Student Affairs

First-Generation Student Specialist

SUNY Old Westbury

Old Westbury, NY United States

The primary purpose of the position is to develop and implement initiatives and mentorship programs to promote the well-being and academic success of first-generation students.  The Specialist will support campus-wide collaborations and foster awareness of the needs of first-generation students among staff and faculty.   The Specialist will address the distinctive challenges first generation college students face such as navigating an unfamiliar academic environment.  Must be empathetic and culturally competent, recognizing the diverse backgrounds that first-generation students bring to the table. 

This is a full-time, twelve (12) month, two (2) year, grant funded position.

Reporting to the Assistant Provost, the First-Generation Student Specialist will:

  • Design and implement programming guidance for first-generation students and their families.
  • Design and implement mentorship programs for first-generation male and female students.
  • Desired initiatives include mentorship, workshops, social and professional development for faculty, staff and students.
  • Coordinate and implement retention initiatives in collaboration with key enrollment and academic affairs departments.
  • Partner with other offices that work with first-generation students.
  • Train and supervise peer mentors or other student assistants.
  • Evaluate and measure the program's impact on student retention and success.
  • Attend Campus Open House and other campus events.
  • Participate on campus committees as directed.
  • Be available to work a flexible schedule, including evenings and occasional weekend hours as needed.



Minimum Qualifications:

  • A minimum of a Master's degree (foreign equivalent or higher).
  • A minimum of three (3) years' experience of full-time relevant and/or related work experience in higher education, community service organizations or related field.  Experience includes working with college students of diverse socioeconomic, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds, including those with different levels of academic preparation and/or learning abilities.
  • Experience working with first generation students.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong presentation skills. Ability to train, advance and promote innovative ideas to faculty, student leaders, and staff to reach and academically engage historically underrepresented students or students of color and other underserved student populations, for a learning environment inclusive of equity, diversity, social justice, and inclusion relative to academic success.
  • Proficient in MS Suite.
  • Experience with higher education student databases/systems.
  • Experience working with a culturally diverse student population.
  • Ability to work evenings and occasional weekends as needed. 

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in advising and mentoring programs.
  • Bilingual.
  • Experience in project management.
  • Experience with Ellucian Banner, EAB Navigate.


Additional Information:

Salary Range:  $55,000.00 - $60,000.00 commensurate with experience and education

Comprehensive Benefits:

Position Type:  Professional

Official Budget Title:  Senior Staff Assistant

Campus Title:  First-Generation Student Specialist

Department:  Student Success

FTE:  Full-time

Negotiating Unit:  UUP

Salary Grade:  SL-3

FLSA Status:  Exempt

The successful candidate must be authorized to work in the United States.

The State University of New York at Old Westbury is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, age, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

If you require an accommodation for a disability in order to participate in the selection process, please contact the Office of Human Resources/Affirmative Action located in the Campus Center, Room I-211 or by calling (516) 876-3179.

The Annual Security and Fire Report is filed as required by federal law. The purpose of this report is to provide faculty, staff and students with campus safety information, including crime statistics and safety policies and procedures. The report contains information regarding security and personal safety, including topics such as crime prevention, fire safety, crime reporting policies, disciplinary procedures and other matters of importance related to security and safety on campus. The report also contains information about crime statistics for the previous three calendar years. You can obtain a copy of this report by contacting the University Police Department (516) 876-3333 or by downloading a copy.

Pursuant to Executive Order 161, no State entity, as defined by the Executive Order, is permitted to ask, or mandate, in any form, that an applicant for employment provide his or her current compensation, or any prior compensation history, until such time as the applicant is extended a conditional offer of employment with compensation. If such information has been requested from you before such time, please contact the Governor's Office of Employee Relations at (518) 474-6988 or via email at 


  • Start Date: 6/20/2024 - Approximate
  • Education: Master's Degree Required
  • Work Experience: 3 - 5 years
  • Part/Full Time: Full-Time

Contact / Additional Information

Application Instructions:

Please submit the following online at

  1. cover letter,
  2. resume,
  3. contact information (name, email address and telephone number) for three (3) references, and
  4. a fully completed Old Westbury employment application (available during the online application process).

Only applications submitted online will be considered.

CLOSING DATE FOR RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS:  Open until filled.  Review of applications to begin immediately.

VISA sponsorship is not available for this position.

We encourage protected veterans, individuals with disabilities, women and minorities to apply.

Employment in this position will be contingent on the College's verification of credentials and any other information required by federal or state law, and SUNY Old Westbury polices, including the completion of pre-employment screening.