Academic Advisor for Biology - 12115BR

Academic Advisor for Biology

Undergraduate Biology Program
University of Kansas - Lawrence
Employee Class: 
U-Unclassified Professional Staff

Position Overview

The Academic Advisor for Biology is primarily responsible for providing comprehensive advising for undergraduate students with declared Biology majors to assist their progression toward degree completion. Biology has large enrollment (~1300 majors), diverse degrees and requirements, and specific course sequencing. Academic Advisors in Biology will gain additional expertise from and liaison with College Advising and Student Services. They will also help support faculty advisors/mentors in the Departments of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) and Molecular Biosciences (MB). This position collaborates with campus partners on key advising initiatives. The Academic Advisor helps create an advising environment where differences are valued and each person is supported. Students are provided with equitable, inclusive opportunities and connected to services to create student success. The Academic Advisor in Biology is supervised by and will work closely with the Senior Academic Advisor.

Job Description

20% Provides comprehensive initial advising to students at the time of their declared interest in a major.
  1. Works with student at the time of major selection to develop graduation pathway, explore area-specific opportunities, determine career possibilities, and connect the student to faculty advisor/mentor.
  2. Connects declared students to faculty with specific focus area of interest.
  3. Maintains informational resources to include major-related opportunities such as research, study abroad, internships, clubs, and career pathways.
  4. Conducts follow up communication with students who have not set milestones as determined in collaboration with divisional senior advisor.
50% Provides continual advising and targeted outreach, providing a focus to higher risk students in Biology.
  1. Responds appropriately to Biology student’s questions and concerns regarding academic progress and enrollment.
  2. Facilitates student’s engagement in the shared completion of a detailed semester-by-semester degree plan.
  3. Covers long range progression plans and has ongoing discussions with students regarding opportunities for support and engagement.
  4. Communicates deviation from plan and initiates advising meeting with students not on track for progression. Reviews performance in semester following to determine if course has been corrected.
  5. Focuses efforts on students in academic difficulty within assigned division.
  • Advises students within the assigned academic division who are in “notice” status.
    • Advises students in “warning” status as a targeted group based on academic standing policy.
    • Provides additional focus on non-progress in key introductory courses that immediately impede progressions in the major and discuss alternate pathways.
    • Reaches out to students in at-risk groups at the direction of senior advisor in division using comprehensive outreach/communication plan as guide. Outreach includes monitoring of advising contact and targeted/timed email messaging related to specific issues.
    • Provides data regarding term grade point averages for the warning status group and documenting total number of contacts per student in the at-risk student group and number of students reached.
  1. In partnership with department advisors, serves individual students in assigned division at all advising functions related to new student orientations.
  2. Tracks students in targeted concern groups who have not engaged in advising services.
  3. Completes periodic follow up contacts by various means to encourage students to connect each semester.
  4. Using data provided by Senior Advisor, reviews progress of students in each of their assigned majors to determine milestone progression.
  5. Provides senior academic advisor and assigned departments with student data each semester including, but not limited to: number of declared majors/minors, number of intake appointments, student feedback results, number of completed degree plans, and other related student success data.
  6. Reviews student feedback regarding satisfaction of advising services and determines with CASS team the best approach for any future improvements.
10% Maintains current knowledge of University and CLAS policies and procedures affecting undergraduate education at KU.
  1. Effectively communicates and explains policies and procedures to students and stakeholders.
  2. Collaborates with faculty on matters relating to University undergraduate policy and procedures across units, including student petitions, the curricular and program change process, and the Academic Catalog.
  3. At request of unit, attends undergraduate faculty meetings and other relevant committee meetings.
  4. When appropriate, collaborates with faculty regarding use of systems related to advising.
  5. Participates in regular training, professional development, and work group/committee opportunities.

10% Collaborates with campus partners on key advising initiatives.
  1. Working with senior advisors, collaborates with a variety of campus partners to facilitate students’ progression from exploration to chosen pathway, giving attention to support services and enrichment opportunities throughout their undergraduate academic career.
  2. Coordinates career and placement activities with the University Career Center (UCC) for targeted student groups at milestones.
  3. Works with student success units to create and implement programming for incoming students.
10% Assists with faculty advisor training and curriculum feedback.
  1. Assists senior advisor in division with training as needed to new faculty undergraduate coordinators and advisors on the basics of advising, policy, procedure, DPR, portal, etc. and serves as a resource as needed.
  2. Works with CLAS departments to offer feedback from a student/advisor perspective and provide reports, as departments develop innovative curriculum paths that allow for a more seamless completion of the major. May assist with curriculum process as needed.

Required Qualifications

Evaluation of the following requirements will be made through (1) descriptions of work experience and educational experiences in letter of application, (2) record of accomplishments and productivity addressed in a resume, and (3) information provided from professional references.
  1. Bachelor's degree.
  2. One year minimum experience working directly with students in a college or university setting.
  3. One year minimum of work experience that demonstrates the ability to perform detailed work, prioritize multiple tasks, and meet deadlines.
  4. Demonstrated strong communication and organizational skills as evidenced by a letter of application and work history.

Preferred Qualifications

  1. Degree in a biological sciences-related field.
  2. Degree in the liberal arts and sciences.
  3. A Master's degree.
  4. Demonstrated academic advising experience with students in a college or university setting.
  5. Demonstrated experience with and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
  6. Knowledge of KU and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences' requirements, policies, and procedures.
  7. Demonstrated experience with relevant computerized student information and communication systems, including but not limited to, Excel, Access, and Tableau.

Additional Candidate Instructions

A complete online application includes a cover letter, resume, and list of 3 professional references.
Application reviews begins on June 22, 2018. For first consideration, apply before June 22, 2018.

Contact Information to Applicants

Scott Hefty

Advertised Salary Range

Minimum $36,709

Application Review Begins


Anticipated Start Date


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Posting Information
Posting ID:
Undergraduate Biology Program
University of Kansas - Lawrence
Employee Class:
U-Unclassified Professional Staff
Application Review Begins:
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