Columbia University in the City of New York — Student Support Specialist

Position Summary

The Center for Student Success and Intervention (CSSI) uses a 360-degree lens to approach student support work, including student conduct, intervention case management, and student support initiatives. CSSI incorporates supportive measures for students with more significant needs, including students managing academic and behavioral issues, students of concern, and students with unmet basic needs. CSSI is responsible for connecting students to the supports that they need to overcome challenging situations, and also oversees the University’s student conduct investigation and adjudication processes. Student Support and Intervention, in accordance with the expectations of students at Columbia University, upholds the highest standards of respect, integrity, and civility.

Reporting to the Associate Vice President for Student Success and Intervention, the incumbent partners closely with the Center’s team, schools, and campus partners to support a 360 review of student behavior to best support students managing complex situations, particularly students needing additional support. In partnership with Columbia’s 17 schools, the Student Support Specialist will serve as a point of contact for students and other members of the University community to support students with basic needs and other student communities who may need additional support in their transition to the University.


  • Develop, maintain, and evaluate food pantry services at the University’s three locations across Columbia’s campuses.
  • Oversee the daily operations of the food pantries and serves as point of contact for community resource partnerships.
  • Provide direct oversight and fiscal management of the program budget, related grants and/or foundation sponsorships and make recommendations regarding allocation of resources and expenditure of funds. Serve as administrator for food pantry reporting and data collection. Makes recommendations for services to be provided to students.
  • Plan, coordinate, implement and assess university-wide programs and services designed to identify and meet the needs of high needs students.
  • Cultivate and maintain relationships with community partners. Provide comprehensive and cohesive services, information, and programs to all students for basic needs security. Research external funding opportunities to support emergency support services and basic needs programming.
  • Serve as a liaison for students, including first-generation students, student veterans, student parents, formerly incarcerated students, and foster youth
  • Collaborate with academic advisors, financial aid officers, and other student support services to provide comprehensive services to students.
  • Coordinate emergency assistance response with schools, central offices, and community resources.
  • Recruit, interview, hire, and train part-time student staff, federal work-study students and volunteers to work in the college food pantries and/or assist with additional administrative tasks as needed or assigned.
  • Participate in ongoing Students of Concern meetings.
  • Plan and implement Student Support activities and events (e.g. National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week)
  • Collaborate and maintain successful working partnerships with departments, staff, and faculty to support basic needs initiatives.
  • Organize and participate in campus and community outreach opportunities.
  • Maintain and track program participation data.

Minimum Qualifications

A bachelor’s degree and/or its equivalent is required and 4 – 6 years of related experience in the areas of case management, social work, basic needs support, behavioral intervention or counseling. Knowledge of how to support students and communities who need additional support within a university or college setting, particularly low-socioeconomic and historically marginalized student communities. The Student Support Specialist must possess excellent analytical, organizational and interpersonal skills as well as the ability to exercise superior judgment and discretion.

Preferred Qualifications

Advanced degree preferred in higher education, student personnel administration, counseling, social work, psychology or related field. The applicant has demonstrated ability to handle multiple priorities while maintaining a high level of professionalism and attention to detail. The applicant will be comfortable working in a dynamic, fast-paced and detail-oriented environment.

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