Director, Student Engagement and Learning Services

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OPPORTUNITY PROFILE

Director, Student Engagement and Learning Services

 

  The Organization

Saskatchewan Polytechnic serves 28,000 distinct students (16,000 full load equivalent) through applied learning opportunities at campuses in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon on Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 Territories and the homeland of the Métis people, and through an extensive range of distance education opportunities. It is the province’s only polytechnic and its primary institution for post-secondary applied education and research.

 

As one of 13 members of Polytechnics Canada, Sask Polytech is committed to offering a broad range of educational experiences that are student-centered and industry responsive, offering more than 150 certificate, diploma and degree programs, and 23 apprenticeship programs. Sask Polytech provides the skills and education that the province needs to grow and prosper, and has a long history of working closely with industry and the community to meet education needs. The Polytechnic Advantage enables students to choose among degree-level programming, certificate, diploma, apprenticeship and post-graduate credentials, and brings a high level of practical experience to the workforce.

 

A close-up of a sign

Description automatically generated with low confidence Sask Polytech is recognized nationally and internationally for its expertise and innovation. Sask Polytech is committed to creating high-quality jobs for the future and has a goal of becoming the first-choice polytechnic in Canada. Sask Polytech’s commitment to educate students and provide skilled and successful graduates has a total impact of $2.2 billion on Saskatchewan’s economy. This is the finding of a new economic impact analysis completed by Emsi, a labour market analytics firm. More information about the analysis can be found online at saskpolytech.ca/economicimpact

 

Sask Polytech employs about 1,700 full-time equivalent staff including academic, professional services and out-of-scope team members who are located across the four campus locations. The team has a sense of excitement about the direction in which Sask Polytech is heading. Sask Polytech’s new Strategic Plan, sets the course for the institution’s direction for 2020-2025. It is built on a commitment to ensure that graduates receive the education and hands-on learning opportunities they require to succeed in their jobs, in their communities and in life.

 

 

The Opportunity

Accountable to the Associate Vice President, Student Services, the Director, Student Engagement and Learning Services provides senior level leadership and direction across all Saskatchewan Polytechnic campuses to a student success portfolio which includes student conduct, student client service operations, learning services, student employment and events. In addition, this position oversees student engagement initiatives which support student success and the overall student experience.

 

As a member of the Student Services division leadership team, the Director, Student Engagement and Learning Services is responsible for providing vision and leadership to the student engagement and learning services areas, contributing to the effective planning, management and success within the student services division, and working hand in hand with the Director, Counselling, Health, Accessibility Services  and Wellness to provide holistic services for the wellbeing and success of all Saskatchewan Polytechnic students.

 

Located at any of the four campuses, this position will be accountable for supervising, directing and coaching a team of student success centered staff in Student Engagement and Learning Services.  On a continual basis the director interacts with the Associate Vice President Student Services, Saskatchewan Polytechnic Deans and other school leaders, Student Services leaders and many other departments to support student and institutional needs.  Given the institution’s focus on the importance and value of strategic enrolment management (SEM), particular attention and focus on the synergies between this portfolio and SEM will be necessary to continue our student-centered focus. The director is responsible for a team of approximately 46 employees, within the professional services and academic bargaining units, providing student retention and support services and programming to more than twenty-eight thousand distinct students at four campuses with multiple locations. The position has three direct reports including a Manager Student Services, Team Lead Student Services Operations and a Program Head Learning Services as well as a .5 administrative assistant.  In this role, the director will collaborate with leaders in other post-secondary institutions locally and beyond, and will be required to travel locally, provincially and nationally, representing Saskatchewan Polytechnic on related committees or in performance of their duties as necessary.

 

Accountabilities

The incumbent manages a $2.75 million operating budget and provides leadership in formulating the philosophy, goals, objectives, and policies for student services that are consistent with the overall strategic goals of Saskatchewan Polytechnic. The director specifically performs the following functions:

 

Strategic Leadership

  • Ensure a common structure and coordination of services among all four campuses, and collaborate closely with the Director, Counselling, Health, Accessibility and Wellness with the goal of providing seamless student support.
  • Provide leadership in the support of a continual improvement model of student services in support of student and program needs.
  • Demonstrate leadership and provide advice on matters pertaining to student retention and student success.
  • Provide leadership on matters pertaining to service areas.
  • Review Saskatchewan Polytechnic policies and procedures determining the operational impact and/or requirements on services for students and provide policy revision as necessary.
  • Foster a strong student-centered, service excellence orientation among staff.
  • Ensure technologies are explored and developed to address service excellence needs.

 

Strategic and Operational Planning

  • Provide leadership in formulating the strategic direction, priorities and goals for Student Engagement and Learning Services which will align with the overall strategic agenda of the Student Services Division and the institution broadly, which will be informed by external forces and emerging trends that may precipitate changes to policy, process, planning and services.
  • Establish a highly collaborative planning and operational environment to support SEM goals of attracting, converting, welcoming, and retaining students, and supporting institutional academic needs.
  • Lead, support and be accountable for the implementation of Student Engagement and Learning Services business planning priorities and initiatives.
  • Oversee the development and implementation of student support initiatives that are strategically positioned and operationally organized to support student success and institutional academic goals.
  • Ensure plans are aligned with emerging trends, needs of key stakeholders, and the divisional direction.
  • Embed ongoing assessment and metrics to drive evidence-based decision-making.
  • Develop and monitor operational and strategic metrics for this portfolio and report on progress.
  • Contribute to the Student Services Division strategic and operational planning initiatives including the operations forecast and the operating and capital plan.
  • Prepare effective project proposals which include specific plans, timelines, assignments to key stakeholders and project budget requirements.
  • Analyze project milestones and outcomes, compare with project objectives, evaluating effectiveness, and strive for continual improvement in project management processes across the divisional and pan-institutional levels.

