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University of Massachusetts Amherst Associate Director for Student Learning in Amherst, Massachusetts

Associate Director for Student Learning

Apply now ( Job no: 520463

Work type: Staff Full Time

Location: UMass Amherst

Department:Residential Life


Categories: Student Affairs & Services, Residence Life & Housing

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.

Job Summary

The Associate Director for Student Learning provides primary leadership for the overall planning, implementation, and assessment of the curricular approach to student learning in residence halls and residential student leadership programs; provides primary leadership for accredited courses offered by Residential Life including EDUC 391R and serves as primary Residential Life representative to academic schools and colleges.

Essential Functions

  • Serve as a member of a five member Residential Life Senior Leadership team, and participate in developing strategic direction of a comprehensive residential life program, executes and implements best practices, and act in place of the Director of Residential Life and represent Residential Life as assigned, including with academic affairs partners.

  • Provide primary leadership for the development, implementation, and assessment of the curricular approach to student learning for a residential housing system of more than 14,000 students across 51 residence halls and a family housing community. Analyze student learning and other relevant data for trends and recommend initiatives to improve student learning and success in the residence halls; demonstrate knowledge of individual learning, cognition, and development; develop an expert knowledge of learning theories and group vs. individual learning needs; diversify learning strategies and materials in order to support diverse and varied learning styles of students.

  • Develop and implement processes and structures related to the living learning communities; propose new communities and assess existing communities.

  • Develop and implement accredited courses offered by Residential Life. Provide primary leadership for and serve as Instructor of Record for EDUC 391R: CORE - (Residential Education and Community Development); a one-credit, pre-employment requirement of all undergraduate live-in staff candidates, enrolling 500+ students annually. Recruit and select primary and student co-instructors; train and support instructional team; observe course sections and provide instructional feedback to new instructors. Serve as primary Independent Study coordinator for students co-instructing EDUC 391R. Serve as practicum supervisor for College of Education graduate students enrolled in residential life practicum experiences. Establish and maintain effective working relationships with College of Education partners.

  • Serve as the Faculty in Residence Program Administrator, in collaboration with academic affairs, and Director of Residential Life.

  • Provide high quality supervision for assigned staff, demonstrate expert knowledge of applicable collective bargaining agreements (CBA) for applicable collective bargaining units (CBU) and provide leadership to all Residential Life staff in areas of responsibility.

  • Develop and deliver training and development for Residential Life related to student learning, living learning communities and academic initiatives. Participate in recruitment and search processes of Residential life staff.

  • Provide on-call, after hours coverage and response for the campus residential community, including during University break periods and holidays. On-call includes being accessible via department issued cell phone 24/hrs. a day, and the ability to coordinate an effective emergency preparedness response, including appropriate coordination with campus partners and/or emergency services.

  • Establish and maintain collaborative and effective working relationships across the Student Affairs and Campus Life Executive Area and the University as a whole. Serve as Residential Life’s primary representative to a range of university committees and initiatives. Serve as primary contact with campus partners related to curricular content development. Primary relationships include but are not limited to Academic Affairs, Student Success, Campus Recreation, New Student Orientation and Transition, and Advocacy Inclusion and Support Programs.

  • Develop and implement annual internal and external communication plans and strategies in areas of position responsibility. Support the department’s marketing and communication strategies.

  • Set, prepare, monitor and evaluate budgets associated with student learning initiatives and student leadership in excess of $200,000. Ensure financial resources are utilized in accordance to established policies and procedures. Participate in the development of annual department budget recommendations to support strategic initiatives and goals.

  • Lead the development and use of a range of technology platforms to support and enhance position responsibilities.

  • Engage in professional development activities related to Residential Life and position responsibilities. Participate in required training programs and initiatives related to position. Remain current in related best practices and relevant trends.

Other Functions

  • Performs related duties as assigned or required. Understands responsibilities with respect to Title IX, Clery and other compliance requirements.

  • Demonstrates capacity, skill, and willingness to engage students and contribute to student success.

  • Understands responsibilities with respect to conflicts of interest and behaves in ways consistent both with law and with University policy.

  • Contributes toward creating a positive and respectful workplace.Uses access to sensitive and/or not yet public university related information only in the performance of the responsibilities of position and exercises care to prevent unnecessary disclosure to others.

  • On an as needed basis, signs out and operates University golf cart or vehicle.

Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Master’s Degree in a related field, including but not limited to higher education, counseling, education, social justice, social work, or business management.

  • Five (5) years of directly related progressively responsible full-time experience working in a residential setting.

  • Valid Driver’s License.

  • Experience and/or familiarity with curricular models. Proven ability to work independently within broad scope of established expectations/policies/practices.

  • Experience managing large department projects and committees.

  • Demonstrated skills and ability to establish and lead a collaborative team.

  • Experience in using technology.

  • Contemporary understanding of learning theory and student development and experience designing and delivering learning initiatives and leading presentations.

  • Superior project management skills with experience managing multiple concurrent responsibilities and priorities.

  • Evidence of successful collaborations with a wide range of stakeholders within and outside the university.

  • Demonstrated ability to interpret, apply and explain university policies. Ability to analyze situations accurately and adopt an effective course of action.

  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Demonstrated skills in supervising a diverse staff; self-awareness of own social identities; the ability to collaborate with stakeholders from diverse backgrounds; ability to enact (or direct) equitable and inclusive policy and practice.

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.

Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Work experience in medium to large residence life program (min 5,000 beds) at a public institution.

  • Experience leading a curricular approach to student learning, including knowledge and experience with ACPA’s Institute on the Curricular Approach.

  • Experience developing annual assessment and/or communication plans.

  • Experience working in a unionized work environment. Understanding of collective bargaining process and agreements.

  • Demonstrated understanding and experience working with Living Learning Communities.

Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  • Typical office environment/activity within a residential setting.

  • Ability to lift boxes and materials that weigh up to 30 lbs. for transport and set up.

  • Ability to access and reach residence halls throughout the campus for purposes of responding to incidents and meeting with staff, students and groups of students.

Work Schedule

  • 37.5-hour work week.

  • Monday – Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm.

  • Required to work occasional nights & weekends.

  • Required to be accessible via department issued cell phone 24/hr. day, and provide on-call coverage and response for the campus residential community.

  • This position is designated as essential personnel by Residential Life in the event of emergencies.

  • Position tasks are generally required to be performed on-site with some flexibility for a remote or hybrid work schedule on occasion.

Salary Information

Level 29

PSU Salary Ranges (

Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the completed application, pleas upload a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three (3) professional references. Posting will remain open until position is filled.

UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, caste, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, disability, political belief or affiliation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related condition(s), veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, natural and protective hairstyle and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University. To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. It is the policy of UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action

Advertised: Sep 5 2023 Eastern Daylight Time

Applications close: