Director of New Student Programs

Amherst College invites applications for the Director of New Student Programs position. Amherst College has profoundly transformed its student body in terms of socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and nationality, among other areas. Today, nearly one-quarter of Amherst's students are Pell Grant recipients; 45 percent of our studentsidentify as domestic students of color. Our expectation is that the successful candidate will excel at working in a community that is broadly diverse with regard to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, and religion.
The Director of New Student Programs is a full time, year round, job group and level SM-3. The Director of New Student Programs conceptualizes, actualizes and assesses a holistic, outcome-based, student-centered experience beginning when students arrive on campus for orientation through their transition to upper-class status at the conclusion of their sophomore year. The single largest focus of the position is to collaborate with a wide-array of stake- holders to develop, plan, implement and assess orientation for first-year and transfer students. This vital initiative includes collaboration with a faculty orientation committee, an orientation implementation committee, recruiting and training approximately 35 Orientation Leaders and supporting a high-impact practice for all new first-year students called LEAP. LEAP is a two-and-a-half-day immersive experience structured to create community within small groups around topics and activities such as "Solving Climate Change," "Book and Plow Farm," and "First-Year Outdoor Orientation Trips;" this portion of orientation requires a wide network of partnership with faulty, staff and external partners. The Director will employ adept and strategic budgetary skills to align the goals and outcomes with the appropriate resources, including staffing and volunteers, to create a dynamic, highly effective, integrated introduction to Amherst College.
The Director will ensure that the skills and support networks developed during orientation are sustained and enhanced over the course of students' first two years on campus through the programs that comprise the First-Year and Sophomore Experience programs. The Director will expand both the year long First-Year (including Area Councils) and Sophomore Experience programs with strong partnerships within Residential Life and in conjunction with The Office of the Dean of Faculty where the Sophomore Experience Program is housed.
In addition, the Director participates in initiatives across the division and the college in ways that promote academic, social, cultural integration into the campus community, and enhance each students sense of community.
The Director takes appropriate actions to support a diverse workforce and participates in the College's efforts to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming work environment.
Key Responsibilities

  • Develop and implement a robust Orientation that achieves student learning outcomes, effectively preparing students for the academically rigorous, diverse, intercultural learning and social environment of Amherst College in collaboration with the Faculty Orientation Committee and the Orientation Implementation Committee.

  • Create an environment that leverages the strengths of members of the team, promotes collaboration, and empowers members to innovate.

  • Collaborate with academic and administrative departments to integrate learning about their specific academic and institutional experiences and cultures into Orientation.

  • Develop programs for specific sub-populations, e.g., transfer, first-generation, and collaborate with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to provide support for International Student Orientation.

  • Work with stakeholders to develop publications and coordinate communication with students before and during Orientation.

  • Recruit and hire for graduate summer internship positions through NODA (Association for Orientation Transition and Retention) internship program.

  • Continue to develop the orientation leader training program, serve as the training instructor, and oversee the hiring, training and management 35-40 student orientation leaders and approximately 3 student orientation coordinators.

  • Recruit student orientation leaders and coordinators providing clear expectations to promote this educational leadership experience.

First- and Second- Year Experience

  • Collaborate with student resources across campus to design and implement a full year of programming supporting first-year student's integration and success academically and socially.

  • Support student leadership development in collaboration with departments across the college.

  • Collaborate with The Office of the Dean of Faculty to continue to develop and implement intentional programming for students in their sophomore year with a particular focus on intercession training and development.

  • Working closely with Residential Life staff, create a blueprint to support the continued development of First Year Area Councils including refining the goals, outcomes and training for executive council members.


  • Develop and manage annual budget in accordance with College and Divisional policies and protocols.

  • Manage all financial aspects of Orientation, First-Year and Sophomore Experience programs using programmatic, budgetary, operational, and strategic skills to set and achieve goals.


  • Participate in the evaluation of all programs to determine their effectiveness as they relate to student learning outcomes. Report findings and incorporate information in planning activities to improve existing programs and enhance the success of new initiatives.


  • Master's degree in Higher Education, Student Affairs, or related field.

  • History of successful collaborations.

  • Ability to and experience working with diverse populations.

  • Proficient in MS Office and ability to learn new software programs.

  • Strong written and verbal communication, time management, and organizational skills.

  • Knowledge and application of best practices in new student programs and/or orientation.

  • Minimum of 3-5 years of professional experience in related office in a higher education setting.


  • Experience in long term strategic planning, assessment and program evaluation.

Interestedcandidates should submit a cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information (email and/or telephone numbers) for three professional references. Applications will be reviewed until position is filled.
Amherst College is an equal opportunity employer and encourages women, persons of color, and persons with disabilities to apply. The College is committed to enriching its educational experience and its culture through the diversity of its faculty, administration, and staff.
Amherst College, one of the premier liberal arts colleges in the nation, is located in Amherst, Massachusetts, a town of approximately 35,000 residents in the western part of the state. The college's community is composed of about1,800 students from 48 states, plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and 54 countries around the world, and about 1,000 staff and faculty. The college's scenic 1,000-acre campus includes a 500-acre wildlife sanctuary and the Book & Plow Farm ; three museums: Emily Dickinson Museum , Beneski Museum of Natural History and Mead Art Museum ; and multiple educational and cultural venues and resources through the Five College Consortium. The town of Amherst offers an amazing variety of coffee shops, restaurants and entertainment, and a very active outdoor life. Our vibrant campus, diverse community and beautiful surrounding, makes Amherst College and the Town of Amherst the perfect place to work, learn and live!

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