Retention Coordinator

Job Title: Retention Coordinator, New Dawn Enterprises
Location: New Dawn Centre for Social Innovation, 37 Nepean Street
Reports To: Manager, Cape Breton Island Centre for Immigration
Details: Full Time, Two-Year Contract

Job Purpose:

As an ever-growing and evolving organization, new opportunities for the New Dawn as a whole, and for particular divisions within the organization, emerge regularly.

The Retention Coordinator will work to increase the retention of international students studying at and graduating from Cape Breton University. This will be accomplished through a combination of events and day-to-day counselling work.

The Retention Coordinator will report to the Manager of the Cape Breton Island Centre for Immigration and will work closely with Island businesses, Cape Breton University, Island Municipalities, and Island development agencies (RENs, Cape Breton Partnership, Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce, etc.)


Develop programming designed to increased international student retention:

  • Design and deliver programming throughout the year including, but not limited to: Island tours in June and September, family graduation events in May and October, a multi-cultural festival each September, and three employment readiness workshops/year.
  • Ensure that this programming is professional, responsive, and designed to meet the needs of international students
  • Engage Island partners in the design and execution of programming (Island municipalities, CBU and NSCC, development agencies, etc.)
  • Gather feedback from partners and participants after events to improve the quality and relevance of events in subsequent years

Student/Graduate Employment/Business/Settlement Support

  • Provide ongoing support on an individual basis to international students and graduates
  • Connect students and graduates to other community services and resources and employment and business opportunities
  • Assist students and graduates (and their families) in navigating and settling on the Island


  • Design and deliver annual surveys to international students and graduates at CBU to discover: intentions to stay, sectors of study and interest, family connections/interest, investment opportunities, factors in decision to settle, immediate, medium- and short term needs, etc.
  • Create report from annual survey data to inform programming structure and content
  • Design survey for past participants to gauge impact on programming on ability to settle on the Island: where they have decided to settle why, where they are working, why they left (if this is the case), etc.


  • Design and execute a communications and advertising strategy for the retention initiative to include traditional media, social media and earned media
  • Development relationships at Cape Breton University and NSCC to enable the efficient and ongoing connection with target audiences
  • Design promotional materials for day-to-day services and special events and programming
  • Design and execute the creation and maintenance of initiative website (website to serve as Island navigational tool for international students and graduates; based in part on feedback from surveys)

Business/Agency Relations and Integration

  • Engage Island development agencies in planning and executing retention work (CBU, NSCC, ICEAP, Cape Breton Partnership, Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce, RENs, municipalities)
  • Connect international students to the programs, events, and offerings of these agencies
  • Act as hub/connector/resource person between international students and these agencies
  • Work closely with select agencies on the design and delivery of Island tours, employment workshops, and surveys

As needed

  • Other duties and responsibilities as assigned.

Core Competencies

  • Communication
  • Responsibility
  • Trustworthiness & Ethics
  • Results orientation
  • Organization
  • Teamwork

Required Skills

  • Self-motivated and able to work semi-independently
  • Able to plan within and report on project budget
  • Well-developed interpersonal and communications (oral and written) skills
  • Experience and/or comfort with community engagement and conversation
  • Highly organized, able to plan and execute multiple projects simultaneously
  • Experience with students and/or newcomers and/or international students


  • Post-secondary degree/diploma and or experience
  • Outreach/engagement experience
  • Settlement/navigation experience
  • Business degree/experience

Work Conditions

  • Long periods of sitting/concentrating
  • Maybe be required, from time-to-time to assist with event set-up (moderate lifting/moving)
  • Willingness to work evenings and weekends as needed
  • Willingness to travel as needed

Salary: $48,000/year. This is a two-year full-time funded position. Continuation after two years is conditional on renewed funding. The position is anticipated to start on August 1st. The successful applicant will work in the Cape Breton Island Centre for Immigration located in the New Dawn Centre for Social Innovation.

About New Dawn Enterprises

New Dawn Enterprises Limited is the oldest Community Development Corporation in Canada. New Dawn is a private, volunteer-directed social enterprise dedicated to community building. It seeks to identify community needs and to establish and operate ventures that speak to those needs. Its mission is to engage the community to create and support a culture of self-reliance. Its vision is a self-reliant people living in a vibrant community. New Dawn articulates this mission through a number of businesses, organizations, and partnerships. 

Among its businesses and activities are New Dawn Health Care, New Dawn Real Estate, New Dawn Community Engagement and Education, New Dawn Meals on Wheels, the Cape Breton Island Centre for Immigration, and the New Dawn Centre for Social Innovation.

Applications: Please submit applications to Sohaila Abdo, Manager, Cape Breton Island Centre for Immigration via e-mail: by 4:00pm on Friday July 20th.