Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Academic advisor, U Montana Missoula

Academic Advisor II, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Tracking Code
Job Description
Position Number                     New
Department:                             Department of Physics and Astronomy
Closing Date:                           Screening begins September 12, 2013; Applications received after 9/11 may be considered
Work Schedule:                       Full-time, 12 months/year, 1.0 FTE
Minimum Entry Rate:              $12.871/hr-$13.745/hr
Union Affiliation:                     MPEA
Probationary Period:               Six months minimum
Benefits Include:                     Insurance package, mandatory retirement plan, partial tuition waiver, professional development/wellness program

The Department of Physics and Astronomy is a thriving, undergraduate-only department that is dedicated to providing an excellent education for our undergraduate majors and conducting exciting research on ongoing projects in space physics, exoplanet discovery, plasma physics and atomic physics.  We provide a sound, complete, and modern education for our undergraduate majors with an emphasis on undergraduate involvement in research and sufficient preparation for either a career in a technical field or admission to graduate school.  We also provide quality instruction in physics and in astronomy to undergraduate and graduate non-majors and we provide technical expertise in physics, astronomy, and in computational methods to the University, the community, and the state.  To achieve all of this we rely on award-winning faculty and staff who are dedicated to quality teaching, committed to research and scholarly activity, and engaged in service to the University and the community.

This position will have two distinct roles: (1) to oversee and coordinate undergraduate academic advising activities for physics and pre-engineering majors and (2) to coordinate, implement, and enhance the Department of Physics and Astronomy’s interaction and public persona with current and future undergraduate students.  This is a complex position requiring familiarity with academic requirements for Physics academic options, Pre-engineering requirements, and transfer options to engineering schools, University of Montana general education requirements, as well as special programs such as Global Leadership Initiative and Four Bear. Responsibilities will include: advising students on selecting and scheduling classes; helping students develop individualized plans for graduation; organizing and conducting orientations for new students; evaluating transcripts of transfer students; helping to select undergraduate students for scholarships and awards; communicating with undergraduate students about opportunities for Research Experiences for Undergraduates, internships, jobs, and important deadlines; linking students with appropriate faculty mentors; reviewing and approving graduation applications; shepherding a Physics and Astronomy Facebook page directed at current and potential undergraduates; managing outreach and recruitment programs throughout the state; and handling associated administrative travel and student hiring coordination.  This position will organize fundraising events for the department while being the primary alumni contact for the department; will supervise undergraduate students and volunteers for departmental related events; will be the primary contact for student hiring and payroll paperwork as well as longitudinal student tracking using a database.  Additional responsibilities for this position include coordinating with all faculty and staff for recruitment and fundraising opportunities, facility scheduling for the Society of Physics Students, DSS students, and make-up exams and will act as a backup for the administrative associate for the department.  The Academic Advisor II/Recruitment and Retention Specialist will need to show a great deal of initiative and independence.  It will be their responsibility to develop, implement, and evaluate the undergraduate-advising program, which involves many different components, and to initiate recruitment and retention programs.  This person will need to be a self-starter and an independent problem solver.

This position requires incumbent to develop working knowledge of UM policies and procedures relating to course registration and graduation requirements; working knowledge of university catalog, resources and general education requirements; working knowledge of current advising practices and FERPA regulations.
Required Skills
  • Professional communication and interpersonal skills, as the successful applicant must be able to work effectively with a wide variety of people, including undergraduate students, administrators, staff, and faculty
  • Excellent computer skills that include a working knowledge (or the ability to learn): Banner, management of email distribution lists, Excel and Word
  • Excellent written communication and organizational skills
  • Ability to set priorities while under pressure and provide attention to detail and accurate record keeping
  • Familiarity with or the ability to learn the academic requirements of the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the University of Montana general education requirements
  • Ability to learn and understand the Americans with Disability Act and common learning disabilities and accommodations
  • Understanding of how the curriculum is organized, how it may be changed, and its goals in order for students to be advised accurately and consistently and any course substitute or waiver is appropriate and meets curricular goals
  • Knowledge of good advising practices, and knowledge of (or the ability to learn) transfer student issues and evaluation, new freshman issues, and general understanding of standard course and graduation requirements
  • Ability to learn Banner for student records management
  • Ability to work independently with a minimum of supervision
Required Experience
  • Bachelor’s degree in physics, science, engineering, science education, or related field.

Upload the following materials: *Please note: only five (5) attachments are allowed per application. Please combine documents accordingly.
  • Letter of Interest – please also address the stated required skills for the position
  • Detailed resume listing education and describing work experience 
  • Names and contact information for three  (3) professional references

Criminal Background Investigation is required prior to Offer of Employment
In accordance with University regulations, finalists for this position will be subject to criminal background investigations.
ADA/EOE/AA/Veteran's Preference
Reasonable accommodations are provided in the hiring process for persons with disabilities. For example, this material is available in alternative format upon request.
As an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, we encourage applications from minorities, veterans, and women. Qualified candidates may request veterans’ or disabilities preference in accordance with state law.
References.  *References not listed on the application materials may be contacted; notice may be provided to the applicant. Testing.  Individual hiring departments at UM-M may elect to administer pre-employment tests, which are relevant to essential job functions. Employment Eligibility.  All New Employees must be eligible and show employment eligibility verification by the first date of employment at UM, as legally required (e.g., Form I-9).
Job Location
Missoula, Montana, United States
Position Type