Coordinator for Orientation & Transitions (HR Title: Program Coordinator) – (STU00000129)

Southern Methodist University

Salary Range: 

Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications

About SMU

SMU’s more than 12,000 diverse, high-achieving students come from all 50 states and over 80 countries to take advantage of the University’s small classes, meaningful research opportunities, leadership development, community service, international study and innovative programs.

SMU serves approximately 7,000 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate students through eight degree-granting schools: Dedman College of Humanities and SciencesCox School of BusinessLyle School of EngineeringMeadows School of the ArtsSimmons School of Education and Human DevelopmentDedman School of LawPerkins School of Theology and Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies.

SMU is data driven, and its powerful supercomputing ecosystem – paired with entrepreneurial drive – creates an unrivaled environment for the University to deliver research excellence.

Now in its second century of achievement, SMU is recognized for the ways it supports students, faculty and alumni as they become ethical, enterprising leaders in their professions and communities. SMU’s relationship with Dallas – the dynamic center of one of the nation’s fastest-growing regions – offers unique learning, research, social and career opportunities that provide a launch pad for global impact.

SMU is nonsectarian in its teaching and committed to academic freedom and open inquiry.

About the Department:

The Office of New Student Orientation and Transitions is housed within the Office of the Dean of Students unit of the Division of Student Affairs. This Office is responsible for supporting student success and transitions for SMU undergraduate students, including coordinating the fall and spring versions of Mustang Start-Up (SMU’s virtual orientation program), Stampede (the extended orientation program), and other critical transition programs.

About the Position:

This role is an on-campus, in-person position.

The Coordinator for Orientation & Transitions is responsible for supporting the vision, initiatives, programs, and daily operations of the Orientation & Transitions office for new SMU undergraduate students. The Coordinator will serve as programming support for major transition programs including Fall and Spring versions of orientation, student success and transitions, as well as promote institutional affinity. The Coordinator collaborates with orientation staff and partners across campus to understand and meet the needs of matriculating students and their families. Also, supports University enrollment goals by participating in committees and initiatives that improve the transition experience and overall retention of new students.

Essential Functions:

  • Programming – Serves as programming support for all orientation and transition events. Ensures cohesion across all orientation programming including virtual and in-person. Works collaboratively with partners across campus to strategically streamline new student processes associated with transitioning onto campus during the Spring and Fall semester.
  • Recruiting – Manages the full lifecycle of orientation student volunteers and student orientation leaders. Responsible for the creation of promotional materials for student outreach. Leads informational meetings, tabling sessions, social media campaigns, and other marketing opportunities as they arise.
  • Supervision – Partners with the Director of Orientation & Transitions to design training curriculum for orientation leaders and orientation student volunteers. Supervises orientation leaders daily throughout the summer to ensure execution on orientation programming. Provides orientation leaders with opportunities for professional development and team harmony.
  • Ordering, event reservations and support – Makes purchases on behalf of the orientation office for programming. Responsible for securing location reservations and auxiliary support for events through campus reservation system
  • Occasional evening/weekend hours will be required for events.



 Education and Experience:

A Bachelor’s degree is required. A Master’s degree is preferred. A degree in higher education, counseling and student personnel or student affairs administration is preferred. 

A minimum of two years of experience is required. Previous higher education experience is preferred, particularly experience in programming, large-scale event planning/coordinating, social media marketing, and student advising, training, teaching, and facilitation. Individuals active or engaged in professional associations such as NODA or NASPA is preferred.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Candidate must demonstrate strong interpersonal and verbal communication skills, with the ability to communicate broadly across the University and develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of constituencies. Must also demonstrate strong written communication skills along with a commitment to student development and training and a willingness to take initiative. 

Candidate must possess strong problem-solving skills with the ability to identify and analyze problems, as well as devise solutions. Must also have strong organizational, planning, time management and project management skills.  

Candidate familiarity with best practices and theories regarding orientation, transitions and retention is a plus. 

Candidate ability to work well with students in counseling, teaching and advising is preferred. 

Candidate must be able to demonstrate proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, Canva, Box and other related programs. 

Candidate familiarity with Asana, Adobe Creative Suite, Advantage and Slate is preferred. 

Physical and Environmental Demands:

  • Sit for long periods of time
  • Bend, squat, stand
  • Reach above shoulders
  • Carry/lift over 25-50 lbs
  • Handle objects (dexterity)
  • Push/pull
  • Walk for long distances
  • Drive motorized equipment

Deadline to Apply:

March 29, 2024

EEO Statement:

SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,


SMU offers staff a broad, competitive array of health and related benefits. In addition to traditional benefits such as health, dental, and vision plans, SMU offers a wide range of wellness programs to help attract, support, and retain our employees whose work continues to make SMU an outstanding education and research institution.

SMU is committed to providing an array of retirement programs that benefit and protect you and your family throughout your working years at SMU and, if you meet SMU’s retirement eligibility criteria, during your retirement years after you leave SMU.

The value of learning at SMU isn’t just about preparing our students for the future. Employees have access to a wide variety of professional and personal development opportunities, including tuition benefits.

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