Assistant Director of Admissions - Animation

Job Level
Mid-level position
Job Category
Associate / Assistant Director
  • Operations
Job Status
Areas of Responsibility
  • Admission

Seeking individual with strong interpersonal, leadership and empathetic listening skills to counsel and manage inquiries and applications to our highly selective Animation programs in the School of Film and Video at CalArts. This person is responsible for advising a prospect pool that regularly exceeds more than 1,000 interested applicants annually.

Reporting to the Director of Admissions, the Assistant Director of Admissions acts as the primary liaison between CalArts and prospective students and families.  In collaboration with the Director, Program Directors, Faculty, Deans, and Communications, the Assistant Director recruits and guides admitted students through to matriculation, providing support and ongoing communication to prospective students and families throughout the application, review, and admission processes.  Externally, the Assistant Director represents the Institute generally as well as the Office of Admissions and their designated School via information sessions, office hours, college fairs, high school events, visual and performing arts classes, audition and portfolio events, CalArts-hosted events, and other recruitment activities.  Internally, the Assistant Director communicates and collaborates with other offices across campus regarding student needs, and provides cross-training on programs and practices of their assigned school to their Admissions colleagues.  It is critical that the Assistant Director maintain comprehensive knowledge of contemporary art and culture and terminology, both generally and as it relates specifically to the assigned school, and that they cultivate a holistic comprehension of the various schools' mission statements, programs, curricula and artistic vision and how these mesh with CalArts as an Institute.

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS (including but not limited to)

Student Counseling:

  • Advise a diverse domestic and international pool of prospective students on CalArts’ academic programs and campus experience, application, and portfolio and/or audition processes through regular communication with applicants, families, and counselors, including personalized check-ins with candidates throughout the application process
  • Provide feedback and recommended resources to prospective students, rejected applicants, and other applicants on their application materials, and assess their fit with CalArts programs
  • Provide general counseling and information to prospective students regarding financial aid resources, connecting students with Financial Aid staff for additional support
  • Respond to individual student concerns regarding a breadth of unique needs and circumstances requiring a high level of discretion, and connect students to appropriate resources


  • Prepare yearly recruitment strategy plan in collaboration with the Director, Deans, Program Directors, and upper administration to address enrollment needs, based on data and industry trends; seek out new and relevant methods of connecting with prospective students
  • Maintain and strengthen existing relationships for student pipelines, and identify new recruitment pathways with the potential to yield high caliber applicants from around the world
  • Travel extensively for up to several weeks at a time, representing all programs for recruitment, including management of personal travel arrangements and expenses reports; as needed, plan travel for faculty or alumnx representatives

Marketing and Communications:

  • In collaboration with Director, develop targeted advertising strategy for all programs within the assigned school and help to manage the advertising budget; cultivate and maintain relationships with relevant cultural and media outlets to promote CalArts offerings and events
  • Create content to promote program-specific events of interest to prospective students and the broader arts communities, championing new initiatives and highlighting unique strengths
  • Work with School and Enrollment Management leadership to refine admissions marketing materials, and manage creative work by CalArts' design office and freelancers to ensure projects are delivered on time
  • Support school social media presence and generate engaging email campaigns which share pertinent information about the institute, and upcoming recruitment events

Event Planning and Participation:

  • Represent and discuss all aspects of CalArts at a wide range of local and national recruitment events; conduct regular information sessions on and off-campus, and online, including on-campus tours as needed
  • In collaboration with the Director of Admissions, plan and facilitate a range of on and off campus events, including hiring and training student and alumnx event staff, and collaborating with Communications to ensure appropriate media coverage

Review Coordination:

  • Work with Review Coordinator and Enrollment Management Operations team to ensure accurate and timely processing of submitted applications and portfolios/auditions, to manage faculty portfolio reviews of prospective student work, to complete pre-screenings as needed, and manage portfolio review sessions; collaborate with School and Admissions team to plan and staff auditions
  • Alongside the faculty, review and interview applicants and document feedback on application for potential student counseling, and provide personal insight and advice regarding applicants
  • Organize and track all internal reviews in order to monitor progress toward enrollment goals and maintain active communication with the applicant pool and program directors

Enrollment Management:

  • Provide clear, personal insight into admissions data, as well as into each assigned program’s unique advantages or disadvantages in the higher education landscape
  • Generate and monitor internal tracking documents to monitor progress toward enrollment goals
  • Monitor and work with applicant data in Slate: run and organize reports, track applicant processing, yield, and enrollment management, clean up applicant records and request missing applicant materials
  • Provide and document feedback on recruitment events and tactics to improve future seasons


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Well-developed understanding and demonstrative knowledge of current recruitment practices and needs of admissions within an art institute or similar higher education institution.
  • Strong interpersonal, leadership and empathetic listening skills
  • Ability to interact effectively with a diverse community of internal and external constituencies demonstrating tact, diplomacy, discretion and good judgment.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Exceptional organizational and time management skills with the ability to manage multiple projects and see projects through to a timely completion.
  • Skilled in identifying and resolving problems in a timely manner, gathering and analyzing relevant information.
  • Ability to work responsibly, independently and collaboratively in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to participate in recruitment events as needed
  • High energy level. Must be able to work long hours and nights and weekends as required to meet the admissions goals of the institute during peak periods
  • Must be able to come to campus to work your regular shift


Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree required, preferably in an arts related field.
  • A minimum of 3 years of relevant and progressive experience
  • Experience with Slate or other CRM preferred
  • Experience in MS Office and Google suites
  • Experience as a practicing artist preferred
  • Must be local to the area and available to be on campus during regular business hours. This is not a remote position.

How to Apply

Applications are due online through Interfolio

Equity & Diversity

California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) seeks to employ faculty who can engage our diverse communities of learners at the highest levels of artistic endeavor and critical thinking.  Across the range of practitioners from artists to scholars and librarians, we welcome candidates who possess a demonstrated worldview and cultural competency to support teaching and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students of varied backgrounds, capabilities, perspectives, social identities and gender expressions. CalArts is an equal opportunity employer.

Further Information

CalArts has a multidisciplinary approach to its studies of the arts through six schools: Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music and Theater. CalArts encourages students to explore and recognize the complexity of the many aspects of the arts. It is supported by a distinguished faculty of practicing artists and provides its Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts students with the hands-on training and exposure necessary for an artist's growth. CalArts was founded in 1961 and opened in 1969 as the first institution of higher learning in the United States specifically for students interested in the pursuit of degrees in all areas of visual and performing arts.

How to Apply

Applications are due online through Interfolio