University of Waterloo

Academic Advisor, Projects Specialist

Requisition ID
Job Category
Academic Services
3353 - Science Undergrad Office
Job Status
Regular Full-Time
Hiring Range
$53,120 - $66,400


This position is responsible for the academic advising for students in a number of different Science program contexts. The primary student groups are those UWaterloo students who seek to transfer in or out of a Science BSc program and students who visit the Science Undergraduate Office (SUO). The incumbent also serves as a resource to and support for administrators and members of the SUO.


 Advising principles applied to all students and SUO activities (approximately 40% of position): 

  • Provides academic advice, by maintaining in-depth and current knowledge of Science, regarding:
    • undergraduate curriculum and academic requirements for all programs
    • admissions regulations and practices
    • regulations and University policies of particular relevance to student issues
    • disciplines that are relevant to Science students
    • support resources that are available to students, both within and outside the Faculty/University 
  • Provides secondary back-up to front line service in the SUO 
  • Registers verification of illness forms (VIFs) in Student Accountability System (SAS) 
  • Enters appropriate ASIS (Advising Student Information System, or equivalent) notes when providing any form of academic advice, whether by phone, email, or in-person 
  • Participates, in conjunction with the Science Undergraduate Office advising team, in the first-year block enrolment process 
  • Assists Student Success Officer in tracking new student plan modifications

Advising students seeking to transfer to a Science program from another UWaterloo Faculty (approximately 200 inquiries per year), Science students seeking to transfer to another UWaterloo Faculty (approximately 40 transfer inquiries per year) as well as Science Non-Degree and Science Post-Degree students (approximately 80 Non/Post-Degree students per year) (approximately 20% of position): 

  • Students transferring to Science:
    • Manages the 'Transferring to Science' webform and other data collection or tracking tools
    • Answers all requests for information and advances each inquiry, whether for information only or followthrough to transfer
    • Assesses pre-Waterloo record to confirm admissibility including English language requirements
    • Determines the appropriate transfer path (e.g., direct transfer to target program or staged progression via a non-degree/qualifying term and initial transfer to Honours Science)
    • Updates transfer credit equivalent list for Engineering and Math courses by liaising with subject matter experts
    • Engages with Science academic advisors and Science Faculty Relations Manager in Co-operative Education & Career Action (CECA) for approvals
    • Determines course selection and Science/term average requirements for non-degree/qualifying terms
    • Makes Faculty transfer decisions, processes plan modification forms, and assigns internal transfer credits for entry at the Registrar's Office (RO)
    • Maintains regular contact with colleagues in other Faculties and campus partners , e.g., RO, CECA, Student Success Office (SSO), Student Service Centre (SSC), and WatPD o Represents the Faculty of Science on university-wide committees or working groups on Faculty transfers
  • Students transferring out of Science and Science Non/Post-Degree students:
    • Directs Science students to the appropriate Faculty/program contact person
    • Monitors progress of these Science students , intervening or alerting the academic advisor, when necessary
    • Processes plan modification forms and applications for readmission for students seeking Science NonDegree and Science Post-Degree studies
    • Applies academic holds to Quest accounts of students in Science Non-Degree in order to monitor their enrolment
    • Reviews academic progression reports after each term (January, May, September)
    • Engages with other Faculty-transfer colleagues to confirm student plans and viability of proposed transfer
    • Makes decisions on terms of study, grants additional terms of study, and discontinues students who are not profiting from university studies or ineligible to transfer to another UWaterloo Faculty

Projects supporting Science students completing their academic programs (approximately 20% of position): 

