Focus Areas: College Partnerships and Engagement
Reports to: Managing Director of Strategic Engagement
Team Lead: Vice President of Development & External Engagement
About Chicago Scholars:
At Chicago Scholars we strive to prepare our Scholars for the world and the world for our Scholars. Our dual focus on Scholars and the world are both essential to our strategy. The first part of our work supports college acceptance, matriculation, persistence, and career access for our Scholars. The second part allows Scholars to go beyond surviving to thriving, from achieving to excelling, from attending and working to belonging and exceeding. The first part of our work allows entry, the second truly opens up opportunity and redistributes power. To achieve these goals we center diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and racial justice so that we can launch and lift our Scholars and enable them to lead and leverage their power wherever they are on their journeys.
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 Career & Leadership Development (CLD/Lead), we ensure that they realize their full potential as students and leaders.
83% 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.
At Chicago Scholars we strive to prepare our Scholars for the world and the world for our Scholars. Our dual focus on Scholars and the world are essential to our strategy. To achieve these goals, we center racial justice, equity, accessibility, diversity, and inclusion (READI) in all that we do.
Chicago Scholars’ commitment to READI encompasses all of our stakeholders—from our staff to our board, from our volunteers to our partnering organizations, and most importantly our Scholars. This holistic approach is necessary for the sustained, long-term, positive impact that we seek for our Scholars, our neighborhoods, our city, and our world.
To learn more about Chicago Scholars commitment to READI, please visit chicagoscholars.org/readi.
At Chicago Scholars, we believe that education is social justice. That's why we're empowering Chicago's best and brightest first-generation college students and students from low-income communities with the mentors, resources, and opportunities to go to our nation's best colleges and universities, graduate on time, and become Chicago's next generation of leaders. Since 1996, we've impacted the lives of more than 5,000 young leaders in Chicago.
These are a set of guiding principles that apply to all stakeholders within the Chicago Scholars ecosystem. We select and retain stakeholders based on these stated expectations for how we achieve our mission and vision. Each are supported with core competencies and narrative for the sake of clarity.
- We Dream Big. We speak up, innovate, push the boundaries, and keep the creativity flowing. We don’t accept the status quo because the stakes are too high. We have an incredible belief that growth and change is possible. While we dream big, we are laser focused on our intended goals and outcomes for our Scholars, our city, and the world.
- We Show Up. We show up every day; not just physically, but with a positive attitude and willingness to work, connect, challenge, engage, solve problems, and have fun. We don’t wait for someone to tell us what to do. We take action and get the job done. If we don’t know how, we figure it out through our knowledge, exploration, or our network.
- We Embrace Our Differences. We represent a multicultural nation, and our collective backgrounds, experiences, styles, values, perspectives, and beliefs are an asset to the world. We recognize that together we achieve better outcomes more quickly. Justice and equity starts with us using our collective voice.
- We Model the Way. We exhibit the behavior that we want to see in others and in the world. Titles are granted, but our behavior is what earns us respect. In order to model the way, we must be clear about our guiding principles, celebrate our accomplishments and learn from our challenges and failures.
- We Care For Each Other Along the Way. We adapt to the needs of the person in front of us. We pause, reflect, and listen. We do our best work when we are in good relationship together. We care personally and challenge directly.
- We Keep Our Word. When we commit, we are all in. Whether for events, a Scholar, a peer, or ourselves. Our words are as powerful as our actions and are the building block of trust, respect, self-worth, and integrity.
The Director of College Partnerships cultivates strategic relationships with post-secondary institutions in order to elevate the Chicago Scholars brand on campuses and promote Scholar matriculation, persistence, and graduation. As part of the Development & External Engagement Team, the Director plays an important role in representing the organization and enhancing its interactions with institutions of higher education. Primary responsibilities of the Director of College Partnerships include creating strategic relationships with institutions that best align with the Chicago Scholars vision, fostering on-campus champions of Chicago Scholars, deepening connections with college partners beyond offices of admissions, raising revenue through partnership opportunities with post-secondary institutions, and planning & executing frequent events involving college partners.
