Bluefield University Employment Opportunities

Senior Director of Student Thriving & Success


The Senior Director of Student Thriving & Success provides leadership and guidance in creating, establishing, and coordinating retention and student success initiatives at Bluefield University. The person in this role is responsible for connecting and collaborating with deans, athletics, and other departments to support educational efforts and retention. The Senior Director will work collaboratively across campus to develop a strategic plan and goals to increase retention and graduation rates. Ultimately, the Senior Director is responsible for envisioning, leading, and implementing innovative strategies to eliminate equity gaps and promote access, retention, academic achievement, and timely graduation of undergraduate students. This person will facilitate the early alert system (BC Thrive) to develop a plan for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating retention data to all stakeholders. The Senior Director will demonstrate a commitment to cultural diversity and work with individuals or groups from diverse backgrounds. Additional duties and responsibilities may be assigned as needs arise.


The essential duties, responsibilities, and functions of this position include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Manage the institution’s Retention Module, including
    • Utilize the current trends and best practices in student retention to ensure students persist and graduate.
    • Develop retention strategies that include mentoring programs and other services to address barriers to student retention.
    • Facilitate the Early Alert Process, which identifies at-risk students early and coordinates care and support when it is most likely to make a difference.
    • Analyze and synthesize quantitative and qualitative data to implement innovative practices and strategies around retention and student success.
    • Develop and coordinate strategies and interventions to help at-risk students thrive and succeed.
    • Provide training and support to faculty and staff personnel on the Early Alert System.
  2. Coordinate and lead the Student Success Committee by
    • Collaborate with various offices/departments across campus to identify retention challenges, compile and analyze relevant data, and execute strategies that remove student persistence and success barriers.
    • Work with the Registrar and Institutional Effectiveness Offices to provide reports and available data to make retention recommendations to University leadership.
  3. Collaborate with the Offices of Academic Affairs, Enrollment Management & Student Development to coordinate and execute First-Year and Second-Year Experience strategies, such as:
    • Develop mentoring programs
    • Coordinate study halls
    • Facilitate team-building sessions and community service opportunities
    • Create events to build a sense of community on campus
  4. Participate in conferences, seminars, and training sessions to keep abreast of developments in the field of study and integrate relevant information into training programs.
  5. Maintain robust assessment processes on the effectiveness of retention services as prescribed in the University’s Institutional Effectiveness Annual Review policies.
  6. Model caring relationships with students through personal interaction and as an effective role model of Christianity.
  7. Comply with all rules, policies, and procedures as established by Bluefield University.
  8. Serve on committees and complete assignments and other duties as assigned by the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs.


This position may directly supervise one or more work-study students. This position carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the University’s policies and applicable laws. Supervisory duties, responsibilities, and functions include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints; and resolving problems.


A vibrant and authentic Christian faith and worldview consistent with the University’s mission and values is required. The candidate must hold a bachelor’s degree, yet, a master’s degree is preferred. S/he should have the ability to oversee and direct student retention and persistence initiatives. Strong knowledge of data collection and analysis is preferred. Excellent interpersonal and problem-solving skills are necessary, along with communicating and collaborating with a range of campus stakeholders, from front-end employees to senior leadership.


  •  Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that an employee must meet to perform the essential functions of this job successfully. 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 requires no specific physical demands other than those typical in a modern office environment. Everyday responsibilities should not afford risks of accidental injury.

  • Specialized Equipment Requirements

The use of specialized equipment listed here represents 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 no specialized equipment other than 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 represent 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 of a small private residential institution of higher education, with physical remote site locations within 500 miles of the main campus in Bluefield, Virginia.


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


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 University 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, requirements may be modified to reasonably accommodate disabled individuals.  However, no accommodations will be made that may pose serious health or safety risks to the employee or others or impose undue hardships on the University.  Position descriptions are not intended as and do not create employment contracts.  The University maintains its status as an at-will employer.


To apply for this position, please visit 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 University, 3000 College Avenue, Bluefield, VA 24605, [email protected]

Additional information about Bluefield University is available at

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

Bluefield University 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 University is a private, not-for-profit institution affiliated with the Baptist General Association of Virginia. Bluefield University 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 University 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 University-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


Meet our core Counseling faculty

Dr. Challen Mabry

Assistant Professor of Counseling

Dr. Kristen Moran

Associate Professor of Counseling

Brandy Smith

Assistant Professor of Education & Counseling,
Director of the Master of Arts in Counseling Program,
Title IX Confidential Counselor