Rutgers University- Newark (RU-N), an urban public research university and anchor institution, located in Newark, New Jersey, a city of promise is seeking a Student Counselor II. Reporting to the NJ-STEP Dean of Academic Services at East Jersey State Prison in Rahway, NJ. This position provides incarcerated STEP students with the necessary academic advising and coordination for the STEP college admissions/transitions process across the State of NJ.
Responsibilities include and are not limited to the following.
- Interview and advise students regarding information, procedures, and academic requirements. STEP Counselors assist students in exploring academic interests, evaluating abilities, and setting goals.
- Prepare registration materials and register students in their assigned correctional facilities.
- Serve as the liaisons between faculty, staff, and students involved in the degree programming inside prison facilities. STEP Counselors also work with and assist students through pre-release procedures and transition back into the community.
- Work collaboratively with staff within DOC facilities and at community colleges.
- Develop partnerships and processes that enable NJ-STEP students while in prison and/or transitioning into the community to continue and complete college degree work.
- Link transitioning students to college admissions and financial aid processes while incarcerated and seek to formally integrate relevant academic support services for program participants across multiple campuses pre- and post-release.
- Assume an appropriate caseload of incarcerated and transitioning NJ STEP students.
- Assess student needs and arranges the provision of personal, academic, career, financial aid, financial literacy, and study skills, utilizing appropriate research literature and recognized best practices.
- Assist in navigating prisons, assessment centers, halfway houses, and community colleges for degree completion.
- Assist in administering all NJ-STEP processes as needed.
- Attend appropriate program meetings and events on behalf of the NJ-STEP program.
- Track all service delivery through a comprehensive database and generates formative reports as needed.
- Report program updates, needs, student issues, and concerns.
- Requires a solid understanding of, and investment in, the mission of NJ-STEP, which assists currently and formerly incarcerated students in earning college degrees.
- Occasionally travels to the Newark Campus.
Minimum Education and Experience
- Requires a Bachelor’s degree in a related field, or an equivalent combination of education and/or experience
- Requires two years of relevant experience in an administrative function, good communication and interpersonal skills, and computer literacy
Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
- Must have excellent communication, writing skills, and organizational skills
- Experience with academic advising, mentoring, program coordination, career counseling, and/or learning assistance required
- Must be proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
- Experience with opportunity programs, New Jersey State Department of Corrections, prisons, incarcerated populations or reentry populations preferred;
- Preference may be given to candidates whose background is similar to the target population, or individuals with other experience or direct knowledge of incarceration and reentry processes.