Reports to: Vice President of Programs
The Chicago Landscape
There is a deep reservoir of talent in this great city! In order to remain a world-class city, we must invest in talent from an education and leadership perspective. Locally and nationally, we are not fully equipping our youth with the skills and tools to be successful. Just 14% of Chicago Public Schools freshman will graduate with a college degree by the age of 25 per the University of Chicago Consortium of Chicago School Research. There also remains a lack of diversity in the workforce at all levels and in every industry. We must continue to invest in building a diverse pipeline of talent if we are to remain a vibrant, thriving and competitive city.
About Chicago Scholars
Chicago Scholars is transforming the leadership landscape of our city by resolving the fundamental barriers to success for academically driven, first generation college students from under-resourced communities. Through college counseling, mentoring, and by providing a supportive community to our Scholars through each phase of our program: College Access (Launch), College Persistence (Lift) and College to Careers (Lead), we ensure that they realize their full potential as students and leaders.
88% of Chicago Scholars graduate college within 6 years. Per the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research, only 49% of their peers earn a degree within 6 years. Upon graduation, our Scholars move into leadership positions across Chicago, helping to drive the economic future of their communities and our thriving city.
Chicago Scholars is at a particularly exciting and critical juncture. Due to the success of our program, we have recently received support to expand our impact to serve 675 incoming students and a total student body of 4,500 by FY19.
We seek new members to the Dream Team who can help realize our vision for the future and who exemplify our core values, which do lead our work.
- Mission Driven: We must be relentlessly focused on our Scholars and their potential for success.
- Belief: We demonstrate a strong belief in our Scholars, our city and the potential that exists
- Excellence: We are intentionally in pursuit of quality inputs and outputs programmatically and operationally. Feedback collection is a critical part of a continuous improvement process in pursuit of that excellence. This also includes the demonstration of leadership, honesty, integrity, respect and equity.
- Data Driven / Results Oriented: We will use data to inform our program. We will have clear outcomes and response. We will use our data to demonstrate credibility and effectiveness as a high quality organization.
- Collaboration: We will collaborate internally among teams as well as externally within Chicago. Programmatically, we also recognize that we are just one part of a support system for our Scholars and we must collaborate with those organizations to support our Scholars.
- Innovation: We will always think about how to do things differently and more effectively. We will be thoughtful about how to use resources and technology to achieve growth and efficiency. We will focus on learning, questioning and forward thinking.
The Director of College Success will oversee all programs and supports to manage Scholars’ critical transitions: high school to college and college to career. The Director will manage a team to build and sustain Scholar relationships and to advocate for resources to ensure that Scholars persist and complete college to become the next generation of leaders who will transform their neighborhoods and our city
- Scholar Relationships and Engagement: Oversee engagement and connection with our Scholars and the College Success Team to ensure that Scholars persist and are on track for graduation and career success.
- Build cohorts for each team member to allow Scholars to build deep relationships with staff so that they will highlight their college challenges and career aspirations
- Prioritize, schedule, and participate in campus visits to create community and deepen relationships between Scholars on campus and the Chicago Scholars team
- Leverage technology to create personalized experiences for Scholars that are efficient and effective to maintain their engagement and connection
- Monitor Scholar inquiries and frequently survey Scholars to understand trends; continually evaluate staff training needs or changes required to redirect staff, partners and resources to address Scholar needs
- Track Scholar enrollment data accuracy and completeness to ensure that we are on track per our persistence and graduation goals
- Facilitate training and workshops to leverage relationships with Scholars to deliver content to support college matriculation, college success, career exploration, career readiness, and leadership development.
- Scholar Advocacy: identify resources to support Scholars, especially those who are at risk, and develop processes and systems to efficiently direct these resources to Scholars to ensure their matriculation, persistence, graduation and career launch.
- Continue to leverage the relationships of the College Access Mentors as Scholars transition from high school into their first year of college
- Direct a Peer Mentoring program to provide upper classmen pairings to help navigate the transition to campus and create a Chicago Scholars community
- Lead Chicago Scholars financial assistance programs, including the coordination with grantors, advertising, Scholar selection, funds distribution, and reporting
- Highlight the campus resources needed by Scholars; coordinate with the Director of College Partnerships & Resources to fulfill these needs on local college campuses
- Work with the College to Careers team to provide career support, exposure, internships, resume reviews and career mentoring to college Scholars
- Continually monitor trends to identify new strategic training, programming, resources, supports and interventions needed for Scholar success
- In addition to managing a team, this position will also require travel to college campuses, occasional work on nights and weekends for Scholar events and programming, and the facilitation of Scholar events and workshops.
- Attend and support mandatory all staff events: the UnTied Gala, College Choice Celebration, New Student Orientation, All Scholar Retreat, First Look, the Onsite Admissions Forum, New Student Interview nights, and our Quarterly Staff Retreats.
- Attend and support mandatory all Program team events: Chicago Scholars Day, and Scholar Holiday Party.
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