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Academic Advisor

Date: Sept 1, 2016
Reports to (Job Title): Manager, Academic Advising
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): None
Department: Arts Undergraduate Office


Main Campus


35 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

The position is responsible for academic advisement of on-campus and online students in the Faculty of Arts, with a particular focus on programs that are the responsibility of the Arts Undergraduate Office. This position serves as a resource for and supports officers and members of the Faculty of Arts in areas of policy and practice.

Key Accountabilities:


Student Advising:

  • Maintains in-depth and current knowledge of:
    • Arts’ undergraduate curriculum and academic requirements for all programs;
    • Arts’ admissions regulations and practices, including transfer credit regulations pertaining to a wide variety of academic institutions;
    • the areas of expertise that are of particular relevance to his/her position;
    • the University policies and Faculty regulations of particular relevance to student issues; and
    • the sources of support and help that are available to students, both within and outside the University.
  • Provides academic advising on course/program selection and changes, degree requirements, preregistration, and all academic issues for a designated group of students.
  • Monitors the academic progress of their group of students through the use of data extracts and provides outreach/academic counselling to students in academic trouble.
  • Assists the Academic Officer with academic progression for their group of students, including assessing academic standing in borderline cases, and communicating with students.
  • Co-ordinates the academic progression and advisement for their group of students. This responsibility includes assessing students’ academic standing and completion of course requirements; communicating with the Manager, Academic Advising regarding problem cases; and generating appropriate comments for the Office of the Registrar.
  • Retains signing authority for the approval of academic program changes, course changes, marks processing, Petitions for Exception to Academic Regulations, and Recommendations to Graduate.
  • Provides assistance to students with Letter of Permission requests including the assessment of course equivalency and overall approval of such requests.
  • Provides assistance to students in the preparation of petitions.
  • Determines if interested students are eligible to participate in international exchange programs.
  • Maintains appropriate contact and communication with those offices and entities elsewhere in the Faculty, in the University, and in the outer community that are particularly relevant to the areas of his/her own responsibilities.
  • Applies a continually evolving understanding of both the breadth and boundaries of his/her authority in relation to his/her duties.



  • Holds voting membership on and provides support to the Arts Faculty Admissions Committee.
  • Provides advice and information to the Faculty and its Admissions Committee on associated matters.
  • Provides support in applicant assessment, both on-campus and online, as directed by the Manager, Academic Advising.


Support to the Manager, Academic Advising:

  • Informs the Manager regularly and frequently of activities and developments within his/her jurisdiction.
  • Consults regularly and frequently with the Manager on matters pertaining to the curricular, engagement, and retention functions of the AUO and on matters of a sensitive nature.
  • Participates in regular meetings of the AUO’s Arts Academic Advisors to discuss consistent application of regulations and procedures and advance seamless support to students in the Faculty of Arts.
  • Prepares written reports on a variety of matters within his/her jurisdiction either on his/her own initiative or at the request of the Manager or Associate Dean: Undergraduate Students.
  • Provides administrative or other support for AUO initiatives as defined by the Associate Dean: Undergraduate Students.
  • Advises and responds to inquiries of students interested in enrolling in the program/major that he/she is responsible for.



  • Attends meeting of the Arts Undergraduate Affairs Group (UGAG) as a non-voting member.
  • Attends meetings of appropriate committees and/or workgroups, and participates in events, in the Faculty, University, and outer community that are particularly relevant to the areas of his/her own responsibilities.


 Recruitment, Engagement, and Student Life:

  • In conjunction with the Manager, Academic Advising, participates in the course selection process for newly admitted students.
  • Participates in the Faculty’s transition and retention programs for undergraduate students.
  • Attends Universities Fair, March Break Open House, and other venues/events when necessary, acting as part of the Arts recruitment team.

Position Requirements


University degree; equivalent combination of education and experience will be considered



MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Intermediate Intermediate basic QUEST, including Waterloo Inquiry (advanced); web management software, SharePoint, ASIS, DMS

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

Level of Responsibility:

The position has defined duties and responsibilities and is expected to work with minimal supervision and provide guidance to others, including academic advice to students.

Decision-Making Authority:

Makes independent decisions regarding student advice, academic progression, admissions. Has signing authority for approval of academic program changes, course changes, petitions, and recommendations to graduate.

Physical and Sensory Demands:

Demands are typical of an administrative position that functions within office and meeting environments. Exposure to a fast-paced service oriented environment with deadlines, changing priorities, and large volumes at various times throughout the year.

Working Environment:



Working Hours:                             
Regular working hours, some evening/weekend work required.  


Risks (Physical):                             
No significant risks.  

Risks (Psychological):                   
Interactions with people who are upset or angry, with people who have mental health concerns.