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Senior Admissions Specialist

Columbia University
Church Street, NY
Closing date
Jun 30, 2023

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Position Type
Employment Type
Organization Type
College / University
  • Job Type: Officer of Administration
  • Bargaining Unit:
  • Regular/Temporary: Regular
  • End Date if Temporary:
  • Hours Per Week: 35
  • Salary Range: $65,000 - $72,000

The salary of the finalist selected for this role will be set based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to departmental budgets, qualifications, experience, education, licenses, specialty, and training. The above hiring range represents the University's good faith and reasonable estimate of the range of possible compensation at the time of posting.

Position Summary

The Senior Admissions Specialist works closely with the Assistant Director, Admissions to uphold and strengthen the integrity of the admissions process flow from application through enrollment for the School of Professional Studies growing set of offerings. These offerings currently include cross-disciplinary Master's Degree Programs, Pre-Graduate, and Graduate Certificate Programs, Structured and Unstructured Certifications of Professional Achievement, take-a-class options for bachelor's degree holders and visiting students enrolled at other institutions, High School Programs, and the American Language Programs. The Senior Admissions Specialist manages the inflow of a high quantity of applications with a diverse range of application criteria using multiple application management system tools to ensure efficiency and accuracy at all points along the application timeline. The Senior Admissions Specialist screens and/or reviews applications and renders timely decisions or recommended decisions for the specified programs. In addition, the Senior Admissions Specialist oversees the annual admissions and application update process, and the onboarding and mentorship of new team members. All efforts performed by the Senior Admissions Specialist will contribute to the SPS goal of yielding and retaining increasing numbers of highly qualified students by facilitating a seamless application process.

  • Lead the application review process for designated program(s); Serve as a backup specialist for additional programs as assigned
  • Perform thorough review of applications for admissions, including for quality and potential fraud, using exceptional professional judgment and knowledge of key indicators of success
  • Ensure applications are complete with all materials ready for evaluations, and conduct initial application review following established rubrics; conduct follow-up with applicants and recommenders as needed
  • Ensure timely review and appropriate delegation of files to the program committee for possible admission; communicate with relevant team members to have admission decisions rendered within the time frames communicated to applicants
  • Communicate with applicants throughout the admissions process regarding missing application materials and other application-related topics via email and phone
  • Train, lead, and mentor a team of Admissions Specialists, providing a clear sense of purpose and understanding in the team
  • Manage workflow and resource allocation within the team to ensure that applications are reviewed within agreed-upon turnaround times and by meeting University and program minimum standards. Escalate any potential issues to Assistant Director
  • Act as point of escalation for team of specialists regarding potential systems issues or applicant questions and proactively assist with troubleshooting those issues
  • Lead regular admissions pipeline meetings and provide feedback on applicant quality and relevant insights gathered during the application review process
  • Provide a seamless transition from point of prospective student to enrolled student by working collaboratively and consistently with the Recruitment and Advising teams
  • Provide a seamless transition from point of prospective student to enrolled student by working collaboratively and consistently with the Recruitment and Advising teams
  • Assist with recruitment activities that meet the enrollment and diversity goals for the School including open houses, webinars, admitted student days, and specialized information sessions
  • Collect and analyze data for programs regarding admissions trends, demographics, and behaviors throughout the admissions cycle. In collaboration with recruitment team, provide meaningful insights into data for future enrollment enhancement
  • Communicate frequently with Program Directors regarding the quality of applicants and the progress of applications through the processing stages. Suggest improvements to application review rubrics based on the tracking of acceptance rates, applicant quality data, and other insights
  • Guide team in conducting regular audits of application questions and applicant data across all systems currently in use to ensure accuracy; share team findings and proposed action plans with leadership team
  • Proactively contribute toward streamlining the application workflow and automating current and future processes where possible with special focus on the application review process
  • Lead a partner program or divisional committee
  • Assist with school-wide events such as orientation and graduation.

Minimum Qualifications
  • Bachelor's degree and/or equivalent related experience required
  • 2 years related experience
  • A resume and cover letter with salary requirements must be submitted to be considered for the position

Other Qualifications
  • Background in higher education admissions or similar field
  • Demonstrated experience using a relational database, online application system, and/or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool, ideally in a higher education setting
  • Familiarity with or willingness to learn, Technolutions Slate, SIS, and other systems, applications, and software used by the University and the School
  • Proven track record identifying and implementing improvements to streamline and/or automate complex processes
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills
  • Exceptional attention to detail, strong organization and time management skills, and the ability to perform routine and non-routine work with changing priorities
  • Sound problem-solving and decision-making abilities, both as an independent entity and as part of a team
  • Proven ability to work effectively within a collaborative team setting
  • Ability to handle confidential information in a mature, professional manner
  • Adaptability and flexibility in working in a fast-paced environment
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications including Word and Excel required
  • Ability to work extended hours and weekends during peak application periods
  • Strong working knowledge of all SPS programs and evidence of commitment to support School-wide and divisional goals
  • Proven commitment to excellence and has evidenced a high-quality work output.

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.

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