Pennsylvania State University — Director, Student Orientation and Transition Programs

Director, Student Orientation and Transition Programs

The Pennsylvania State University is currently seeking applications for the Director of Student Orientation and Transitions Programs. Reporting jointly to the Associate Vice President and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education and the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, the primary duties and responsibilities will be to provide administrative leadership, oversight, and coordination for effective and innovative orientation and transition programs and events and for the Office for Student Orientation and Transition Programs. This position is based at University Park.

The Director provides leadership for New Student Orientation, Transfer Student Orientation, Welcome Week, various change-of-campus (inter-campus transfer) initiatives, President's New Student Convocation, and other orientation/transition events at University Park. Managing a team of eight full-time staff, with four direct reports, the Director leads the successful coordination and delivery of these programs. The Director will supervise the logistics and curriculum for our two-day summer New Student Orientation program that includes student and family components. New Student Orientation at University Park serves approximately 8,500 first-year students admitted for the Summer and Fall semesters and approximately 500 new students admitted for the Spring semester. Other transition programs coordinated by the office serve approximately 4,000 transfer and change-of-campus (inter-campus transfer) students. The Director also is responsible for providing leadership for specialized orientation programming, resource guides, and the SOTP Web site.

The Director assesses the needs of students and the success of transition programs, and, based on these assessments, provides leadership for the development of new programs to enhance successful student transitions and retention. In addition, the Director coordinates central orientation and transition publications/electronic communications for new students; provides input on college, campus, and other publications, as appropriate; attends to the transition needs of diverse students (for example, low-income students, adult learners, veterans, international students, racially/ethnically diverse students, first-generation students); communicates frequently with the campuses and shares effective practices and facilitates the university-wide use of materials; and provides professional development opportunities when appropriate. The Director will provide leadership to the University community through service on various committees, working groups, and strategic initiative task groups.

This position works closely with units across the University including Undergraduate Education (Admissions, Registrar, Financial Aid, Division of Undergraduate Studies), Student Affairs (Residence Life, Parents Program, Union and Student Activities, and others), Housing and Food Services, the academic colleges (including orientation, advising, and first-year engagement staff), the University Advising Council, Information Technology Services, Global Programs, the Schreyer Honors College, Intercollegiate Athletics, and others to effectively collaborate on successful programs.

A Master's degree and six years of experience with orientation programs and student transitions, or a combination of experience and education, are required. Additionally, desired attributes include knowledge of research and best practices in student transitions, orientation, and advising; demonstrated evidence of successful experience working with diverse populations and collaborating across institutional areas; demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; excellent written and oral communication skills and ability/interest in assessment, research and publication on student success; experience supervising employees, including student and seasonal workers; and experience with budget management. Questions about the position may be sent to the search committee chair, Kelly Griffin, at Review of applications will begin October 11, 2021, and continue until the position is filled.

The Pennsylvania State University is committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusion that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusion as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission.

Apply online at–Student-Orientation-and-Transition-Programs_REQ_0000019478-1

CAMPUS SECURITY CRIME STATISTICS: For more about safety at Penn State, and to review the Annual Security Report which contains information about crime statistics and other safety and security matters, please go to, which will also provide you with detail on how to request a hard copy of the Annual Security Report.

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.