands. Emerson College enrolls over 4,300 graduate and undergraduate students from more than 70 countries and all 50 states.

Diversity Statement
Emerson College believes diversity enriches the educational experience by providing students with the opportunity to learn from individuals who may have different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. Engagement with diversity in the curriculum, in our co-curricular offerings, and all other aspects of the College enhances the personal and intellectual growth of all members of our campus community. Emerson is committed to strengthening communities, including our workplace, by fostering the development of the intercultural competencies necessary for meaningful citizenship in an increasingly complex, pluralistic society. Emerson College does not discriminate on the basis of sex/gender in its educational programs or activities. Emerson has designated the Associate Vice President, Title IX, and Clery Coordinator to respond to inquiries regarding the College Sexual Misconduct Policy. The Title IX Coordinator may be reached at 8 Park Plaza, Transportation Bldg, Room 230 Boston, MA 02116; Telephone: 617-824-8999; email:

Annual Clery Report
In accordance with the federal Clery and Campus SaVE Acts, Emerson College commits to providing all current and prospective students and employees with access to the annual campus security reports for each of our campuses. This report may be accessed from the Emerson College Police Department website.

Grade Ranges
Information on Emerson College staff grade range jeid-8c40c5b883074049ab823a5ef11c282a
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