General Advisor and Retention Specialist (Student Services Professional II)

Apply now Job no: 540586
Work type: Staff
Location: San Diego
Categories: Unit 4 - APC - Academic Professionals of California, Temporary, Full Time, Student Services, On-site (work in-person at business location)
Position Description

Position Summary

Under the supervision of the Associate Director of Student Care and Academic Initiatives for Residential Education, the incumbent will develop and implement advising and programs that facilitate growth in the areas of scholarship, personal and leadership development, citizenship, mentorship, and campus engagement. The incumbent provides guidance and mentoring, through programming and advising efforts, to residential students at SDSU. 

The incumbent is responsible for the completion of program-related tasks or projects assigned by the appropriate administrator. The incumbent in this position provides backup generalist support to other program coordinators within the department to support retention, academic excellence and enhance graduation rates. Evening and weekend work are routinely part of this position. 

The Residential Education Office General Advisor and Retention Specialist (GARS) will: 

  • Provide academic and holistic advising to students living on campus in the residential housing facilities at San Diego State University. If needed, referrals to campus resources will be provided. 
  • Implement initiatives to improve communications to students, through in-person presentations/workshops and web-based/online technology. 
  • Facilitate student success through program/workshop development and/or implementation. 
  • Provide support for students experiencing concerns regarding academic advisement, course selection, and degree evaluation. 
  • Provide guidance and personal counseling related to self-awareness, personal growth and academic probation that facilitates the continuation of students towards degree goals. 
  • Work closely with individual Colleges to provide guidance to students that depend on their curriculum. 
  • Coordinate the recruitment, selection, training, and evaluation of peer advisors and tutors. 
  • Work collaboratively with campus partners to provide advising in high-impact practice opportunities (such as internships, study abroad opportunities, research, etc) for students to enhance their academic coursework. 

The REO GARS will participate, as appropriate, in various Residential Education programs and will carry out other duties as assigned by the Associate Director and/or Executive Director of Residential Education.

This is a full-time (1.0 time-base), benefits-eligible, temporary position anticipated to end on July 31, 2025 with the possibility of reappointment. This position is designated as exempt under FLSA and is not eligible for overtime compensation. Standard SDSU work hours are Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but may vary based on operational needs.  

The individual hired into this role will work on campus at SDSU in San Diego.

Department Summary

The Residential Education Office is designated as the University department responsible for planning and administering Residential Education programs and services including those in traditional residence halls and apartment complexes. The Residential Education Office serves to enhance student life and success through a comprehensive living-learning experience that provides academic and personal support, contact with faculty, educational programs, community activities, student leadership development and multicultural learning opportunities. The department is part of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Campus Diversity/Dean of Students sub-division. 

The Residential Education Office strives to provide safe and supportive on campus living learning communities where diverse students are challenged to develop holistically; as scholars, citizens and leaders. 

Residential Education staff members are dedicated to providing curricular and cocurricular experiences to develop and enhance residents’ academic success, awareness and appreciation of diversity, and civic responsibility. 

Residential Education’s values are a set of core beliefs that guide our work with students, colleagues, faculty and other constituents. While contributing to the goals of the University and the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Diversity, staff members of the Residential Education Office strive to: 

  • Achieve excellence in all that we do. 
  • Address students as unique individuals with multidimensional needs and unlimited potential for personal development. 
  • Promote integrity, accountability, responsibility, respect and collaboration. 
  • Promote the connectedness between curricular and co-curricular learning. 
  • Embrace, celebrate, and educate on issues related to diversity. 
  • Develop communities that embrace civic responsibility, life-long learning, and healthy lifestyles. 
  • Maintain balance and perspective, serving as sound role models for others. 

Innovate, evaluate, and refine programs to best meet the needs of the changing student population. 

Division of Student Affairs and Campus Diversity 

The Division facilitates the academic and career success, personal growth and well-being of all students, and works proactively to address systemic inequities through professional learning, community building, advocacy, policy recommendations and organizational structures. We aim to foster an affirming campus culture based on the core values of excellence, equity, diversity, belonging and inclusion through: 

  • Recruiting and retaining faculty and staff who are reflective of the diverse student body and communities served by SDSU, and recruiting students who are representative of the rich diversity of the region and the world; 
  • Fostering an environment that is welcoming, affirming, and empowering for students, faculty, staff and alumni of all backgrounds; 
  • Enhancing the career and educational pathways of a diverse student body, the faculty and staff, including enhancing the learning environment and expanding learning opportunities for all students inside and outside the classroom, and expanding and connecting opportunities for students to participate in transformational experiences; 
  • Developing leaders who believe in and lead others toward supporting civility, mutual respect and diversity in our society and workplaces; and 
  • Cultivating relationships with the local community that advance the well-being of diverse individuals and communities. 

