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Graduate Academic Advisor, Mechanical Engineering

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

University Staff



Posting Close Date:


Job Summary

The Graduate Academic Advisor position is responsible for providing academic and developmental advising for students in the PhD program in the Mechanical Engineering (ME) Department. This position primarily advises students about the nature and content of the curriculum and discipline in the PhD program and facilitates the development of mentoring relationships between faculty and students. The Graduate Advisor also intervenes with students having academic difficulty and creates a sense of community for both MS and PhD students through events and professional development seminars. This position will maintain and analyze graduate statistics regarding applicants, matriculants and graduates to determine benchmarks against peer programs and disseminate general information about the surrounding Boulder community. The position will lead, review, and improve recruitment practices for both MS and PhD programs in the department.

Who We Are

Hands-on learning, advanced research, and an entrepreneurial spirit are defining the next generation of engineers at the University of Colorado Boulder. Students in the Department of Mechanical Engineering learn from a vibrant faculty conducting diverse research in consumer products, robotics, thermodynamics, energy, and the environment. We’re home to nearly 1,200 students in undergraduate, graduate, and PhD programs.

We offer world-class facilities and an unrivaled spirit for business and industry. CU Boulder is ranked the #18th most entrepreneurial university in the nation by Forbes Magazine (2015). We also have strong connections to multiple national laboratories located here in Boulder, providing real-world research opportunities for students.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

Graduate Admissions and ME Graduate  Program Recruitment
  • Serve as a point of contact for all applicants to the graduate program and guides applicants through the entire application process. The position advises prospective graduate students about departmental offerings, requirements for admittance into the department’s graduate programs by following college and departmental academic policies and procedures.
  • Provide graduate program focused input to the Graduate Chair on recruitment approaches that would benefit the PhD student population and serves as a key part of executing recruitment strategy.
  • Review the standards of admission for PhD students based on data from the previous year to ensure that top applicants are recruited and makes recommendations to the Graduate Chair for changes in the application review process.
  • Implement the spring and fall graduate admissions review processes and tracks applications received. Position is responsible for the data stored in the electronic admissions review process used by the department’s Graduate Committee.
  • Notify applicants of acceptance or non-acceptance to the PhD program. Collaborate with the Admissions Office and the Graduate School throughout the process.
  • Coordinate annual graduate student recruiting visit programs and serves as the main point of contact for PhD students visiting campus. This includes conducting outreach with regional or local organizations and events in order to promote PhD program offerings.
  • Coordinate with the college marketing team and faculty to implement marketing and recruitment campaigns that have both national and international outreach.
Student Advising and Counseling 
  • Create and maintain graduate student database content for use in advising and tracking students' adequate progress; develops and updates degree plans; review and approve plan of study and transfer credit requests, distinguishing between routine cases and those that require faculty involvement; add and release advising holds on student accounts as appropriate; work directly with others to handle registration issues; and advise students on their graduation status.
  • Advise faculty on progress of graduate students’ course work, preliminary exam progress, proposal and defense timeframes and makes recommendations to the Graduate Committee regarding receipt of proposed degrees.
  • Exercise signature authority for graduation requirements on Admission to Candidacy forms by certifying graduates' completion of all degree requirements.
  • Advise and counsel current students, faculty and staff on policies, procedures, rules, regulations, and graduation requirements for the PhD program. Is deeply knowledgeable about department, college, and Graduate School policies and procedures.
  • Maintain an awareness of possible gender and racial issues that affect students’ matriculation through the program.
  • Meet individually with graduate students to determine progress in the program and aids graduating students to prepare them for searching job opportunities. Recommend corrective actions for graduate students who are not meeting program goals or requirements.
  • Stay current with department, college, and Graduate School policies and procedures and serves as a resource on student support services on campus such as Financial Aid and Career Services; refers these services to students as appropriate.
  • Coordinate departmental orientation programs for new PhD students.
  • Maintain verbiage of the PhD student section in the graduate student handbook.
  • Provide report to Graduate Chair and proactively addresses student concerns before they become larger problems.
Graduate Program Administration 
  • Gather, maintain, and analyzes PhD statistics and data regarding applicants, matriculants, and graduates; provides data to the Department Chair and Graduate Chair on a semester basis to accurately reflect and modify presentations to necessary and interested audiences of the Mechanical Engineering Department in the College of Engineering and Applied Science.
  • Create plans and goals for growing the program in their caseload while maintaining quality of student services in coordination with the Graduate Chair and Graduate Committee.
  • In coordination with Graduate Chair, creates weekly agenda and provides recommendations on priority discussion topics.
  • Propose PhD-related program expenses for approval by the Graduate Chair.
  • Coordinate the administration of exams for PhD Thesis students.
  • Work closely with the college Communication Specialist to ensure that all informational marketing materials for the PhD program are accurate and up-to-date, including recruitment brochures and the website.
  • Create, evaluate, and submit surveys and reports for continual program improvements.
  • Work closely with the Graduate Chair to develop the schedule of graduate course offerings.
  • Prepare preliminary Graduate School fellowship and recruitment funds proposals for approval by the Graduate Chair.
  • Oversee and/or facilitate budgets for graduate program, recruitment, and donor-based awards, including funding allocations and tracking and ensures funds are not overspent.
  • Participate in professional development activities.
  • Supervise and collaborate with the Lead TA to update training programs.
  • Evaluate annual performance and on a continuous basis for coaching and performance feedback, setting goals, cultural leadership, and any disciplinary action as needed.
  • Ensure compliance with University and College policies. Approve leave requests and monthly timesheets.
  • Provide day-to-day management of professional development and feedback. 

