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Job Req ID:  57376

Assistant Director, First-Year Experience

General Summary:

The Assistant Director of First-Year Experience (FYE) is responsible for the quality of the transition experience of undergraduate first-year students (1,300), transfer students (60-70), and their families at the Homewood campus to the university community through a carefully coordinated set of experiences beginning upon enrollment and continuing through their first year at Hopkins.  In collaboration with campus partners, FYE serves as a conduit for the facilitation of developing a foundation for success at the university.  All first-year students are required to live on campus in a residential setting, which necessitates a strong partnership with the residential communities.  The Assistant Director reports to the Executive Director of Student Transitions and Family Engagement.  Evening and weekend hours are to be expected during peak seasons.


Essential Job Functions:

First Year Experience (50%)

  • Develop a strategic, comprehensive, and engaging year-long first-year experience that aligns with JHU new student needs as well as national trends in onboarding, transition, and retention programs.
  • Engage with a student advisory board to help understand the new student experience and how to weave in transition issues for new students into milestones for new students’ growth and development.
  • Assist the Executive Director to help manage the First Year Experience Advisory group, which is a committee co-chaired with Academic Advising and the Executive Director, which stewards the larger picture of first year engagement across divisions at the Homewood campus.
  • Catalogue, assess, recommend, and implement milestone programming and resources for new students.
  • Collaborate on the strategic and visible inclusion of leadership (from Student Affairs, the Provost, the President, etc.) in FYE programs.
  • Conduct comprehensive assessments of programs and services.  
  • Ensure consistency of messaging and branding, strategic sequencing, and operational excellence during the entire First Year Experience.
  • Conduct comprehensive assessments of programs and services.
  • Collaborate with Admissions to create a seamless transition from status as an admitted student to a fully recognized Johns Hopkins University affiliate.
  • Serve on the retention and affinity building working group, completing follow-up action as necessary.
  • Coordinate and execute all electronic summer communications to incoming new students as a conduit of Student Affairs and other university partners, including compliance messaging, Deans’ welcomes, and weekly e-newsletters targeted towards each incoming student population (first-year students, transfer students, and international students).
  • Collaborate with key campus partners—including Academic Advising, Residential Life, Housing, the Life Design Lab, Student Outreach and Support, and Parent and Family Programs —to create and maintain a coordinated communication plan and calendar vis-à-vis incoming students and their families.
  • Draft and oversee the creation and mailing of the new student brochure, a hard copy publication mailed to students in the late spring following matriculation.
  • Maintain the FYE website as an engaging information hub for all new students.
  • Develop a strategy to support a robust virtual community of first-year students via social media (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.).
  • Oversee and manage funding allocation and financial management for all FYE programs in excess of $400,000 including the preparation of annual budget requests and monitoring program income and expenses.


New Student Orientation (25%)

  • Design and implement an initial onboarding schedule to reflect students’ educational, social, and wellness needs before, during, and after their transition to campus.
  • Partnering with Residential Life, Student Leadership and Involvement, Athletics and Recreation, and others, offer robust social programming that meets the needs of new students.
  • Serve as central conduit for messaging and tracking of required compliance-based programming.
  • Collaborate with Housing, Transportation, and Residential Life to ensure a smooth and family-focused move-in process for both early arrival and traditional arrival students and their families.
  • Manage programming specifically designed for international students, visiting international students, and exchange students who are new to the university in collaboration with the Office of International Services and the Office of Study Abroad.
  • Organize and manage all pre-orientation programs, overseeing marketing, scheduling, staffing, logistics, supplemental programming, and communications.
  • Coordinate marketing, registration, and messaging for all week-long pre-orientation programs to ensure consistency of messaging and a smooth experience.
  • Serve on the working group for Parent & Family Programs orientation to ensure coordination with FYE. 
  • Serve on the working group for the B’More Program, an intersession course, to ensure coordination with FYE.
  • Direct a supplemental Transfer Orientation for 60-70 transfer students.


Training, Mentoring, and Supervision (25%)

  • Train and supervise one graduate intern, who coordinates planning and implementation of First Year Mentor programming, training, and supervision.
  • Train and supervise five undergraduate Core Team staff members, who coordinate the planning and implementation of New Student Orientation.
  • Train, supervise, and evaluate up to eight FYM Leads, who supervise  a group of First Year Mentors.
  • Hire, train, evaluate, supervise, and manage First-Year Mentors as the cornerstone of the FYE program, who are paid peer mentors for first-year students year-round.
  • Develop comprehensive training and mentoring programs for all student staff, with assessment built into the process.
  • Ensure that FYMs are providing a robust safety net for all new students, in close coordination with SOS, Residential Life, Housing, Dining, and other relevant offices.
  • Advise the Freshmen Class Council under the Student Government Association as a conduit for student advocacy and programming.
  • Other Duties as Assigned.




Master’s degree in Higher Education, Student Personnel, or related field strongly required.



  • Three years of progressively responsible experience in training and development of programs and resources for college aged students or similar populations, establishing and maintaining collaborative working relationships with faculty, staff, and students in a college campus environment required, planning and/or coordinating events.
  • Direct involvement and/or working experience with orientation or first-year programs is preferred.


Special Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

  • Knowledge of the educational role and philosophy of experiential learning; understanding of student development theory and practices, including student transition issues and the first-year experience.
  • Ability to translate student transition issues into tangible milestones for new students.
  • Demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Well-developed written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills and demonstrated ability to relate to students, faculty, and the public.
  • Demonstrated ability to relate to students, faculty, staff, and the public.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, student-oriented environment.
  • Demonstrated analytical and critical thinking skills.
  • Demonstrated leadership and collaborative skills.
  • Computer skills in Microsoft Office, Excel, Access, Word, and PowerPoint required.
  • Knowledge of Web authoring, desktop publishing, and Outlook a plus.


Classified Title: Student Success Advisor 
Working Title: Assistant Director, First-Year Experience 
Role/Level/Range: ACRP/04/MD 
Starting Salary Range: Commensurate with experience
Employee group: Full Time 
Schedule: M-F, 8:30am - 5:00pm 
Exempt Status: Exempt  
Location: 01-MD:Homewood Campus 
Department name: 60009426-Student Transitions & Family Engagement 
Personnel area: University Student Services


The successful candidate(s) for this position will be subject to a pre-employment background check.


If you are interested in applying for employment with The Johns Hopkins University and require special assistance or accommodation during any part of the pre-employment process, please contact the HR Business Services Office at jhurecruitment@jhu.edu. For TTY users, call via Maryland Relay or dial 711.


The following additional provisions may apply depending on which campus you will work.  Your recruiter will advise accordingly.


During the Influenza ("the flu") season, as a condition of employment, The Johns Hopkins Institutions require all employees who provide ongoing services to patients or work in patient care or clinical care areas to have an annual influenza vaccination or possess an approved medical or religious exception. Failure to meet this requirement may result in termination of employment.


The pre-employment physical for positions in clinical areas, laboratories, working with research subjects, or involving community contact requires documentation of immune status against Rubella (German measles), Rubeola (Measles), Mumps, Varicella (chickenpox), Hepatitis B and documentation of having received the Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccination. This may include documentation of having two (2) MMR vaccines; two (2) Varicella vaccines; or antibody status to these diseases from laboratory testing. Blood tests for immunities to these diseases are ordinarily included in the pre-employment physical exam except for those employees who provide results of blood tests or immunization documentation from their own health care providers. Any vaccinations required for these diseases will be given at no cost in our Occupational Health office.


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