Our bold vision is that one day, all students in Durham, regardless of the color of their skin and the amount of money their parents have in their pockets, will be able to succeed. In order to make this vision a reality, Student U’s mission is to empower students in the Durham Public Schools to own their education by developing the academic skills and personal well-being necessary to succeed in college and beyond. Student U aims to combat systemic racism and structural inequities by walking with students from the 6th grade through college graduation as they beat the statistics and become leaders in our community. The three components of Student U programming - an intergenerational college access-success pipeline, leadership development for students, families and staff, and intentional dissemination of our lessons learned is our contribution to creating a Durham where all children can succeed.
The newly created Program Director position will be responsible for overseeing Student U’s direct programs with students and families. This covers our middle, high school and college programs which support 550 students and families every year through a combination of our school year, after school and in school programs and summer academies and academic enrichment opportunities.
Position Proposition: Reporting to the Chief Program Officer, the primary functions of this position are to lead, oversee, and manage the implementation of all of Student U’s direct work with students and families. The Program Director will be responsible for leading, coaching and training the people that implement our daily programs by providing them with clear goals and outcomes, along with coaching and support to thrive in their positions, while ensuring that all staff members see themselves as part of one cohesive team. This position will be the internal face of the organization to staff, students and families and will work in close partnership with the Chief Program Officer, the Director of Student and Family Support Services, and the Research and Evaluations Coordinator to make sure all of Student U’s programs are high quality, healthy, and in alignment with Student U’s short and long term outcomes.
The questions that drive priorities of this role:
- Are we delivering the highest quality programming to our students and families?
- Are we implementing our model with fidelity?
- Are we recruiting/hiring/onboarding the right people, at the right time, with the right skills, right training, and right coaching to reach our goals?
- Do all of our program teams operate as one cohesive unit guided by a clear vision and set of goals and benchmarks?
- Are our programs operating at full capacity?
Strategy, Vision, Leadership:
- Translate ambitious organizational goals into yearly programming goals for our teams.
- Provide inspiring leadership and management that fosters and maintains a culture of innovation, problem-solving, collaboration, and excellence and that ensures the effective, quality and timely delivery of all of Student U programs.
- Represent the organization externally, as necessary, particularly with partner organizations, professional organizations, and vendors.
- Nurture the Student U culture and continually strive to enhance the community.
- Promote and encourage ethics and integrity throughout the organization.
- Serve as advisor to the Chief Program Officer on strategic institutional decisions.
- Advocate for the needs of the program teams to the Chief Program Officer.
- Create annual program budget and oversee the management of the budget throughout the year.
- Facilitate the professional and skill development of all members of the program teams.
Department Management and Program Oversight:
- Oversee daily operations of all program activities and ensure they are planned and executed with fidelity and are aligned with the strategic priorities of the institution. This includes part-time staff recruitment, training and coaching, student recruitment and retention, program development, daily programming implementation and operations, and summer academy curriculum.
- Be the internal face of Student U to parents, students, and staff and remain accessible and present to ensure all programming decisions are rooted in and reflective of the experiences of our students, parents and staff.
- Serve as primary administrator for Student U-held federal or state grants. (Currently 21st Century Community Learning Center and Extended Learning and Integrated Student Supports grants)
- Recruit, hire, train, support, coach and evaluate full-time staff to ensure they are growing as professionals and are equipped to deliver Student U’s programming excellently.
- Ensure the sustainability of the middle school, high school, and college-readiness and success full-time teams and advocate on their behalf when necessary to have the resources needed to do their jobs well.
- Lead continuous reflections conversations to ensure our programs are high quality and build a data-driven and conscious team culture.
- In partnership with Research and Evaluations Coordinator, evaluate the strength of all current programming to ensure high quality and measure impact and make recommendations for short term and long term changes as needed (1-2 year changes).
Values, competencies and dispositions to succeed in the role:
- Strong people and team management skills and proven track record of creating processes and systems for large groups of people to collaboratively achieve ambitious goals together
- Innovative and risk-taking disposition and a high level of comfort with change and change management
- Family, student and staff-centered orientation to ensure programming meets collective needs
- Excellent organizational skills, attention to detail, and the ability to effectively manage and prioritize multiple projects
- High level of enthusiasm for working with youth
- Ability to communicate effectively to various stakeholders including students, parents, teachers, administrators, and community partners
- High expectations for students, staff, and self
- A deep personal belief that all students can succeed
- Commitment to the Student U mission and core values
- Ability and willingness to manage up to ensure the Chief Program Officer is appropriately connected to and supporting the goals of the program team
- Knowledge of Durham preferred
- Bachelor’s degree.
- At least 5 years of experience in creating and implementing programs for African- American and Latinx first-generation college students and their families
- At least 3 years of team management experience
- Previous experience in an academic setting and developing curriculum
- Ability to work some nights and weekends and long hours when necessary to meet the needs of the role to support and be present with the program team
Direct Reports: MS Coordinators (2), High School Program Coordinators (2), Associate Director of College Advising and Success (1).
The ideal candidate for the Program Director position thrives in highly reflective, fast-paced environments, loves managing teams, creating unity among different departments while thinking strategically to meet organizational goals. Specifically, candidates will foster a strong and collaborative team culture among all the program teams, build upon already established systems to streamline programming operations and implement new ones, and provide exemplary coaching and leadership development for the program teams so they continue to grow as professionals and leaders within and outside of the organization. In addition to this, ideal candidates will have curriculum expertise and will lead the process of Student U revamping our core curriculum to align with our long term priorities. An ideal candidate will make a significant impact on the operations of the 11 year pipeline of student services and will be an indispensable member of the team within six months. At the minimum, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree and relevant work experience.
Majority of Student U’s programming supports students during out-of-school time. This position will require some evening and weekend work.
Anti-Discrimination Policy & Commitment to Equity & Child Safeguarding Policy
- Student U is committed to fostering an inclusive culture within our organization where people from various backgrounds can participate fully and equitably, as we want to engage all those who can contribute to our mission.
- Student U has a commitment to ensuring the safety of our students. All staff will participate in the Darkness to Light Training, which is a child safeguarding training to help them understand why it is necessary to safeguard and protect children and to be fully aware of the procedure for reporting concerns.
Benefits and Salary: Salary for this position is competitive and depends upon prior experience. In addition, a comprehensive benefits package is included.
Deadline to apply: Monday, April 1st by 12:00 am
How to Apply: Please apply online. A complete application will include a cover letter, resume, and two professional references, one of which should be a prior or current direct supervisor.