Position Overview:  Reporting to the Associate Vice President, the International Academic Support Specialist will take a pro-active approach to the planning, implementation, and administration of programs and interventions focused on increasing international student success and retention at Merrimack College.

This position spans all aspects of the student lifecycle – from pre-arrival√† exit or post-graduation and takes a holistic approach to student development. As part of a networked team, the incumbent will serve as a main point of engagement on matters related to academic compliance, support services, and programs aimed at creating a high quality, streamlined experience for international students.

Responsibilities:

  • Guides students on College academic policies and procedures, degree requirements, registration, and other academic issues particularly as it relates to F-1 non-immigrant Visa compliance.
  • Coordinates and/or plans academic programming that supports the unique academic needs of international students including, but not limited to: pre-arrival preparation, academic orientation, academic acculturation, and other activities that support international student academic success on campus.
  • Provides supplemental academic advising to international students, such as degree audits, evaluating grades/academic history and placement test scores and serves as student advocate in matters related to grievances, grading issues, tuition appeals and special financial arrangements.
  • Persistently manages international student cases.  Coordinates supports for international students experiencing cross-cultural, family, personal or economic issues which may impact academic performance.  Assists students to access appropriate campus and community services/resources.
  • Teaches an international section of the First-Year Experience (FYE) course and coordinates with other instructors of FYE for international students on best approaches for teaching the course and working with students.
  • Works collaboratively with faculty advisors to manage international student issues and concerns that have an impact on academic performance with a particular focus on academic probation and suspension and development of academic improvement plans, monitoring progress and making referrals.
  • Works collaboratively with faculty advisors, program directors, the Academic Success Center, and Student Affairs to support the development of strategies to enhance international student retention.
  • Effectively tracks international student queries to identify service trends and provide quality improvement measures.
  • Creates opportunities for consistent formal and informal contact with international students aimed at better understanding and improving international student experience.
  • Actively contribute to the College’s thought leadership through professional development and participation in the international education professional community.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Requirements:

  • A minimum of a Master’s degree in Education, Counseling, or closely related field.
  • Formal training in F-1 visa immigrations regulations, and Department of Homeland Security/SEVIS regulations, and other federal regulations relating to international students.
  • Proficiency in/or experience learning a language other than English required - Mandarin, Arabic, or Spanish preferred.
  • Able to work both independently and collaboratively in a complex environment with multiple stakeholders.
  • Strong technical skills.
  • Exceptional communication, interpersonal and multicultural skills and the ability to establish and develop long-term relationships with students, families, internal and external constituencies.
  • Flexibility to work nights and weekends as needed.  
  • SEVP DSO reporting regulations requires U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent residence status.

Minimum Experience:

  • Minimum 3-5 years’ advising international students at the college level.
  • 1-3 years’ as a DSO required, experience in SEVP academic guidelines preferred.
  • Proven experience in creative problem solving.
  • Experience working, living, and/or studying in a foreign country.

To Apply:  This is a full time, fiscal year position.  Please apply with resume and cover letter.

Merrimack College is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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