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Posting ID : 4389
Apply By : 8/15/2014
Position Title : International Student Academic Transition Advisor
Department : Global Engagement Centre
Job Type : Full-time, Continuing
Campus : Waterloo
Reports To : Associate Director, International Student Support
Position Summary : The International Student Academic Transition Advisor (ISATA) is part of the integrated, collaborative and proactive approach of International Student Support to work in collaboration across the University to support the international student who are transitioning from a different educational environment during their studies at Laurier.
The ISATA is a member of the International Student Support (ISS) unit within Laurier International. The ISS team includes the Associate Director: International Student Support; International Student Advisors (Brantford and Waterloo); International Programming Assistant; Administrative Assistant and 30 International Peer Mentors. Laurier International also supports initiatives in the Centre for Teaching Innovation and Excellence and The Career Development Centre. Currently the International Student population at Laurier is approximately 1000(2014) international students studying at the graduate, undergraduate (including exchange), and pre-academic levels (LEAF programs). The position works out of the Global Engagement Centre in Waterloo and support the International Student Advisors (ISA) in Brantford and Waterloo. The position reports to the Associate Director, International Student Support.
Main Goals and Objectives
The main goals and objectives for the ISATA is to be actively involved in the development, facilitation and evaluation of programs and services that support the academic transition and academic success of Laurier’s international students. The ISATA assist international students to overcome language, cultural and system barriers at a Canadian university by facilitating their understanding and acquisition of the attitudes, knowledge and skills needed for academic success and well-being while studying at Laurier.
Approach: Integrated, Collaborative and Proactive
To achieve its main objective, the ISATA proactively reaches out to international students encountering academic difficulties. The ISTA must take any and all opportunities to connect with Laurier’s international students, recognizing that international students have many challenges that can distract them from their academics. The interactions with international students must be intentional in order to discover those whom are having difficulty in their academic transition. The ISATA must work in collaboration with individual faculty members, the International Student Advisors, the Centre for Student Success, Centre for Health and Well Being, the LEAF program and any other unit involved in the support of international students. Early detection of academic difficulties enables international students to become aware of problem solving and learning strategies, as well as the programs and services, that are available for success while studying at Laurier.

This position has a university-wide mandate and is based at the Waterloo Campus. The incumbent provides subject matter expertise to all campuses, requiring regular interpersonal interactions and collaboration with departments at the Waterloo Campus, the Brantford Campus, the Toronto office and external partners. Special attention is given to ensure equitable service delivery across all locations.

Accountabilities : The ISAAT is a member of the International Student Support (ISS) unit within Laurier International and will operate in a collaborative manner within the team and with other units across the University in the development, facilitation and evaluation of programs and services for international students. The areas of specific accountability within International Student Support include the following:

Academic Transition Programming and Services
• Development, facilitation and evaluation of programs and services to support international students in their academic transition to studies at Laurier
• Identify and assess individual student’s English language (writing, comprehension, presentation) competencies and develop, deliver and evaluate programming to address the issues
• Establish and maintain effective working partnerships with key stakeholders, such as Laurier English and Academic Foundation (LEAF) program, The Centre for Student Success, and various academic and student affairs units on programs and services that address the academic transition needs of International students
• Make appropriate referrals to other service providers at Laurier (i.e., Central Academic Advising, Faculty Advisors, Centre for Student Suceess, Career Development Centre, Health and Wellness Centre, etc)
• Responsible for advocating on the behalf of international students on issues related to their academic transition and success
• The incumbent will work with various stakeholders to ensure transition programming supports the required student competencies and preparation. Stakeholders include staff and faculty academic advisers, Deans, course instructors, members of the center for student success and others as appropriate

