1251 Student Support Specialist - West Plains


TITLE Student Support Specialist - West Plains




IMMEDIATE SUPERVISOR Director, Developmental Education

MAJOR ADMINISTRATOR Dean of Academic Affairs


The Student Support Specialist – West Plains assists assigned students in the development of academic schedules appropriate for their stated educational goals, guides pre-majors in the selection of academic majors, and directs students to resources within the University that provide assistance in making career/academic major choices, as appropriate. The Student Support Specialist – West Plains develops, implements, and supports the daily delivery of services to participants and is responsible for the maintenance of assigned participant records, evaluation of assigned participant activities, and preparation of reports related to assigned participants.


Education: A Master's degree in psychology, education, counseling, or a related field is required.

Experience: At least one year of academic advising experience is required, where knowledge of federal, state, and higher education policies and procedures has been gained or one year of high school or university employment in which a thorough knowledge of academic programs and support services was required. Experience and knowledge of diagnostic and career assessment materials and knowledge of learning strategies and accommodations for diverse populations, including academically disadvantaged students, is required. Teaching experience is preferred. Experience working with student support services focused on students who are low-income, first-generation, have a disability, or are academically disadvantaged is preferred. Experience working in diverse environment and/or with students from diverse backgrounds is preferred.

Skills: Excellent oral and written communication skills, interpersonal skills (particularly in working with a diverse student population), organizational and management skills are required. A working knowledge of various computer applications is required; experience with database applications is preferred. The ability to develop knowledge of, respect for, and skills to engage with those of other cultures or backgrounds is required.

Other: Scope of the position occasionally requires work in the evenings and on weekends.


1. Provides an essential student service of academic advisement by being knowledgeable of academic policies and procedures unique to Missouri State University-West Plains that facilitate the advisement process and assist assigned students in the development of academic schedules appropriate for the stated educational goals of students, guiding students in decision-making and learning how to accept responsibility for their decisions, assisting all students (not just advisees) seeking academic information, assisting pre-majors in the selection of academic majors, and directing students to resources within the University that provide assistance in making career and academic major choices.

2. Ensures the effectiveness of the advising process by maintaining electronic advising notes for all assigned advisees and using information in the Advisement and Academic Coaching Center for Empowering Student Success (AACCESS) to advise students appropriately, compiling, completing, and documenting intake interviews and skill area assessments, and maintaining the accuracy of participant files with clear and updated materials on contacts each semester.

3. Maintains a caseload of assigned participants for individual advising and personal development activities by conducting needs assessments of participants and coordinating the development and implementation of action and educational plans for each participant, monitoring, evaluating, and reporting on assigned participants’ academic progress, intervening with appropriate support services when necessary, and referring to appropriate on- and off-campus support services as needed.

4. Supports the student support services program by assisting in the recruitment of program participants, developing, coordinating, implementing, and evaluating learning enhancement activities, workshops, and personal development activities for all participants, advocating on the behalf of participants with faculty, staff, and colleagues, if necessary, ensuring participants meet guidelines for maintaining active involvement in the program, and encouraging retention by providing academic support and guidance.

5. Establishes and maintains working relationships with university and community representatives and students by serving on advisory committees, providing workshops, attending conferences on and off the university campus, and participating in staff meetings and trainings.

6. Assists with the creation, implementation, and execution of departmental and University policies and procedures, and assisting with data collection for required reports.

7. Contributes to a work environment that encourages knowledge of, respect for, and development of skills to engage with those of other cultures or backgrounds.

8. Remains competent and current through self-directed professional reading, developing professional contacts with colleagues, attending professional development courses, attending training and/or courses required by the supervisor, and attending academic advisor forums to maintain master advisor status and academic advisement center staff meetings when faculty and staff present departmental information.

9. Contributes to the overall success of the Division of Academic Affairs by performing all other duties and responsibilities as assigned.


The Student Support Specialist is supervised by the Director, Developmental Education.




Factor 1: Professional Knowledge, Skill, and Technical Mastery

Level 3 - 1500 Points: Entry-level knowledge of the principles, concepts, practices, and methods of an administrative, managerial, technical, or professional specialty. Knowledge permits employee to carry out basic recurring tasks and routine portions of assignments or to carry out less demanding professional elements of assignments in professional or technical areas including accounting or auditing, financial management, business administration, human resources, law, engineering, science, or medicine, while gaining familiarity with the University's policies and goals, business practices, and/or accounting systems. This level of knowledge permits the employee to schedule and carry out the steps of a limited operation or project, or to complete stages of a multi-phase project. Alternatively, knowledge at this level might also permit the employee to carry out recurring tasks and routine assignments requiring moderate experience in specific areas within higher education. Knowledge at this level is typically acquired through a combination of formal education and/or training and experience that includes a requirement for a college degree in a specific technical or professional specialty. Knowledge requirements may also include a limited amount of related work experience. Alternatively, equivalent knowledge requirements at this level include a non-technical or general Bachelor's degree requirement with a moderate level of additional related work experience or a non-specific Master's degree requirement with some related work experience.

Factor 2: Supervisory Responsibility

Level 1 - 50 Points: Typically, little, if any, supervision of others is required. The job may require irregular but occasional responsibility to direct the work of student workers and/or temporary or part-time workers. The nature of supervision is largely confined to assigning tasks to others and does not include a full range of supervisory responsibilities. The amount of time spent on directing the work of others is normally a small portion of total work time.

Factor 3: Interactions with Others

Level 3 - 250 Points: The purpose of interactions is to advise or counsel others to solve recurring and structured problems, and/or to plan or coordinate work efforts with other employees who are working toward common goals in situations where relationships are generally cooperative. Interactions are moderately structured and routine and may involve employees in different functions, students, and/or the general public. These types of interactions require normal interpersonal skills.

Factor 4: Job Controls and Guidelines

Level 2 - 250 Points: The employee carries out a group of procedures using the general methods and desired results indicated by the supervisor. Typically, standard operating procedures, handbooks, and/or reference manuals exist for most procedures, but the employee must select from the most appropriate of several guidelines and make minor adjustments to methods. Unforeseen situations are normally referred to others for resolution. Assignments are related in function and objective, but processes, procedures, or software varies from one assignment to another. Based on the assignment, the employee uses diverse, but conventional, methods, techniques, or approaches. Employees in jobs at this level may perform work that is moderately complex, but normally performed within a fairly narrow and specific functional area.

Factor 5: Managerial Responsibility

Level 2 - 400 Points: Work involves services including collecting, processing, and disseminating information and providing advice to others. Work activities may be complex and likely affect the accuracy, reliability, or acceptability of further processes or services to the extent that others rely on the advice given in order to make decisions. Work activities typically affect the efficiency of the department but have relatively minor effects on operations within the cost center. Individuals in jobs at this level are often responsible for actively documenting, monitoring, and controlling expenditures. Incumbents may recommend minor expenditures, but have no substantive authority over budgets.