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Graduate Student Advisor and Retention Specialist

Apply now Job no: 492399
Work type: Full-time exempt
Location: Chester
Categories: Administrative (Exempt)

Widener University is seeking a full-time Graduate Programs Advisor and Retention Specialist to organize, coordinate and implement academic advising and retention efforts for two Centers in the School of Human Service Professions: the Center for Human Sexuality Studies and the Center for Education. This position reports to the Associate Dean in the School of Human Service Professions and works closely with the program and center directors.  It is a 52 week full-time exempt position, eligible for university benefits.


DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:  (include but are not limited to)

Essential Duties

  • Organize, coordinate and implement academic advising for on-campus and off-campus students in graduate and continuing education programs.
  • Organize, coordinate and implement student management services for the graduate programs, including registration follow-up and support, student orientation, student course planning, internship and placement applications, and academic audits to ensure that students can progress efficiently through the program and graduate as planned.
  • Coordinate and implement administrative processes that directly impact students to ensure efficient program operations and desired program outcomes, including monitoring of course enrollments, predicting course demand and staffing requirements, and support program directors and Center staff in the scheduling of courses and professional development workshops, and the collection and analysis of data for program planning, evaluation and improvement.
  • Support graduate enrollment and retention activities, including responding to registration inquiries, follow-up with students who are experiencing enrollment challenges, who are on probation, who are at risk for dismissal, and tracking and engaging students who are on leaves of absence.
  • Work with online program providers, academic units, and administrative offices within the university to resolve any issues that may arise and ensure that graduate students have a rewarding and satisfying experience in their programs.
  • Assist with the collection and analysis of graduate program data, preparation of reports, and other activities associated with maintaining program accreditation.


Secondary Responsibilities:

  • Admissions file review and coordination of file review with Center Director and Director of Graduate Admissions.
  • Assist in other activities assigned by the Associate Dean or Center Director (in Education and Human Sexuality Studies).



  • Interpersonal skills including communication, motivation, persuasion and selling skills.
  • Organizational skills including the ability to plan, coordinate and implement processes, activities and events.
  • Enrollment data maintenance, cleaning, organizing, analyzing and reporting skills.
  • An understanding of the career and academic program environment in the Greater Philadelphia region, including job market trends and career advancement prospects for graduate and continuing education students.
  • A thorough understanding of Widener’s programs in education and human sexuality studies and the ability to communicate their unique value and benefits to students and other stakeholders across campus.
  • Teamwork and collaboration skills.
  • Problem solving and facilitation skills.
  • An appreciation of the needs of graduate students at various stages of the career cycle.
  • An understanding of School and Center processes and their effect on program efficiency and outcomes.
  • Ability to learn and work with university systems.



MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: (Education/Training and Experience Required)


  • Master's Degree in higher education, human sexuality studies, educational leadership or related field in the human service professions.
  • 3+ years providing advisory support in a higher education environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, balancing priorities and resources under tight deadlines.
  • Excellent customer service, oral and written communication skills and the ability to adapt communications to diverse audiences with varying backgrounds.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to establish effective working relationships with internal and external units and partners.
  • Proficiency in MS Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)



  • 5+ years experience
  • Prior experience with academic advising, enrollment management, and admissions with graduate and continuing education programs






Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:

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