  • Science work report (WKRPT) course attributes:
    • Engages with RO and Scheduling colleagues on instructor posting to schedule of classes and Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE) Science liaison on connection to LEARN
    • Monitors course enrolment and requests adds and drops in consultation with academic advisor and RO systems team
    • Supports the follow-up and monitoring activities of the associate dean, co-operative education 
  • Science communications course requirement
    • Coordinates the scheduling of Science's communications course  with the RO, e.g., the number of sections and any reserves
    • Determines the student cohorts and framework for block enrolment
    • Manages enrolment/section change requests from students, e.g. overriding 'consent to drop' or students repeating the course o Supports course coordination, e.g. setting up course LEARN page for consistency across the many sections o Submits student lists for milestones to RO following the posting of grades 
  • Make-up exams
    • Administers and co-ordinates Science's three rounds of make-up exams that occur immediately after the Fall, Winter, and Spring exam periods (approximately 150 exams/year)
    • Collects all exams, stores in secure location, and ensures prompt return to instructors for marking
    • Follows-up to ensure final grades are revised in a reasonable period of time, along with any possible changes to academic standing 
  • Incomplete (INC) grades
    • Serves as SUO contact to support the INC grade reporting that will occur using the RO-managed webform
    • Reviews the regular reports that will be provided by the RO and pursues follow-up with department designates and instructors
    • Maintains Faculty-level records, cross-checking with make-up exam activity and SAS 
  • Select RO forms
    • Processes cross-registration at Laurier, ensuring the request follows Science's guidelines
    • Manages letter requests (e.g. proof of enrolment, courses additional to degree requirements), collecting and confirming the necessary information to compose these letters
    • Processes applications for readmission from students whose files are inactive, reviewing and confirming decisions with SUO colleagues and Science academic advisors 

Projects supporting Science students outside of their course work (approximately 10% of position): 

  • Waterloo Science Endowment Fund (WatSEF)
    • Coordinates meeting schedule and director selections with the executive director
    • Maintains records and keeps meeting minutes
    • Updates websites and facilitates communication via web and email
    • Ensures that refunds are available to students every term and that purchases or activities are photographed and recorded for web content 
  • President's Scholarship of Distinction and other student awards
    • Serves as Science-contact for students claiming upper-year research and international experience awards
    • Confirms eligibility using annual list provided by Student Awards and Financial Aid (SAFA) and maintains records for award in SUO
    • Collects and processes application forms and engages appropriate associate dean on approval 
  • International student activities
    • Supports SUO efforts to engage and identify the proper support for international students
    • Communicates opportunities to Science students about mentoring (e.g. 'Study Buddies')

Recruitment, Science academic activities, and requests for data analysis (approximately 10% of position): 

  • Attends Ontario Universities' Fair (OUF), March Break Open House, Fall Open House, You @ Waterloo Day, summer new student transition activities 
  • Participates as a voting member of the Science Undergraduate Studies Committee (SUSC) when SUO activities and coverage permit 
  • Responds to requests for data production and analysis, such as:
    • Provides monthly summary of VIF records in SAS to Student Success Officer
    • Supports academic program reviews for SUO-managed programs
    • Provides enrolment and registration data for Faculty Executive Officer to assist with budgeting and planning
    • Delivers academic standing statistics
    • Confirms block enrolment, sectioner results for new student enrolment


  • Bachelor’s degree (preferably Science) or equivalent education and experience

  • 5 years' or more of undergraduate academic advising  that involved regular use of science subjects or work in a Science academic setting providing advice on academic policy

  • Proficient understanding of university and Science rules and regulations, undergraduate curriculum, and admissions requirements

  • Proficient understanding of the needs and concerns of students and commitment to student engagement and success

  • Demonstrated ability to make independent decisions and solve problems

  • Excellent strategic thinking, sound judgment, tact, diplomacy, ability to manage confidential and sensitive issues, interpersonal, organizational and communication skills

  • Proven ability to manage a large volume of work, conflicting priorities, and deadlines

  • Proficient with MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Waterloo Inquiry, Quest, LEARN, WCMS, ASIS/OAT, SAS

  • Expectation of periodic travel within Ontario, annually, for Ontario Universities’ Fair

  • Participation in some evening and weekend events



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