Student Affairs

Retention Specialist - Fresh Start


Tacoma Community College

Tacoma, WA United States

Priority Consideration Date: May 28, 2024

Located in the scenic Puget Sound area with nearby mountain ranges and Mount Rainier in the distance, Tacoma is surrounded by outdoor recreational opportunities such as hiking, boating and camping. Tacoma, Washington has been ranked as one of the most livable cities in the country, due to the increasing career opportunities, cultural diversity and community engagement, just to name a few.  
Tacoma Community College (TCC) was built on the ancestral territory of Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Puyallup and Squaxin Island Tribes. The 1854 Medicine Creek Treaty forcibly removed them to Reservations to make way for colonizers; we recognize the privilege of utilizing this land has come at a great cost. We honor the resilience of the Puyallup and Squaxin Island people, who still live here, defend their rights, and contribute greatly to the well-being of our community. Our institution aims to increase partnerships and community ties with the local indigenous populations. Moreover, TCC stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and the Black community by further strengthening collaboration with the Black Student Union as well as community entities such as the Tacoma-Pierce County Black Collective, the Tacoma Urban League, and local black-owned businesses.   In addition, we strongly support the Stop Asian Hate movement and have an active Asian Pacific Islander Student Club as well as an Asian and Pacific Islander Faculty and Staff Coalition. TCC is committed to developing more culturally responsive curricula by infusing and incorporating more educational content focused on the lives, experiences, and contributions of Native, Black, Asian, and other marginalized communities. We continually strive to become an anti-racist institution.
We are specifically focusing on improved support for traditionally marginalized populations, including Black/African- American, Indigenous, People of Color, Dreamers, justice-involved, immigrants and refugees, Veterans, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ+ community. To this end, TCC seeks applicants who:

  • Value intellectual curiosity and innovative teaching
  • Welcome difference and model respectful interaction with others
  • Recognize and honor the important role that diversity brings to an educational community
  • Are committed to educating a racially and socioeconomically diverse student population
  • Are committed to teaching in a community college setting
  • Care deeply about student success 
  • Intentionally support and promote efforts related to equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Honor TCC’s mission promoting equitable access to educational opportunities
  • Reflect the diversity of our community

The Fresh Start Program is part of the “Open Doors 1418” Youth Reengagement initiative administered by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).   The program is designed to reengage disconnected youth and provide multiple pathways for student success, as well as encouraging post-secondary achievement.  Fresh Start serves 16-21-year olds who wish to complete high school diploma requirements or earn an Associate Degree by completing courses at Tacoma Community College.

Position Summary 
The Retention Specialist position for the Fresh Start Program at Tacoma Community College is responsible for tracking, managing, and promoting student progress from intake until completion.  The Retention Specialist provides academic advice, educational planning, mentoring and advocacy as well as referrals to social and health services leading to increased retention and success of program participants. 


Essential Functions


  • Conduct comprehensive needs assessments for project participants; track and develop individualized plans to support retention and personal/academic success of Fresh Start students.
  • Assist students in clarifying educational, career, and life goals.
  • Provide mentoring and advocacy support to assist participants in overcoming barriers or obstacles to persistence and retention. Assist students in accessing needed services, including health and housing services.
  • Maintain accurate case files on each enrolled student.
  • Work with faculty as needed to assure appropriate and effective learning support and resources. 
  • Collaborate and represent the program internally and externally with departments and agencies in support of Fresh Start students and departmental goals.
  • Serve as a role model and mentor for students in the Fresh Start Program.
  • Participate as a team member in the implementation of services and activities to support the success of the Fresh Start Program and its students.
  • Assist with statistical information, data collection and summary reporting.
  • Plan and coordinate program events and activities to support student engagement and persistence, including information sessions, state-mandated testing, group advising, and recognition events.
  • Participate in professional development activities as appropriate.
  • Other duties as assigned.
  • Perform related duties, as assigned.



  • Start Date: No Start Date
  • Education: Associates Degree Preferred
  • Work Experience: 0 - 2 years
  • Part/Full Time: Full-Time

Contact / Additional Information

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