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Pod Leader Application

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Job Description

Job Title: Pod Leader

Department: Student Success and Retention

The Pod Leaders support orientation efforts in making students feel welcome to campus during Wave New Student Orientation. They do this through detailed campus tours, assisting with facilitated session management, and building relationships with and between students during orientation. Pod Leaders serve as the first-point of contact between new students and the greater Whatcom community; and contribute to a more accepting campus climate by modeling Whatcom Community College values. Pod Leaders also assist in the coordination of the Whatcom Wave through regular communication with the Coordinator for Student Success and Retention to ensure continuing development of this important program.

Pod Leaders also support students who are struggling throughout the academic year by completing outreach calls to students with early alerts, tabling, visiting classes to inform students about opportunities and resources on campus, and meeting with students in the role of a peer mentor or connecting the students to other appropriate support staff on campus.

About the Department: The Office of Student Success and Retention fosters a sense of belonging and inspires brilliance by guiding students to recognize and practice their strengths and values. We are dedicated to building relationships and innovative practices that inspire personal growth and intellectual curiosity. This work empowers students to learn, grow, and thrive.

About the Whatcom Wave Student Orientation: At the beginning of Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters Whatcom Community College welcomes new students to campus through the Whatcom Wave. The Wave is a Whatcom tradition in helping to orient new students to their college experience, as well as helping those students identify resources to set them up for success.

We believe one of the best predictors of student success is students feeling connected to the college they are attending. Whether this is through student life, clubs, a valued instructor, or connecting to valuable campus resources; Whatcom Wave seeks to help students find their place on campus. This is the first point of contact for new students, and is the first opportunity to find a connection point for each student on campus.

Orientation also seeks to eliminate barriers to equitable access to college. We know students come from all backgrounds, and we want to make sure Whatcom is welcoming to all students who arrive on campus. To do this we spend time intentionally helping students identify resources, navigate campus, and connect to campus technology.

About the Early Alert Support Program: Each quarter, instructors complete progress surveys to communicate to struggling students in an effort to connect them to resources and staff on campus. During each progress survey, instructors also have the opportunity to send Kudos messages to students who are doing well.

When instructors complete progress surveys and raise alerts for students, this sends a resource email to that student and raises a little flag in their Starfish profile that advisors and EASP Peer Mentors can view. Students can also view the flags that have been raised for them in Starfish. Alert flags that instructors raise are usually related to attendance and low grades because poor attendance early on in the quarter or low scores signals to instructors and staff that students are at risk of falling behind and not grasping the content.

We understand that a variety of factors impact learning and ability to attend. Many students have competing responsibilities related to work, childcare, health, and more that sometimes impact grades. What’s most important is that students reach out for help when they need it, and keep looking for resources and stay connected to staff and faculty who are part of the network they’re building on campus to support their success in reaching their academic goals. Pod Leaders facilitate the creation of that network for individual students.

Starfish is the tool we use to manage progress surveys and house these “early alerts.” Starfish allows faculty and staff to communicate more effectively in supporting students, enables students to view currently open flags as well as kudos, and allows support services staff to divide up outreach and response efforts to early and mid-quarter alerts so we reach as many struggling students as possible.


  • Make welcome calls to new students during the summer
  • Lead campus tours for all Whatcom Wave Orientations
  • Build relationships with incoming students through ice breakers, and intentional conversations based on the eight areas of wellness
  • Assist with Wave facilitated session activities and assist facilitators per request
  • Work closely with the Coordinator for Student Success and Retention in planning Orientation sessions and new ways to connect with incoming students
  • Work closely with WCC’s Student Completion Coach to support all students who have received early alerts and mid-quarter alerts
  • With the assistance of Completion Coach, coordinate tabling in various locations to share information about resources on campus
  • Coordinate class visits to connect with students proactively
  • Work closely with Completion Coach to ensure that EASP peer mentors have what they need to be successful and team goals are being met each quarter
  • Make approximately 50 outreach calls over the course of the first two through five weeks of the quarter to provide navigational support and facilitate problem-solving behaviors for students
  • Make approximately 50-75 calls over the course of weeks 6-8 (during mid-terms) to students who have disappeared from classes or are in danger of not passing their courses.
  • Maker referrals via phone and assist students in scheduling meetings with academic coaching services on campus
  • Table in various buildings on campus to make connections with students and assist students in accessing resources and developing next steps to reach their goals
  • Visit classes to promote events on campus relevant to student development and achievement, provide information about navigating WCC’s online tools (MyWCC, Starfish degree planner/scheduler, Financial Aid portal, etc.)
  • Meet with students in the role of a peer mentor



- 2.25 cumulative GPA

- Earned at least 20 college level credits with 2.0 or better in those courses

- Eligibility for Work Study (Visit Financial Aid to find out if you are eligible)

- Ability to work Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday afternoon (shifts can vary, but working hours will fall between these timespans, with the possibility of working until 6:30 on occasion)

- Ability to work at all Wave Orientations

- Enthusiasm for college and supporting students

- Willingness to learn new technologies (office phones, Starfish system)

- Willingness to teach college navigational skills in 1:1 settings (Class Search, Starfish degree planner, scheduling appointments via Starfish)

- Strong email etiquette and writing skills


Preferred Qualifications:

- 2.5 or higher cumulative GPA

- Previous experience making phone calls

- Previous experience working with people in a helping role


Salary: $12.00 per hour

Start Date: Spring: March 25, 2019

Fall: September 16, 2019

Required Training:March 26 & 27, 2019


10-25 hours the week before classes start (25 in Fall, 10 in Winter and Spring)

5 to 15 hours a week during weeks 2-10 of each quarter (2-6 in summer quarter)

Training prior to start, to be determined (pending Work Study approval)