Academic Counselor | The American University of Iraq Sulaimani

Academic Counselor

Job Title: Academic Counselor
Reporting To: Dean of Students
Location: Sulaimani, Iraq
Application Closing Date: Open until filled
Located between beautiful mountain ranges in the safe and dynamic Kurdistan region of Northern Iraq, the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) is an ambitious, independent, nonprofit, coeducational, English-speaking liberal arts university that has no owners or shareholders and operates solely for the public benefit. 
Founded in 2007, AUIS promotes high-quality instruction, critical thinking, diversity, and tolerance, in order to secure long-term economic prosperity and social cohesion in Iraq and beyond. During the COVID pandemic, AUIS served as a leading educational benchmark by implementing proactive pedagogical responses and ensuring the continuity of learning without interruption. AUIS takes pride in its collaborative work environment and enjoys tremendous social support by local and regional communities.
In 2011, AUIS moved to its new 400-acre marble-and-glass campus overlooking historic Sulaimani, a thriving economic center of more than a million residents. The campus has 50 classrooms, high-tech computer labs, an expansive library, auditoriums, dining facilities, and sports facilities. Our 1,300 students are taught in English by faculty members from more than a dozen different countries; over a third of the full-time faculty are from the United States, with another third from Iraq. The University’s acclaimed preparatory program is the only such program in Iraq to have earned U.S. accreditation (CEA). AUIS graduates have continued their studies at leading universities in the United States and Europe. 
Recently, AUIS introduced a unique dual-degree program with the University of Arizona, ranked #48 nationally and #89 globally by the Center for World University Rankings. Other collaboration partners include Stanford University, Princeton University, and TIEC, a consortium of top-ranked public universities in Texas.

AUIS is looking for a talented and enthusiastic Academic Counselor who is ready to have a lasting impact on young individuals in a region that has suffered tremendous hardship in the past. The Academic Counselor assists recent high school graduates to transition to a demanding university academic program in a second language, and to assist undergraduate students to cope with academic and personal challenges. Among other performance indicators, success in the position is measured by constructive student interactions, increased student academic success, and higher levels of student retention.
The Academic Counselor will engage students in a variety of student services activities to ensure a steady progression towards graduation in accordance with academic and career goals, and works in collaboration with faculty and other colleagues in Student Services. As a guiding force in improving student learning capabilities and motivation, and in creating an academic counseling environment that is conducive to student success, the Academic Counselor will also shape students' study habits and classroom behavior.
Compensation is commensurate with qualifications and includes base salary, health insurance, potential annual flight benefit, relocation assistance, and University housing. This is a position for anyone wishing to make a change in an exciting but challenging region, while working in a supportive and collegial internal environment.
The responsibilities and duties of the position holder include but are not limited to:
  • Serves as a primary general advisor and academic counselor for students, with additional interactions with faculty, parents, and University administrators. 
  • Acts as go-to support person for possible at‐risk students, whether self-identified or faculty/staff-identified, and offers – or directs to – programs of support and other resources. 
  • Responds to academic alerts submitted by faculty or staff.
  • Supports students in establishing goals to promote success. 
  • Acts as a liaison for academic support services such as tutoring, library services, and distance learning support. 
  • Acts as a liaison between various student affairs areas inside and outside the University such as personal counseling, student disability services, Career Services and Financial Aid. 
  • Assists faculty and staff in identifying trends and researching best practices in student persistence and completion.
  • Maintains records of student academic progress. 
  • In collaboration with assigned faculty advisors, provides individual academic advising services to new and continuing students, assisting them with enrollment choices including creating and updating academic plans. 
  • In collaboration with Career Services, provides resources and opportunities for students to explore career and degree options. 
  • Utilizes student success software within the context of academic advising. 
  • Identifies gaps in services based on best practices in retention and creates programs to improve student success. Identifies specific cohort groups with targeted interventions. 
  • Tracks student performance using student success software. 
  • In collaboration with other colleagues at Student Services, creates, disseminates and collects student surveys aimed at providing feedback on program and/or students' needs; utilizes data to guide interventions and monitors effectiveness and student progress. 
  • Works with institutional research personnel to compile data to assist in retention proposals. 
  • Assists faculty and staff in identifying trends and researching best practices in student retention.
  • Participates in the process for systematic review and evaluation of student retention, including the development and monitoring of outcomes and plans of action for improvement based on the assessment of those outcomes and plans. 
  • Reports to work punctually and follows the contractual work schedule to keep up with the demands of the worksite. 
  • Occasionally, working hours may include evenings, holidays or weekends depending on student and project requirements and special events. 
  • Completes duties and responsibilities in compliance with University standards, policies and guidelines. 
  • Supports the values and institutional goals of the University. 
  • Promotes positive morale and teamwork within the University and provides exceptional service to students, faculty, and community. 
  • Serves on committees as appropriate and as appointed by supervisor. 
  • Performs other duties as assigned. 
Key Skills
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skills, and/or ability required. 
  • A strong commitment to the mission of the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani.
  • Demonstrated excellent communication, interpersonal, and leadership skills. 
  • Ability to work independently according to established schedules and to complete assignments and projects as per defined timelines with little direction and supervision. 
  • Demonstrated organizational skills in handling, directing, and prioritizing multiple and complex assignments/projects and maintaining records. 
  • Ability to protect sensitive and extensive confidential data. 
  • Ability to establish and maintain positive and effective working relationships with students, University employees, and the public. 
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions; and effectively present information internally and externally. 
  • Ability to perform and excel in a modern digital environment; proficient in the use of email, word processing, spreadsheet, database, and presentation software and use of the Internet to access data, maintain records, generate reports, and communicate with others. 
  • Strong problem solver and decision-maker. 
  • Enthusiastic, results-focused, and team-oriented. 
  • Experience working in multicultural teams. 
Required Education and Experience
The requirements listed below are representative of the education and experience required. 
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum of two (2) years of student-retention or related experience at a college or university setting, OR an Associate’s degree or 60 hours from an accredited college or university with five (5) years of student-retention or related experience at a college or university setting. 
  • Experience in student development/engagement, academic advising, early alert intervention, and working with high‐risk students from diverse backgrounds. 
  • Fluent in English; knowledge of Arabic or Kurdish a plus.
Applicants should submit the following materials by email with "Academic Counselor" in the subject line, to [email protected]
  • Cover letter 
  • Curriculum vitae
No telephone calls, please. While we thank all applicants for their interest, only those under consideration will be contacted for a follow-up interview. AUIS is an Affirmative Action / Equal Employment Opportunity employer and believes that diversity, equality, and inclusion are essential to education.