Retention Specialist

Academic Center of Excellence (ACE)

The Retention Specialist provides support services for students to promote retention and academic success. The Retention Specialist will engage students in a variety of student services activities to ensure progression towards graduation.  Works in collaboration with faculty, various student support services professionals and students at the UniversityThis position may supervise work study students and Trojan ACE Ambassadors 

Duties and Responsibilities include: 
  • Coordinate customer service relations of incoming freshmen students.  
  • Manage Early Alert initiatives for ACE, including the development, implementation and assessment of Early Alert program for VSU general education courses.   
  • Utilize data to develop, lead, and assess workshops and other applicable retention efforts 
  • Serve as a liaison between ACE and major departments to build opportunities for faculty collaboration for retention and persistence initiatives. 
  • Collaborate with other academic advisors, career advisors, faculty, and leadership to identify potential barriers to student persistence and lead the development of strategies to address these barriers. 
  • Plan and implement academic support initiatives including course registration support information, curriculum materials, and social/outreach activities. 
  • Work in collaboration with Strategic Learning to complete comprehensive individual needs assessments and develop individual academic plans for student who are not making satisfactory academic progress  
  • Assists students in identifying and connecting with other support services including tutoring and academic support, counseling, and co-curricular activities. 
  • Teach academic support classes within the ACE First Year Experience Program (FRST).   
  • Serve on unit, college, and campus committees as necessary. 
  • Perform other related duties and participate in special projects as assigned. 
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of university academic programs, articulation agreements, academic partnerships, activities, scholarships, etc.  

In collaboration with the Office of Admission, Enrollment Management, Trojan Introduction Program (TIP), faculty and other identified departments convene and chair a Retention Advisory Working Group that will periodically review issues related to academic policies, program initiatives, recruitment, enrollment, and retention. This group will review policies and processes and participate in activities designed to support the success of freshman students. 

  • Assist Academic departments with creating and maintaining an active relationship with ACE initiatives, programs and staff.   
  • Create and manage databases, spreadsheets, queries, and electronic and social media communication.  
  • Assist with the development of  marketing strategies for department services, activities, projects, programs, and events, including flyers, brochures, and other publications, social media, and internet marketing. 
  • Assess effectiveness of departmental services and programs by developing and implementing surveys, student learning outcomes (SLO), and statistical analyses. 
  • Attend and participate in professional group meetings and various committees and advisory groups. 
  • Respond to difficult and sensitive inquiries and complaints and assists with resolutions and alternative recommendations. 
Skills, Knowledge, Abilities: 
  • Knowledge of current academic advising best practices. 
  • Knowledge of best practices in student retention programs in highly diverse education settings. 
  • Knowledge of student development theory. 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills. 
  • Ability to assess and analyze data and adapt programming accordingly. 
  • Willingness to collaborate on projects and work with a team.  
Required qualifications include:  

Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in Education or a related field (Counseling, Human Resources, Human Services, Public Administration) and considerable experience in management and/or administrative experience working with transfer services and/or career development, academic advising, recruitment practices, or related functions.  Master’s degree preferred with some direct experience in student retention. 

To apply: 

Virginia State University only accepts applications for classified positions through the on-line state Recruitment Management System (RMS).  Faxed, e-mailed, and mailed applications and/or attachments will not be accepted.  Visit to complete an online application.  The selected candidate will be subject to an extensive and complete background check, which may include fingerprinting.  The candidate may be required to complete a Statement of Economic Interest as a condition of employment, if applicable.    


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Education Support Spec III

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