Academic Counselor

National University - Palms, CA

Position Summary:

Under general supervision, the Academic Counselor provides academic advisement and student service support throughout the student's lifecycle. As the student's liaison to the University, the Academic Counselor educates students about policies, procedures and requirements at the University to ensure students clearly understand them and have the support needed to succeed. The Academic Counselor focuses on cultivating student development and empowering students to persist through individualized engagement and course planning. An Academic Counselor employs strong analytical skills to assess and evaluate student needs and provides holistic approaches to advising leveraging multiple support resources and referral mechanisms.

The Academic Counselor consistently models the standards expectations set by management and National University in all work while setting an example of excellence for others in the department. This Counselor will be a leader of positive, student-focused change, highly self-motivated and eager to assist students and teammates, as well as, being adaptable to a fast-paced work environment. The Academic Counselor is a model advisor who meets and often exceeds expectations with reliability, results and above all, is a student-first, team-player.

The Academic Counselor will act as a mentor and coach to Academic Advisor I and II's, assisting them in learning and applying new strategies, technologies, and the best practices for the role. The Academic Counselor will also act as the Lead when leadership is unavailable. Above all else, the Academic Counselor acts as a model and ambassador for National University.

Essential Functions:

Maintains an active student caseload


  • Systematically contact newly enrolled students to establish rapport and maintain communication and support expectations.
  • Assist students with class scheduling (adds, drops, and withdrawals) and provide guidance with enrollment related issues (pre-requisites, holds, status, etc.).
  • Participate in daily retention activities working in coordination with the Academic Advisors and Director implementing different strategies to improve retention.
  • Discuss basic career advising and goal setting (i.e., career paths, appropriate majors, etc.)
  • Provide proactive engagement through student success campaigns to targeted student populations to support progression, leveraging data-driven and holistic interventions.
  • Communicate with students in a culturally inclusive and competent manner
  • Support current student communication queues across all channels including telephony, chat, SMS and email providing students with institutional resources and information
  • Facilitate appropriate referrals to other departments and campus resources including but not limited to student finance, career services, tutoring and other academic departments.
  • Thoroughly document all student engagement and communications within CRM
  • Escalate or de-escalate complex student issues and questions
  • Make informed decisions and apply sound judgment to independently support assigned student caseload
  • Establish and maintain professional working relationships across internal departments to ensure students benefit from a variety of professional knowledge and perspectives.
  • Assist manager with training of new employees and established Academic Advisors.
  • Must understand and follow five9 recording procedures and disclosures when operating in the call system.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

  • Assist leadership with day-to-day operations.
  • Act as primary Point of Contact (POC) or Lead when leadership is unavailable, including opening, closing and weekend shifts.
  • Act as the "on the floor" eyes and ears while providing the leadership team with actionable feedback regarding areas of concern, compliance, and regulations.
  • Develop, maintain and contribute to department best practices, SOPs and student success strategies.
  • Conduct group training sessions and one-on-one, coaching sessions for Academic Advisors.
  • Coach and develop Academic Advisors to meet and/or exceed student service expectations.
  • Engage in leadership and personal development via online classes, assigned mentor and public speaking.


Education & Experience

  • Bachelor's Degree required.
  • Three (3) years of admissions, counseling or student service related experience.
  • Internal candidates must be an Academic Advisor II to be eligible.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) experience.
  • Student Information System (SIS) experience.

Technical / Functional Skills

  • Strong customer service and a desire to work in this capacity.
  • Ability to utilize a conversation guide and scripts.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment.
  • Flexible and dependable team player.
  • Knowledge of and willingness to learn and work with technology; specifically, word processing environments, internet navigation, database management, SMS, Live Chat, and e-mail correspondence.
  • Knowledge of the National University System and its programs.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, SharePoint).
  • Telephony software use and dexterity.
  • Math skills.


  • Excellent communication and public speaking.
  • Coachable and adaptable to change.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Ability to prioritize work.
  • Creative, with an innate ability to think outside the box to find avenues for finding and attracting new students

Physical Demands / Environment

Hours of operation are Monday – Thursday 7:00 am to 8:00 pm; Friday 7:00 am to 6:00 pm; and Saturday – Sunday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Advisors will work a five-day weekly work schedule while rotating weekend coverage. Advisors will be required to work at minimum 3 or more weekend shifts per month, as well as certain holidays that National University identifies as prudent to be open to provide student support.

Exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally and a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects. The worker is required to have the close visual acuity to perform an activity such as: preparing and analyzing data and figures; viewing a computer terminal. The work is performed in an office environment.

Travel: Ability to travel to NU sponsored events, and as needed.


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