Job Positions

Retention Specialist (Student Services Professional II)

Categories: Pacific Region 9


Student Academic Services


Sonoma State University

Date Posted:

Feb 26 2018 10:00PM

Close Date:

Open Until Filled

Position Description

Sonoma State University is committed to achieving excellence through teaching, scholarship, learning and inclusion. In line with the Seawolf Commitment, our values include respect, responsibility, excellence and integrity. We strive to cultivate a community in which a diverse population can learn and work in an atmosphere of civility and respect. We encourage innovation, experimentation and creativity, as well as contributions to equity and inclusion, in the pursuit of excellence for all members of our university community. Reporting to and under the general supervision of the Senior Director of Student Academic Services, the incumbent provides academic support services, academic advising, community resource referrals and information on University policies, procedures, and graduation requirements to undergraduate students. The incumbent works closely with academic advisors, staff, academic departments, and other university offices to address identified student challenges, using a preventive approach to solve problems impacting graduation. The incumbent utilizes a variety of advising strategies and academic support services to ensure student retention and success through graduation and also collaborates as a team member on delivery of general advising services, new student orientations, student retention initiatives, and academic success workshops.


Major duties of the position include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Work with students on academic probation, academic disqualification and administrative academic disqualification including, but is not limited to, responding to phone calls, walk-ins and emails concerning such issues; working with students to understand policy, procedure and process; following up and following through with students’ probation contracts, etc.
  • Consult with students experiencing academic difficulty; assist them in identifying reasons for their academic difficulty and advise them to repeat course(s) that will enable them to bring their academic performance up to an acceptable level and direct them to student support programs
  • Offer workshops on campus for the general population or specific classes on topics related to retention of students (e.g. study skills, time management, choosing a major, etc.)
  • Outreach to students in the form of telephone, email, group and/or individual meetings
  • Work with faculty and staff to use judgment to recommend solutions to resolve student issues that result in low retention
  • Provide guidance to at-risk students to devise and implement a plan for student success and maintain regular follow up
  • Oversee and conduct student SAP process
  • Research successful college/university retention programs to identify best policies, practices, and procedures. Make recommendations based on best practices identified through research.
  • Analyze retention and attrition data to identify trends and potential solutions. Notify academic advisors and faculty of student issues relating to performance, probation, and potential disqualifications
  • Contact students who want to appeal their probation/disqualification status
  • Refer students to student support services when needed
  • Partner with campus leadership to identify shared challenges and opportunities related to student success, especially as it relates to students from low-income, underrepresented minority and/or first generation backgrounds
  • Review and prepare for Committee petitions for reinstatement and all follow up communication
  • Conduct or participate in student withdrawal procedures, attendance advising, and generalized problem-solving with individual students
  • Support students in pursuing their educational goals by providing factual data about degree requirements related to student aptitudes, interests, and abilities
  • Collaborate closely with Admissions and Records to address identified student challenges
  • Performs other secondary duties as assigned.

Application Process

Click the "Apply Now" to apply to this position. Materials submitted with your application will not be returned. The ADA Coordinator is available, at 707/664-2664, to assist individuals with disabilities in need of accommodation during the hiring process. Qualified candidates must submit the following to be considered: 1. Cover Letter and Resume - application system only allows one document to be uploaded, so cover letter and resume must be included in the same MS Word or PDF file (file name should not contain any spaces or special characters) In your cover letter, please list the three most effective services/interventions when working with at-risk students. 2. Online Employment Application (complete entire application, resume/cover letter will not substitute for any part of the application) A background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate can be offered a position. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the application status of applicants or continued employment of current employees who apply for this position.

Institution Information

Sonoma State University, located 48 miles north of San Francisco, is one of the 23 campuses of the California State University. Sonoma State University is a liberal arts institution with an enrollment of approximately 10,000 students and 530 full-time and part-time faculty. Our beautiful campus is located in Rohnert Park, at the foot of the Sonoma hills in the Wine Country. Sonoma State University is proud to be a smoke-free campus, where smoking and other uses of tobacco products, such as smokeless tobacco, the use of e-cigarettes and similar devices, are prohibited. Sonoma State University's Jeanne Clery Act Annual Security Report is available at; Annual Campus Housing Fire Safety Report is available at

Additional Information


Contact Information

Sonoma State University Human Resources

Main (707) 664-3100

Fax (707) 664-3196 1801

East Cotati Avenue, Rohnert Park, CA 94928


Required Qualifications

  • This position requires the equivalent to graduation from a four-year college or university in one of the behavioral sciences, public or business administration or a job related field.
  • Additional specialized experience during which the applicant has acquired and successfully applied the knowledge and abilities shown above may be substituted for the required education on a year for year basis.
  • Possession of these knowledge and abilities is typically demonstrated through the equivalent of two years of professional experience in admissions, one of the student services program areas or in a related field; experience should give evidence of competence and indicate the potential for further growth.
  • A master’s degree in a job related field may be substituted for one year of the professional experience.
  • Demonstrated experience using computer technologies such as MS Office, Google Drive, multiple databases, student success software, and student information systems is required. Working knowledge of the practices, procedures and trends in Student Affairs and Academic Advising, with demonstrated experience and knowledge with programs and resources that support the retention and academic success of college students, particularly at risk student populations

This position also requires the following abilities:

  • Demonstrated multicultural competence through knowledge, skills, and abilities. • Use initiative and resourcefulness in planning work assignments
  • Advise students individually and in groups on student-related matters.
  • Collect, compile, analyze and evaluate data to infer conclusions and present data in a way, verbal or written, that conveys those conclusions clearly to stakeholders.
  • Innovative and open to researching and implementing current university retention best practices.
  • Connect and build rapport with students from diverse backgrounds.
  • Adhere to strict confidentiality requirements and other ethical standards.
  • Carry out a variety of professionally complex assignments without detailed instructions. • Coordinate and prioritize multiple, completing tasks to meet project deadlines.
  • Work effectively both independently and as part of a team.
  • Be flexible in handling change and challenges.
  • Think critically and stay focused under pressure.
  • Work in a fast-paced environment where constructive feedback from others is encouraged.
  • Develop positive interpersonal relationships to maintain effective and inclusive working relationships amongst diverse populations including faculty, staff, administration, students, and members of the community and public.
  • Develop a thorough knowledge of CSU and SSU academic and admissions requirements.

Preferred Qualifications

  • PeopleSoft experience preferred.
  • Bilingual English/Spanish preferred.