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  • Program Assistant
    Schl of Intrdscplnry Hlth Prf
    Northern Illinois University

    Primary Function
    The primary function of this position is to coordinate program-related activities and advising interactions for graduate programs in the School of Interdisciplinary Health Professions (SIHP) and the Ph.D. in Health Sciences college-wide doctoral program. Duties include the administration and evaluation of program goals, objectives, and related activities for new and existing programs under the supervision of the PhD and SIHP program directors and Chair. This includes compliance with the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accreditation standards and documentation of student preparation for the credentialing examination for Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC). It is essential that this individual possess strong organizational skills, be able to comprehend, analyze, and solve problems as they occur, adhere to many deadlines, and the ability to operate computer systems utilizing various office software packages. This individual must be able to work independently, maintain confidential information, and be able to manage a high-level of contact with other NIU units, students, prospective students, and the public on the telephone and in person. At times, the occupant of this position will act on behalf of faculty Graduate Program Directors. This is a full-time 12-month position.

    Duties and Responsibilities (generally)
    Program direction responsibilities that include:
    • Coordinate and manage the admissions review process in coordination with the Graduate Program Directors
    • Develop and direct designated programs including student orientation, advisor orientation, and other synchronous meetings as appropriate
    • Supervise student activities and provide professional or technical assistance where necessary such as by supporting student and committee members to facilitate examinations. This includes determining eligibility for candidacy, comprehensive, and credentialing examinations and dissertation meetings
    • Work with graduate program directors, faculty and instructors to format and upload documents to Blackboard including shared Content Collection.

    Operational activities of the PhD in Health Sciences and other SIHP graduate programs, including the following:
    • Coordinate with regional campuses and serving as liaison with other university units regarding the details of these events.
    • Supervise the maintenance of all office files, electronic or hard-copy, including all student files, all academic support files (application materials from the Graduate School, curricular and policy documents, graduation reports), graduate assistant applications, and internal course documents.
    • Review and submit documents verifying compliance with the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accreditation standards and documentation of student preparation for the credentialing examination for Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC).
    • Forward and receive student files to and from appropriate university units. Process, file, and retrieve student data provided by the Graduate School, Registration and Records, and the Office of Admissions, and other offices on campus.

    Program promotion activities that include the following:
    • Establish and maintain effective public relations with individuals/agencies within and external to the university, provides outreach/liaison services to SIHP and graduate programs
    • Conducts introductory workshops and attends conferences to stimulate and solicit graduate and undergraduate program expansion and endorsement
    • Assists graduate program directors and Chair in developing research, training, and developmental grants or contracts with external funding agencies

    Communication responsibilities that include:
    • Maintain close communication with Graduate Faculty Directors and Program Coordinators to support program outcomes.
    • Act as first point of contacts with graduate program inquiries through email, phone, and campus visits as appropriate
    • Follow up with student and prospective student contacts (correspondence, telephone messages, and/or walk-in requests) to clarify information
    • Provide detailed responses, set up appointments, and/or direct inquiries to appropriate campus offices.
    • Support graduate faculty advisors with timely communication and referrals to resources.
    • Follow-up with applicants and students during active faculty advising periods
    • Process letters to students related to academic achievement and notification of NIU and CACREP deadlines.

    Student academic services that include:
    • Advise applicants on necessary paperwork and procedures required to make sure the experience with the program is positive
    • Assist students in the navigation through issues of curriculum conflicts and forms to meet students’ needs and program requirements
    • Assess student academic requirements reports and verify completion of milestones
    • Maintain all confidential material related to student degree processes
    • Review student requests for overload/underload status and communicate with faculty advisors as needed
    • Assist students to navigate the process from application to degree completion with support to eliminate roadblocks
    • Assist in oversight of internship and field experiences
    • Provides referral services for students to appropriate resources

    Assessment duties that include:
    • Critique activities with faculty, students, and external groups to evaluate effectiveness, identify problems, and implement change
    • Assemble data and prepares administrative reports for graduate program review; and undergraduate programs, as needed
    • Prepare fiscal and program reports for the Graduate Program Directors and SIHP Chair
    • Submit an annual report describing advising and recruitment activities for review by the Graduate Program Directors and SIHP Chair

    Information management and administrative duties that include:
    • Organize initial application screening materials and admission committee decisions
    • Prepare documents using word processing skills and edit program documents.
    • Keep a database of student inquiries and other program tracking criteria
    • Manage correspondence relating to SIHP academic programs, both to various University units as well as to student and prospective students.
    • Schedule and support program steering committee meetings including Admissions, Evaluation, Steering, and Advisory groups.
    • Receive and process purchase request forms, travel vouchers, printing and copy center request forms and other business forms from program and SIHP leaders.

    Backup Duties
    • Serves as a backup to other SIHP office staff including course scheduling, support for curricular actions, compile data including narrative, statistical, and financial information as well as all reports required by various university and college committees and offices.
    • Complete other duties as assigned by the SIHP Chair

    Minimum Required Qualifications for this position
    1. Bachelor’s degree.

    2. Two years of progressive professional experience working with students in university programs such as, but not limited to, academic affairs for graduate or undergraduate programs, enrollment management, recruitment and retention with diverse students, student affairs.

    3. Demonstrated progressive work experience in program direction, such as personnel, academic or career counseling, or related fields as well as progressive work experience in health sciences, higher education or a related field.

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