What We Can Offer

The anticipated starting salary for this position is $48,000.00, commensurate with experience.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Be Statements

Be Challenged. Be Impactful. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and one year of professional-level experience as an academic advisor at an educational institution including experience with admissions and recruiting cycles and processes. 
    • Equivalent combination of education and experience may substitute. 

What You Will Need

  • Ability to communicate effectively, both in writing and orally.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with employees at all levels throughout the institution.
  • Outstanding customer service skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work as a member of a team and within a collaborative work environment.
  • Exceptional organizational, planning, analytical, problem-solving and technical skills.
  • Exceptional attention to detail.
  • Ability to work independently, prioritize multiple projects and requests, and work in a fast-pace environment.
  • Demonstrated passion for working with students from onboarding to graduation within a high-volume setting.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain effective and trusting working relationships with faculty, administrators, and staff.
  • Demonstrated commitment and leadership ability to advance diversity and inclusion.
  • Willingness to work in an environment which may demand some flexibility or evening/weekend work.
  • Sensitivity to and appreciation of cultural, political, and geographical differences, with ability to work well with faculty, staff, and students from around the world.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Master’s degree in higher education, counseling, or a related field.
  • Two years of professional-level experience as an academic advisor for graduate students in STEM disciplines at a college or university setting.
  • Two years of experience with online admissions and recruiting cycles and processes.
  • Experience with Graduate Student Admissions and Recruiting cycles and processes.
  • Experience with University of Colorado's student information systems.
  • Experience with software that handles on-line applications and CRM for graduate student recruiting and admissions (Slate).
  • Established skills and experience using technologies that support academic advising best practices. 
  • Experience working with the academic and administrative structure, procedures, rules, expectations, policies, regulations, and formal and informal norms affecting students in a graduate program. 
  • Experience in recruitment and/or marketing serving as a liaison to link individuals or groups to varied resources. 
  • Demonstrated experience with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Power Point).
  • Demonstrated experience with Cloud-based services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and/or Google’s G Suite.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials: 
  1. A current resume. 
  2. A cover letter that specifically addresses how your background and experience align with the requirements, qualifications and responsibilities of the position.
You will not be asked to upload references at this time.

Please apply by May 24, 2019 for consideration.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

Posting Contact Name: Boulder Campus Human Resources

Posting Contact Email:

The University of Colorado is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer