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Job ID: 210656

Assistant Director of Student Success (4279)
Northern Illinois University

Date Posted May 11, 2023
Title Assistant Director of Student Success (4279)
University Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL, United States
Department College of Education
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Associate/Assistant Director
  • Student Affairs


With approximately 16,000 students, Northern Illinois University (NIU) is one of the largest public universities in the state of Illinois. NIU strives to improve outcomes for all students by identifying and removing barriers that disproportionately hinder the academic achievement and student experience of historically and currently underserved populations. As the direct descendant of NIU’s origin as the Northern Illinois State Normal School opened to prepare teachers, the College of Education (COE) continues that legacy as the state’s second largest producer of teachers. Students prepare for, or advance in, professional careers across the P-20 educational spectrum as teachers and administrators and in fields such as counseling, higher education, student affairs, exercise science, athletic training and sport management. We cultivate an equity-focused, inclusive, engaging and supportive learning environment that inspires students, faculty and staff to strive for excellence. We commit to proactively meeting the changing educational and professional needs of students and their fields while advancing teaching, learning, research, practice and advocacy in our program areas. NIU’s geographical reach extends beyond its main DeKalb campus (65 miles west of downtown Chicago, 60 miles from the O’Hare International Airport, and 40 miles west of Naperville – a booming community with one of the best school systems in the nation) to satellite campuses in Naperville, Chicago and abroad as well as to students online.

The Assistant Director for Student Success will be responsible for the strategic development, implementation, and management of activities and functions that provide College of Education students with social, cultural and educational opportunities, enhance the growth and development of students, and strengthen the connection between students and the College. Under the direction of the COE Student Success Director and as a member of the COE Student Success team, the Assistant Director will contribute by providing creative, innovative, and engaging programming opportunities that meet the needs of a diverse community of learners

Position Summary

The Assistant Director reports directly to the Director of the Office of Student Success Affairs (indirectly to the Associate Dean for Academic) and will work as a collaborative team member with various offices in the COE and across the University. The Assistant Director will analyze University recruitment and enrollment data, as well as retention data, for decision-making, planning, programming, and coordinating recruitment and retention activities and developing printed and digital materials. Networking with community colleges and high schools are also major functions of this position.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Recruitment Strategy Development and Implementation
    • Establish the overall direction of recruitment for the College of Education (COE), ensuring recruitment strategies are based on sound research, data-driven decision-making, and an understanding of demographic trends and national best practices. 
    • Maintain knowledge of current trends within postsecondary education and the recruitment and marketing initiatives undertaken by COE key competitors.
    • Maintain current knowledge of COE departments, degree programs, and key personnel, as well as coordinate the planning and implementation of special recruitment programs, events, and activities for the COE.
    • Assist individual graduate programs with development of effective recruiting plans that fit individual program characteristics and resources.
    • Develop graduate recruiting pipelines and partnerships with domestic and international colleges and universities.
    • Provide guidance and direction to various designated department staff with responsibility for graduate recruitment.
    • Deliver effective and professional recruitment services and communications to prospective students and applicants, parents, guidance counselors, teachers, etc.
    • Incorporate enrollment management principles into his/her deliverables.
    • Serve as a liaison from the College of Education to various constituents identified from current data analysis. In this capacity, they will participate in campus committees and general admission activities including recruitment travel, presentations, and admission counseling for prospective students and their families at both the graduate and undergraduate level.


Retention, Student Engagement, and Student Success Strategy Development and Implementation
  • Engage with a college-wide student mentoring program for students of color.
  • Collaborate with faculty and staff in developing and implementing innovative student engagement initiatives and programs.
  • Formulate strategies and processes to ensure timely and effective communication between students and college majors, programs, and departments.
  • Provide college coordination for student organizations.
  • Maintain contact with COE clubs/organizations to ensure that the student population is engaged with the College and its programs.
  • Ensure COE Student Success webpage is current with the most recent opportunities, club meetings, contacts, and descriptions.
  • Engagement with potential and current Dean’s Achievement Scholarship recipients.
  • Engagement with Mary F. English recipients.
  • Coordinate onboarding support for new academic advisors.
  • Assist with large-scale College events.

  • Responsible for developing effective messages to communicate NIU/COE’s brand, priorities, and its key value proposition. 
  • Responsible for the ongoing development of marketing strategies.
  • Work with the College Communications team, University Admissions team, and the Graduate School on the development of key recruitment publications. 
  • Work to synchronize and facilitate college-wide participation in the process of communication with prospects and applicants, including:
    • Customer relationship management (CRM) facilitation
    • Inquiry management
    • Application acknowledgement 
    • Regular value-added communication during the application process
    • Special event follow up.
  • Interact with COE Dean, Associate Deans, Department Chairs, College Communications team, College Senate, and COE External Programming team to provide recruitment, retention, engagement, and student success updates, event/program planning, and training as needed.
  • Collaborate with administrators and department heads that are identified as marketing and recruitment and retention professionals including the Office of Admissions, The Graduate School, Enrollment Management, Marketing and Communications, the Provost’s Office, and Extended/Online Learning to assist in the management, administration, and implementation of the University procedures and programs related to recruitment, retention, and student engagement support events and activities. 
  • Establish professional collaborations with high school, community college counselors/personnel, and other external partners to enhance recruitment and student engagement opportunities.

  • Assess recruitment, retention, student engagement, and student success data and performance metrics in order to develop and recommend strategies to improve and support COE goals in these domains. 
  • Prepare reports on recruitment, retention, student engagement, and student success for the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Department Chairs, and the Director of Student Success.

Research and Evaluation 
  • Incorporate ongoing research and data analysis on emerging trends in recruitment, retention, student engagement, and student success to capitalize on evolving initiatives. These research-based results may influence the development or modification of marketing strategies, budget and message development, and inform future COE initiatives. 

Perform Other Related Duties as Assigned 

Minimum Required Qualifications (Civil Service)

  1. Bachelor’s degree.
  2. A total of one (1) year (12 months) in work experience in the area of student recruitment, engagement, and retention.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) (Civil Service)

  1. Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  2. Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  3. Skill in analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  4. Skill in scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  5. Skill in oral and written communication.
  6. Ability to adjust actions in relation to others’ actions.
  7. Ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  8. Ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  9. Ability to develop specific goals, plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish tasks.
  10. Ability to work effectively with staff, the public, and outside constituency groups.
  11. Ability to effectively plan, delegate, and supervise the work of others.
  12. Ability to utilize various computer software packages, such as Accounting Software, query, etc.
  13. Ability to work independently and exercise judgment in order to be able to analyze and investigate a variety of questions or problems.
  14. Ability to analyze and develop guidelines, procedures, and systems.

Specialty Factors (Civil Service)


Preferred Qualifications (Civil Service)

  • Master’s Degree, conferred by start date, from an accredited institution.
  • Evidence of strong written and verbal communication skills, including public speaking.
  • Experience in writing in an educational setting, such as admissions, marketing, advisement, or similar area.
  • Strong skills in data management, data analysis, and action planning
  • Strong interpersonal skills, organizational skills, and detail orientation.
  • Evidence of collaboration, liaising, and innovation.
  • Participate in ongoing professional development.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop measurable goals and objectives, with actionable tactics, to formulate data-informed decisions.
  • Demonstrated 5 combined years of professional work experience in recruitment and advising with a minimum of 2 years in higher education academic advising.
  • Ability to manage and coordinate multiple projects, meet critical deadlines, and travel to high schools, community colleges, and professional conferences.

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