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International and Transfer Advisor / Primary Designated School Official

Takoma Park, Maryland
Job Title:                International and Hispanic Transfer Advisor/Primary Designated School Official (PDSO/DSO)
Department:         Admissions
Reports To:           Director of Enrollment                              
FLSA Status:          Exempt

Washington Adventist University (WAU) is a Christ-centered institution of higher education that supports a culture of excellence where all feel valued. Nestled in a desirable residential community in Takoma Park, Maryland, WAU offers its faculty and staff an environment where professional expertise is valued, and lasting connections between co-workers are formed as we work together to ensure the success of our students.  Regardless of the title, every employee supports WAU’s vision of producing graduates who bring moral leadership and competence to their communities.


This key position serves as the Principal Designated School Official (PDSO) and will guide them from the point of inquiry through the point of enrollment into Washington Adventist University. We are seeking an experienced and energetic individual responsible for assisting students on immigration, F1 and J visas, I-20 creation and understanding and compliance with regard to Federal immigration regulations and university polices.

 The individual also will be involved in managing the I-20 process and reaching the international and national Hispanic market through partnerships and outreach to Hispanic families advising students on every aspect of the admissions process as well as information regarding the University. The successful candidate will represent the University through on- and off-campus presentations to prospective students, their families, and guidance professionals and assist the admissions team in meeting goals and expectations. 

  • Serve as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Principal Designated School Official (PDSO)
  • Serve as Liaison and collaborate with the International Program Director for programs and services that support international students.
  • Engage with the Hispanic community through webinars and workshops to help them plan and realize their postsecondary education dream.
  • Assume overall responsibility for the transfer student pipeline from recruiting the matriculation.
  • Work with the registrar’s office to understand transfer credit evaluations.
  • Work with Director of Enrollment to maintain familiarity with our current Community College MOU and articulation agreements while working towards adding more to our portfolio.
  • Meet quantitative and qualitative departmental goals for inquiries, applications, and admitted and enrolled students through the completion, review, and conversion of applications for designated territory.
  • Assume overall responsibility for electronic reporting of data on students and exchange visitors to the federal government via the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Oversee data input and real-time transfer of data to SEVIS, including issuance of federal forms I-20 and DS-2019, and event notifications.
  • Monitor F-1 international student statuses, alerts, records, and information for SEVIS, compliance: detailed student and program record keeping, running and verifying reports, preparing SEVIS drafts.
  • Provide regular education and training on immigration classifications, on the importance of inputting accurate data, and the potential consequences of inputting inaccurate data.
  • Assist in developing operational and statistical reports for regulatory agencies and for effective decision-making by the International Task Force or Office of Institutional Compliance
  • Create communicate workflow with all populations of international students and institution
  • Assist the Director of Enrollment to develop policy, procedures, and program manuals, and agreements with community colleges, schools or foreign markets
  • File the necessary petitions including Certification/Recertification and Designation/Resignation in accordance with immigration law, rules and regulations to assist international students in obtaining legal non-immigrant status in F-1 and J-1 categories.
  • Interpret and advise international students on U.S. immigration laws affecting non-immigrant F-1 visa holders including statutes regulating maintenance of status, extension of stay, change of non-immigrant status, travel abroad and re-entry, obtaining visas for dependents and other family members.
  • Participate in recruitment events to increase the international pipeline and reach Enrollment goal
  • Understand admission process; review files for admission decision; calculate GPA and test scores
  • Follow up with prospects request about admission
  • Develop new international markets that support the Enrollment Goal of 3000 - Vision 2030
  • Attend conference related to the International student population for recruitment (such as NAFSA, etc.)
  • Supports and affirms a culture of distinctive excellence and exceptional service.
  • Attends university events and, required meetings (including weekly Convocation)
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The work environment usually has moderate noise.

Physical Demands
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The employee may frequently be called upon and must be able to work long hours under stressful conditions.  While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit, use hands to finger, handle or feel; talk or hear; lift occasionally lift up to 50 pounds.  This position may require local and regional travel.

Other Qualities
Experience in working in a fast-paced environment. Ability to work effectively with changing priorities in a dynamic environment. Comfortable interfacing with varying levels of clients. Self-motivated and able to multi-task. Must possess a valid driver’s license.

Reasoning Ability
Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists. Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form.

 Mathematical and Technology Skills:
Ability to calculate figures and amounts such as discounts, interest, commissions, proportions, percentages, area, circumference, and volume.  Ability to apply concepts of basic algebra and geometry. Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and database management.

 Language Skills
Proficiency in English. Spanish speaking proficiency is preferred. Ability to read, analyze and interpret general business periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures, or governmental regulations.  Ability to write reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals.  Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, clients, customers, and the general public.

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.  Applicants must be a lawful permanent resident or citizen of the United States as required by the Department of Homeland Security for certification as PDSO and/or RO. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Associate's degree required, Bachelor's degree from a four- year college or university preferred. Minimum of three to five years professional experience as a DSO with advanced knowledge of SEVIS, F-1 and J-1 immigration regulations is essential. Applicants must be lawful permanent residents or citizens of the United States as required by the Department of Homeland Security for certification as DSO and/or ARO. Experience in higher education preferred.

Title VII Exception Notice
Washington Adventist University is a religiously qualified Equal Opportunity Employer under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.  As such the University has the legal right to prefer a member of the Seventh-day Adventist ("SDA") Church in its hiring process. In the event that a qualified SDA candidate is not identified, the University will give the opportunity to candidates who must understand and respect the mission, purpose, and identity of Washington Adventist University as a condition of their employment.34 CRF (and subsections), insofar as they conflict with the Seventh-day Adventist teaching and practices. 

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