The Director of Programs has primary day-to-day responsibility for the management and operations of the Foundation’s programs as well as for creating and implementing new programs and processes. The Director of Programs has the key responsibility of leading the annual selection process of Wentcher Scholars and ensuring quality communications and coordination with the many stakeholders including students, parents, CPS counselors and administration, reviewers, interviewers, Wentcher staff, partner organizations and vendors.
Reporting to the Executive Director, the working relationship and communications between the Executive Director and Director of Programs are key to the achievement of the Foundation’s programs goals.
Specific duties include: hiring, developing and coaching Program staff; creating a collaborative approach with staff to meet or exceed service goals; collaborating with the Program Manager, Finance Manager and Executive Director; analyzing data to inform program implementation and solve problems; leading the development of partnership relationships with other organizations and the selection of supporting service vendors; participating in the development and monitoring of budgets; being an effective leader of staff, volunteers, high school counselors and administrators in order to identify and promote the candidacy of qualified students and select scholarship recipients; and identifying and implementing best practices in all aspects of Foundation programs.
Leads the programs and services that support the success of Wentcher Scholars from their selection as high school seniors through their successful college graduation including using support programming and other resources.
Oversees program operations and administration by collaborating with the scholarship foundation staff and Wentcher Scholars’ on campus academic advisers.
Carefully monitors Wentcher Scholars Program budgets and execution.
Monitors all programs and services for appropriateness and cost effectiveness.
Actively monitors scholar academic performance and recommends decisions on renewals, interventions, dismissals, and withdrawals; communicates with the scholars about these decisions in collaboration with foundation staff members.
Collaborates with other Wentcher staff members on assessments of efficacy and efficiency of Wentcher Scholars Program elements and maintaining consistent, high-quality services. Measures results and devises program improvements.
Leads selection processes, including promotion of the Wentcher Scholarship to potential candidates, the application process, preparation of reviewers and interviewers and implementing selection protocol.
Leads and manages communications to Wentcher Scholars and families regarding upcoming deadlines, requirements, and expectations. Collaborates with other team members to produce engaging and informative communications for candidates, current Wentcher Scholars and Wentcher Scholar Alumni.
Analyzes data, develops reports and monitors the success of scholars; provides information as needed to foundation leadership and the Board of Directors.
Completes special projects and other tasks as assigned.
Job Qualifications & Requirements
Minimum of a bachelor’s degree; master’s degree preferred.
Minimum of ten years of experience in field of education, scholarship provision, foundation management, financial aid management, college readiness capacity or other related areas.
Demonstrated success in working with first generation, diverse and low income college students and their families.
Experience with a Private Foundation is a plus.
Internal Number: 1
About Wentcher Foundation
Wentcher Foundation Overview
Founded in 1997, the Wentcher Foundation’s mission is to provide college scholarships and supporting services to Chicago area high school seniors based on character, academic merit and financial need. The Foundation began operating in 2001 as a small fledgling organization and has evolved into a major scholarship provider having funded over $11M in scholarships to 321 current Wentcher Scholars and 403 Wentcher Scholar alumni who have attended 148 different US colleges and universities and resulted in a graduation rate of 93%. Each year, the Foundation selects 70+ Chicago Public Schools seniors to receive renewable $10,000 scholarships to attend the college or university of their choice in the United States. In addition, the Foundation chooses ten students entering Oakton Community College who receive renewable $3,500 scholarships. Oakton Wentcher Scholars who continue to meet the Foundation's criteria also have the opportunity to apply for the Wentcher Foundation’s Oakton Community College Transfer Scholarships, which provide up to $10,000 per year to help Oakton Scholars continue their undergraduate education at four-year universities.