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Director of New Student Programs and Campus Community Development

General Position Description

Mount St. Mary’s Division of Student Life seeks highly skilled, accomplished applicants for the Director of New Student Programs and Campus Community Engagement. As the university has experienced growth in its student population, the campus leadership has responded by enhancing this exciting and critically important role. The Director of New Student Programs is critical to the university retention efforts and will strive to promote and ensure that all students transition very well to the university by engaging early with their new community, have an immediate sense they belong and are accepted, and they go on to pursue their academic and personal goals.

The Director of New Student Services will oversee all areas and functions within the office, leading its mission to significantly support new students--first-year, transfer, commuter, adult learner, international, first-generation and veterans--and their family members. The office will provide information, develop and assess programs that assist all new students in their transition to college. The director is responsible for creating the vision, mission, and strategic direction in coordination with the vice president, the Division of Student Life, and various members of the university community.

The Mission

The mission is to introduce all new students to the developmental resources, unique opportunities, and the campus community engaging experiences afforded them while attending the university. The director is responsible for conveying information about the university's Catholic values and institutional mission as well as its unique culture, traditions, and community. The director creates personal and interpersonal opportunities that help students to become engaged, empowered members of an inclusive, diverse learning environment. Fundamentally, the Office of New Student Programs seeks to create a highly welcoming learning environment for all students, which fosters their inclusion, safety, sense of belonging, and participation in the campus community through services, programs, and meaningful partnerships.

All of this is accomplished by providing a thoughtful, research based, holistic orientation experience for all new students and families, as well as connecting students and families to services, resources and engagement opportunities necessary for them to successfully navigate the university community. This position is critically important to the university.

General Responsibilities Include

Manage the Office of New Student Programs

  • Provide overall strategic vision, including identifying and setting short-and long-term goals that align the department with the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS), the Association for Orientation Transition & Retention in Higher Education (NODA), and divisional and institutional strategic plans.
  • Ensure that the department's annual goals are met or adjusted when necessary.
  • Create, evaluate, and assess major programs, services and desired learning emanating from the department.
  • Directly supervise student orientation coordinators.
  • Represent Student Life to the academic community to assist with first-year scheduling, placement exams, first-year experience course and general education initiatives.

Orientation and Transition Programs Planning/Implementation

  • Design, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive, thoughtful and deeply engaging campus community educational and informational orientation program for new students, their parents and family members.
  • Provide insight to ensure the success of large-scale orientation programming and the effectiveness of extending orientation into the first and second year student experiences.
  • Develop strategic contingency plans to handle any unforeseen challenges to orientation programming and provide solutions to these challenges.
  • Oversee and maintain the online pre-orientation tool that will engage new first-year students and their families as they transition to MSMU.

Student Support and New Student Unique Populations

  • Research and create opportunities to support students' needs as they transition to the university.
  • Benchmark local and national suggested/best practices that focus on serving the growing and unique student populations (transfer, commuter, first-generation, adult, veterans and international students) through focused orientation programs and additional support.

Provide ongoing student support and campus community engagement

  • Work as an integrated team partner with Mount Cares Committee and serve as case manager for new students where appropriate.
  • Develop, with the first year symposium director, a longitudinal and best practices role for orientation leaders to be attached to faculty/sections to support students over their entire first semester on campus.
  • Serve as an ongoing resource for commuter students.
  • Other duties and tasks as assigned by the vice president for student life.

Coordinate with Academics

  • Work with FYS director to better integrate faculty into orientation.
  • Instruct one to two symposium classes.
  • Help coordinate outside classroom learning experiences from student life into FYS sections.
  • Aid the associate provost in supplementary advising.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Master's degree in higher education, student affairs, counseling education or related discipline is required.
  • Four to six years of professional experience in appropriate levels and areas of specialization, specifically new student orientation programs.
  • Ability to manage sensitive and confidential information in the most professional manner.
  • Evidence of ability to interact effectively with others, including students, faculty, staff academic affairs departments and multiple divisions, as well as the ability to cultivate and maintain relationships with key community partners.
  • Ability to relate to a culturally diverse university community.
  • Demonstrated ability to supervise employees.
  • Excellent communication (oral and written) and presentation skills.
  • Experience with administrative duties such as budgeting, strategic planning, and assessment of learning.
  • Experience using technology to further the mission of the department.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with developing and delivering online and distance education orientation programs.
  • Experience with relevant technology/applications, including, Jenzabar, and/or Slate technology and orientation mobile app technology.


This is a full-time position with full benefits and annual, holiday and sick leave. The university offers a generous benefits package, including tuition remission for graduate and undergraduate classes at Mount St. Mary’s University, retirement program with a match as well as a generous paid time off schedule. Competitive salary commensurate to experience.

Ways to Apply

Applicants are requested to submit a resume and cover letter with three letters of recommendations along with salary requirements to:

Mount St. Mary’s University
Department of Human Resources
Director of New Student Programs/Campus Community Development search
16300 Old Emmitsburg Rd.
Emmitsburg, MD 21727

Or email resume materials to:

Applications accepted immediately. Your cover letter should respond to the position description by specifically addressing at least one of the following questions: How would you contribute to the mission of a Catholic university? How do you understand the distinctive contributions of Catholic social teaching to the challenges of student life administration? How does your own faith background inform your sense of professional vocation?

Mount St. Mary's University is a dynamic, Catholic, liberal arts university with over 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students. As a Catholic university, Mount St. Mary’s graduates ethical leaders who are inspired by a passion for learning and lead lives of significance in service to God and others. The university has a strong institutional commitment to excellence through diversity in its educational programs and employment practices. We actively seek and welcome applications from candidates with exceptional qualifications, particularly those with demonstrable commitments to a more inclusive society and world. EOE.

Please reach out to us with any questions you have about the Mount through our contact form.

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