Graduate Student Services Advisor (Student Services Advisor II) – (Los Angeles, California, United States)

The University of Southern California (USC), founded in 1880, is located in the heart of downtown L.A. and is the largest private employer in the City of Los Angeles. As an employee of USC, you will be a part of a world-class research university and a member of the “Trojan Family,” which is comprised of the faculty, students and staff that make the university a great place to work.  

As a community of Dornsife College “we are committed to the creation, preservation, and communication of fundamental knowledge in all its forms…as well as a lifelong passion for learning and a commitment to the betterment of society.”  The academic mission of Dornsife College can only be realized to its fullest potential when we build and protect a representative, equitable, inclusive culture of scholarship for students, faculty, and staff.  This is not done through initiatives but by embedding these values into the everyday interactions, relationships, policies, and practices of the College.  What is required is a seamless integration of the tenets of equity and inclusivity into every facet of academic life.  If we want our scholars, staff, and students to be able to give their very best, we must create an academic environment that portends success.  

Success is possible when every member of the Dornsife community owns their role as a steward of the culture in which we learn, research, and work; when we believe that it is because of who we are that we are able to do what we do: achieve excellence, together. 

Achieving a robust and inclusive academic culture requires more than just the completion of a task, but includes that person’s capacity to contribute positively to the relationships and culture of their office or department.  Therefore, any applicant seeking to advance the mission of Dornsife College should also be assessed on their capacities beyond the technical elements of their work, and demonstrate an understanding of their impact on others, and to articulate how they contribute positively to those around them.

The University of Southern California (USC) and its Department of Quantitative and Computational Biology at the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences is seeking enthusiastic candidates for the position of Graduate Student Services Advisor I to support graduate students  (https://dornsife.usc.edu/qcb). The QCB Department has recently been established as the academic home for computational biologists at USC. QCB has a history of over 35 years of research and educational excellence. The QCB Department founded the first Ph.D. Program in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics in the nation, and provides training that has become one of the most desirable preparation for future scholars in academia and industry, with currently 60+ graduate students. The QCB Department recently started a Masters Program in Quantitative and Computational Biology, a program that we want to grow in the near future.

The Graduate Student Services Advisor is the main staff contact for students and faculty in the QCB Department, serving as the first point of contact for issues related to student recruitment, academic progress, and financial support. The position primarily responds to Program Manager, the Department Chair, programs committees and the faculty members leading the department’s Ph.D.graduate majors in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Quantitative and Computational Biology, and Computational Molecular Biology.. The incumbent is expected to advance department’s and College’s graduate programs by contributing their capacities at and also beyond the technical elements of the work, by demonstrating an understanding of their impact on others and developing student’s self-awareness as members of the Computational Biology community.

JOB SUMMARY:

  • Lead and guide the work related to graduate student services with department faculty and staff. Execute the program and student services as part of the department team and independently maintain graduate student services.
  • Sets priorities and timelines and monitors delivery of student services. Contributes to continuous assessment of the programs and continuous improvement activities.
  • Plans and executes recruitment and outreach strategies for the graduate programs for the QCB Department. Coordinates recruitment activities in consultation with program admissions committees. Enlists faculty support in recruitment efforts and coordinates activities with graduate student groups.
  • Provides academic counseling for graduate students by advising them on the matters of curriculum, course and degree requirements, transfer credit evaluation, and graduation counseling and clearance. Provides student progress monitoring and remediations.
  • Plans and coordinates student events, including orientation, commencement, retreat, receptions, and award ceremonies that are hosted and organized by the QCB Department. Contracts with vendors for services and attends and oversees events to ensure arrangements are handled as planned.
  • Counsels or advises prospective students on admissions, financial aid, housing and academic requirements. Provides initial evaluation of admissions applications for the Ph.D. and Masters programs. Compiles admissions applications for review by faculty committees.
  • Maintains academic unit student records and coordinates student financial support, registration activities, grading, degree progress, enrollment and degree verification, and transcripts with appropriate College entities and the USC Office of Academic Records and Registrar. Advises students on matters of curriculum and course and degree requirements.
  • Evaluates student issues—academic, administrative or personal—and refers the student to appropriate student services office for additional counseling, when necessary.
  • Prepares or updates bulletins, handbooks, guides, fact sheets and brochures, as determined by the faculty leadership of the QCB programs. May coordinate production of materials by outside vendors.
  • Participates in committees at the department, school, college or university level with a focus on graduate student education. Provides administrative support for local committees and works on committee-assigned projects as determined by the QCB Department.
  • Maintains currency on policies, procedures and regulations pertaining to
  • admissions, financial aid, registration, transfer credit evaluation, course and degree requirements, graduation requirements, petitions and other student services.
  • Maintains and compiles statistical data for program outcomes and student placements. Prepares reports for internal and external use and assists program reviews.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned or requested by the QCB Department.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Minimum education: Bachelor’s degree. Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education.
  • Preferred education: Master’s degree, EdD, etc.
  • Minimum experience: 3 years.
  • Preferred experience: 4-5 years.
  • Preferred field of expertise: Knowledge of USC student and academic programs, policies and procedures and knowledge of the student information systems, subject-matter expertise in student affairs and advising.

ADDITIONAL QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Ability to maintain tact and attention to detail in a fast-pace environment; Team-work is essential;
  • Leadership skills to evaluate and implement programs and students support systems and practices;
  • Ability to maintain student and their records’ confidentiality;
  • Ability to prioritize tasks and projects according to provided guidelines.
  • Skills utilized in this position include analytical, evaluation, counseling, networking, planning, problem identification and resolution, project management, scheduling, and similar skills.

Hourly range: The hourly rate range for this position is $33.34 – $38.46. When extending an offer of employment, the University of Southern California considers factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the candidate’s work experience, education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, federal, state and local laws, contractual stipulations, grant funding, as well as external market and organizational considerations.

Required Documents and Additional Information:

  • Resume and cover letter required (may be uploaded as one file). Please do not submit your application without these documents.
  • Job openings are posted for a minimum of (5) five business days. This job may be removed from posting boards and filled any time after the minimum posting period has ended, so please apply on the same business day if interested.
  • USC has excellent benefits, including health benefits for staff and their family with access to the renowned university medical network; eligibility for retirement plans with employer contributions after six months of employment; tuition benefits for staff and their family; free Professional Development classes; central Los Angeles location with easy access to commuter trains, buses and free tram pick up services; discounts to sporting and other campus events.

Performs other related duties as assigned or requested. The university reserves the right to add or change duties at any time.

The University of Southern California is an Equal Opportunity Employer that Values Diversity.

Minimum Education:
Bachelor’s degree

Additional Education Requirements
Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education

Minimum Experience:
3 years

Minimum Skills:
Directly related experience in student services and programming with ability to lead

Preferred Education:
Master’s degree
Doctorate

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