Job Workload Breakdown:
- 40% - College Partnerships Strategy & Engagement
- 30% - Project Management, Documentation, & Event Planning
- 20% - Cross-Team Collaboration
- 10% - Various Meetings & Work Travel
- Create the vision and direction for the overall college partnerships strategy based on the organization’s partnership philosophy that focuses on achieving annual revenue goals
- Serve as relationship lead and manager for all college and university partners. Thoughtfully design and curate the experience for existing and new college partnerships throughout all touchpoints, including in-person events and virtual communities
- Lead alignment and accountability efforts to ensure that college partners are upholding the organization’s READI values (Racial Justice, Equity, Accessibility, Diversity, and Inclusion)
- Collaborate with Platinum Partner campus liaisons and the College Success Team in retention interventions and providing Scholars wrap around support through college graduation
- In partnership with the full Development & External Engagement team, manage and execute events like the Scholars College Fair, Platinum Partner Reception, Mock College Admission Case Study, and other engagement opportunities in order to ensure seamless communication of expectations and intended outcomes
- Steward and provide technical support to college partners through registration, preparation, and participation in the annual Onsite College and Leadership Forum
- Maintain college records and continually update to provide up-to-date resources in CRM system (Salesforce)
- Supports the Scholar Experience & Events Team and the College Counseling Team by providing information on college partnership events, scholarship opportunities, fly-in programs, and connecting counselors and Scholars to college representatives
- Be an expert and advisor for the Chicago Scholars team on local and national trends in college admissions and higher education
- Occasional travel in the form of visits to college campuses
- Occasional work on nights and weekends for Scholar and/or development events and programming
- This role may have the opportunity to manage direct reports and/or interns
- Other duties, as assigned
- Education: Undergraduate degree required; Master’s preferred
- Experience: 5-10 years of total experience with at least 3 preferred in the areas of college access, admissions, or relationship management
- Preferred: Knowledge & familiarity with FERPA, Higher Education Sector, College Access & Success, Fundraising & Development, and Strong Writing & Presentation Skills
- Must live in the Chicagoland Area.
- Presentation and Brand Representation: Ability to speak in public and engage all stakeholders
- Interpersonal Skills and Relationship Management: Ability to cultivate and sustain relationships with diverse audiences
- Holistic and systemic thinking: Ability to craft cultivation strategies based on the needs of partners while remaining relentlessly Scholar focused and always prioritizing organizational objectives
- Interpretation and application of internal and institutional data: Seeks out and uses Scholar outcomes and enrollment management data to support decision-making
- Problem solving: Employs an analytical and creative approach to ask the right questions and support in the development of solutions
- Cross-team collaboration: Contributes to enterprise-wide learning and growth by providing insights and expertise; seamlessly navigates
- Verbal and Written Skills: Ability to engage a broad spectrum of audiences and consistently demonstrate respect, concern, and responsiveness
- Project Management: Ability to manage projects, organize and compile complex tasks, and prioritize multiple assignments to meet deadlines and objectives
- Adaptability: Ability to remain flexible and adapt to changing needs and priorities
- Technology: Advanced proficiency with technology and standard office applications and ability to learn and master other computer technology/software programs as needed
- Confidentiality: Ability to handle sensitive and confidential information with discretion
COVID-19 Vaccination Policy:
Effective January 1, 2022, all Chicago Scholars employees will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Exceptions may be made for religious and medical accommodations. Unvaccinated employees who receive a religious or medical accommodation must submit a weekly negative COVID-19 test result. Employees hired after January 1, 2022 are required to be fully vaccinated by their first day of work or submit a negative test result dated no more than three days prior to their first day of work.
If you have questions regarding this policy, or any of Chicago Scholars employment policies, please reach out to the Human Resources team at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Policy Question.
- Please click 'Apply' to submit your application, which should include a resume and cover letter.
- In your cover letter, please describe how your professional experience has prepared you for success in this role, with a specific focus on your technical training, practical application, and non-profit experience.