Employment Opportunities

The University's best practices is to build and/or support student academic success and retention, and assist in meeting strategic objectives for persistence and timely graduation of all the student population.

Program/Retention Counselor

Apply now Job no: 511128
Work type: Staff Full Time
Categories: Other Staff Positions

OFFICIAL JOB TITLE: Program/Retention Counselor Alternative Admissions

DIVISION: Academic Affairs

DEPARTMENT:  College Now




JOB CODE: 2000             

REPORTS TO:  Director of College Now

MINIMUM STARTING SALARY: $50,253--Commensurate with experience

SUPERVISES:  Participates in the monitoring of work-study, experiential learning, and 5 peer counselor students

Benefits at UMass Dartmouth

SUMMARY PURPOSE OF POSITION: Recruits, counsels, and instructs the economically, educationally, or socially disadvantaged students admitted to UMass Dartmouth through Alternative Admissions.   The Program Retention Counselor will collaborate with campus partners (ex. Academic Advising, Institutional Research, Financial Aid, Assistant Deans) on efforts to improve retention, persistence and graduation rates of College Now/START students. Attention will be given to supporting students identified in academic jeopardy along with addressing graduation rate of students admitted through the program. The Program Retention Counselor will perform administrative duties to gather, manage, and evaluate data to make informed decisions pertaining to student success. Counsels and advocates for these students during their career at UMass Dartmouth. Participates in the planning and implementation of all phases of the Alternative Admissions Developmental Program.

Follow the University's best practices to build and/or support student academic success and retention, and assist in meeting strategic objectives for persistence and timely graduation of all the student population.


  • Provides bi-weekly individual counseling to assigned students, traditionally 20-25 students, during freshmen year, periodic counseling to program upperclassmen, as needed, and occasional counseling to other College Now students as needed. Makes appropriate referrals as needed.
  • Instructs freshmen orientation course which provides self-empowerment and academic skill building sessions for the group of freshmen in the assigned counselor caseload.
  • Recruits freshmen for the Program by visiting high schools, meeting with HS Guidance Counselors, and visiting College Fairs.
  • Participates in the planning and administration of the diagnostic educational testing, completes GPA calculation, conducts interviews for freshman applicants and assists in the process of evaluation for admissions.
  • Maintains thorough records on counselor/student sessions.
  • Gathers statistical information and compiles such into periodic reports.
  • Plan, coordinate, and delivers retention/persistence course for program students in academic jeopardy to promote student success.
  • Develops or participates in special interest projects that have a direct impact on student retention and/or development.
  • Provide individual counseling to student in academic jeopardy.
  • Builds individualized student success plans for students at risk of being dismissed from the University
  • Represents the Program with all other academic departments and student service programs in student advocacy when needed.
  • Actively participates in the planning and facilitation of the Alternative Admissions Orientation, the Fall Academic Program, and other Program components.
  • Serve as a liaison to University Colleges and Centers for persistence/retention related issues particular to program students.
  • Serve as a mentor and provide motivation to ensure retention of program students.
  • Participates in all on/off campus meetings and outreach efforts consistent with mission and goals of the Program.
  • Delivers several group counseling workshops throughout the year to address particular needs of the students.
  • Maintains currency in learning-development field through individual study, in-services, and workshops focused on best-practices for retention in four-year colleges.
  • Provides annual reporting on efforts to improve the persistence, retention, and graduation rates of program students.
  • Collaborate with Institutional Research in obtaining Clearinghouse reports pertaining to program students.
  • Assists in the development of materials for sessions and workshops pertaining to areas such as retention.
  • Actively participates and facilitates the Program staff in-services at least twice a year.
  • Other duties as assigned.


EDUCATION:  Bachelor’s degree in counseling or related field.

EXPERIENCE: Significant experience (over five (5) years) counseling/advising experience. Demonstrated experience in a post- secondary academic or student support program with some administrative duties. Demonstrated experience working with students from underserved populations. Previous successful implementation of retention activities.

OTHER: Occasional evening/weekend hours as needed. Occasional day travel required.


  • Ability to understand and relate to disadvantaged and minority students.
  • Ability to work with students both on an individual basis as well as in group settings.
  • Ability to understand detailed university policies and procedures, communicating them to the public and processing applicants.
  • Ability to facilitate the academic success of college students.
  • Excellent interpersonal, organizational, and public-speaking skills.
  • Working knowledge of regional high schools, community organizations, associations and programs relevant to the mission of access and diversity.


  • Higher Education experience Master’s Degree
  • Experience Teaching

Applicants must be authorized for employment in the U.S. on a full-time basis. Employment-based visa sponsorship not available.

Effective September 27, 2021, UMass Dartmouth requires that all members of the campus community are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination.

To apply please submit a letter of interest, current resume, and the contact information for three professional references.

                                   The deadline for internal applicants is December 7, 2021.

                                   The review of applications will begin December 13, 2021.

Advertised: Eastern Standard Time
Applications close:

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