The Manager, Student Experience will play a key leadership role in establishing strategic initiatives and direction for the Student Success Office (SSO) in the leadership, management and coordination of programs and initiatives that shape an engaging and supportive experience for all students.
This includes orientation and transition, leadership and skill development and the ongoing development and delivery of peer support programs.
The Manager will be expected to ensure integration and coordination of any new programs and services with those currently offered by the SSO and campus and Faculty partners.
This includes working closely with staff across the SSO and staff / faculty across campus.
Provide leadership and strategic direction on the student experience
Responsible for creation and implementation of strategic plan for the Student Experience portfolio so that it complements and supports the SSO Strategic plan, the University of Waterloo strategic plan and Faculty-specific strategic plans
Consults on the areas of student transition, student development, and student success. This includes consultation and leadership on program development and initiatives outside of the immediate programs and services offered by the SSO
Leads Student Experience team, setting clear and reasonable expectations, providing ongoing feedback and establishing a strong foundation for performance through comprehensive training
Consults on the needs of students attending post-secondary institutions including best practices at other institutions, current trends, and forecasting future developments in strategies to enhance the student experience
Provide leadership and direction for the office as it relates to the student experience portfolio. This leadership will be informed by a solid understanding of the student experience based on research, literature and best practice knowledge related to student retention, engagement and development
Works closely with the leadership team to ensure programs and strategies complement one another and, when appropriate are consistent in delivery and outcomes for all students
Responsible for leading the creation and delivery of strategies and initiatives designed to enhance the student experience for all students with ability to build capacity in programming for supporting priority populations including graduate, international, transfer, exchange and first year students
Works to ensure programs currently offered by the SSO are well integrated and seamless for students this includes the student leadership program, peer mentorship program, and training and development for student leaders and transition programs
Develop and maintain strong cross-campus relationships
Establish a network of relationships with campus partners and external organizations (CACUSS, etc.) to remain up to date on new research, strategies and initiatives and to disseminate this to the broader campus community and within the office as appropriate
Develops and maintains excellent working relationships with faculty, staff, and campus partners to foster an environment for the transferring of ideas, skills, and / or resources around the student experience
Manages collaboration and partnerships with services and departments on campus with the goal of enhancing and streamlining the student experience;
including but not limited to Food Services, Campus Wellness, Marketing and Undergraduate Recruitment, Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association, Graduate Students Association, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs, Athletics, Housing and Residences, etc.)
Engages campus partners in meaningful conversations about factors that contribute to student success, retention and student engagement
Represents the SSO at committees and meetings related to the student experience
Consults with the leadership team to ensure programs and initiatives designed and maintained are meeting the needs of our Faculty and campus partners
Develop and implement strategies for integrated programming
Responsible for the design, delivery and evaluation of programs for students that are part of an overall student success strategy
Works to integrate the student leadership program, peer mentorship program, pre-arrival and orientation programs to shape the student experience.
Works closely with the faculty relations managers and academic development team to ensure full integration of these programs with faculty programs and initiatives
Responsible for overseeing all student experience programs offered by the SSO including peer mentorship programs, new student transition programs and student leadership programs.
Maintains strategic oversight of these programs to ensure they are evolving to meet the needs of the students, campus and faculty partners
Maintain a strong understanding of current trends and best practices around the student experience in higher education
Highly knowledgeable of the unique needs of Waterloo students particularly in the areas of student transition, student retention and student development
Works with the leadership team to summarize and disseminate key research related to student experiences, factors that contribute to student success and university readiness, best practices at other institutions, developing and delivering intentional and engaging programs for students as well as students, staff and Faculty training and development as appropriate
Knowledgeable and up to date on current Waterloo surveys including the orientation survey, Faculty specific surveys and the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), Incoming Student Survey(ISS), Canadian University Survey Consortium (CUSC) etc.
Works with the leadership team to ensure this information is responded to and considered in the development of new programs and initiatives and the evaluation of current programs
Uses current research to design intentional, proactive and responsive programs that are in line with the needs of our campus community
Works closely with SSO Data Analyst to ensure appropriate information related to retention and factors that contribute to student success are made available and interpreted appropriately
Works closely with Data Analyst to create an outcomes based model for program assessment. Establishes performance indicators and assessment methods to measure achievement in all areas of responsibility including learning outcomes, program goals and objectives and individual program success
University degree required; Master’s or equivalent in a related field (e.g., Leadership, Higher Education, Student Development) strongly preferred
5+ years of experience in an student experience / student affairs role required
2+ years of experience managing / leading professional staff within a student service required
Experience developing, delivery and evaluating large scale student experience / student success strategies at post-secondary institutions strongly preferred
Program / project management experience is an asset
Proven ability to take initiative and be both creative and flexible
Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, build consensus and be sensitive to the needs and interests of various stakeholders
Demonstrated ability to contribute to and thrive in a collaborative environment and to apply a positive team approach to working with colleagues
Demonstrated ability to use and interpret data to make decisions, and communicate results effectively to various stakeholders.
Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of priority populations including graduate, international, first year, transfer and exchange students
Leverages a continuous improvement mindset with a demonstrated ability to work effectively with others, as both a team player and a team leader
Advanced : MS Office suite of products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
Strong organizational and time management skills
Strong communication skills oral and written
Demonstrated ability to use data and information to make decisions