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Reporting to the Vice President of Enrollment Management, the Director of Student Retention and Data Analytics will support efforts to improve retention and graduation rates for both traditional and online students from the point of admission through graduation. This position serves as a key member of the university’s retention team and responsible for working with various support units to assist in the design, development, implementation and assessment of the University’s retention initiatives. A large component of the position will be to collect, interpret, communicate and report data regarding student attrition, determine the effectiveness of the University’s retention initiatives, and proactively work with others to increase retention success.
OVERVIEW OF JOB FUNCTIONS
LEADERSHIP: Will lead the development, implementation, and continuous improvement of a system of retention initiatives that will span throughout the student enrollment journey from point of admission through graduation. Works collaboratively with the offices of: enrollment management, institutional research, academics, and student life to ensure student retention initiatives are carried out across the university community.
POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND COMPLIANCE: Recommends and develops policy to properly implement effective and aligned retention services. Investigates and addresses implications of policy change in functional operational areas throughout the university. Carries out, explains, interprets, and enforces policies related to retention.
DATA ANALYTICS: In collaboration with Information Technology and Institutional Research, implements and maintains a data tracking and evaluation system to evaluate the progress of students. Administers the Early Alert System and ensures immediate follow-up and referral for alerts in the system. Utilizing the University’s Jenzabar system and other supporting software packages, provides reports, interpreted data analysis and actionable information to colleagues in enrollment management, academic divisions, advising, academic support, student life and university administration to support institutional enrollment management initiatives and student success.
SYSTEMS INTEGRATION: Responsible for collaborating with IT and others in developing, assessing and maintaining integrated systems for students that improve the student experience from the point of prospect to graduation. Works closely with the offices of Institutional Research, Provost, and Enrollment Management to interpret data and disseminate reports related to retention. Will also provide retention reporting to the office of VP of Finance for use in the budgeting process.
ASSESSMENT: Provides leadership in assessing the student retention experience. Conduct analysis, work with others to identify gaps and challenges throughout the student journey, develop and implement interventions, and conduct ongoing assessment for continuous improvement. Resolve complex student retention and operational issues. Serves as a member of the university Strategic Enrollment Management Council. Other duties as assigned.
KEY RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE
Collaborates with appropriate campus departments to design, develop, implement and assess measurable retention strategies, action plans, and strategic goals for traditional and online students that includes individualized outreach, success tracking and appropriate interventions and accommodations from the point of admission through degree completion.
Collect, analyze, and report student persistence/learning/satisfaction data and compare it to internal benchmarks and national/peer institution data.
Assess semester-to-semester and annual retention utilizing a variety of data inputs from across the University and works closely with the Assistant Director of Institutional Research to ensure accurate data is reported internally and externally (e.g., IPEDS).
Track, in real time, activities across the campus related to the overall retention strategies and inform campus leadership regarding needed changes to immediately mitigate any retention declines.
Develops criteria to identify at-risk students at the point of admission and implements targeted early intervention strategies for both new admits and returning students, leading to the immediate engagement of online and on-campus populations.
Serves as the point of contact for all early alerts submissions from throughout the University and acts on each of them. Uses data collected through the early alert system to inform future strategies.
Works closely with all university academic departments, and faculty and staff developing strategies to increase student success and retention. Particularly supports online academic success coaches, student life and residence life personnel, first year experience leaders, athletic department and coaches, assistant athletic director for Academic Success and Student Engagement, Student Support Services (TRIO) personnel, financial aid and student accounts personnel.
Serves as the point of contact for students and faculty/staff regarding student retention risk factors and recommends proven strategies to campus constituents.
Serves as a member of the University’s Strategic Enrollment Management Council and the Data Governance Committee.
Performs other duties, as required or assigned.
A bachelor’s degree is required; master’s degree preferred.
Prior experience working in a university retention role or similar position strongly recommended.
Data interpretation, analysis, and reporting is required.
Demonstrated ability to make well-informed decisions, solve problems, and coordinate a variety of activities and tasks.
Exceptional organizational skills.
Demonstrated high integrity and the ability to manage confidential issues and build effective and engaging relationships with students, faculty, and staff.
Excellent oral and written communication skills in the performance of duties.
SWU is committed to maximizing the use of technology in its daily operations and in achieving its strategic goals; the ideal candidate will be familiar with an integrated database, including reporting, and have a high comfort level with web-based, mobile and PC applications, including but not limited to, the use of Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
Mission and Lifestyle Expectations. The university is a Christian liberal arts institution in the Wesleyan-Holiness theological tradition. In light of SWU’s unapologetically Christ-centered mission, all employees are expected to embrace the university’s Statement of Faith, commit to the mission of the University, respect the beliefs of the Wesleyan Church, adhere to its lifestyle expectations, and demonstrate a mature relationship with Jesus Christ.
Physical/Environmental Requirements. Visual acuity necessary to do editorial work, proof documents, and manage files. Requires ability to sit for periods of time in an interior office environment. May require infrequent lifting of objects up to 10 pounds, and occasionally items up to 20 pounds. Requires work outside of the regular work schedule, and some limited travel may be expected.
Pre-employment Screening. Employment is contingent on the completion a criminal background screening.
BEFORE YOU APPLY
Applicants should be prepared to provide a brief written personal Christian testimony. In addition, please be prepared to provide the following digital documents:
Curriculum vita or resume
Employment is contingent on receipt of official transcripts.
About Southern Wesleyan University
Southern Wesleyan University is a Christ-centered, student-focused learning community devoted to transforming lives by challenging students to be dedicated scholars and servant-leaders who impact the world for Christ. SWU provides quality undergraduate and graduate programs in a distinctively Christian environment that fosters the integration of faith, learning, and living. Candidates for employment must support the Christian mission of the university and give evidence of successful professional experience, mature faith, and consistent Christian lifestyle.
University Core Values-
Christ Centered: Purpose, Scholarship, Community, Transformation
•Purpose: A specific calling for a unique role in our world.
•Scholarship: Academic excellence in an innovative faith-centered environment.
•Community: Belonging to a connected and compassionate body of learners.
•Transformation: Christ’s redemptive work in individual and corporate life.
We believe that every individual has a God given purpose, brought to fruition by the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit and the challenge of scholarship. As we participate in a consecrated community of learners we are continuously transformed into the image of Christ both individually and corporately.