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Retention Specialist/Projects Specialist

Department: TRIO Support Services (TRIO SSS)
Position:  80 percent (10 months)
Wage:  $12.871 per hour entry rate plus complete benefit package
Union Affiliation: MPEA
Posting Date: July 2013


TRIO programs are federally funded and are designed to assist low-income, first-generation and/or disabled students to obtain a post-secondary education. TRIO Student Support Services (TRIO SSS) offers advising, counseling and tutoring services to Montana Western student participants. This position is scheduled to average 80 percent time, working full time during the academic year and off for up to eight unpaid weeks in the summer with schedule and continuation subject to grant funding. The Academic Advisor II/ Projects Specialist reports to the TRIO SSS Director.



  • Bachelor's degree required.
  • Experience with advising and counseling.
  • Ability to implement new non-academic services to students to improve retention.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Experience with, and aptitude for, educational technologies and computer skills.
  • Demonstration of strong social skills and ability to be effective in communicating with staff and students.
  • Experience with and/or knowledge of college success strategies.


  • Experience with and/or knowledge of TRIO programs.
  • Experience working with low-income, first generation and/or students with disabilities.
  • Master's degree or equivalent experience preferred.
  • Knowledge of Montana University System entrance requirements, application procedures, and financial aid opportunities.
  • Experience with program coordination.
  • Experience with student software programs.
  • Experience with learning management systems.
  • Experience with writing for the web.
  • Background similar to a majority of participants (from low-income or first generation family).

Retention Specialist Responsibilities

  • Coordinate with other staff on the delivery of program services to participants.
  • Manage assigned caseload of participant services (i.e. advising, tutoring, tracking academic degree progress, keeping records, making referrals, providing retention services, etc.).
  • Implement new non-academic services to improve retention among TRIO SSS students
  • Input grant data into access program in a timely manner.
  • Participate in assigned campus committees.
  • Assist the Director with other duties as assigned.
  • Develop communication plan with students through learning management system, as well as social media.


Review of all applications will begin Aug. 19, 2013 and continue until the position is filled. Applications must include a letter addressing the qualifications for the position, a resume and the names and contact information of three references. Please send applications to:

Dorothy Seymour
The University of Montana Western
710 S. Atlantic St.
Dillon, MT 59725

Finalist for this position may be subject to a criminal background investigation.

The University & Dillon Area

The University of Montana Western, located in Dillon, Mont., is an innovative institution nestled in a scenic valley in the Rocky Mountains of southwestern Montana. The campus Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) for student enrollment is approximately 1,289. Montana Western has over 60 FTE faculty members, features small cases for all students and has been recognized for excellence by U.S. News and World Report. Montana Western's small size and focus on education innovation have earned it the reputation of being a place where faculty and staff chose to collegially and creatively make a difference in the education of students. Montana Western is the first and only public four-year college in the nation to use block scheduling in which students take a single class at a time. This immersion learning program facilitates increased opportunities for experiential types of learning.

The mission of the University of Montana Western is to provide innovative interdisciplinary education through experiential learning that combines theory and practice. Montana Western services citizens of all ages with its academic, community service, and lifelong-learning programs. As part of the global community, Montana Western encourages diversity, international awareness, environmental responsibility, and mastery of technology as a gateway to the world.

Dillon, a community of 5,000 people, is known for outstanding public schools, safe environments, recreational opportunities and an excellent quality of life.

The University of Montana Western is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages applications from qualified women, minorities, veterans and people with disabilities. Qualified candidates may request veterans‚ or disabilities preference in accordance with state law. Reasonable accommodations are provided in the hiring process for persons with disabilities. Finalists for this position will be subject to a criminal background investigation.

Click here for a printable version of the job description.

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