Academic Advisor .

The University of British Columbia

Job Brief

We have a vacancy of Academic Advisor in our company, The University of British Columbia. This vacancy is based in Greater Vancouver Metropolitan Area. Please go through the job detail mentioned below.

Position Title: Academic Advisor
Company: The University of British Columbia
Work Type: Full Time
City of work: Greater Vancouver Metropolitan Area
URL Expiry: 2022-05-08
Posted on:

Job Detail

Staff – Non UnionJob CategoryM&P – AAPSJob ProfileAAPS Salaried – Student Management, Level CJob TitleAcademic AdvisorDepartmentInternational and Academic Student Advising | Arts Academic AdvisingCompensation RangePosting End DateMarch 22, 2022

Note: Applications will be accepted until 11:59 PM on the day prior to the Posting End Date above.

Job End Date

Nov 30, 2024

This is a term, leave replacement position.

Job Description Summary

Academic Advisors are responsible for developing, providing, evaluating and assessing academic advising services, programs and projects for the Faculty of Arts in order to support the academic success, personal development and retention of approximately 14,000 Aboriginal, domestic, and international students enrolled in two undergraduate degrees, four diploma, and three certificate programs.

Additional responsibilities for this position include: assisting in the development and use of information technology as it relates to the Faculty of Arts and Arts Academic Advising, development and implementation of recruiting and retention activities that support the enrolment objectives of the Faculty of Arts, including those for Aboriginal and International students; participating in the administration of the office.

Organizational Status

Academic Advisors report to the Associate Directors. Incumbent works independently, with initiative and considerable autonomy under the general supervision of the Associate Director, and/or Director. The position contributes directly to the development of policy and priorities of the unit. Advisors interact regularly and consult with Arts Academic Advising personnel, faculty and university members, departmental advisors, student (peer) advisors, Work Study/Work Learn students, and student service personnel elsewhere on campus. Advisors hire and supervise the work of support staff, student (peer) advisors and Work Study/Work Learn students and assists in the hiring and training other advisors. Wide latitude of decision-making is required.

Work Performed


Arts Academic Advising builds holistic relationships with students with the end of furthering students’ development. Through students’ questions about degree planning advisors make connections between academic planning, academic learning, personal career aspirations, and physical and mental health. Doing so, they contribute to students’ development of wider perspective. Academic advisors identify students at risk or in crisis and create an environment in which those students are able to acknowledge difficulties and seek further help. The tools with which advisors build these relationships are: program planning with students, career planning, evaluation of students’ academic performance, and conferring academic concessions. Academic Advisors’ primary advising duties are to:

  • Assess students’ academic records and histories in order to help students identify academic specializations in line with their personal and career goals. To do this, advisors must be able to probe students’ interests as many will be undecided in these goals.
  • Inform students about the requirements for admissions to majors and for degree-completion. Advisors teach students to manage complex information, including how to use the tools available for ongoing degree planning. They evaluate students’ use of these tools; they investigate and resolve any discrepancies or technical difficulties.
  • Coach students regarding post-graduation options (careers, post-graduate studies). Depending on their assessment of the student’s self-awareness and knowledge, advisors provide information, refer appropriately, and encourage students to take action. Advisors must maintain knowledge of career advising, graduate studies, and professional programs to do this.
  • Investigate and resolve inquiries from other campus units i.e., Admissions, Enrolment Services, Access and Diversity, Counselling Services and other UBC Faculties and University units.
  • Interpret and apply University and Faculty policy in relation to individual student programs. They can propose exceptions to policy for individuals. Advisors have wide latitude of decision-making regarding exceptions.
  • Identify when current University and Faculty policy or program guidelines fail to address current realities for students or cause problems beyond individual exceptions. Follow office guidelines to liaise with the Dean’s Office, departments and other student service professionals to resolve these complex program-planning issues extending beyond individual student programs. Implement changes which result. Evaluate academic and non- academic policies, make recommendations for change, may include developing alternative policy.
  • Anticipate student needs, respond to student requests, offer subject-matter expertise and professional advice, providing recommendations extending beyond a student’s presenting request. Make referrals where appropriate.
  • Adjudicate requests for Academic Concession. Advisors evaluate documentation, liaise with instructors, medical professionals, and other student service professionals to determine appropriateness of concession. Advisors determine type of concession based on assessment of student’s ability to complete coursework. Advisors are often the first student-service professionals to encounter students with mental health concerns. To encourage students to express their difficulties, advisors must create a safe and welcoming environment. Advisors must be able to perceive difficulties even students have not yet identified and proactively put into motion alternative supports, particularly through encouraging students to meet with health-care professionals.
  • Once a student is identified as at-risk, the advisor intervenes by connecting that student with resources and supports as appropriate, including engaging the University’s Early Alert system.
  • Contribute to, interpret and apply University and Faculty of Arts admission policies related to undergraduate programs and adjudicate internal transfer, readmission and continuation appeals via membership on the Arts Advisory Committee on Appeals
  • Advise students who are being required to withdraw or are seeking re-admission to the University. Adjudicate/decide appeals to be allowed to continue or return to studies as part of a committee.
  • Interpret and apply Faculty policy to adjudicate student requests to study outside of UBC, graduation requirements, and continuation requirements
  • Evaluate transfer credit, determine remaining program requirements. Advisors may authorize changes to transfer credit.
  • Admit current students to the Faculty of Arts Commerce minor.
  • Evaluate personal profiles of international applicants for admission to the Faculty of Arts.
  • Advisors support the recruitment and yield of students to meet the Faculty and University’s mandates and enrolment targets. They develop relationships with counsellors, parents, and prospective students through presentations at local, national, and international University events and through email correspondence.
  • Advisors are integral to the retention of students. They identify current student concerns and assess them for their effect on the Faculty’s and University’s mandate to recruit and retain the best students. They design, implement, and evaluate programs meant to address these concerns. These programs may include workshops, technical resources, and outreach programs. They may also include initiating cross-campus initiatives.
  • Work with other units to develop programs to support student transition to university and other student development initiatives.
  • Participate in ongoing development of University student information systems and services

