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Manager, Living-Learning

Date: September 8, 2016
Reports to (Job Title): Director, Student Development and Residence Life
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): Co-ordinator, Living-Learning Communities (3), Co-ordinator, Administration & Academic Programming, 50-80 Peer Leaders (student-staff)
Department: Housing & Residences


Village I


35 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

The Manager, Living-Learning is accountable to the Director, Student Development and Residence Life for the strategic development, implementation, management and assessment of learning initiatives in residence including student development programs, student success and support initiatives and academic/educational content across all residence communities.  The incumbent is responsible for developing key partnerships with Housing, Faculty and Student Services stakeholders in order to accomplish the above. Collaborative working relationships with academic and service-oriented areas on campus will allow the Manager to oversee effective creation, implementation and assessment of holistic and integrated co- and extra-curricular learning opportunities for students, such as living-learning programs and student success initiatives. These programs will vary widely in scope and goal, ranging from tutoring sessions in residence to fully integrated theme/academic cluster living and service-learning opportunities. Some examples include academic cluster programs (currently 12 across 4 faculties, 3 affiliated and federated institutions, and 1 student service office - Co-operative Education and Career Action), international 2+2 cultural support programs, undergraduate summer bridge programs, integration with course content via projects and application of material learned in the classroom.

Key Accountabilities:


Provide excellent leadership to the co-ordinators and student staff in the incumbent’s area of responsibility.

  • Creating and maintaining positive working relationships by establishing a clear set of reasonable and mutually agreed upon expectations, effectively measuring and evaluating performance, and providing feedback. The incumbent is expected to provide solid training and development for all direct reports, leading to employee growth and improved performance at all levels of responsibility

Initiate and implement programs, services, resources and communications to encourage student learning, success and engagement.

  • Development and implementation of mechanisms to identify and support students in academic jeopardy. Creation of a comprehensive strategy involving peer mentoring, peer support, and peer intervention via the Peer Leader and Don programs, and integration with centralized efforts in the Faculties and Student Success Office.


Liaise with all partners operating within the residence community.

  • Establish a clear set of reasonable and mutually agreed upon expectations, clear definition of roles and responsibilities, and regular feedback and assessment of initiatives.  In part this is done through the development and management of written memorandums of understanding with each partner, ensuring that these are updated and re-signed annually.
  • Partners include professors, Associate Deans and Academic Department Heads, heads of Academic support Departments (i.e. Student Success Office, Centre for Teaching Excellence, Health Services, Counselling Services, Waterloo International, Writing Centre), Residence Directors of the Affiliated and Federated Institutions of Waterloo, the Federation of Students executive and many others.


Establish and nurture positive and professional relationships.

  • Demonstrate a proactive approach with faculty, staff and students in order to create and promote the opportunities for ‘outside the classroom’ learning and student support initiatives in residence. This includes liaising with the Vice President Academic and Provost’s office annually to request funds available to support the Tutoring in Residence program.


Establish performance indicators and assessment methods.

  • Measure achievement in all areas of responsibility, and provide written and oral presentation of results regularly to faculty and staff partners, and annually to the Department for use in decision making.


Provide leadership to the department in the areas of student development.

  • Work collaboratively with all areas within the Department of Housing and Residences to create an integrated and engaging student experience.  This includes, but is not limited to full partnership and integration with residence life, collaboration and direction on living-learning admissions placement and marketing strategies, creation and use of information systems and technology, and the use and development of facilities and spaces that support student success and engagement.

Position Requirements


University degree required; graduate degree or equivalent experience in a student development related field preferred.


A minimum of 5 years of progressive management experience in Residence Life and/or Living-Learning programs. Working knowledge of current research and best practices in student development theory and residence life. Development and delivery of integrated programs, performance indicators and assessment methods for the purpose of building a residence community that is based on mutual respect and the ability to educate.


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Basic Basic Basic Blended learning technologies: e-learning       (e-tutoring, e-mentoring,      e-portfolios)

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

Competencies include strategic and critical thinking, people management, facilitation, interpersonal, organizational and communication skills, and the ability to inspire integrity.  

Level of Responsibility:

This position is responsible for the strategic development, implementation, management and assessment of learning initiatives in residence. The Manager, Living-Learning is responsible for developing key partnerships with Housing, Faculty, and Student Services stakeholders. This position provides leadership, coaching and support to the Living-Learning management team, and to the Student Development management team in Housing.

Decision-Making Authority:

This position has decision-making authority within the functional area of Living-Learning. This positions has decision-making authority for Living-Learning staffing decisions, business processes, expense management, and educational programs development.

Physical and Sensory Demands:

This managerial role in an office setting involves minimal physical demands and moderate sensory effort resulting in slight fatigue, strain, or risk of injury.

Working Environment:

Minimal exposure to conditions typical of a position exposed to stress and pressure associated with management-level responsibilities. Individual must be able to manage concurrent assignments and prioritize workload in order to meet deadlines. Periods of irregular/high volume will require some evening and weekend work (e.g. student staff training). Occasional participation in the department’s emergency on-call rotation (approximately 3 to 4 weeks over the course of the year) is required.