Associate Director for Family Programs

George Mason University   Fairfax, VA   Full-time     Management
Posted on November 1, 2022
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Associate Director for Family Programs


The George Mason University, Division of University Life, invites applicants to apply for the position of Associate Director for Family Programs within the New Student and Family Programs Office (NSFP). George Mason University has a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its faculty and staff, and strongly encourages candidates to apply who will enrich Mason’s academic and culturally inclusive environment.


About the New Student and Family Programs Office:

Our Mission: The New Student and Family Programs (NSFP) office is a centralized and comprehensive department, within the Division of University Life, whose primary purposes are to foster engagement, build community, establish tradition, and affect retention through three coordinated initiatives: undergraduate orientation and new student programs, parent and family outreach, and leadership development. With special attention to transition and the first-year experience, the NSFP office provides innovative programs and services that facilitate the social and academic acclimation process for George Mason University students and their families.


Our department is committed to the following:

  • Purpose: Our top priority are our students and families, and we provide support through relevant, accessible, and exciting experiences that meet their unique needs and promote a sense of belonging throughout their time at Mason.
  • Justice: We are committed to critical self-reflection, acknowledging blind spots, and being mindful of assumptions and positionality to cultivate a culture of belonging. We strive to be leaders in adapting and advocating for changes in the best interest of the population we serve.
  • Intentionality: We are dedicated to facilitating purposeful, timely, and equitable experiences for new students and families through their transition journey by staying on the pulse of trends to support current and contemporary students.
  • Inclusion: Our work is centered in equity, access, and social change. We acknowledge, embrace, and encourage the diverse differences and talents of individuals through compassion, care, and concern, while actively and continually creating a culture that is respectful and inclusive of all members of our community.
  • Collaboration: We believe in building successful partnerships that support the mission and values of NSFP through modeling accountability, clear communication, and follow-through. Determined in investing capacity and resources toward well-being, balance, and sustainable structures to contribute to the experiences of employees and stakeholders.



Reporting to the Director of NSFP, the Associate Director for Family Programs provides strategic and active management of all family programs and initiatives within the unit. The position also supports and provides leadership for various programs and functions of the unit. As an integral member of the NSFP leadership team, the Associate Director provides direction and support for a wide range of division initiatives and serves as an active ambassador for the George Mason community.


Family Programming

  • Provide vision and leadership for comprehensive programming and service delivery specifically designed to engage families of Mason students;
  • Oversee the development and implementation of Family Weekend and Spring Family Fling as signature events at the university, as well as other university-wide events that involve families;
  • Develop and implement Family Orientation, in coordination with the New Student and Family Programs team; and
  • Research best practices and emerging trends related to family programs and services in higher education and develop new initiatives that would benefit Mason families.


Family Engagement

  • Develop and implement comprehensive assessment plan for the Mason family experience and programs;
  • Direct the development and implementation of a comprehensive family communication and outreach plan through Mason Family Connection platform;
  • Identify and cultivate new partnerships internally and externally focused on increasing support and engagement for Mason families;
  • Assist in fundraising efforts for the Parents Fund, in collaboration with University Life (UL) Advancement;
  • Participate in the request and allocation process for Parents Fund grants;
  • Support the Mason Parent and Family Council, including member recruitment, selection and facilitation of bi-annual meetings, volunteer activities, and other responsibilities;
  • Manage Family Programs budget ($350,000), in coordination with Business Manager and Director; and
  • Develop relationships with local vendors and campus stakeholders to secure sponsorship for programs, including move-in, Family Weekend, Spring Family Fling, Commencement, and summer orientation.


Unit Duties

  • Supervise Assistant Director for Family Programs;
  • Participate in the training and development of the Student Coordinator and Patriot Leader teams, as appropriate;
  • Attend professional meetings and maintain active memberships in salient professional organizations;
  • Serve on university committees and other tasks identified by Director and/or UL leadership; and
  • Report to the Director of New Student and Family Programs.


Required Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in Higher Education, Student Personnel, Counseling or related field, or equivalent combination of education and experience;
  • Progressively responsible professional experience (typically obtained in 3 years) and leadership working closely with staff, undergraduate students, and/or graduate students;
  • Strong working knowledge of new student and family programs, student, and family transitional issues;
  • Exceptional interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills, and be able to communicate with a variety of constituents and departmental stakeholders;
  • Experience creating and managing both print and electronic web publications;
  • Demonstrated experience designing assessment plans, developing, executing, analyzing data, and creating meaningful reports for distribution;
  • Experience designing, developing, and executing large scale programming initiatives;
  • Possess highly developed organizational management and problem-solving skills;
  • Must have a commitment to diversity and be comfortable working within diverse populations; and
  • Flexibility to work evening hours and weekends, particularly during summer months is a position requirement.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated leadership abilities;
  • Full-time staff supervisory experience, and possess ability to create a staff development plan that encompasses full- and part-time professional staff, paraprofessional staff, graduate students, and undergraduate student leaders;
  • Ability to work to meet deadlines, work accurately and quickly with attention to detail, and be able to manage multiple complex programs and projects simultaneously;
  • Ability to make independent decisions on behalf of and in conjunction with departmental, divisional, and university missions and initiatives;
  • Strong commitment to customer service; and
  • Ability to manage conflicting and competing situations.


Special Instructions to Applicants  

For full consideration, applicants must apply  for position number FA386z at; complete and submit the online application; and upload a cover letter, resume, and a list of three professional references with contact information.


George Mason University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, committed to promoting inclusion and equity in its community. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability or veteran status, or any characteristic protected by law.