Upward Bound Counselor

Staff Exempt Boston, Massachusetts


Summary of Position:


The Academic Counselor position in the Center for Academic Access and Opportunity (CAAO) at Suffolk University is responsible for assisting the program director with the development and implementation of outreach and recruitment initiatives, as well as, academic guidance to participants in the Upward Bound Program (UB). A federally-funded TRIO program, the UB Program was created to help qualified high school scholars in the Dorchester, Massachusetts area develop the necessary skills to enroll and succeed in post-secondary education. Alongside the Program Director, the Academic Counselor ensures that eligible participants receive individualized educational support services, assistance with college admissions and financial aid planning, access to coursework in key areas such as math, science, literature, composition, and foreign language, and exposure to cultural events and activities. Academic Counselor will work closely with partnered school staff and TRIO professionals to ensure all program objectives are met. This positon will require offsite visits to partnered school and occasional travel for student trips and professional development. This position reports to the Upward Bound Program Director.

Primary/Principal Responsibilities:


Identify, outreach, and recruit eligible program participants, and work with program staff in the development, coordination, and implementation of academic and student services, academic year programming and 6-week summer session, and initiatives for program participants.


Meet with students in grades 9th – 11th to conduct student needs assessments and create personal education plans; Assess and monitor participant performance in the program and successfully transition the senior (12th grade) class to the program director to complete the college admissions processes; maintain regular communication with participants, parent/guardian of participants and external service providers involved with the participant; review and update participants’ records and maintain participant data and keep program director informed of participant progress. Must maintain confidentiality of participant records and information.


Work closely with program participants to assist in the identification of post-secondary programs, inform participants of financial aid resources and strategies, and assist the Program Director with monitoring students in the college application and financial aid process providing feedback and direction where necessary. Ideally, the prospect should be knowledgeable of universities, programs, and organizations that have targeted opportunities for first-generation, low-income, and students at risk of academic failure and keep a running directory of a variety of relevant opportunities to these populations.


Propose, design, and lead workshops and seminars appropriate to the immediate needs of the students and the overall goals and objectives of the program, including but not limited to: future careers, college admissions, financial aid, financial literacy, navigating university resources, mental health and well-being, writing strategies, etc.


Support the implementation of methods to achieve program goals and objectives and ensure the proper management of records and participant information systems. Assist the Program Director with the preparation of the Annual Performance Report (APR) required by the U.S. Department of Education and with the preparation of other progress and outcome reports for the institution or external partners, as needed.


Support other university-related initiatives and/or engage in other duties, as assigned, to further the mission and visibility of the UB Program and the CAAO where the program is housed.



  • Bachelor’s degree required with an emphasis in education, human service, or related field
  • A minimum of two (2) years of successful professional experience teaching, advising, or mentoring secondary education learners, preferably from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds and first-generation students.
  • Experience using various assessment tools advising income eligible, first-generation students in grades 9th – 12th; for both group and individual settings.
  • Knowledge of financial aid, college admissions, student assessment, and curriculum development, especially if it relates to high school students.
  • Must have demonstrated capability of being creative, proactive, and a team player, and possess strong organizational, interpersonal, communication, and presentation skills
  • Experience facilitating workshops and trainings and working effectively with diverse populations
  • Possess a strong understanding of the Boston Public School system and the Boston community
  • Required to accompany program participants on college visits, field trips, overnight trips including residential week during the 6-week summer program and travel during the work day.
  • Attend events supporting post-secondary outcomes, participate in professional development conferences and trainings.
  • Ability to travel to partnered school site to provide student services


Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree or higher, in education, counseling, psychology, social work or similar
  • Previous experience working with or participating in TRIO (or similar) programs
  • Familiarity with grant-funded programs and ability to work within federal and state guidelines.
  • Preference will be given to individuals who have overcome circumstances similar to those of program participants.

This position is grant funded through May 31, 2027. Employment beyond the cycle of the grant is contingent upon a successful grant funding. Review of applications will begin immediately.

Suffolk University does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, age, genetic information, or status as a veteran in admission to, access to, treatment in, or employment in its programs, activities, or employment. Suffolk University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. The University is dedicated to the goal of building a diverse and inclusive faculty and staff that reflect the broad range of human experience who contribute to the robust exchange of ideas on campus, and who are committed to teaching and working in a diverse environment. We strongly encourage applications from groups historically marginalized or underrepresented because of race/color, gender, religious creed, disability, national origin, veteran status or LGBTQ status. Suffolk University is especially interested in candidates who, through their training, service and experience, will contribute to the diversity and excellence of the University community.