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Retention Specialist

The University of Mary invites applications for a full-time, exempt Retention Specialist.  The Retention Specialist will be ultimately responsible for the planning, coordinating, and executing the university’s retention efforts for the University’s Main Campus undergraduate programs. This individual will work with faculty and staff to identify and assess retention-related issues, develop a comprehensive system of outreach and support to enhance student engagement and success, implement action plans for improvement, and monitor progress. The Retention Specialist is responsible for assuring effective implementation of the University’s retention software platform, followed by effective management of that software product and the systems it executes. The individual will coordinate efforts various departments around campus to ensure collective support in this university-wide initiative. 

Position will be located either in the Benedictine Center on the Main Campus in Bismarck or at the University’s Butler Center in Fargo. Should the office be located off of the Main Campus, then the individual must demonstrate a willingness to travel to Main Campus regularly for meetings.

Essential Roles and Responsibilities Include:

  • Plans, implements, and refines a robust and comprehensive system of alerts and interventions utilizing Jenzabar Retention Management System software. Alerts must be the product of both cognitive and non-cognitive factors
  • Coordinates with key stakeholders including financial aid, student success center, student development, counseling services, career center, et al to distribute student intervention responsibilities and ensure accountability, including preparing and delivering training. This includes chairing of a campus-wide Retention Committee
  • Manages all incoming student alerts, triaging concerns and identifying patterns and trends and communicating those to senior leadership
  • Executes or delegates all student outreach and intervention for all at-risk students. Counsels current students through challenges to ensure student success
  • Develop and implement policy/practices to ensure a successful handoff between admissions and academic programs/advisors
  • Perform exit interviews for all students who elect to leave the University, ensuring that this data is identifying trends which can inform policy/practice
  • Assist in the development of academic advising and other critical student retention elements to safeguard successful student outcomes
  • Develop and sustain full long-term retention improvement plan informed by ongoing data analysis
  • Upholds and promotes the Christian, Catholic, Benedictine mission of the University of Mary
  • Supports the ongoing implementation of Ex Corde Ecclesiae, the apostolic constitution on Catholic colleges and universities
  • Builds a culture of ready and earnest hospitality in the Office of Enrollment Services and throughout the university in accord with Saint Benedict’s admonition that all be received as Christ

Qualifications Include:

  • Bachelor’s degree in applicable field required
  • Master’s in Education or related field preferred
  • A minimum of three years of experience directly related to the duties and responsibilities specified required
  • Demonstrated work in holistic approach to educational success preferred

Knowledge and Skills Include:

  • Individual must possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills; must be able to build engagement and lead a team effort. Must effectively interact with prospective and current students, staff, organizations, business and all partners and contacts of the University of Mary
  • Demonstrated skill in systems thinking with the capacity to understand and optimize complex relationships
  • Excellent problem-solving skills, with ability to analyze data to identify root causes
  • A strong servant leadership orientation to work well with faculty, staff and students
  • Ability train faculty/staff to execute expectations
  • Ability to work with a diverse team in a fast-paced environment
  • Enthusiasm and the ability to thrive and lead in an atmosphere of constant change

The University of Mary is a private, Christian, Catholic, Benedictine university that welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds. Infusing Benedictine values throughout the educational experience, Mary offers distinguished, professionally-focused academic programs enlivened by the liberal arts, global and civic service, robust internships, and mentoring by respected faculty. As one of the most affordable private universities in the nation, Mary offers exceptional educational value as well as outstanding scholarship and financial aid opportunities.

For more information on the University of Mary, please watch a short video by clicking on this link:

We welcome your interest in joining the University of Mary. To apply, email a letter of interest and resume to or mail to University of Mary, Attn: Human Resources, 7500 University Drive, Bismarck, ND 58504.

Equal Opportunity Employer