Program and Service Delivery

  • Establish a seamless network of services across the four campuses that are responsive to changing needs of the student body and consistent with the academic mission of Saskatchewan Polytechnic.
  • Develop and implement new programs, services and technologies to address student needs.
  • Make decisions based on research using evidence-based decision-making supported by data to maximize student offerings and effectiveness.
  • Evaluate and amend programs and services with a goal of continuous improvement.

 

People Management

  • Ensure a positive, diverse and inclusive work and learning environment.
  • Oversee a high level of staff performance through effective use of human resources practices and procedures including recruiting, selecting, training, developing, motivating and evaluating of employees.
  • Build a collaborative, dynamic and result-oriented student engagement and learning team.
  • Establish clear staff performance standards and goals aligned with Saskatchewan Polytechnic strategy and hold staff accountable for meeting those objectives.
  • Provide mentorship, coaching and developmental opportunities to enhance performance and to enable direct reports to achieve their accountabilities.
  • Address people management issues with direct reports, including authority to discipline, dismiss and/or terminate where appropriate, applied in a timely manner while ensuring compliance with the collective agreement and Saskatchewan Polytechnic policies.
  • Develop and communicate clear performance objectives for direct reports.  Monitor overall effectiveness in meeting these performance objectives and work to overcome obstacles as they arise.
  • Promote communication between all organizational levels.

 

Project Management

  • Maintain awareness of student services trends, issues, and concerns.
  • Lead project proposals to address strategic or operational priorities.
  • Investigate and apply for sources of external funding.
  • Sponsor, manage and/or lead projects and project teams effectively.
  • Evaluate project effectiveness and project outcomes.
  • Represent the division on cross-functional or external project teams, as required.

 

Finance and Budget Management

  • Develop and manage both operational and capital budgets in alignment with goals of student success and student experience, enrolment management, and academic needs across the institute, as well as in accordance with generally accepted accounting practices and initiate corrective action as required.
  • Ensure resources are allocated in accordance with our multi-year business planning model.
  • Ensure the general safeguarding and stewardship of all resources within Student Engagement and Learning Services.
  • Develop innovative and creative solutions to resource challenges.
  • Conduct regular reviews of performance against objectives, monitor financial performance to ensure adherence to established budgets, and provide monthly and ad hoc reports to the AVP Student Services as required.
  • Hold others accountable for effective budget allocation and management.
  • Re-allocate resources to align with and support the outcomes of the division and the Saskatchewan Polytechnic strategic business plan.
  • Advocate effectively for additional resources.

 

 

 

Relationships

External

  • Enhance Saskatchewan Polytechnic opportunities by developing and managing relationships with external agencies, other polytechnics, colleges and universities, educational and government organizations.
  • Explore, develop and foster relationships with external stakeholders to achieve program/service objectives and support for project initiatives, as available.
  • Represent Saskatchewan Polytechnic on national, provincial and regional committees as required.
  • Promote Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s reputation and image as a world-class institution.

 

Internal

  • Identify, coordinate, prioritize and respond to service excellence needs by working closely with AVP’s, deans, associate deans, directors, managers, academic chairs and program heads in both the academic and services divisions.
  • Lead Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s operational effectiveness and policy development by actively participating in a wide range of strategic, operational, and professional decisions through the senior academic team and other committees or councils.
  • Act as a connector across the institute, building collaborative relationships and partnerships within the division and throughout the institution.

 

The Person The Director, Student Engagement and Learning Services will require a relevant graduate or master’s degree (i.e.: adult education, educational administration, business administration, etc.). The successful applicant for this position will have a strong record of progressive achievements and must demonstrate qualifications for working at a director or senior management level, ideally from within a post-secondary education environment. Candidates must also demonstrate knowledge and experience in the provision of student services, the ability to leverage technology for the implementation of enhanced student and client services as well as new programs, strategic planning, operations management and project management skills. An equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered.   Required Competencies

Leads Transformation

Anticipates emerging trends and creates opportunities that shape and transform the organization and polytechnic sector in Canada.

 

Inspires Courage & Innovation

Models and enables creative thinking, curiosity, and calculated risk taking to create new solutions.

 

Cultivates Strong Relationships

Builds strong and trusting relationships and brings a stakeholder and learner-centric mind set and focus to all elements of the organization.

 

Knowledge and Expertise

Demonstrates proficiency in the knowledge and skills specific to the position and uses expertise to serve the objectives of both the department and organization as a whole.

 

Drives Operational Excellence

Leverages business insight, financial acumen, and operational rigor to maximize productivity and build long-term, sustainable success.

 

Builds Leadership & Culture

Brings authenticity, emotional intelligence, and accountability to develop leadership effectiveness in individuals, teams, and our culture.

 

Valuing Diversity

Demonstrates the promotion of a workplace where diversity in background, thought and practice is welcomed and valued.

 

Location

The successful candidate may choose to be based on any of the Saskatchewan Polytech Campuses.  

 

Compensation

A competitive compensation package will be provided including an attractive base salary and excellent benefits. Further details will be discussed in a personal interview.

 

Express Your Enthusiasm

Email a convincing cover letter and tailored resume (PDF or Word document only) to Laura Youngberg or Allan Nelson at calgary@leadersinternational.com indicating the job title in the subject line of the email.

 

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