Bluefield University Employment Opportunities

Director of Academic Advocacy

PRIMARY PURPOSE/SCOPE

Reporting to the Dean of Academic Success, the Academic Advocacy Director will oversee the Academic Advocacy Program and serve as the primary support staff for students in the program. The Director will analyze and evaluate data for specific use; interpret and apply rules, regulations, policies, and procedures to comply with state and federal regulations; prioritize workloads and conflicting demands for faculty and staff; apply and enforce Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act; determine academic accommodations and support services for students with disabilities, and work with community agencies that serve people with disabilities to obtain support services for students.

The Academic Advocacy Director is responsible for organizing, administering, managing, and evaluating comprehensive disabled student services and ensuring the College’s policies are in agreement with federal and state regulations. The Director will coordinate testing, evaluation, and advocacy planning for students interested in the program.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES, RESPONSIBILITIES, AND FUNCTIONS

The essential duties, responsibilities, and functions of the Academic Advocacy Director include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Interpret federal (i.e. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Americans with Disabilities Act), state (i.e. AB77, Title V), and College regulations pertaining to the rights of students with disabilities and develop procedures and practices to ensure compliance.
  • Work with department faculty and staff to determine appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities; work with faculty and departments to implement those accommodations in the instructional setting.
  • Supervise program components including learning disabilities assessment, computer center, and services for the hearing impaired.
  • Coordinate recruitment and recruitment strategies for potential students in the Academic Advocacy Program through ongoing relationship cultivation in public and private high schools, with workforce development organizations and other agencies that would grow enrollment in the program.
  • Meet with students to assist with developing academic accommodations and resolve issues they are experiencing on campus.
  • Recommend policies and procedures necessary to ensure access to the programs of the college for students with disabilities.
  • Obtain special equipment, materials, and other classroom equipment for students with disabilities.
  • Train all staff on learning support/disabilities and ensure students are receiving appropriate accommodations in education, testing and training settings.
  • Develop Accessibility Plan annually.
  • Maintain both electronic and paper-based records and filing systems for all students with special needs.
  • Establish and maintain accurate student and program records to satisfy state and federal requirements.
  • Maintain a working knowledge of changing practices and legislation in the field of disability services.
  • Coordinate communications, programs, services, activities, and information between students, faculty, administrators, service providers, outside organizations, the public and various local, state, and federal agencies.
  • Meet with new students with accommodations to orient them to procedures of Disability Services, discussion of self-advocacy, differences between high school and college, and other areas a necessary.
  • Train students with accommodations about assistive technology and provide instruction for use.
  • Serve on Bluefield College’s Campus CARE team.
  • Assist the Office of Academic Advisement with pre-registration of incoming freshman
  • Assist with the operation of the Academic Center for Success when needed. Meet individually with students to devise strategies, help with time management, organization, and other challenges students face.
  • Complies with all rules, policies, and procedures as established by Bluefield College.
  • Interprets College policies to employees and enforces safety regulations.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

MARGINAL DUTIES, RESPONSIBILITIES, AND FUNCTIONS

The marginal duties, responsibilities, and functions of the Human Resources Director include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Serves on various College-wide committees as assigned.
  • Represents the College at meetings with College employees and/or external persons and agencies as required.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, ABILITIES, AND EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE 

  •  Bachelor’s degree in special education or related field required. Master’s degree in special education or related field preferred.
  • Three years of experience and/or training that includes working with students with all types of disabilities; administering/interpreting ADA and Section 504, 508 and other relevant laws; educational and psychological tests, curriculum development, and program administration; or an equivalent combination of education, training, and experience.
  • State teaching certification or state licensure in Special Education preferred.
  • In-depth knowledge of the state and federal laws and regulations concerning accommodations in educational settings for students with disabilities and will stay apprised of and adapt to changing legal frameworks and guidance.
  • Extensive knowledge of procedures for assessing, determining, and implementing disability accommodation issues across undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs and in clinical settings. Full knowledge of student disability assessment, accommodation, and intervention methods. Proven ability to determine reasonable accommodations for disabilities.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills are needed to work with faculty, students, parents, and other campus entities regarding a student’s accommodations and other academic needs. Strong ability to advocate for students with disabilities with faculty, staff, and administrators to ensure equal access to educational opportunities consistent with state and federal law.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal skills and creative problem-solving skills, including the ability to manage highly charged, difficult situations involving students, staff, and faculty. Demonstrated ability to successfully managing staff.

ERGONOMIC REQUIREMENTS

  • Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.  This position is not necessarily a physically demanding job and generally requires no specific physical demands other than those typical in a modern office environment.  Normal responsibilities should not afford risks of accidental injury.

