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Graduate Program Assistant

Date: January 1, 2016
Reports to (Job Title): Graduate Program Administrator
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): None
Department: Kinesiology


Main Campus


35 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

This position reports to the Graduate Program Administrator and is also accountable to the Associate Chair-Graduate Studies.  In cooperation with the Program Administrator, the Graduate Program Assistant will provide front line contact and communication to Kinesiology Graduate students and provide critical Graduate program support to facilitate the student experience and help the Kinesiology department meet its goals.


Nature and Scope Working in conjunction with the Program Administrator, the incumbent will provide service to Kinesiology graduate students to enhance their overall experience at the University of Waterloo.  The Program Assistant facilitates the smooth and efficient operation of the Kinesiology graduate program, in a manner consistent with the department’s goals and objectives.  The incumbent is aware of and participates in ongoing department and graduate activities, and maintains a professional attitude, initiative, and flexibility in all interactions.   The Program Assistant will help to develop and foster communications and relationships by  meeting directly with students and communicating via a variety of electronic means (including but not limited to: email, website, social media, Learn) to facilitate dissemination of academic advice,  policies and procedures, curriculum/specializations, graduation requirements and other information to help students reach their academic and career goals.  The Program assistant will assist with admissions to recruit high caliber applicants, cultivate student relationships, engage alumni, and be an effective liaison with the Graduate Studies Office (GSO) and the Kinesiology Graduate student association (KGSA). This position requires excellent problem-solving and organizational skills with capability as a self-directed organizer and communicator.  Students seek assistance during peak times for applications, course selection, registration, graduation requirements and as necessary during the academic year. Confidentiality is essential.


Statistical Data The Department of Kinesiology currently consists of 26 FTE regular faculty members, 6 instructors/senior demonstrators, 5 administrative staff, 2 technical staff, 4 CRC Chairs, 6 Postdoctoral fellows/research associates and multiple coop students and contingent on funding research staff.    The Department enrollment is approximately 1100 undergraduate students (60% in the coop stream), 110 graduate students in 2 programs.  Kinesiology assigns on average 100 TA positions over the year to support its experiential learning Undergraduate lab program. 

Key Accountabilities:

1.  Graduate Program Support:



2.  Academic Services



3.  Communication, Engagement and Student Life


Position Requirements


Bachelor’s degree.   Masters level preferred


Experience working in an academic environment with high level of understanding and competent knowledge of University of Waterloo graduate programs, policy and procedures. Proven ability to work independently with excellent decision making skills combined with the ability to work as part of a team and multiple stakeholders in a busy environment.  Excellent communication (oral and written), interpersonal and organizational skills.   Ability to be flexible, multi task and shift focus to adapt to changes in priorities  and multiple deadlines.   Proven aptitude for attention to detail and accuracy.   Discretion required to work with sensitive and confidential information.


Advanced computing skills using software such as OnBase, Sharepoint etc to manage Graduate programs and student reporting and processing.  Strong understanding and experience with Social Media


MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Intermediate to advanced Intermediate to advanced Intermediate Social Media, Sharepoint, OnBase, Quest

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.



 Significant internal and external relationships for this position include:

Level of Responsibility:

The incumbent will possess proven ability and understanding of graduate operations and activities.  This position will be expected to operate within established policies and procedures and to demonstrate sound judgement and consultative skills to maintain a collaborative environment. 

Decision-Making Authority:

This position is expected to use judgment to make decisions based on existing policies and procedures. Extraordinary issues are referred to the Graduate Program Administrator with recommendations for solution or action.

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.