Associate Director for Student Support

Associate Director for Student Support

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America's Best Employers By State in 2021.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

COVID-19 vaccination is a requirement for all positions at the University of Pennsylvania. New hires are expected to be fully vaccinated before beginning work at the University. For more information about Penn's vaccine requirements and the use of Penn Open Pass, visit the Penn COVID-19 Response website for the latest information.

Posted Job Title
Associate Director for Student Support

Job Profile Title
Associate Director C

Job Description Summary
The Associate Director for Student Support works closely with the Vice Dean for Administration, the Director of Student Services/Registrar, Weitzman faculty and staff, and University resources staff to create programs to foster a positive student experience and to address and resolve a variety of complex student related problems at the Weitzman School of Design. This position directs and manages programs to maximize retention and conducts assessments of the impact of various aspects of school climate on the quality of students' experience. The Associate Director for Student Support works to create a supportive, responsive environment in which students can thrive academically, socially and emotionally, by developing supportive programming and meeting individually with students to address barriers - both personal and academic - to success.

Job Description

  • Serve as the initial point of contact for students in crisis or facing general emotional or academic issues, considering a withdrawal due to academic, health or emotional issues, or students facing academic probation. Work closely with the Director of Student Services/Registrar, Vice Dean for Administration, the Department Chairs and Weitzman faculty to improve the quality of student life by responding to a variety of issues. Track student issues throughout each term, and provide relevant check-ins and follow-ups as needed in order to provide ongoing support to students.
  • Collaborate with Student Counseling, Student Intervention Services (SIS), Weingarten Learning Resources Center, Student Disability Services, Student Health Services, and the Office of Student Conduct to connect students with relevant campus resources and successfully resolve a wide range of complex student related issues and challenges.
  • Create a varied schedule of academic, social support, and wellness programs and activities to build community and meet students' needs, including specialized programs for international students and First Generation/Low Income students, Focus on stress relief and mental health awareness. Coordinate events to promote student leadership through various committees and by engaging student participation. Partner with Weitzman's JxB initiatives to support students in marginalized populations.
  • Monitor students' academic progress. Under the direction of the Director of Student Services and via reporting from the Associate Registrar, monitor students' academic progress and work with the academic departments when probation, warnings, dismissals, or leaves of absence are applicable. Work with department chairs to develop individually-tailored strategies to help students improve their academic performance and to encourage their success. Follow up with students taking leaves of absence and help encourage their return.
  • Coordinate New Student Orientation under the direction of the Director of Student Services/Registrar.
  • Serve as a working member of the Weitzman Alumni and Commencement Weekend Planning Committee. Manage the nomination and selection process for All School Awards and Staff Award.
  • Work closely with the Associate Director for Professional Development and Leadership, and Career Services staff to develop, schedule and implement alumni networking events and career development programming on site.
  • Develop, conduct and analyze student satisfaction surveys, providing data to the Director of Student Services/Registrar for strategic planning. Use results to develop a calendar of events on an annual basis for the fiscal/academic year.
  • Serve as liaison to the Weitzman Student Council and other student groups and clubs. Assist student groups with navigating University and School policies and procedures, and organizing key special events and conferences, including school-wide community service projects and partnerships.
  • Manage a variety of communications to students, including listservs for student groups, creating and distributing content for the Weitzman Student Services Instagram account (and potentially other social media outlets), printing and distributing event flyers, etc.
  • Other duties as assigned

    Please note, this position requires occasional work in the evenings and on occasional weekends to accommodate the schedules.


    Bachelor's degree and 3-5 years of experience or equivalent combination of education and experience required. M.S.Ed, MSW, or related field and 5-7 years experience preferred. The ideal candidate will have: student services experience and/or counseling experience; sensitivity to needs of students from diverse backgrounds; strong interpersonal skills and ability to work on a team; excellent communication skills (speaking, writing, and listening); ability to represent the Weitzman School of Design in a professional manner; flexibility and creativity; the ability to work autonomously, multi-task, organize, coordinate and monitor work in process; proficiency in Microsoft Word, and knowledge of or ability to learn how to use SRS (Student Registration System), AIT (Advisor In Touch), and CIT (Courses in Touch). Experience working with graduate students preferred. Experience with international students is preferred

    Cover letter and Resume required to apply.

    Working Conditions

    Office, Library, computer room

    Physical Effort

    Typically sitting at a desk or table

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
School of Design

Pay Range
$50,684.00 - $77,716.00

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits
  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family-whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement-and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

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