Lead Academic Counselor


1 Position (Open Until Filled)


Undergraduate Advising Center/Office of Research and Sponsored Programs


Position will end on or before January 31, 2022. Grant funding for this position is for three years. It is anticipated that the position will be extended beyond the initial one-year appointment.

Permanent status cannot be earned in this grant funded position. This temporary appointment can be concluded prior to the stated temporary appointment end date, normally with a two-week notice period. Continuation of this temporary appointment is contingent upon grant funding.


Full-Time (1.0)


Monday to Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


$75,000.00 - $80,000.00 Annually


Reporting to the Director of Advisor Development and College Specialists, the Lead Academic Counselor of the Undergraduate Advising Center (UAC) will work alongside and collaborate with the Director of Advisor Development and College Specialists, Director of Developmental Studies and Retention Specialists, and the Director of Graduation Specialists on the administration, coordination, and management of the Undergraduate Advising Center. The Undergraduate Advising Center delivers high-quality, proactive, accurate, and holistic academic advising to first year freshman and undeclared students as their home base. The Lead Academic Counselor will support advising managers in strategically leading and guiding a staff of approximately 10-15 academic counselors (Student Services Professional IIIs) in furthering the mission and vision of the Undergraduate Advising Center in alignment with both the mission of San Francisco State University and the mission of the Division of Undergraduate Education and Academic Planning (DUEAP). Other responsibilities include, but are not limited to coordinating day-to-day functions related to the work of academic counselors, freshman and undeclared programming and services, and utilizing data analytics to strategically identify and target efforts to improve retention rates. The Lead Academic Counselor will also advise a small caseload of first year freshman and undeclared students in order to stay abreast of best practices in academic advising. Serving as a lead, this position will be the first point of contact for academic counselors in the Undergraduate Advising Center.


Leading and Guiding Academic Counselors

Work collaboratively with DUEAP advising managers to consistently plan, execute, and assess advising functions and operations for approximately 10-15 academic counselors (Student Services Professional IIIs).
Support the academic counselors in providing advising-related services and events that are tailored to the needs of first year freshman and undeclared students.
Develop, implement, and assess programs and support services for undeclared/exploratory students.
Support the academic counselors in delivering a wide range of advising services which include one-on-one advising, drop-in advising, workshops, advising events, and online advising tools/resources.
Provide ongoing feedback and suggestions to DUEAP advising managers regarding staff questions and concerns, training needs, and case management.
Serve as the advising resource providing advising policy updates to academic counselors and assessing and resolving complex advising cases and student advising situations.
Chair weekly staff meetings and coordinate internal professional development opportunities for the academic counselors.
Meet regularly (weekly or bi-weekly) with individual academic counselors to discuss advising-related information or student cases and identify professional goals related to academic advising.
Apply best practices in the field of academic advising to ensure the delivery of relevant and developmentally appropriate student support services.
Foster a team approach focused on relationship building with team members in order to create community and team cohesion.

Administrative/Project Coordination

Collaborate with DUEAP advising managers to consistently plan, execute, and evaluate advising functions and operations for a a team of academic counselors (Student Services Professional IIIs).
Support the CSU’s Graduation Initiative and SF State’s advising initiatives in order to meet our graduation and retention goals.
Ensure outstanding student support in a welcoming, customer service-oriented environment.
Advocate for resources to support academic counselors in carrying out duties and responsibilities related to academic advising.
Develop cross-departmental relationships to create more opportunities for developing an SF State culture that values, celebrates, and supports first year freshman students.
Work closely and maintain excellent relationships with university constituencies, including Metro College Success Program, Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), Residential Life, administrative support services, college resource centers, colleges, schools, and other units that support first year freshman students.
Provide student-centered, solutions-focused crisis management for complex student advising situations.
Oversee and implement a complex and comprehensive academic advising program for first year freshman and undeclared students.
Responsible for project coordination and programming for undeclared/exploratory students until major declaration.
Coordinate day-to-day functions and operations related to the work of academic counselors, including but not limited to staff scheduling, project oversight, and event planning.
Cultivate strong and meaningful partnerships with staff, faculty, academic departments and university student services units to advance student degree progress
Remain current with the policies, procedures and practices, including training of these topics to college advising centers.
Analyze and utilize student enrollment data to develop targeted academic advising services.
Collaborate with the Director of Advisor Development and College Specialists to plan and execute college-specific presentations for first year freshman students, and ongoing training for the academic counselors relevant to working with these students.