Project Management

Advisors support student development outside of the individual advising relationship. Advisors evaluate and make strategic recommendations for areas of potential improvement and growth in student advising services and develop programs and policies to suit. In practice, each advisor develops and manages a project which comes from this evaluation. This project work involves designing the initiative, building consensus, implementing the project (including managing other advisors where appropriate), managing communication with students, faculty, and staff, providing leadership, engaging in assessment, and recommending further action. Examples of initiatives include: planning interventions for new students at risk of academic failure, designing advising services for student athletes, managing and assessing communication technologies to address student demand, designing and running student peer programs, designing online resources to facilitate student registration.

Other Responsibilities

  • Participates in the recruitment, hiring and training of other professional advisors and other staff as needed
  • Recruits, hires, and trains student staff.
  • Participates in development of operating policy to improve efficiency.
  • Conducts research and prepares briefs, data and reports related to advising services and the development and application of information technologies.
  • Arts Academic Advisors participate in the strategic planning and preparation of promotional materials to support the Faculty of Arts promotional strategy.
  • Initiates and drives technological change in order to support pedagogical values of the Faculty of Arts.
  • Sit on cross-campus committees as required.

Consequence of Error/Judgement

  • Advising decisions directly affect the quality of student undergraduate experience. Poor performance including inefficient or uncaring service affects the reputation and credibility of Arts Academic Advising, the Faculty of Arts and the University thereby endangering the Faculty’s enrolment goals.
  • Errors in judgment, poor advising, and/or inconsistency in decision making could have significantly negative financial, academic, and personal consequences for students, including serious difficulty in attaining their educational goals and even delay in graduation.
  • Failing to establish a positive, interculturally-sensitive advising relationship with students or to identify the effect of a student’s health on their studies can adversely affect the success of the advising relationship, contribute to the failure of Arts Academic Advising Service’s mandate to support students, and damage the University’s future relationship with the student as an alumnus.
  • Failing to identify the effect of a student’s mental health on their studies can result in a delay of proper support services and a negative experience of the University.
  • Uncollegial behaviour can affect relationships between units and delay services to students as well as advances in programs and technology.
  • Administration decisions directly affect the Advising Office’s ability to operate efficiently. Errors in decision making have a serious negative affect on the Office’s ability to carry out its program and service responsibilities.
  • Failures in one or all of the above may result in students leaving the University.

Supervision Received

Advisors work independently and within a team environment under the general direction of the Associate Director, and/or Director of Arts Academic Advising Services. Under minimal supervision, the incumbent has the authority to exercise judgment and make important decisions and provide services on matters of varying complexity in accordance with University policies and best practices in student services.

Supervision Given

This position may supervise clerical staff and/or student workers (peer advisors, co-op students, Work Study or Work Learn students). Other Arts Academic Advising staff regularly consult the Academic Advisors. May provide supervision to other advisors as project leader of individual projects.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline. Bachelor’s degrees such as those offered by the Faculty of Arts preferred (i.e. BA, BFA, BIE, BMUS, BMS, BSW). Minimum of four to five years of related experience or the equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience in post-secondary advising or counseling and administration required (UBC experience preferred).
  • Knowledge of SIS/SISC an asset.
  • Ability to demonstrate diversity competencies in one-to-one interactions (with students and colleagues) and in group settings.
  • Demonstrated experience and commitment to equity and diversity.
  • A skilled listener, with the ability to identify and respond to sensitive issues with empathy, diplomacy, and respect. Ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing.
  • Ability to independently exercise superior judgment to make important decisions on matters of varying complexity. Experience with interpreting, applying and advising on policies and procedures; ability to design policy. Attention to detail; excellent research skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, and presentation skills required.
  • Proven ability to use an inclusive approach to develop and cultivate effective working relationships with University students, faculty, staff as well as members of the external community.
  • Ability to work effectively independently and in a team environment with a minimum of supervision.
  • Ability to provide leadership as required for projects.
  • Ability to prioritize and work effectively under pressure to meet deadlines.
  • Ability to handle stress within a multi-faceted work environment.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects within a rapidly changing environment.
  • Excellent personal computer skills including standard office software and internet tools required. Experience applying technology to improve student or client services an asset.
  • Knowledge of SIS/SISC
  • Fluency in a South East Asian language, Mandarin, or other languages preferred.
  • Ability to travel outside UBC.
  • Valid BC Driver’s License.

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