Job Details

American Public University System
  • Position Number: 1938750
  • Location: Charles Town, WV
  • Position Type: Academic Advising

Graduate Academic Advisor

Requisition Number: GRADU01950
Location: Manassas, VA

The Academic Advising Department serves to guide, encourage, and inform students of recommended academic options to progress through their academic programs at American Public University System (APUS). Academic Advisors interact with students through a variety of remote means - email, phone, chat, and others.

The Graduate Academic Advisor is the primary Academic Advisor for graduate student needs. This role supports the academic progress of each Graduate-level student to encourage successful completion of his/her degree as well as to support his/her other academic and professional goals. Graduate Advisors develop a working knowledge of assigned curricula to assist students at the graduate level who are exploring options, in need of academic advice, and/or require more detailed information on APUS policies, procedures, and programs. Similar to Undergraduate-level Academic Advisors, Graduate Academic Advisors collaborate with colleagues across the University to provide information to students as they progress through their education program. Each Graduate Advisor will bring to the position his/her own personal experience of having successfully completed graduate-level coursework and, as a result, understanding the expectations of this level. They are expected to be aware of, and to tailor their advice towards, the specialized and unique academic needs of graduate students. This requires continual review and refinement of their advising skills, review of industry literature on graduate students, and, when appropriate, involvement and/or participation in organizations of higher education (e.g., NACADA).

Essential Functions:

  • Friendly and helpful student communication and outreach
    • Effectively builds relationships with prospective, current, and/or returning students by representing the university through email, chat, phone, representative landing pages, live webinars, training videos, recruitment/welcome videos, social media, and/or other means of communication.
    • Initiates and responds to student communications concerning academic advising, academic programs, APUS policies, campus and form navigation, and other student questions/concerns.
    • Communicates with students remotely, primarily via phone, chat, and email, at any point during their enrollment cycle at APUS.
    • Conducts student outreach aimed at providing friendly and helpful advice/directive on next steps.
    • Clearly documents all student interactions.
    • Warm, high quality, and friendly communication, removes obstacles, and work with other departments on the student's behalf.
  • Timely and accurate processing of degree changes and program adds
    • Reviews student degree plan change requests to assess credit impact, time to completion, student planning, and other relevant factors to determine and advise a recommended path in each case.
  • Exceptional academic advising
    • Utilizes different academic advising strategies as appropriate, to include inquisitive, appreciative, development, and prescriptive advising.
    • Keeps supervisor and peers abreast of notable trends in student behavior, in order to assess and design targeted outreach initiatives or changes to current processes as needed.
    • Maintains knowledge of and provide advising for distinct populations or programs.
    • Encourages, motivates, and guides students towards the successful completion of their program or academic goals.
    • Meets department expectations and service level agreements around delivering adequate and timely service to students.
    • Continuously reviews processes and policies and recommends improvements or changes when necessary.
  • Professional development, training, and engagement
    • Continuously engages in professional development activities as needed.
    • Participation in department committees, task forces, university organizations, or industry organizations (NACADA).
  • Interacts with other university departments on behalf of students.
  • Meets department level expectations as outlined in the Academic Advisor Expectations documents.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Work Environment and Physical Demands:
  • Standard office environment.
  • Must reside within 60 miles from Manassas, VA office.
  • Ability to work primarily from home if the following are met by the employee: high speed Internet connection, a dedicated work space within place of residence free of distraction, a second monitor, and the capability to telecommute.
  • Must be able to work from the Manassas, VA office when required (2-3 times per month at minimum).
  • May be required to work non-traditional hours as needed.

Required Skills:

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Effective interpersonal skills - influencing, persuasion, elicitation, and listening.
  • Understanding of theory behind graduate-level research methods and methodology (theoretical frameworks, literature reviews, research proposals).
  • Understanding of the pedagogical differences between Undergraduate and Graduate-level coursework.
  • Excellent student and customer service skills.
  • Ability to effectively advise in ambiguous and unstructured scenarios.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple tasks under tight deadlines with minimal supervision.
  • Rational and objective decision making.
  • Optimism and positivity.
  • Creativity.
  • Critical Thinking.
  • Problem Solving.
  • Ability to adjust quickly to changes.

Required Education and Experience:
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution required.
  • Graduate-level coursework required.
  • Minimum one year of experience in a professional office setting required.
  • Competitive candidates will typically have strong representational skills, impeccable oral and writing skills, knowledge of graduate student development theory, and knowledge of theory and best practices in academic advising.
  • Demonstrated experience in influencing, informing, and persuading students on complex academic matters preferred.
  • Prior experience in working with students from a wide variety of cultural, socioeconomic, and academic backgrounds preferred.
  • Experience in academic advising and a conferred graduate degree are both strongly preferred.

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