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Graduate Program Administrator

Date: October 6, 2015
Reports to (Job Title): Administrative Officer
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): Graduate Program Assistant
Department: Kinesiology


Main Campus


35 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

The Kinesiology Graduate Program Administrator provides executive leadership for all graduate programs in the Department of Kinesiology, responsible for the smooth and efficient operation of the graduate programs in a manner consistent with the department’s goals and objectives.  The scope of the position encompasses operational leadership, oversight of graduate academic counselling and advising, graduate calendar changes, scholarships, and student communications and marketing and acts as the primary point of contact for prospective and current graduate students during their tenure in Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo. This position provides strategic leadership for the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies to enable successful day to day operation of the Graduate program and ensures consistency and continuity of service as academic leadership changes.  As the lead staff position in the Kinesiology Graduate Studies office, the Administrator position will serve as the communication and record keeping center for Department and Graduate program operations.   The incumbent requires a high degree of knowledge for managing the cycle of applications, admissions, academic progression, scholarship and graduation, enrollment projections and all administrative operations related to these processes and as such develops, implements and maintains processes relating to graduate academic policies and procedures.  The incumbent is expected to possess in-depth knowledge of departmental, Faculty and university-level policies and regulations as well as best practices at all levels of the university structure.  (S)he will act as a resource on policy and procedures for other team members and  take a leadership role in the implementation of new policies and adherence to existing policies as they pertain to graduate studies. 

Key Accountabilities:


Graduate Program Planning and Administration

  • Provide strategic council and direction to the Associate Chair Graduate Studies to ensure full operation of the Kinesiology Graduate program in compliance with University policies and procedures.
  • In conjunction with the Associate Chair Graduate Studies, co-ordinates and compiles information to plan and implement changes to related program requirements and course descriptions for the University of Waterloo Graduate Course Calendar. 
  • Supervises the Graduate Program Assistant, assigning tasks that will ensure all the necessary support for successful delivery of all Kinesiology graduate activities and that University policies and procedures are followed.
  • Active member of the Department Graduate Committee.  Act as a consultant and resource for this committee and the department at large providing strong leadership and knowledgeable guidance to formulate current and future agenda items with the goal of optimizing the effective delivery of the Kinesiology Graduate program and facilitating the implementation of new programs and processes that are compliant with UW policies and procedures.
  • Active member of the Faculty of AHS Graduate committee ( Assoc. Dean G, AHS G Chairs, Department Grad coordinators), responsible for review, implementation and optimization of the business practices as they relate to all Graduate programs in Kinesiology (and AHS) including initiatives focused on recruitment, outreach, engagement and retention of students.   
  • Available as the central resource for a wide range of Graduate information, providing statistical reporting and general advice for senior department administrators and relevant committees
  • Responsible for ensuring accurate content of introductory sections and program(s) section of the Kinesiology chapter of the UW Graduate calendar.  Coordinate the departmental content for the submission to the GSO.
  • Prepare reports to Faculty Graduate Studies of all program/plan/course additions/deletions and changes, including rationalesresponsible for the structure and content of the departmental Graduate programs.   
  • Responsible for ensuring the Kinesiology Graduate webpages are up to date and accurately reflect all activities of this program for recruitment and to help provide valuable information and service for our current graduate students.
  • Responsible for the graduate student database which is an essential tool for managing student records effectively as well as provides critical information including  but not limited to funding and  academic progression for reporting purposes and long term planning, and provides an email directory for contacting target groups.  With the assistance of Graduate Program Assistant, ensures that the information in the database is accurate and current  Run queries and processes in Quest to extract data for admissions and degree completion reporting
  • On-going development of appropriate procedures for handling applications, admissions,  program changes, marks processing
  • Provide the Administrative Officer with enrolment projections to assist with TA assignment and sessional appointment plans and associated budget; reports enrolment anomalies to the senior departmental administrators
  • Coordinate with the KGSA to provide support as necessary for their programs and activities that support many areas of graduate student life in Kinesiology



Academic Services

  • Advise and assist the Graduate Assoc. Chair with study plans and academic annual progress reports for all students in each Graduate program.  
  • Full approval and signing authority for official graduate student documents as required for to course revisions, graduate committee approval, thesis submission documents, intent to graduate and others as determined by the Associate Chair Graduate Studies.
  • Coordinates Practicum placements with the Graduate Associate Chair.  Collect and process practicum learning contracts, practicum award applications, and UW work/education placement agreements. Works closely with the Associate Chair and other Department staff and faculty to ensure students arrange and complete appropriate practicum term. Works with the Associate Chair to maintain current practicum opportunities and create new opportunities. Maintains contact with other offices on campus who may be involved with practicum related insurance and liability issues (i.e., Safety Office, Secretariat, etc.)
  •  Full responsibility for ensuring all requirements for degree completion are met for all students including thesis defence and submission requirements, course work and milestones for each Graduate program.  Conducts degree “check lists” for all students nearing graduation. Advises students on degree requirements and strategy for completion of requirements.
  • Independently provides instruction and advice to students regarding their individual course and program/plan selections during the academic cycle (course selection, plan modification, scheduling conflicts and academic progression)
  • Supervise the submission of grades for all Kinesiology graduate courses and other graduate program activities ( eg milestones) as required
  • Full responsibility for the coordination and support of all graduate scholarship applications (including but not limited to OGS, QEII, Tri-Agency Canada Graduate Scholarships Master’s (CGS-M), and SSHRC Doctoral Scholarship and other competitive awards) , for prospective and current graduate students at the University of Waterloo.  This includes organizing and administering the application process,  advising students of scholarship and application requirements, reviewing applicants for eligibility, ordering transcripts and calculating transcript averages, checking for accuracy, editing, and tracking applications, organizing, recording ranking meeting results, ensuring that all applications are complete and appropriately signed
  • Responsibility for coordination and allocation of other academic awards available from donor funded endowments
  • Lead contact to respond to a wide range of enquiries about our graduate programs from  current UW students, faculty members, alumni, campus colleagues, and  prospective students



