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Retention Specialist (Guided Pathways) (Temporary)
San Mateo County Community College District in Redwood City, California
Date Posted 04/16/2022
Admin-Other Administrative Positions
Salary $25.43 (hourly) to $32.50 (hourly) -  USD Per Year
Employment Type
Application Deadline Open until filled

Posting Number


Position Title

Retention Specialist (Guided Pathways) (Temporary)


Cañada College


Student Services CAÑ (DEPT)

Position Number


Percentage of Full Time



Non-Exempt (accrues overtime)

Months per Year


If other, please specify

09/23/2021 - 12/31/2021

Min Salary

$25.43 (hourly)

Max Salary

$32.50 (hourly)

Position Type

Classified, Temporary

Who We Are

The San Mateo County Community College District is committed to achieving educational equity for all students. As outlined in the District’s Strategic Plan, “success, equity, and social justice for our students are longstanding goals.” The District’s “Students First” Strategic Plan is focused on “Student Success, Equity and Social Justice.” We provide students with a rich and dynamic learning experience that embraces differences — emphasizing collaboration and engaging students in and out of the classroom, encouraging them to realize their goals, and to become global citizens and socially responsible leaders. When you join our team at San Mateo County Community College District, you can expect to be part of an inclusive, innovative and equity-focused community that approaches higher education as a matter of social justice that requires broad collaboration among faculty, classified staff, administration, students and community partners.

The College and the District

Cañada College is part of the San Mateo County Community College District and is designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), enrolling approximately 11,000 students each academic year. Cañada College has a diverse student population that is a reflection of the communities that it serves. Detailed information about the student population, including data related to student success, can be found on Cañada College’s Office of Planning, Research and Institutional Effectiveness (PRIE) website.

Who We Want

We value the ability to serve students from a broad range of cultural heritages, socioeconomic backgrounds, genders, abilities and orientations. Therefore, we prioritize applicants who demonstrate they understand the benefits diversity brings to a professional educational community. The successful candidate will be an equity-minded individual committed to collaborating with faculty, classified staff, administration, students and community partners who are also committed to closing equity gaps. The San Mateo County Community College District seeks employees who value mentorship and working in a collegial, collaborative environment, guided by a commitment to helping all students achieve their educational goals.

The Position

The Retention Specialist performs paraprofessional work that involves outreach and the retention of students in specific programs designed to foster student success. Under direction, the employee performs a variety of preparatory work and planning and develops strategies to support and enhance student completion and success. Public contact is extensive and primarily includes students, faculty and staff, but can also include vendors and staff in other educational institutions and agencies, for the purpose of exchanging subject matter and procedural information. A high degree of independent judgment and creativity are required to resolve a wide variety of minor and occasional major problems that may arise. Consequences of errors in judgment can be moderately costly in public relations and employee time; however, supervisory controls are available to limit the risk of serious error. A Retention Specialist can perform a wide variety of duties within the scope of the classification. A Retention Specialist can direct the work of student assistants, clerical staff, and instructional aides, as assigned. 

Duties and Responsibilities

The duties below are representative of the duties of the classification and are not intended to cover all of the duties performed by the incumbent(s) of any particular position. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the scope of work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to this classification. 
  1. Exchanges information with students, faculty and staff regarding subject-matter, resources, materials, policies and procedures associated with the classroom or laboratory setting or college programs and services
  2. Confers with faculty regarding curriculum, computer hardware, software and other learning tools, student assignments and progress, tests, student test scores, alternate learning methods and other technical information related to the services and programs provided
  3. Attends meetings, conferences, and workshops to obtain current subject-matter, procedural and other information 
  4. Participates in division and department planning activities 
  5. Makes presentations to small and large groups to publicize the services and programs as assigned 
  6. Assists with outreach and retention of students into specific programs, including developing strategies to enhance student completion and success
  7. Provide encouragement and support to students who are undecided about a major by providing information regarding specific majors
  8. Proactively meets with students to monitor their progress
  9. Tracks student involvement in on-campus support resources, including academic counseling and development of student educational plans, as well as support services relating to financial aid, scholarships, internships, transfer, including completion of transfer admission guarantees
  10.  Develops an early alert system to identify students who are under performing in specific coursework, and collaborate with instructional aides and tutors to intervene
  11. Assists in planning an academic support structure to include workshops, study groups, tutoring, program activities, accompanying students to off-campus events, and other support services to enhance student retention and success 
  12. Works with faculty advisors and student leaders of clubs to develop programs that promote academic success
  13. Uses a variety of computer software to organize and maintain learning resources and related data, compose and prepare correspondence, reports, publicity and other materials; sets up and maintains online and manual files; enters, modifies and retrieves a variety of statistical and other data for special and regular reports
  14. Trains and leads the work of student assistants, clerical and other staff as assigned 
  15. Performs other related duties as assigned 