Direct Support for International Students
• Meet with students individually to advise on all areas of their academic transition
• Assist students with goal setting and identifying, planning for and overcoming potential obstacles in their academic transition
• Proactively review with international students identified as having difficulties with their academic performance (both mid semester and after final grades)
• Facilitate and deliver programs and services as needed
• Be available to be reached by students whenever or wherever is reasonable possible while at the same time maintaining clear boundaries with students
• Support international students and the University in managing a student’s academic performance when impacted by critical incidents
• Responsible for advocating on the behalf of international students on issues related to their academic transition and success

Facilitating the University’s ability to support International Students
• Collaborate with Faculties and Departments to develop, facilitate and evaluate programs and services that support the academic transition and success of international students
• Participate in the delivery of programming during International Student orientations
• Provide assistance to faculty and staffs to problem solve issues that arise related to progress towards academic goals.
• Be knowledgeable in all relevant areas of programs and services (curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular) offered by the University that have a direct impact on the international students well-being and success
• Work collaboratively with International Recruitment and Admissions to support International Student Recruitment.
• Support the University’s reporting requirements for International Students as determined by Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Training and Development
• Train international peer mentors involved in the delivery of academic transition and success programming
• Provide training and advice to other staff and departments at Laurier who require knowledge to support the academic transition and success of international students.
• Participate in the delivery of training to students, staff and faculty on intercultural sensitivity and communications, includes becoming a trained facilitator for the Intercultural Effectiveness Certificate Program, offered by Laurier International;
• Cross-training with International Student Advisors (Brantford and Waterloo) to ensure sufficient knowledge and appropriate information regarding all levels of support provided by International Student Support.

Communication and Orientation
• Make critical information related to programming and services available in a timely manner to those planning to study at Laurier through contributions to the University’s comprehensive communication plans for international students that includes a pre-arrival guide, international student handbook, and the International Student Support programme guide, ensuring the information is complete and accurate;
• Providing assistance to the Registrar’s Office, International Admissions and Recruitment in the development of information for prospective international students that is accurate, relevant and pertinent;
• Develop a communication plan to promote services
• Provide and update content on the International Student Academic Transition Advisor role, programs and services on the Laurier International website;

General Program Management
• Management of appropriate record keeping, statistics, scheduled appointments and the protection of privacy information;
• Foster and maintain good relations with academic and student service units on campus;
• Serve on committees and attend meetings with other departments to ensure current knowledge is shared and maintained concerning events, activities, programs and processes that involve international students;

Qualifications : • University degree (Master’s preferred) in student development, adult education, or related field and 3 years of experience providing international student support at post-secondary educational level
• Experience teaching international students at the post-secondary education level in either academic or English as Second Language course
• Experience living and working abroad
• Knowledge of cultural adaptation theory, socio-cultural competencies, intercultural effectiveness and/or intercultural communications
• Experience leading student transition programming such as Orientations, First Year Experience, Academic Foundation courses
• Excellent interpersonal, communication (oral and written), organizational, presentation, problem-solving, interview and cross-cultural relationship skills
• Ability to work flexible hours, evenings and weekends
• A driver’s license and the ability to deliver services, attend events and participate in meeting at Laurier’s Branford and Kitchener campuses and the Toronto Office
Grade : WLUSA-08
Salary : $31.50 - $37.06
Salary Notes : Hours of Work: The normal hours of work are 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday. Flexibility in hours will be required, including evening and/or weekend work to accommodate events and programming. When possible, the manager will adjust the work schedule so that no more than 35 hours are worked in a week.
Please Note :

This position is represented by the WLU Staff Association bargaining unit.


Please submit a cover letter and resume.



Wilfrid Laurier University endeavors to fill positions with the best available candidates who have the appropriate combination of education, experience, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position while demonstrating Laurier's Employee Success Factors.


Wilfrid Laurier University is committed to equity and values diversity. We welcome applications from qualified individuals of all genders and sexual orientations, persons with disabilities, Aboriginal persons and persons of a visible minority.  To obtain a copy of this job description in an accessible format, please contact Human Resources at 519-884-1970 ext.2007.

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