Job Positions

Director of First Year and Transition Advising

Categories: Pacific Region 9


Undergraduate Education


University of California - Merced

Date Posted:


Close Date:


Position Description

The Director of First Year and Transition Advising is responsible for the initial development, implementation and continued assessment of the First Year and Transition Advising program. The Director provides oversight and management of programming and professional academic advising staff with a focus on student success, cross-unit and cross-division collaborations and professional staff development. Guided by best practices, research and assessment, formulates policies and procedures for a comprehensive advising experiences that meet the needs of first year and transitioning students. The Director consults extensively with campus leadership, advising units and academic support programs, fostering effective communication across units and promoting the role of academic advising in the student experience. She/he achieves organizational objectives through coordinated achievements of subordinate staff, ensuring adherence to campus systems and procedures. As needed, provides academic advising for prospective and current students, including specialized academic coaching for first year and transitioning students and arranges for referrals to University support services. Functions with autonomy.


1) Directs the First Year Advising and Transition program that includes services to first year and continuing undeclared students. Incumbent will be responsible for the initial development and implementation, and continued assessment of a comprehensive academic advising program that meets the needs of first year and transitioning students. Determines unit strategy, goals and objectives.

2) Collaborates with campus constituents in the development, implementation and coordination of initiatives and systematic programs with organization-wide impact, that support academic success and persistence. Coordinates resources and best practices for support of first year students and special student populations.

3) Trains and develops professional advising staff. Provides direction and supervision to professional student academic advisors on the complex issues encountered with student advising, e.g. interpretation and application of policy of academic action for students in academic difficulty. Sets unit and staff priorities. Develops, implements and coordinates training and professional development opportunities for campus advising staff.

4) Makes recommendations on performance, salary actions, hiring decisions and other human resources-related issues of managed staff, including professional advisors, peer educators and student assistants. Responsible for merit evaluations.

5) Meets with first year and transitioning students as needed dependent on unit need. Advised subordinate staff on moderately complex issues such course enrollment or University withdrawals and makes decisions on escalated, complex student issues.

6) Evaluates the effectiveness of unit and programming through assessment activities, including annual and periodic program assessment and monitoring of success of program participants (e.g. retention rates). Incumbent is responsible for responding to the findings in ways that respond to institutional priorities, addressing the needs of students, faculty and campus leadership. Responses may include recommendations for program improvements, practices or policy changes.

Application Process

Apply Online at:

Institution Information

University of California, Merced, 5200 North Lake Rd., Merced CA 95343.

Additional Information


Contact Information

Alisha Kimble at 209-228-4604 or


Required Qualifications

• Bachelor's Degree and 5 years of directly related experience (3 years with a Master’s Degree), higher education counseling or academic advising, with progressive programmatic and/or supervisory responsibility.• Advanced knowledge of advising and counseling techniques that support the success of first year and transitioning students.• Ability to understand and interpret university policies, procedures and requirements, including those involved in risk assessment• Ability to apply current best practices in student development theory when developing/modifying policies and practices in support of student success.• Skills in monitoring/assessing people, processes or services to determine effectiveness and inform program improvement.• Experience with common University-specific computer application programs.• Abilities in problem identification, reasoning and development of original ideas to solve problems.• Strong written and oral communication, ability to plan, organize, and meet goals.• Demonstrated ability to establish and develop productive and collegial relationships through collaboration, and effective interpersonal communication with on campus constituencies

Preferred Qualifications

• Masters’ degree or equivalent in higher education, advising administration, counseling or student affairs and 3 years of experience in higher education counseling or academic advising, with progressive programmatic and/or supervisory responsibility.• Experience in development and implementation of cross-unit academic support programs