  • Specialized Equipment Requirements

The use of specialized equipment listed here is representative of equipment an employee may encounter while performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.  This position requires equipment typically used in a modern office environment, including personal computers, calculators, copiers, and fax machines.

  • Working Conditions and Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the duties, responsibilities, and functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the duties, responsibilities, and functions.  This position has no specific working conditions; the work environment is typical to that of a small private residential institution of higher education, with physical remote site locations within 500 miles of the main campus in Bluefield, Virginia.

QUALIFICATION STANDARDS 

 The qualification standards of the Director of Academic Advocacy include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • A Christian commitment and lifestyle that acknowledges a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and a personal commitment to the Christian purpose and mission of Bluefield College.
  • Professional appearance and presentation in the working environment (including business casual attire).

PERFORMANCE STANDARDS

 This position is subject to at least an annual evaluation based upon the job duties, responsibilities, and functions as set forth above.

APPROVALS 

 The job duties, responsibilities, functions,  and requirements delineated above should not be interpreted as an all-inclusive list of the same.  Additional duties, responsibilities, functions,  and requirements may be assigned as deemed appropriate.  The College reserves the right to change or reassign job duties, responsibilities, and functions, or combine positions at any time.  In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is possible that requirements may be modified to reasonably accommodate disabled individuals.  However, no accommodations will be made which may pose serious health or safety risks to the employee or others or which impose undue hardships on the College.  Position descriptions are not intended as and do not create employment contracts.  The College maintains its status as an at-will employer.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS:

To apply for this position, please visit https://www.bluefield.edu/employment/ to complete the electronic staff employment application and upload the following:

  • Letter of interest
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Names and full contact information for at least three professional references
  • Statement of Christian Faith

Hard copy application materials may be sent to Judy Pedneau, Director of Human Resources at Bluefield College, 3000 College Avenue, Bluefield, VA 24605, [email protected]

Additional information about Bluefield College is available at www.bluefield.edu.

To be considered for this position, all application requirements listed above must be completed.

Bluefield College is a Christ-centered, multicultural learning community that values and seeks faculty and staff who represent diverse backgrounds and perspectives, are committed to diversity, work effectively with diverse populations, and engage others in ways that honor our rich cultural mosaic and biblical foundation.

Bluefield College is a private, not-for-profit institution affiliated with the Baptist General Association of Virginia. Bluefield College shall not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, disability, age, religion, genetic information, veteran or military status, or any other basis on which the College is prohibited from discrimination under local, state, or federal law, in its employment or in the provision of its services, including but not limited to its programs and activities, admissions, educational policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other College-administered programs. This institution encourages women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities to apply.

Do I only apply once?

  • No. Students must apply each academic year for the fall semester and submit the necessary documents.

Do I have to take the classes specified in the Associate's Degree tracks as they are listed on the information sheet?

  • No. Students may take any of the courses that are offered in a given term.

Where do I find the textbook listing, and where do I purchase the books?

  • Log in to myBU, and under the "Student" tab, you will find a list of the textbooks required (if any) for each course. Students are responsible for purchasing their own textbooks.

How long is a semester?

  • Our semesters are divided into two 8-week terms.

Is there an orientation?

  • Yes. Students can attend an orientation session that explains how to access courses, how to register for classes, and answers other questions.

Where can I find a course description?

Does the student need to take the SAT or ACT in order to take Dual Enrollment classes?

  • No. If a student decides to study at BU full time, BU is currently test-optional for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle.

Are the classes live? Do students need to log in and participate at certain times?

  • Classes are offered online, so a student can log-on and study at their convenience and their own pace. Students have assignments due each week; you can complete your assignments at any point in time before the deadline.

Does an Early College student need to come to campus for anything?

  • No. However, we would love to have you visit our campus if you are interested in continuing with traditional on-campus study. Students who complete their associate's degree have the option to walk at our commencement ceremony.

Are Early College students able to receive Financial Aid?

  • No. However, Early College courses are very affordable compared to other options. The cost for an online Dual Enrollment course is $100 per credit hour.

How do transferring credits work?

  • Each College or University completes a transcript review in order to decide which courses transfer. Sticking to general education classes generally makes transferring credits simple. All Early College courses at Bluefield University are general education classes that should transfer to another accredited institution.

Is an Early College student considered, and treated, as a transfer student when they become a full-time college student if they have earned enough credits to be a Junior?

  • No. Since they have not graduated from high school, they are considered a first-time college student regardless of how many credits transfer. However, by transferring credits when they enroll as a full-time student, they will have to take fewer classes to receive their bachelor's degree, which shortens the length of time to earn the degree.

Can I speak to someone if I have more questions?

  • Yes. Please contact the Office of Admissions by email or you can call them at 276.326.4231