Dean of Residential Life

Posted by
Girard College | Philadelphia, PA

Girard College

Published 15 days ago

Start Date

August 1, 2019

The Organization

Girard College is a full-scholarship boarding school for academically capable students from qualified families of limited financial resources. Girard College’s mission is to prepare scholarship students for advanced education and life as informed, ethical and productive citizens through a rigorous education program that promotes intellectual, social and emotional growth. Girard College students will be prepared to complete a bachelor’s degree in order to maximize their ability to pursue productive careers and be engaged citizens.


The Position

Reporting to the Vice President of Operations, the Dean of Residential Life will be responsible for leading programming and supervision from 3pm-8am (times outside traditional classroom hours) and for collaborating across all other areas including academic, student support, and college counseling. The Dean of Residential Life will lead, manage and ensure the highest standards for residential living, after-school programming, and enrichment activities. The Dean of Residential Life will be responsible for hiring, supporting, coaching, and managing residential staff, and for developing a team with a culture of professional maturity, support, and mutual accountability. As a senior leader of the school with significant influence over staff and programs, the Director of Student Life will demonstrate unwavering commitment to the success of each individual student. As a member of the operations team, the Dean of Residential Life is required to partner with other leaders to include, but not limited to, the Director of Campus Life, Director of Student Services, and Director of Technology.   

Key Responsibilities

  • Provide overall programmatic leadership in the development, implementation, coordination, supervision, and assessment of the residential program.
  • Promote the mission of the school, articulate a clear vision, build a strong, positive, nurturing culture of community, and work closely and collaboratively with the other members of the school leadership team to execute a seamless, integrated, safe and secure 24-hour program. 
  • Manage and coach the residential life team to maximize their effectiveness and performance. Lead in the recruitment, training, assessment, and retention of quality staff.
  • Collaborate with the Vice President of Operations and other members of the school’s leadership team to deliver a dynamic program that result in high student achievement and a positive nurturing school culture.
  • Promote and embrace synergy with the leaders across all programmatic areas.
  • Establish both long and short-term goals and objectives related to residential life and direct and supervise systems for accountability and assessment. 
  • Use data to assess, improve and manage program impact, staff performance and student development and achievement.
  • Model highest behavior standards for students and staff at all times. 
  • Coordinate with other school leaders in promoting the school’s core values and behavior systems. 
  • Provide crisis intervention and support for disciplinary issues as necessary.
  • Lead ongoing efforts related to social emotional learning, enrichment activities and authentic experiences which foster learning and personal growth for students.
  • Establish and maintain close relationships with parents/guardians.
  • Maintain a visible presence and rapport with students, parents, staff and other community members. Communicate and regularly inform staff, parents and other stakeholder about residential programming.
  • Actively seek program innovations and industry best practices which foster student development.
  • Maintain commitment to personal professional growth and learning through research and involvement in professional organizations.
  • Reside on campus and respond to/support emergency situations as necessary (i.e. student or staff infractions, inclement weather, medical emergencies, power outages, and/or staff shortages).
  • Other duties as required or as assigned by the Vice President of Operations.

Professional Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree in social sciences or related fields, with training and/or experience in child and adolescent development and adult learning.
  • 3-5 years of experience as leader of an educational community such as a residential, boarding school or overnight camping program with demonstrated success in working with urban adolescents and youth.
  • Outstanding management and leadership skills with a successful record of coaching and developing a diverse group of adults in order to better support student success.
  • Experience working in a start-up, entrepreneurial environment with demands that extend outside of steady work hours.
  • Strong interpersonal and presentation skills, and the ability to generate enthusiasm and confidence from others.
  • Highly organized and experienced in managing multiple staff and projects with a broad set of goals.
  • Comfortable working in a fluid environment and capable of making adjustments in both day-to-day and larger-scale activities based on new information and situations.
  • Highly collaborative and comfortable working in a team that includes managers, peers, and advisors; able to interact with team members on a non-hierarchical basis.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with individuals at all levels, both one-on-one and in groups.
  • Proven understanding of education in traditionally underserved communities.

Personal Skills (Intangibles) 

  • Commit to Girard’s mission and the belief that with the right resources any child can succeed.
  • An ability to build and maintain a strong, positive boarding culture based on the core values. 
  • A relentless focus on positive culture and growth and development for all students.
  • A natural curiosity, with an inclination to listen, learn and improve.
  • Possess personal integrity and a strong moral and ethical character.
  • A belief in high standards, accountability for all and continuous improvement.
  • A goal-setter with boundless energy who goes “above and beyond” what is expected.
  • Demonstrated poise, tact and diplomacy; approachable, accessible and highly visible.
  • A positive and enthusiastic consensus-builder. Respectful, collegial and empowering with a focus on helping others grow and become more successful.
  • Coolly decisive, with an ability to gather facts and make decisions under pressure.
  • A secure sense of self that results in steady leadership; personally reflective and thoughtful.

  • WORK SCHEDULE: Full-time; 12 month/ non-union

The Organization

Girard College is a full-scholarship boarding school for academically capable students from qualified families of limited financial resources. Girard College’s mission is to prepare scholarship students for…

Details at a glance

  • On-site Location
  • Full Time Schedule
  • 4-Year Degree Required
  • Managerial


2101 South College Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19121