Job Positions

Retention Advisor

Categories: Pacific Region 9


College of Engineering


California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo

Date Posted:


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Position Description

University Advising is responsible for facilitating and fostering outcome driven efforts that support student success (e.g., retention and graduation). The Assistant Vice Provost develops the vision and provides the leadership to ensure consultation and the successful collaboration between administrators, faculty, staff, and students within the division and externally. Working collaboratively with the Director for Engineering Student Services, together the units develop and implement programs to support the academic success of Cal Poly students.Engineering Student Services, a division of the College of Engineering, seeks to enhance academic success by providing student support services, by working in partnership with departments, industry, and students. Our programs include the Engineering Advising Center, Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP), Engineering Tutoring Lab, and the International Exchange Program (IEP).Under shared supervision with the Assistant Vice Provost for University Advising and the Director for Engineering Student Services, the Retention Advisor performs complex assignments which require coordination and planning with other areas of the University. The incumbent must maintain effective working relationships with a wide range of students, faculty, staff and the general public by employing various interviewing and counseling techniques.The Retention Advisor must make decisions and collect data, within established parameters, that impact student groups as well as individual students and recommend changes to existing policies/practices as appropriate.


The following examples illustrate typical work activities and are not meant to be all inclusive or restrictive:AdvisingProvide comprehensive advising to students in assigned college on university policies, procedures, resources and graduation requirements; specifically, advise students who are in academic difficulty and/or are not making expected academic progress. Provide comprehensive retention services to students associated with the Multicultural Engineering Program to support under-served students in engineering; specifically, assisting in community building and supporting students who are first-generation or low income. Services include activities such as one-on-one academic advising, mentoring, career planning, cohort building, and personal support and group sessions. Consult with assigned college and University Advising on cases requiring additional support or exceptions.Retention Planning and ReportingUnder established parameters, work to improve retention, reducing time to degree and resolving issues impeding graduation for freshman and transfer cohorts within the college using a variety of methods including student programs, campus data platforms, and reports. Work collaboratively with University Advising, college associate dean, college advising director, college advisors, faculty advisors, department chairs, and the Office of the Registrar to achieve university graduation and retention goals. Track data and disseminate established reports to college advising director, college associate dean, and University Advising and conduct follow-up as needed. In consultation with supervisors, conduct ongoing analysis of retention and deferred graduation data to identify common trends and issues and makes solution-centered recommendations to decrease rates of recurrence. Use a preventative approach in solving problems impacting retention and graduation and provides multiple solutions when appropriate.Campus CommunityServe on college committees related to retention and graduation goals and initiatives. Support advising, retention and graduation efforts including short-term deployment to other advising areas on campus as needed.

Application Process

To apply, visit WWW.CALPOLYJOBS.ORG to complete the required online staff application and apply to requisition #104339. Applicants will have the option of attaching a Cover Letter, Resume and three Letters of Recommendation via the online employment system. Applicants needing computer/internet access may contact Cal Poly Human Resources at: (805) 756-2236, for information on available resources.At California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, we believe that cultivating an environment that embraces and promotes diversity is fundamental to the success of our students, our employees and our community. Bringing people together from different backgrounds, experiences and value systems fosters the innovative and creative thinking that exemplifies Cal Poly's values of free inquiry, cultural and intellectual diversity, mutual respect, civic engagement, and social and environmental responsibility.Cal Poly's commitment to diversity informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring and retention. California Polytechnic State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer/minorities/females/vet/disability.

Institution Information

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly) is a nationally ranked, four-year, comprehensive public university located in San Luis Obispo, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles on California's beautiful Central Coast. It is a distinctive learning community offering academically focused students a hands-on, learn-by-doing, educational experience that prepares them for today’s scientific and technical world. For more information visit

Additional Information


Contact Information

Beth Merritt Miller

Assistant Vice Provost, University Advising


Required Qualifications

Working knowledge of the principles, practices and trends of the Student Services field.Ability to accurately assess the current and future academic needs of students in the areas of academic support, leadership, career development, service, interpersonal skills and diversity awareness.Ability to advise students individually and in groups on routine student related matters; ability to be sensitive to individuals and groups; keen insight and understanding of cause and effect relationships that exist on campus.General knowledge of methods and problems of organizational and program management, research and interview techniques, and the principles of individual and group behavior.Demonstrated ability to make decisions and carry through on actions having implications with regard to other departments, colleges, and the university.Ability to use initiative and resourcefulness in planning work assignments and in implementing long-range program improvements.Ability to reason logically; ability to collect, compile, analyze and evaluate data and ability to make verbal or written presentations based on this data.Demonstrated customer service experience requiring a very high level of diplomacy and professionalism.Ability to use tact and diplomacy to effectively handle a broad range of high level and sensitive interpersonal situations with diverse personalities, and to respond appropriately to conflicts and problems.Ability to initiate, establish, and foster communication and teamwork by maintaining a positive, cooperative, productive work atmosphere in and outside the University with the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships within a diverse population and with those from various cultural backgrounds.Excellent interpersonal and communication skills; ability to effectively communicate information in a clear and understandable manner, both verbally and in writing.Thorough knowledge of English grammar, spelling and punctuation.Ability to interpret and apply program rules and regulations.Ability to interpret, communicate and apply policies and procedures.Demonstrated ability to maintain a high degree of confidentiality.Excellent organizational and time management skills with the ability to set own priorities to coordinate multiple assignments with fluctuating and time-sensitive deadlines.Excellent computer skills and proficiency with a variety of computer applications including word-processing, spreadsheets, databases, on-line systems, Internet as well as online calendaring and email.Working knowledge of or ability to quickly learn University infrastructure, policies and procedures.

Preferred Qualifications

Demonstrated skills in an institutional/educational environment utilizing a customer-oriented and service-centered attitude.