Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Executive Dean, Academic & Career Pathways Guidance

  • Title: Executive Dean, Academic & Career Pathways Guidance
  • Grade: P
  • Type: Exempt

The Opportunity

The Executive Dean of Academic & Career Pathways Guidance will lead the development and maintenance of an integrated Collegewide system of student academic and career guidance from point of admission through completion of educational goals. This leader is positioned to bring to life an equity-centered and holistic model of career and transfer exploration resulting in program/pathway decisions and all students having a clear academic and career plan.


The Executive Dean of Academic & Career Pathways Guidance reports to the Vice President of Student Affairs and serves as a key member of the academic and student affairs senior leaders team. The position provides strategic and operational oversight of a case-managed system and services for student career exploration, pathway/program selection, academic planning, college navigation, progress monitoring, and supportive intervention. The role is accountable for ensuring all students receive guidance to choose and progress on an academic/career pathway, leading to employment and/or transfer. The position partners closely with other College leaders to ensure advising and career services practitioners guide and support students in alignment with program and pathway enrollment goals and strategies.

Key Responsibilities

  • Oversee and administer the following College functions: Advising Services, Career Services, Pathway Guidance Systems & Innovation, (and New Student Engagement).
  • Work closely with senior Academic and Student Affairs leaders to establish and continuously improve institutional strategy and structure for student academic and career exploration, planning and guidance.
  • Co-lead College strategic priority efforts to establish and sustain a cross-functional guided pathways framework and operating model.
  • Develop and maintain a technology-supported student case management system that reflects and aligns with the College mission, values and priorities for serving a diverse community of students.
  • Create the conditions for the division to establish and maintain productive relationships with internal and external partners (i.e., academic leaders, faculty, transfer institutions, student services staff) to advance collaborative and innovative guidance and support for students.
  • Serve as key College administrative contact for university transfer partners.

Essential Functions

Collaborative Leadership
  • Execute management activities that include strategic planning and decision-making, personnel management, budget and resource management, and assessment and continuous improvement of the division’s functional areas.
  • Serve as a key member of the senior Academic & Student Affairs leaders team, collaborating with senior leadership to set direction and establish priorities for the College’s future.
  • Create and maintain collaborative and productive relationships across Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and administrative/systems services, in order to effectively plan and manage programming in division.
  • Supervise management, academic professionals, classified staff, technical/support, and/or student staff; evaluate and provide guidance and support regarding professional development plans and goals for assigned areas of responsibility in accordance with good management practices, district policies, and collective bargaining agreements.
  • Provide leadership for College-wide strategic initiative execution (e.g., various Strategic Plan priority projects).
Academic & Career Guidance Strategy
  • Provide leadership for College-wide strategy, innovative programming and system development for academic/career planning and holistic, developmental progress tracking and guidance for all students.
  • Conduct ongoing needs assessment and gap analysis related to effectiveness and efficiency of academic and career guidance strategy and services programming; direct continuous process and outcomes improvement activities.
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with external transfer partners; serve as College lead and primary point of contact related to transfer pathways, student transition support, transfer opportunity marketing, and transfer advising.
  • Lead division in executing strategies to consistently monitor and achieve the College’s enrollment goals.
  • Ensure institutional compliance and high ethical standards are maintained related to federal/state/College regulations, policies, guidance and regional accreditation standards in all areas of academic advising, course placement, course prerequisites, degree and certificate planning, international student visa programs, and other related areas.
  • Develop, oversee, analyze, and make budget decisions in alignment with College strategic plan, values and priorities. Forecast funds needed for staffing, equipment, materials, and supplies. Approve expenditures and implement budgetary adjustments as appropriate.
  • Assume institutional authority for grants, contracts and technology portfolio that directly supports student success management, career exploration and guidance, job/internship referral and placement, early alert and referral, and other related services and support.
  • Analyze need for and oversee development and execution of policies, administrative procedures, and practices related to assigned areas; responsible for working with appropriate shared governance bodies.
  • Respond to inquiries from College departments, other educational institutions, the community, and/or external agencies.
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
  • Advance the College’s DEI effort in recruiting and retaining students characterized by a rich diversity of cultural, racial, economic, ideological, and social identities, and encourage a campus culture that values difference and supports inclusion.
  • Conduct regular evaluations of policies and processes to identify opportunities for continuous improvement with an application of a lens of equity and inclusivity.
  • Create and maintain an inclusive culture that facilitates attracting, equipping, motivating and leading a diverse team of academic and career pathways guidance professionals committed to excellent service to students, team members, and community stakeholders.
  • Support, implement and promote advancement of the district’s equity goals and assist in the hiring of a staff that reflects the diversity of the district. Participate in and support activities that enhance equity-minded recruiting, hiring, and employee retention practices.

Performs other related duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree and eight (8) years progressively responsible professional experience related to area of assignment. Four (4) years of higher education management/supervisory experience. A master’s degree can substitute for two (2) years of progressive experience.

Required Competencies

  • Equitable Student Success Focus: Make decisions that support a student-first culture.
  • Strategic Planning: Develop a vision for the future and create a culture in which long-range goals can be achieved.
  • Commitment to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion: Demonstrated growth in cultural competence; awareness of societal and structural inequities; and proven experience in effectively establishing relationships and positive communications with students and other constituents across multiple dimensions of diversity.
  • Change Catalyst: Ability to encourage others to seek opportunities for different and innovative approaches when addressing problems and opportunities.
  • Communication: Ability to communicate effectively with many types of individuals and the ability to write clearly and persuasively.
  • Decisive: Ability to make quick decisions while keeping policy and regulations at the forefront of all decisions.
  • Team Motivation: Ability to influence and mobilize a group of individuals to work toward a common goal and positively represent the mission of PCC.

Preferred Qualifications

  • A master’s degree is strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to navigate complex organizational systems and dynamics and provide cross-functional and collaborative leadership to support program, policy and procedure development.
  • Knowledge of the principles and theories related to academic advising, career services, and systems of student support and development in higher education.
  • Demonstrated success in planning, developing, and implementing comprehensive academic and career pathways guidance initiatives and services focused on underrepresented and/or underserved communities and students.
  • Skill in evaluating research and data to identify potential solutions, resolve problems, and provide information.
  • Ability to apply independent judgment to interpretation and application of rules, regulations, policies, and procedures.

Working Environment

Work environment includes frequent disruptions and changes in priorities. Work is generally performed in an office environment with frequent interruptions and irregularities in the work schedule. Working hours may vary and occasional evening or weekend work is required. Frequent travel to other locations is required. No special coordination beyond that used for normal mobility and handling of everyday objects and materials is needed to perform the job satisfactorily.

Updated 3/9/2023