Students in field

Academic/Career Coach

Posted: September 28, 2017

Title:                           Academic/Career Coach
Department:           TRIO Student Support Services
Supervisor:              Project Director for TRIO Student Support Services
Category:                 Staff
Status/Type:           Full-time (9-month)/Administrative-Exempt

Position Summary: 

The Academic/Career Coach is the member of the professional full-time staff of the grant- funded Dept of Education Student Support Services program. The Academic/Career Coach reports to the Director of TRIO Student Support Services. Current grant funding goes until Aug. 31, 2020. Employment is contingent upon funding. The TRIO SSS program serves 180 undergraduate students annually. Program participants must meet program guidelines which include family income, neither parent possessing a bachelor degree or above, or documentation of a learning or physical disability. The purpose of the TRIO SSS program is to increase students’ GPA, college persistence, and bachelor degree attainment.

As a member of a dynamic, professional team, the Academic/Career Coach assists in participant recruitment, coaching and monitoring of academic performance. The Academic/Career Coach will maintain a caseload of approximately 70 student participants, while also supporting overall program activities. Students served range from new incoming first years, to graduating seniors.


Essential Responsibilities:

  1. Sensitivity to and familiarity with the social, economic, and cultural background of low-income, first generation, and disabled students
  2. Assist the director ensures compliance with DOE regulations for program operation through documentation of contact with program students and conducting program evaluations
  3. Support program director and staff in implementing program plan as funded by the Dept of Education in the current grant document
  4. Assist with project orientation activities including university new student check ins
  5. Meet with new program participants early in their first semester to administer a needs survey and write student’s Graduation and Career Plan including SMART goals for the academic year
  6. Schedule program services, including academic coaching (tutoring), for each student according to their Graduation and Career Plan. Continue to monitor students’ engagement in program services
  7. Meet all students on caseload personally to coach for success upon receipt of students’ mid-term grade reports
  8. Develop and coordinate a wide array of career and job search resources for all student participants. Provide general career information to all program participants, while helping to clarify personal values and goal setting. Lead career exploration workshops.
  9. Administer tools such as the Strong Interest Inventory and the Learning and Study Skills Strategies Inventory
  10. Develop relationships with regional business leaders, non-profit organizations and public agencies, develop opportunities for student job shadowing and internships, recruit business leaders to speak to students at workshops
  11. Work with Financial Aid department to coordinate financial aid, FAFSA and financial literacy workshops
  12. Attend weekly student intervention meetings as a member of the FinnU proactive outreach team
  13. Communicate and collaborate with the campus community. Serve on campus committees and participate in campus events and activities.
  14. Assist in the development and implementation of project services and activities under the direction of the project director
  15. Some evening and weekend work as special events require
  16. Lead and assist in planning, implementation and/or travel to student events. This will include driving to events in the Midwest
  17. Travel to attend professional conferences and training
  18. Keep current with trends and knowledge in the fields of student success programs and/or first and second year experience programs
  19. Keep current with trends and knowledge in the fields of students who are the first in their family to attend college, low income, or who possess a disability
  20. Employ best practices and success strategies in the design and implementation of the TRIO SSS program components.
  21. Maintain Student Access Database for all personal caseload student data and contact reports
  22. Maintain student paper files in a manner consistent with federal requirements and department practices
  23. Maintain proper documentation of participant eligibility and academic progress
  24. Adaptable to a dynamic environment characteristic of an institution experiencing enrollment growth and program development
  25. Support institutional identity and mission of Finlandia University “as a learning community dedicated to academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service”
  26. Other duties in line with Finlandia University and the TRIO Staff Handbook as assigned by the director
  27. Demonstrate support for and engagement with Finlandia’s strategic vision to become more fully a whole learning community accompanying the whole student toward a whole life.

Required Qualifications:

  1. Master’s degree, preferably in an educational or counseling-based program or a closely related degree or a combination of education and relevant experiences
  2. Sensitivity to and familiarity with the social, economic, and cultural background of low- income, first generation, and disabled students
  3. Knowledge of developmental issues of college students and demonstrated knowledge of and sensitivity to multicultural issues
  4. Innovative and creative leader who demonstrates a commitment to the values of cultural and ethnic diversity and the ability to build inclusive and respectful communities
  5. Demonstrated strong written and oral communication skills
  6. Demonstrated solid organizational and management skills
  7. Familiarity with and ability to administer/interpret commonly used career, learning and personality assessments
  8. Work experience in higher education, particularly in the area of academic advising, diversity, disability services, career counseling, or an equivalent of education and experience in these areas
  9. The ability to use common computer software and data management systems
  10. Knowledge of current labor market trends and the world of work in general
  11. Knowledge of career and personal development theory and practice
  12. Adaptable to a dynamic environment characteristic of an institution experiencing enrollment growth and program development


Desired Qualifications:

  1. Master’s degree in guidance & counseling, education, student personnel, psychology, social work or a closely related field
  2. Previous teaching, academic and/or career coaching, advising and/or tutoring experience
  3. Knowledge of federal regulations governing Department of Education programs
  4. Priority consideration will be given to applicants who have succeeded in overcoming barriers similar to the target population to be served.






As a learning community Finlandia University recognizes and affirms the dignity and worth of all people and cultures.  We will strive to provide an institutional climate that does not perpetuate or tolerate forms of discrimination.  We are committed to recruiting, developing and retaining a qualified and diverse faculty, staff and student body.

Finlandia University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex/gender, age, disability, religion, veteran status, familial status, height, weight, socio-economic status,  sexual orientation, genetic information, or any other category protected by applicable law in admissions, employment, athletics, programs, and activities. The following person(s) has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies or gender equity concerns: Karin Van Dyke, Title IX Coordinator, (906) 487-7344,





Application Procedure:

E-mail cover letter and resume to:

Cindy J Cowell
Finlandia University
Director TRIO Student Support Services
601 Quincy Street
Hancock, MI 49930