College Counselor

Job Type

Full Time




247 South State Street
Suite 700
United States


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.

Our Future

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.

Reports to: Director of College Access

Job Summary

College Counselors play a critical role in helping Chicago Scholars to achieve its mission. College Counselors will assist and lead our students through the entire college admission process. The College Counselor's primary responsibility is to ensure all of our students apply and are accepted to match-fit colleges and universities. The College Counselor will help each student explore their interests and talents and apply for five to six colleges in preparation for our annual Onsite College Admissions Forum (students may apply to more in addition to the Onsite). Involving and educating parents will be critical.

Key Responsibilities

  • Implementing the Chicago Scholars college counseling curriculum through monthly individual counseling sessions.
  • Advising and supporting a caseload of 25-30 Chicago Scholars and their parents as they go through the college admissions process.
  • Educating students and parents about the college admissions process, trends, and procedures.
  • Supporting students and families in finding scholarships and college funding.
  • Using data systems similar to Naviance to track and maintain records on Chicago Scholars; including transcripts, test scores, college applications, college admission decisions, financial aid award & scholarship information, etc.
  • Documentation of student sessions will be required.
  • Keeping parents, mentors, and Chicago Scholars staff informed by providing electronic counseling session summaries.
  • Informing best practices through monthly evaluations.


  • Part-Time Contractual position to begin in May 2017 through April 2018.
  • Fee for service at $23/hour.
  • 1-15 hours per month, excluding, December, and February.

Counseling sessions will be:

  • Face-to-face one-hour sessions.
  • Scheduled during the last three weeks of each month.
  • Conducted in the Chicago Scholars office after school (during the school year) Monday through Friday from 5:00 PM-8:00 PM or on Saturday's and Sunday's from 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
  • Counselors will be responsible for scheduling their sessions, including follow-up communication to ensure scholar attendance (e.g. calls, emails, texts, etc.).
  • Required to participate in approximately training on the following dates: Monday, March 26, 2018


  • Master's Degree or Bachelor's degree with a minimum of 3 years of College Counseling experience or 3-5 years of relevant experience working with high school students through the college application and decision process.
  • College Counseling Licensure/Credential Preferred
  • Prior experience as a College Counselor with a successful track record of student admissions.
  • Has prior experience working with first-generation and low-income college students and their families.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and meticulous organizational and problem-solving skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills in relating to multiple audiences, with an ability to connect with students and adults across cultures, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Reliable, dependable, and committed to the mission of Chicago Scholars.
  • Computer skills necessary, including ability to use college tracking software, college research tools, etc.
  • Will be required to submit to a background check.

Demonstrated knowledge of:

  • The college application process, colleges, their academic programs, admission policies, and financial policies and procedures.
  • Issues and trends in college admissions, higher education, and college preparation testing.
  • Match-Fit as it relates to the college selection process.
  • Barriers in the college selection process that exists for first-generation and low-income students.

Counselors will cover their own expenses for travel and parking. Spanish speakers are strongly encouraged to apply.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

- Please click 'Apply' to submit your application which should include a resume and cover letter no later than Monday, April 2, 2018. 

- In your cover letter, please describe the importance of college access and success programs and what you see as the critical challenges facing first generation and underrepresented students.

- All candidates must be available for a first round interview on the afternoon of Monday, April 9th or the morning of Tuesday April 10, 2018. Second round interviews will take place on the morning of Tuesday April 18th, 2018 or the afternoon of Wednesday of April 19th, 2018.