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Director of International Students Programs and Services Office

Principia College, IL
Elsah, IL
Closing date
Mar 8, 2024

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Program Development
Position Type
Employment Type
Organization Type
College / University, Provider
Title: Director of International Students Programs and Services Office (ISPaSO) and PDSO

Department/Location: Student Life/Elsah


The Director of International Student Programs and Services Operations (ISPaSO)/is responsible for developing/implementing/managing innovative and evidence-based programs and services that enhance the well-being and success of international students at Principia College. The Director will be well versed in and use good-practice in the international education profession to improve authentic and ongoing intercultural relationships among students. The Director is responsible for delivering support services to foster the education and development of international students. In addition, the Director collaborates with other sectors of the College, to increase student success, belonging and mattering, and promote global-mindedness within the Principia College community. This position also serves as the Principal Designated School Official (PDSO)

Who We Are

At our award-winning pre-K-12 school in St. Louis, Missouri, and top-ranked Principia College in Elsah, Illinois, Principia faculty and staff make up a close-knit community of educators, coaches, and professionals taking a distinct approach to education-blending academic excellence with Christian Science-based character education. Principia's team of over 500 employees supports not only Principia School and Principia College, but also a worldwide network of Alumni & Friends.

At Principia College, our globally-focused curriculum honors diverse perspectives and develops creative changemakers who use their academic skills for good in service to themselves, their communities, and the world. In-depth study meets real-world experience through study abroad programs, internships, capstone projects, and a robust slate of student activities, including a world-renowned mediation team, top-ranked solar car team, national champion rugby club, and the nation's oldest student-run public affairs conference.

Principia employees are part of an engaging academic community preparing students to be tomorrow's leaders, thinkers, and changemakers. We strive to create a collaborative and inclusive environment where everyone feels they belong and are valued.

Primary Responsibilities*
  • Collaborates with stakeholders to develop data-driven and evidence-based strategies and initiatives that promote student success, well-being, retention, persistence, and completion of international students.
  • Develops and executes assessment of international programs and services and provides regular data-informed reports to the Dean of Students and other stakeholders as directed.
  • Creates, implements and assesses departmental goals and objectives, in coordination with the Dean of Students and within the College's strategic plan.
  • Researches and communicates good practices in the profession of international education to support student life, academic services, faculty and other staff on campus.
  • Coordinates and collaborates with Student Life to produce innovative programs and initiatives to support authentic and ongoing understanding and collaboration between domestic and international students.
  • Directs enrolled international students on who to contact at Principia College regarding, enrollment, visas, health insurance, travel, taxes, and scholarship/grant matters.
  • Promotes active inclusion of international students as an advisor to process and protocol development and decision making in student and academic services.
  • Oversees and updates ISPaSO communications platforms, including website and social media.
  • Shares information pro-actively and regularly with the Dean of Students and as directed with the College President, senior leadership team, Cabinet, Faculty Senate and Staff Senate regarding international student success through reports, email updates and other assessment related.
  • Fosters interdepartmental collaboration to enhance international student success and well-being within all major aspects of the student experience - recruitment, admissions, onboarding, enrollment, financial aid, academics, residential life, athletics and post-graduation career preparation and alumni engagement.
  • Implements the new international student onboarding activities (e.g. supporting student access to banking, social security, and other distinct services) that support international students' success at Principia College and in the United States.
  • Collaborates with the Institutional Research Office on research projects relating to international students.
  • Serves as an active member of various committees as assigned by the Dean of Students
  • Represents the College in matters related to international students in a variety of on-campus and off-campus forums.
  • Participates in appropriate professional development activities and conferences, including engaging in professional organizations such as NAFSA, NASPA, ACPA.

