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How to Apply

In addition to submitting your application through (JO #XXX), please email the following information to: 

  • A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and must be attached as the first page of your resume. The letter should address your specific interest in and fit with this GSSA position. Please include your University Department/Program affiliation and year in graduate studies.
  • Contact information (email and phone) for three to five professional references
  • A letter or email from your academic advisor confirming that:
    •  you are in good academic standing
    • you are not on fellowship support
    • the work described below fulfills your degree requirement or is considered academically relevant to the degree you are pursuing
    • you are approved for a 50% appointment
    • (PLEASE NOTE: this letter may be submitted separately to:

Job Summary

This one-term GSSA position will support the Recruitment, Engagement & Partnerships team at Rackham Graduate School with the development and planning of student support programs. Specifically, these programs will focus on orienting incoming graduate students to U-M and assist students with their first-year transition.

Appointment Period:  Winter 2021 (This position is for one term with renewal contingent upon completion of performance expectations and available funding).

Estimated FTE: 50% (20 hours per week)

Compensation: This appointment provides tuition, required fees, stipend (at the GEO negotiated GSSA monthly rate), GradCare health insurance, and dental insurance (Option 1).

Expected Outcomes:  The GSSA position will strengthen professional competencies in the following areas:

  • Interpersonal skills-using active listening skills and being able to communicate effectively and in a professional manner;
  • Development-identifying needs and formulating ideas;
  • Evaluation-collecting/gathering information about specific components of programs in order to make future decisions, set appropriate goals, or make possible changes;
  • Resource management-creating intended outcomes to enhance areas for improvement and measuring achievement of intended outcomes to justify the allocation of the resources used;
  • Problem solving-having the critical thinking skills to address situations on a consistently evolving short-term and long-term outlook;
  • Collaboration-working with others cooperatively in order to reach established goals.
  • Best practices in acclimating first year graduate students to the graduate school experience;
  • Community-building in higher education environments; and
  • Student should be able to present a proposal/paper regarding their experience at a local/regional conference in their field.

Course Description

This posting is for a GSSA postion - no course is affiliated with it.


  • Conduct focus groups and develop recommendations for future Rackham 101 programming;
  • Benchmark orientation and first year programming at peer institutions and recommend changes to current model;
  • Research and assist with creating a one-week virtual orientation program for incoming Rackham Merit Fellows;
  • Research and create a pilot framework for peer to peer mentoring program for incoming graduate students; and
  • Refine and expand list of resources for student success.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work to be performed and are not an exhaustive list of all associated responsibilities.



Required Qualifications*

Applicants must be currently registered in a Rackham graduate program. Preference will be given to doctoral students who have reached candidacy. Students who are unsure if they are in a Rackham graduate program should check their graduate program listing in

  • Previous experience in orientation programming;
  • Familiarity with peer mentoring;
  • Experience with student development and diversity issues in higher education;
  • Demonstrated experience in program development;
  • Experience conducting and coordinating student programs;
  • Ability to work as part of a team and capacity to exercise independent initiative;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • Ability to handle multiple projects with excellent attention to detail and ability to meet deadlines;
  • Strong organizational skills; and
  • Knowledge of personal computer productivity tools including word processing, spreadsheets, presentation and electronic communication, social media, and calendaring software packages.

Desired Qualifications*

Desired Qualifications

In addition to the required qualifications, successful candidates will have:

  • An understanding of the challenges faced by underrepresented populations in higher education;
  • Reasonable knowledge of University and departmental policies and procedures, University organization, and University protocol and governance; and
  • The ability to work, problem solve and make decisions with limited supervision.

Contact Information

Questions regarding this position may be emailed to rack-stu-engagement@umich.eduApplicants may request the status of their application from the appointing unit.

Decision Making Process

Applications will be reviewed following the posting deadline and selected candidates will be contacted for an interview. References will be contacted for finalists.

Emma Flores, Director of Recruitment, Engagement & Partnerships is leading this search.

Every effort will be made to have a hiring decision by Friday, December 18, 2020

Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed following the posting deadline and selected candidates will be contacted for an interview. References will be contacted for finalists.

Emma Flores, Director of Recruitment, Engagement & Partnerships is leading this search.

Every effort will be made to have a hiring decision by Friday, December 18, 2020

GEO Contract Information

The University will not discriminate against any applicant for employment because of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, marital status, familial status, parental status or pregnancy status, sex, gender identity or expression (whether actual or perceived), sexual orientation, age, height, weight, disability, citizenship status, veteran status, HIV antibody status, political belief, membership in any social or political organization, participation in a grievance or complaint whether formal or informal, medical conditions including those related to pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, arrest record, or any other factor where the item in question will not interfere with job performance and where the employee is otherwise qualified. The University of Michigan agrees to abide by the protections afforded employees with disabilities as outlined in the rules and regulations which implement Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Information for the Office for Institutional Equity may be found at and for the University Ombuds at

Unsuccessful applications will be retained for consideration in the event that there are last minute openings for available positions. In the event that an employee does not receive their preferred assignment, they can request a written explanation or an in-person interview with the hiring agents(s) to be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon time.

This position, as posted, is subject to a collective bargaining agreement between the Regents of the University of Michigan and the Graduate Employees' Organization, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO 3550.

Standard Practice Guide 601.38, Required Disclosure of Felony Charges and/or Felony Convictions applies to all Graduate Student Assistants (GSAs). SPG 601.38 may be accessed online at , and its relation to your employment can be found in MOU 10 of your employment contract.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.