Position upholds the Student Affairs and Campus Diversity Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, specifically: 

“The Division of Student Affairs and Campus Diversity acknowledges and honors the inherent value and dignity of all individuals by creating and nurturing a learning and working environment that affirms and leverages our community’s diversity of traditions, heritages, perspectives, and experiences. We are committed to fostering a culture of inclusive excellence designed to facilitate the personal and professional success, growth, development, and well-being of all members of our community. We manifest this commitment through our innovative, strategic and collaborative efforts to develop leaders who believe in and lead others toward practicing civility, mutual respect, and inclusion in our workplaces and society.” 

For more information regarding the Residential Education Office, click here.

Education and Experience

Equivalent to graduation from a four-year college or university in one of the behavioral sciences, public or business administration or a job-related field. Additional specialized experience during which the applicant has acquired and successfully applied the knowledge and abilities shown below may be substituted for the required education on a year-for-year basis.

Possession of the required knowledge and abilities is typically demonstrated through the equivalent of two years of professional experience in one of the student services program areas or in a related field; experience should give evidence of competence and indicate the potential for further growth. A Master’s degree in a job-related field may be substituted for one year of the professional experience.

Key Qualifications

  • Understanding of Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act with regards to the maintenance of academic and judicial records of individual students. 
  • Understanding of reporting responsibilities outlined as a “Responsible Employee” and “Campus Security Authority” under Title IX and the Jeanne Clery Act. 
  • Organizational and programming skills.
  • Familiarity with academic advising practices. 
  • Ability to be flexible in dealing with day-to-day changes in priorities. 
  • Effective interpersonal skills required to build and maintain cooperative working relationships among diverse individuals and groups. 
  • Ability to present clear and concise information orally and in written reports. 
  • Ability to speak before all groups of students and possess the skills necessary to deal with sensitive and confidential issues. 
  • Ability to work evenings and weekends preferred.

Compensation and Benefits

Starting salary upon appointment is not expected to exceed $4,841 per month. 

Salary placement is determined by the education, experience, and qualifications the candidate brings to the position, internal equity, and the hiring department’s fiscal resources.

San Diego State University offers a rich benefits package that constitutes a major portion of total compensation. For more information regarding SDSU benefits, please click here.

CSU Classification Salary Range: $4,841 - $6,884 per month.

Diversity and Community at SDSU

At SDSU, our diversity gives us power and benefits every single member of our community. 

Through our commitment to equity and inclusion, we encourage all members of our community to purposefully learn from one another through open and respectful dialogue and responsible engagement.  For more information, click here.

Principles of Community

At San Diego State University, we are a community of diverse individuals who have and represent many perspectives, beliefs and identities. This diversity lends our community strength, and we commit to creating and sustaining an inclusive and intellectually vibrant environment that benefits all members of our university. 

SDSU’s Principles of Community is an aspirational statement that is intended to evolve over time. The statement reflects the ideals we are encouraged to uphold in our interactions with one another. 

Supplemental Information

Initial review of the required application materials, including cover letters and resumes, will begin on July 10, 2024. To receive full consideration, apply by July 9, 2024. The position will remain open until filled.

The person holding this position is considered a ‘mandated reporter’ under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment. 

San Diego State University is not a sponsoring agency for staff or management positions (e.g., H-1B visa). Applicants must currently be authorized to work in the United States on a full-time basis. Offers of employment are contingent upon the presentation of documents that demonstrate a person's identity and authorization to work in the United States, which are consistent with the provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act. 

A background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily and is required for employment. SDSU will make a conditional offer of employment, which may be rescinded if the background check reveals disqualifying information, and/or it is discovered that the candidate knowingly withheld or falsified information. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the continued employment of a current SDSU employee who was conditionally offered the position.

SDSU is a smoke-free campus. For more information, please click here.

SDSU is an Equal Opportunity Employer that considers all qualified candidates for employment and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, gender, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, medical condition, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, covered military and veteran status, or any other protected characteristic or status. Reasonable accommodations will be provided for qualified applicants with disabilities who request an accommodation by contacting Eurick Hilario at


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