American Access at American University — Assistant Academic Director

Washington, District Of Columbia


About Us

The International Accelerator (IA) at American University is a partnership between American University (AU) and Shorelight Education. In support of the university’s strategic plan goal of bringing the world to AU and AU to the world, the mission of the program is to immerse first-year international students in the academic and cultural life of the university. 

Programs in the International Accelerator portfolio include the undergraduate Accelerator (IAP), Master’s Accelerator (MAP), and American Access (Access), all of which are designed to help international students integrate into campus life and provide the support that increases their academic successes in the U.S. higher education system. 

Job Overview

The Assistant Academic Director (AAD) oversees the delivery of the Access academic program to a diverse group of international students. Reporting to the Associate Managing Director of the program, with dotted-line reporting to the Academic Director, the AAD ensures a high-quality academic experience for all students in the program. The AAD works with the Academic Director, university administrators, academic support staff, and faculty members to provide attention and guidance to program students and to organize effective student support in areas of English for academic purposes, tutorials, and progression through the program.                                        

The AAD is a skilled academic manager who possesses the interpersonal skills to work closely with a range of administrators, students, and faculty. A strong team player, the AAD participates in both academic and student services initiatives.

Key Responsibilities

  • Supervise and manage academic program logistics, including course offerings and scheduling
  • Oversee and assist with day-to-day academic operations of the program
  • Implement and supervise academic and student support services, including hiring, training, and retaining tutors and supplemental instructors
  • Collaborate with the Associate Student Services Director to enhance student services activities
  • Implement, monitor, and report student retention, academic tracking, and student conduct and academic integrity
  • Analyze data and report on the progress and satisfaction of the students’ achievement of objectives, including progression through the program and transfer
  • Manage academic operations (per guidelines of the Associate Managing Director and Academic Director), including ensuring that established systems and procedures are followed and that accurate records and SalesForce reports on the program are maintained
  • Partner with the Associate Managing Director, Academic Director, and Associate Student Services Director to advocate for Access students with university stakeholders
  • Oversee the matriculation and on-boarding processes of new students initially and throughout the student lifecycle in the Access program, through the program, and through the transfer process
  • Work with academic departments, curriculum committees, university assessment and writing centers, and the on-campus English Language Training and Academy to determine appropriate scheduling of courses and course section creation, tutoring sessions, and assignment of instructional and academic support staff for the program
  • Oversee the student registration process
  • Support the Academic Director in maintaining academic program quality and standards of the university and its accrediting bodies, including continuous evaluation, assessment, and improvement of the curricula
  • Represent the program through participation in academic events and familiarization tours, and through memberships and affiliations as appropriate
  • Support the Academic Director to create a learning community among the Access faculty where best practices, ideas, and pedagogies are shared
  • Work collaboratively with the Associate Student Services Director on transfer advising and processes
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Master’s degree and a minimum of three years of experience in higher education, language school management, TEFL/TESOL, or related field
  • Experience working with international students—overseas work experience preferred
  • Record of exceptional interpersonal, communication, presentation, and negotiation skills
  • Ability to work in a diverse environment and exhibit cross-cultural competence and understanding
  • Proven customer service skills and demonstrated work ethic
  • High energy level and ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment
  • Demonstrated problem-solving, decision-making, and creative-thinking abilities
  • Demonstrated tact, patience, sensitivity, and diplomacy, particularly with non-native English speakers
  • Demonstrated international outlook
  • Demonstrated understanding of class management tools, including databases, Microsoft Office programs, course management systems, and various forms of media to support an interactive and student-centered classroom experience
  • Experience working within an educational collaboration and/or complex organization
  • Experience designing academic support resources/classes/workshops
  • Experience supervising staff
  • Experience with higher education academic advising and/or transfer counseling
  • Experience with program evaluation and assessment using tools such as MicroStrategy and Datatel
  • Eligibility to work in the United States without sponsorship

Application Process

To apply for this position, please visit the Shorelight Careers page to submit an application with a resume and cover letter. Please include in the cover letter a statement of philosophy of management in higher education.

The International Accelerator Program at American University is an Equal Opportunity Employer.