Job Location:
Smith College

If you have any questions about the position or our application process, reach out to us at recruiting-u@smith.edu.

Class Deans Office

Job Description

Job Summary

The Class Deans are the central academic advisers at Smith College and are responsible for a comprehensive program of academic advising and course management in a residential liberal arts environment. The Dean of the First Year Class works closely with the Associate Dean of the College for Advising and Mentoring, the Liberal Arts Advisers (LAAs), and other Class Deans to foster student academic success. In addition, the Dean of the First Year Class helps students adjust to their life at Smith by working with the First Year Experience Director and other cross-campus partners. This includes onboarding and supporting students as they transition from high school to college, helping students make progress toward their educational goals and graduation requirements, working with faculty to support students in the classroom and to develop meaningful interactions, facilitating access to academic and non-academic support services, and guiding students to succeed beyond the first year and prepare for life beyond Smith. 

Class Deans advise the Dean of the College, the Associate Dean of the College for Advising and Mentoring, and the Administrative Board in the development and implementation of academic practices and policies, and represent the Class Deans Office on various College committees.

The Dean of the First Year Class advises over 600 first year students and works closely with an average of 90 faculty members serving as liberal art advisers. 

Essential Functions

Academic Advising and Class Management (60%)

  • Provide academic advising to students on a range of issues, including but not limited to academic progress, interpreting and implementing academic program policies and providing guidance to make appropriate academic choices and decisions.

  • Monitor students’ academic progress toward the degree, including academic review.  Maintain meeting notes and records accordingly.

  • Serve on the Academic Board (AcBoard), Honor Board, and CARE Team.

  • Work with LAAs to resolve student academic challenges and provide general personal counseling and crisis management.

  • Connect students to appropriate academic and non-academic support services and collaborate with other offices to promote student academic success.

  • Facilitate and support campus-wide programs addressing students' transitional challenges.

  • Communicate on a daily basis with students and faculty.

  • Supervise and work with administrative assistants in the Class Deans Office.

  • Coordinate and collaborate with fellow Class Deans in the semester process for awarding summer and J-term funding through Smith Student Aid Society (SSAS).

  • Support LAAs and communicate with them on a consistent basis.

Administrative (20%)

  • Serve as a resource person for students, parents, and other College personnel — facilitate referrals to appropriate academic, centers and/or administrative departments.

  • Analyze and help develop report requirements and communication with students and the campus-wide advising network through Workday and Moodle.

  • Collaborate with the Registrar's Office in building first year student's academic schedules and with the Office of Disability Services to meet students' accommodation needs.

  • Assist with the development and implementation of major initiatives.

  • Represent the Class Deans team on designated committees as assigned.

  • Perform other duties necessary to the basic function of the position, supporting the mission of the College, and contributing to the programs and services offered by the Dean of the College.

Other duties (20%)

  • Develop relationships with College partners and collaborate with them to guide students as they transition from high school to college and facilitate the student’s onboarding process, particularly in partnership with the Office of Admission.

  • Assign faculty academic advisers to each member of the first year class and manage advising assignments throughout the academic year.

  • Lead the annual orientation of new LAAs as well as the orientation program for faculty returning as LAAs. 

  • Train and work with Student Academic Advisers, Smith residential student peer advisers.

  • Chair the common reading committee (Smith Reads), working in collaboration with the Office of Equity and Inclusion and the Office of the Dean of the College.

  • Collaborate with Assistant Dean(s) of Student Affairs to implement first year orientation.

  • Serve as ex-officio member of Board of Admission.

  • Serve as ex-officio of writing initiatives related to college-wide writing requirements and practices, e.g., Writing and Public Discourse Committee.

  • Collaborate with scholarship programs for first year students such as AEMES and STRIDE.

  • Serve as the college’s representative Class Dean to Northampton High School in collaboration with NHS Counseling regarding high school students who are able to enroll in Smith courses.

  • Take on other responsibilities as assigned by the Associate Dean of the College for Advising and Mentoring.

Minimum Qualifications 

  • Master’s degree with at least 5 years of teaching or academic advising experience at the post-secondary level or an equivalent combination of education, training and experience.

  • Excellent problem-solving, interpersonal, communication, organizational and data management skills.

  • Demonstrated competence working with a diverse student population.

  • Demonstrated experience working with faculty to understand student issues, collaborating with them to advise students in succeeding academically.

  • Demonstrated experience supporting student transitions and challenges.

  • Proven leadership effectiveness, including the ability to relate and engage with all segments of campus.

  • Excellent organizational, oral, and written communication skills. 

  • High level of computer literacy and technical skills: Microsoft Office Suite, Google Workspace, MacOS, and Adobe. 

  • Experience with Workday (or equivalent SIS), SalesForce or comparable CRM and Zoom.

  • Keen attention to detail, follow-through, and confidentiality.

  • Ability to work a flexible schedule including evenings and weekends, as needed, and occasional holidays (when emergencies arise). 

Preferred Qualifications 

  • Doctoral degree with direct experience with academic advising.

  • Experience in a residential liberal arts environment.

Additional Information

It is anticipated that this position will start in January 2024.

Please attach BOTH a current resume and a cover letter in order for your application to be considered for this position . Be sure you have provided all attachments before submitting your application.

You will NOT be able to attach additional files after you have hit the Submit button.

Review of applications will begin

September 6, 2023

Compensation Grade:

Grade E

Position Type:


About Smith College

Located in Northampton, MA, Smith College is one of the largest women’s colleges in the country and is dedicated to excellence in teaching and research across the liberal arts.  A faculty of outstanding scholars interact with students in small classes, as advisors, and through student-faculty research projects. The College is a member of the Five College Consortium with Amherst, Hampshire and Mt. Holyoke Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Students cross-enroll and faculty cross-teach across the Five Colleges.

Consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 151B, it is the policy of Smith College to provide reasonable accommodation when requested by a qualified applicant or employee with a disability, unless such accommodation would cause an undue hardship. The policy regarding requests for reasonable accommodation applies to all aspects of employment, including the application process. If reasonable accommodation is needed, please contact our recruiting team at recruiting-u@smith.edu.

As set forth in our mission and values, Smith College is committed to promoting a culture of  equity and inclusion among students, staff and faculty.  The College will not discriminate in employment on the basis of age, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, genetic information, age, veteran status, physical or mental disability, or any other classification protected by law. Smith College is an equal opportunity employer and complies with all state and federal laws that prohibit discrimination.