Minimum Qualifications

  • Possession of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution OR an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Successful experience of increasing responsibility that has included event planning, assessment, and evaluation 
  • Demonstrated cultural competence, sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds of community college students, faculty, and staff  
  • Demonstrated oral and written communication skills, including public speaking 
  • Experience with the use of a variety of computer software to compose and prepare correspondence, forms, reports, presentations, and other written materials 
  • Experience with research and compiling data for, formatting, and preparing statistical, financial and other reports
  • Skill in setting up and maintaining online and manual files

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  1. Skill in working with diverse adult learning styles 
  2. Skill in multi-tasking and workload prioritizing under deadline pressure, using independent judgment for decision-making 
  3. Skill in use of the Microsoft Office Suite and web-based content management systems to compose and prepare a variety of correspondence, reports, publicity and other materials 
  4. Skill in establishing and maintaining respectful and sensitive working relationships with people who are diverse in their cultures, language groups and abilities
  5. Skill in oral communication, including public speaking 
  6. Skill in written communication 
  7. Skill in organizing data, setting up, tracking and maintaining data in electronic and manual files 
  8. Skill in directing the work of others
  9. Skill in performing research in a designated subject matter area 
  10. Skill in designing lesson plans using original research, subject-matter knowledge and materials

Physical Requirements

This classification requires communication with individuals, small groups and large groups; work in close proximity with individuals; comparing data, and interpreting data to others; flexibility, tact and patience; manual dexterity; bending; pulling; pushing; and reaching in order to perform the essential functions. 


Due to the temporary nature of this position, benefits are not included.

Open Date


First Review Date


Open Until Filled


Special Instructions Summary

Required Application Materials All applicants are required to submit: 

1. A completed online District application form (go to https://jobs.smccd.edu to complete the application and to apply for this position). 

2. A resume that details all relevant education, training, and other work experience. 

3. A cover letter of no more than 3 pages that addresses the applicant’s cultural competence, sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds of community college students, faculty, and staff as well as the applicant’s qualifications as they relate to the requirements, knowledge, skills, and abilities listed in this announcement. 

Candidates for interview will be selected from among those who most closely meet the requirements and knowledge, skills and abilities. Meeting the minimum qualifications does not guarantee an interview. As part of the interview process, candidates may be asked to demonstrate job-related knowledge and skills. 

For questions related to this posting, please contact: 
SMCCCD Office of Human Resources 
3401 CSM Drive
San Mateo, CA 94402 
Tel.: (650) 574-6555 
Fax: (650) 574-6574 
Web Page: www.smccd.edu/hr  

Conditions of Employment

Prior to employment, the selected candidate will be required to complete the following:
1. Submit official transcripts (applies to all faculty or educational administrative positions)

2. Submit verifications of prior employment

3. Satisfactory references

4. Successfully being cleared for employment through the background checking process
In addition to background checks, the District may review publicly available information about a candidate on the Internet. If a candidate is aware of incorrect or inaccurate information that is available on the Internet, the candidate is welcome to address such an issue with the Office of Human Resources.
5. Present original documents for proof of eligibility to work in the United States 

6. Approval of your employment by the SMCCCD Board of Trustees 

7. Provide a certificate of Tuberculosis exam for initial employment. 

8. Have fingerprints taken by a Live Scan computer (Clearance must be received prior to first day of employment). Please note that the California Education Code requires, in part, that community college districts shall not employ or retain in employment persons in public school service who have been convicted of certain felonies, a misdemeanor drug charge (including alcohol offenses) or misdemeanor moral turpitude (sexual offense) crime. However, consideration may be given to those whose drug convictions occurred more than five years ago. A conviction for other crimes may not necessarily disqualify you from the job for which you may be applying.

EEO Statement

The San Mateo County Community College District is an Equal Opportunity Employer that seeks to employ individuals who represent the rich diversity of cultures, language groups, and abilities of its surrounding communities.


Applicants who have disabilities may request that special accommodations be made in order to complete the selection process. Accommodation requests and a copy of the Americans with Disabilities Act applicant procedures can be made by completing our:  Applicant Reasonable Accommodation Request Form

Annual Security Report

San Mateo County Community College District’s (SMCCCD) 2021 Annual Security Report (ASR), required by the Clery Act, includes statistics for the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus; in certain off-campus buildings owned or controlled by SMCCCD; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from SMCCCD. Our 2021 Annual Security Report also outlines various campus safety and security policies, such as those concerning crime reporting, prevention and response to sexual and gender violence, alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, emergency response and evacuation procedures, and other matters. The 2021 Annual Security Report also includes important tips to help every member of the community remain safe and avoid becoming a victim of crime. The 2021 Annual Security Report is now available. You can also obtain a copy of this report by contacting the Department of Public Safety at the District Office or any of the three Campuses (650) 738-7000.  The report includes information about criminal activity on our campuses, emergency procedures and resources.

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