Job Posting 70390

Academic Skills and Writing Specialist
Queens University
Eastern Ontario
Kingston, Ontario
closed yesterday (Sun, 9 May)
full time - term / contract

Reporting to the  Director, Student Academic Success Services, and taking day-to-day direction from the Student Academic Success Manager,  the Academic Skills and Writing Specialist works collaboratively with colleagues within the Student Academic Success Services unit (SASS) and across the Student Life and Learning portfolio to support a variety of programs and services aimed at enriching student life, enhancing the student experience and facilitating student academic success at Queen’s.  The incumbent  provides  academic skills advising and writing consultation services to undergraduate and graduate students that assist them in enhancing learning, writing, and self-management and foster academic confidence and success at university; refers individual students who present with personal issues that affect or are affected by academic issues; supports academic skills-focused peer programs through curriculum development and training;  contributes to the design and production of academic  skills and writing development resources and tools; contributes to the maintenance and enhancement of the SASS website; and delivers group writing and learning skills workshops for undergraduate and graduate students, as required.


Note: The schedule for this position requires the incumbent to work occasional evenings and weekends.


  • Delivers individual academic skills strategies advising and writing consultations to undergraduate and graduate students
  • Provides referral services to students presenting with intra-personal issues, and/or cognitive challenges related to learning disabilities, attention deficits, traumatic brain injury, illness, etc., that have a direct bearing on their academic functioning
  • Supports the development and delivery of academic skills-focused peer programming, both in-house and across campus, e.g., through curriculum development, training, support activities, and program evaluation.
  • In consultation with the SASS team, contributes to the design and production of writing and academic skills development resources and tools in alignment with sound pedagogy and current research.
  • Contributes to the maintenance and enhancement of the SASS website, including content, organization, and format.
  • Supports the SASS workshop program by delivering academic skills and writing workshops for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff, as required.
  • Collaborates with partners in key academic and non-academic units to develop and implement programs and services that support student academic success.
  • Maintains current knowledge of student development theory and pedagogy related to academic skills development and participates in relevant professional associations and conferences
  • Keeps current with academic program requirements and teaching and learning developments at Queen’s to ensure responsive and effective programming.
  • Provides professional development in the area of academic skills development for staff within SASS and Student Affairs and across the University, including student staff and volunteers, teaching assistants, and faculty.
  • Works collaboratively with the management team and SASS colleagues on the development and implementation of strategic plans, unit goals, and program policies that ensure the delivery of high-quality and accessible programs for students and the smooth and efficient functioning of the unit.
  • Contributes to the development and implementation of a communications strategy and promotional plan for SASS and collaborates with university partners to promote SASS goals, programs, and services.
  • Represents SASS, as delegated by the Director, on relevant committees and working groups.
  • Undertakes other duties and special projects, as assigned.


  • Minimum of Master’s degree in Psychology, Education, Educational Counseling, or a discipline related to academic skills development or academic training related to language, writing, learning, teaching or equivalent.
  • Three to five years’ experience providing 1:1 teaching, academic coaching or advising and experience providing writing instruction and 1:1 and group writing support in a post-secondary context.
  • Knowledge of counselling theory and experience in supporting young adults or post-secondary students.
  • Demonstrated understanding of effective and current relevant best practices and pedagogy, including the innovative use of technology.
  • Strong knowledge of educational program development for diverse audiences.
  • Comprehensive understanding of the principles of responding to and evaluating student writing in academic contexts.
  • Sound knowledge of teaching techniques and experience in their application with post-secondary students, including workshop design, delivery and evaluation
  • Thorough understanding of the nature and types of challenges related to academic skills development, learning, self-management, and writing likely to be experienced by undergraduate and graduate students of diverse backgrounds and at all levels.
  • Familiarity with professional literature relevant to human cognition, learning enhancement strategies, and writing and rhetoric at the post-secondary level.
  • Familiarity with Queen’s University processes, policies, systems and student resources would be an asset
  • Consideration may be given to an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Satisfactory Criminal Records Check and Vulnerable Sector Screening required.


  • Excellent organizational skills, with ability to effectively prioritize competing demands
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with other professionals and build effective working relationships
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Strong sense of empathy and ability to refer students to other Queen’s and community resources as necessary
  • Strong cultural competencies and commitment to intercultural development
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving capacity
  • Ability to work independently, consult and take direction as appropriate
  • Resourcefulness, creativity and initiative with respect to program design and delivery
  • Solid computer skills, including use of MS Office (Word, Access, Excel, PowerPoint) required


  • Make daily programmatic decisions and resolve problems within policy guidelines; determine when to refer or advise the Director
  • Use professional judgment and knowledge of best practices to determine individual interventions and when and to whom to refer students
  • Determine when a student may benefit from an individualized writing or learning skills development plan and the components to include in such individualized plans
  • Determine when situations warrant consultation with the manager and/or Director

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