Principal Designated School Official (PDSO)
  • Serves as the Principal Designated School Official (PDSO), maintaining the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and all related certification requirements.
  • Organizes SEVIS data processing under Department of Homeland Security (DHS) guidelines and maintains data and quality control management and Responsible for issuing I-20s to new international students
  • Provides support and accurate visa maintenance information to international students, including support to apply for CPT/OPT;
  • Responsible for staying current with regulatory and legislative rules, regulations, and updates affecting international students on F-1 visas.
  • Monitors Principia College's compliance with government regulations ensuring a high standard of cooperation with FERPA and Department of Homeland Security regulations with respect to admissions practices.
  • Collaborates with and seeks legal counsel and outside agencies in resolving complex prospective student issues relating to admission and all pre-arrival issues (e.g. VISA complications, payment of SEVIS fees, etc.).
  • Advises and supports students with petitions, applications, and other standard issues related to F-1 visa status. This may include new F-1 visas, work permits (OPT/CPT- until other DSO's are hired or trained), reinstatement, change of status, medical leaves, employment and/or reduced course load authorization.
  • Trains, and supports other Designated School Officials (DSO) at the College.

Core Competencies:
  • Diversity - Demonstrates respect for and sensitivity to cultural differences.
  • Visionary leadership - self-driven and able to inspire trust of others, influence action, find common ground, and create a shared vision.
  • Strategic Thinking - develops strategies that are in harmony with institutional strategies and goals; adapts strategy to changing conditions.
  • Analytical and insightful - able to locate simple phenomena in larger contexts and to understand interconnectedness of intricate details of large phenomena. Collects and researches data to make informed programmatic decisions; uses intuition and experience to complement data.
  • Professionalism - strong team-player and willingness to assist department in various tasks; able to build-relationships and work collaboratively; exhibits objectivity and openness to others' views and treats others with respect and consideration regardless of their status or position; is coachable and receptive to feedback and improvement.
  • Oral and Written Communication - Speaks clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations; listens and gets clarification; responds well to questions; writes clearly and informatively.
  • Interpersonal - Focuses on solving conflict, not blaming; employs high-level listening, relationship-building, and mediation skills. Strong ability to connect and relate to college students, build trust, and maintain confidentiality; represents Principia and the Office of Student Life in a positive, professional manner.
  • Judgment - Displays ability and willingness to make decisions; exhibits sound and accurate judgment; makes timely decisions.
  • Planning/Organizing - Prioritizes and plans work activities; uses time efficiently and follows-through on assigned tasks in a timely way; plans for additional resources; strong eye for detail.
  • Creativity - enjoys building programs and structures from scratch and/or modifying existing ones to improve efficiency and effectiveness based on assessment data..
  • Innovation - Displays original thinking and creativity; meets challenges with resourcefulness; develops innovative approaches and ideas.

Special Requirements:
  • Occasional need to work nights and weekends
  • Current, valid driver's license and ability to obtain Principia van certifications

Minimum qualifications:
  • Student of Christian Science
  • Christian Science class instruction
  • Supportive of Principia's mission, vision, and values as articulated here
  • Bachelor's degree in sociology, cultural studies, international/global studies or related field.
  • Master's degree in a related field or the ability to obtain a Master's degree within 2-3 years of accepting the position.
  • Qualified to serve as Primary Designated School Official
  • Extensive international experience, including sustained periods of living and/or working in a foreign culture.
  • Experience developing/managing/directing international programs/services
  • Related leadership experience in a higher education context.
  • Computer literacy: working knowledge of the Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Knowledge of SEVIS and immigration regulations.

Preferred Qualifications
  • Proficiency in multiple languages.
  • Experience in higher-education and with international student populations.
  • The statements herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed but are not to be seen as a complete list of responsibilities and are subject to change at the discretion of the employer. Additionally, they do not establish a contract for employment.

Equal Opportunity

Principia, a mission-driven institution, believes every person has the right to an equitable and respectful educational environment and workplace. Principia does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender (identity or expression), sexual orientation, family status, disability, age, or military or veteran status. In hiring, admissions, and related decisions, Principia-as an institution with a religious mission-gives preference, where appropriate, to Christian Scientists.

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