Academic Advising

Provide academic advising to a caseload of first year freshman and undeclared students using predictive analytics to strategically provide services and support.
Provide academic advising at new student orientation for first-time freshmen during winter and summer orientation.
Provide strategic planning and advanced academic advising for complex student case referrals concerning probation, disenrollment, reinstatement, withdrawal or any exceptions to policies.
Interpret and communicate university academic regulation/guidance for students.
Utilize analytical and student-focused skills in decision-making to identify/recommend appropriate advice on course selection, major exploration, GE advising, petition consultation, and academic probation advising.
Initiate student referrals to appropriate student support services when necessary (DPRC, Counseling and Psychological Services, Student Health Center, etc.)

Other duties as assigned.


Education: Equivalent to graduation from a four-year college or university in a related field plus upper division or graduate course work in counseling techniques, interviewing and conflict resolution where such are job related.

Experience: Possession of these knowledge and abilities is typically demonstrated through the equivalent to four years of progressively responsible professional student services work experience which includes experience in advising students individually and in groups, and in analysis and resolution of complex student services problems.

Master’s degree in Counseling, Clinical Psychology, Social Work or a job-related field may substitute for one year of professional experience. A doctorate degree and the appropriate internship or clinical training in counseling, guidance or a job-related field may be substituted for two years of the required professional experience for positions with a major responsibility for professional, personal or career counseling.

Knowledge and Abilities:
Thorough knowledge of the policies, procedures and practices of the program area to which assigned or the ability to quickly acquire such knowledge. General knowledge of the policies, practices and activities of Student Services programs outside the program to which immediately assigned; general knowledge of the principles, problems and methods of public administration, including organizational, personnel and fiscal management; general knowledge of advanced statistical and research methods.

Ability to carry out very complex assignments without detailed instructions; advise students individually or in groups on varied and complex matters; determine the appropriate course of action and proper techniques to utilize while engaged with individuals and groups in personal interactions of a sensitive nature; reason logically and analyze and solve organizational and operating problems of one or several program areas; plan, coordinate and initiate actions necessary to implement administrative or group decisions or recommendations; analyze and define complex organizational, policy or procedural problems, collect and evaluate data, draw valid conclusions and project consequences of various alternative courses of action; understand the roles and responsibilities of others and to gauge relationships accordingly by taking into account the variety of interrelationships, motivations and goals of the members of the organization served; and establish and maintain effective, cooperative and harmonious working relationships in circumstances which involve the denial of requests or the necessity to persuade others to accept a different point of view.


Education: Master’s degree from an accredited university in counseling, higher education, student affairs, college student development, or a closely related discipline.

Desired Experience or Skills:

Four years of progressively responsible full-time work experience in academic advising post-graduation. The incumbent’s experience should give evidence of competence and indicate the potential for further growth.
Two or more years of full-time experience leading a team of professional academic advisors/counselors in a higher education environment.
Knowledge of student development and/or counseling theory and its application to academic counseling and student support services.
Experience in creating and leading workshops/trainings and communicating complex information to faculty, staff, and students on an ongoing basis.
Experience in planning, coordinating and executing projects, working with multiple stakeholders.
Experience supporting underrepresented, low-income and first-generation college students and coordinating programs to support the needs of this population
Demonstrated experience working effectively with people from diverse backgrounds.
Ability to use conflict resolution skills and professional communication when resolving complex issues and de-escalating challenging interactions with students and campus partners.
Knowledge of the California State University (CSU) System, San Francisco State University, and California secondary education.
Knowledge of graduation requirements and processes, as well as the obstacles students face in college.
Experience using PeopleSoft, EAB, Microsoft Office Suite, and advising-related software and technology (Assist.org, College Scheduler, etc.).


For the complete job description and qualifications of current openings, please go to SF State’s online job posting https://hr.sfsu.edu/job-opportunities. Submit an online application and upload (in one file attachment) your resume and cover letter, describing your specific qualifications. The online recruitment system will allow one file attachment for each submission.


The Human Resources office is open Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and can be reached at (415) 338-1872.

SF State is Equal Opportunity/Americans with Disabilities Act employer and has a strong commitment to the principles of diversity.

Additional Information
Position Type: Employee
Ref Code:

Contact Information
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, 94132