  •  Provide skillful, confidential advising to students regarding their individual course and program/plan selection within the context of their educational and career goals during the academic cycle (enrollment, plan modification and academic progression) by telephone, individual appointments, and in writing; sensitive to the needs of a wide client base including undergraduates, international students,  mature students, and students registered with the Accessibility Office 
  • “First contact” advising to students in crisis.  Direction is provided for those students in a confidential manner (academic concerns or personal matters).  Immediate action may be required to connect students with University resources and/or to provide practical assistance.
  • Advise students regarding graduate policies, course and theses regulations, petition/appeal procedures including how to prepare documents effectively.
  • Conducts degree checklists, and review of all students nearing graduation. Advises students on degree requirements and strategy for completion of requirements




  • The incumbent is the Departmental staff liaison in the Graduate admission process between the student, the AC Grand and Department of Kinesiology, Dean of AHS office and the Graduate Studies office (GSO).
  • Responsible for Communication with applicants to verify personal data and academic history
  • Responsible for developing and overseeing the ongoing application and registration process, ensuring all parties are meeting deadlines and following applicable procedures.
  • Responsible for review and evaluation of application ensuring transcript and minimum admission requirements are met, verifying English language proficiency certification, and financial support.
  •  Full responsibility for providing graduate admissions offer recommendations (funding, supervisor, program) and submitting to the GSO in a timely manner to ensure offers are competitive with other Universities
  • Provide council to the AC Grad when recommendations conflict with graduate admissions standards, and communicate rationale for unfavourable decisions to the applicant
  • Manage the Approved Doctoral Dissertation Supervisors (ADDS) records.  This is integral to the accuracy of the Graduate Studies Calendar, Quest security for admissions, electronic approval and supervisor records processes



Course Management:

  • Manage the graduate course schedule for Kinesiology.   This involves working directly with the Administrative officer, the Graduate Associate Chair and individual faculty members to develop, implement, communicate, and direct a scheduling strategy that works effectively for the Department and its graduate programs in coordination with the Undergraduate activities.
  • Provide overall supervision of the Kinesiology graduate academic timetable and act as the information and advisory authority for the Department in terms of the graduate scheduling processes, ensuring that faculty/instructors are aware of university policies and procedures as they relate to course scheduling.


Marketing and promotion

  • Develop and manage marketing and promotional activities for Kinesiology Graduate programs in conjunction with AHS and University of Waterloo initiatives.




Kinesiology Department Administration

  • Provide executive support for the Kinesiology Department and the Department Chair to contribute to and further the mission of the Department, and ensuring smooth day to day operation in accordance with policy and procedures of the University as required. This will include but not limited to tenure and annual performance review processes

Position Requirements


Bachelors’ degree or equivalent education and experience.



MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Intermediate to Advanced Advanced Excellent

Good working knowledge of On Base, Sharepoint, Quest,

GSO programs, infosilem, Outlook

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

This position requires excellent interpersonal skills to present as a friendly, professional advocate for the department and its activities.     Excellent listening and verbal communication skills will be required to foster good working relationships with a variety of clients including students, staff and faculty.  This position will be part of the Kinesiology Department staff team and thus will be required to operate within a team environment, providing support to others as necessary.  Excellent organizational skills will be required to prioritize multiple duties and requests and facilitate record keeping.

Level of Responsibility:

This position will be expected to operate independently and utilize strong problem solving skills as administrator of Kinesiology Graduate activities and as graduate program advisor.  As a key member of the Department administration team, they will be required to facilitate changes in internal procedures to match ongoing changes in University facilities, programs and procedures.  This position will be required to assess department procedures and provide advice and recommendations on efficient operation of the Graduate Program and Departmental activities to further the Department programs and mission. 

Decision-Making Authority:

This position will be accountable for matching the graduate program needs and direction with the Department goals and objectives and University policy. 

Physical and Sensory Demands:

This role requires minor physical exertion associated with office and computer work.  Minimal psychological risk is possible resulting from exposure to some disagreeable situation/conversations or the requirement to enforce policy.  Some clients may be demanding.

Working Environment:

This role is primarily office based with regular working hours and the occasional requirement to attend a meeting/function outside of office hours.  Work priorities may change regularly as the volume of work varies with frequent phone and e-mail interruptions and multiple demands from multiple clients.