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Employment opportunities

Cross Campus Advising Specialist

Date: October 2016

Reports to:  Associate Director, Student Transition and Learning Services

Jobs reporting:  N/A

Location: Main campus

Grade: USG 8

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Primary purpose

The Cross Campus Advising Specialist will be highly knowledgeable  and up to date on best practices, literature and research related to academic advising strategies and initiatives. The specialist must be knowledgeable and aware of the unique nature of advising at Waterloo as it relates to both undergraduate and graduate student advising, as well as the specifics of advising within each faculty.

The specialist will need to be adept at identifying opportunities for implementation of key strategies and initiatives at the University of Waterloo and work collaboratively and strategically with key stakeholders across campus to facilitate the successful implementation of advising strategies and initiatives.

There is a significant amount of current research and literature that supports the connection between outstanding academic advising practices and high rates of student satisfaction, engagement and retention. Therefore the specialist must also be highly knowledgeable in best practices, literature and research related to the needs of students at post-secondary institutions and have a strong understanding of the unique needs of Waterloo students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Key Accountabilities

Specific accountabilities

  • Develop and create an advising strategy that helps to inform and lead the best practices of advising on campus, determine potential training and support materials, and provide an overall plan that addresses some of the key areas and nuances of advising various student groups in our six faculties.
  • Lead and support the ongoing development of the Community of Advisors as well as the Advisor Conference
  • Chair/facilitate the Academic Advisors working group and sub committees (e.g.: conference planning committee) as appropriate
  • Consult and network with a breadth of Advisors – this may be in one-on-one meetings, in key department or Faculty specific meetings, or in consultation groups, as appropriate and required
  • Consult with key stakeholders across campus to determine opportunities for supporting advisors and streamlining advising processes
  • In support of the advising strategy, work with the Manager, Integrated Communications in the development and implementation of an integrated and intentional communications plan for Academic Advisors.

Relationship building

  • Participates in and contributes to regular staff, department and advisor meetings as appropriate.

  • Works closely with the Faculty Relationship Managers (FRM) in the SSO to understand key faculty priorities, as well as existing work/conversations that pertain to supporting advising at the faculty level. Will work closely with the FRMs to understand the key people in each faculty to connect with.

  • Engages advisors in meaningful conversations about factors that contribute to student success, retention, student engagement and development as it relates to academic advising. This is accomplished through fostering an open and transparent dialogue and encouraging a highly collaborative and collegial relationship.
  • Provides leadership and guidance so advisors are engaged in developing a campus wide strategy for academic advising.
  • Represents SSO and the Community of Advisors at all relevant meetings.

Program development

  • Plans and coordinates targeted programs and strategies designed to enhance advising practices across campus. He/she works in close partnership with advisors and key campus and faculty partners to design, develop and implement key programs and initiatives for advisors across campus.  

  • Leverages resources and knowledge in the SSO and with campus partners to use current resources and strategies effectively and efficiently.


  • Acquires, reviews and disseminates key Faculty specific and institution wide research related to student success, retention, student engagement and student development as it relates to academic advising– this includes but is not limited to Faculty specific and institution wide research and literature.

  • Strong understanding of effective advising strategies. This is informed by research, theory and common practice.

Position Requirements

Education and professional certification

  • University degree required; Experience within an Academic Advising role considered an asset.


  • Experience in developing and implementing a long-term strategy that encompasses cross-campus issues and

  • Experience in an academic advising role considered an asset

  • Experience collaborating with colleagues and managers (or senior leaders?) to develop strategic plans and long-term recommendations, as well as ability to implement plans in conjunction with a range of stakeholders
  • Proven influencing and teamwork skills, and the ability to lead co-workers, peers and senior staff and Faculty in projects and teams
  • Program/project management experience is an asset.
  • Proven ability to take initiative and be both creative and flexible
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, solid organizational skills, and sound judgment.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, build consensus and be sensitive to the needs and interests of various stakeholders, and contribute to the functioning of a diverse team both within the department and across the institution.
  • Demonstrated ability to contribute to and thrive in a collaborative environment and to apply a positive team approach to working with colleagues.

Download the full job description (.doc)