Associate Director, First Scholars® Initiatives, Center for First-generation Student Success

Job Type

Full Time





Application Deadline



111 K Street NE
10th Floor
United States


The associate director is directly responsible for the integration and implementation of the First Scholars® model as the signature programmatic offerings for the Center for First-generation Student Success. First Scholars®, a comprehensive, outcomes driven approach developed by The Suder Foundation, provides colleges and universities with evidence-based approaches for supporting first-generation students through holistic development across each aspect of the college experience from entry through completion. The associate director is responsible for executing a reimagined approach to First Scholars® that will result in scaling to larger numbers of students and supporting institutions in implementing a sustainable, campus-wide commitment to first-generation student success. First Scholars® currently includes a comprehensive affiliates program, a set of standalone content-based toolkits, and innovative campus-based projects intended to advance the presence of first-generation initiatives at colleges and universities. The associate director will work in close partnership with the Center’s senior director as well as NASPA and The Suder Foundation leadership to execute the strategic plans for First Scholars® implementation.

NOTE: This position may be based anywhere in the contiguous 48 states but may choose to work in the NASPA Washington, D.C. Office with the option for occasional work from a remote location, if desired. Remote work must have access to stable internet connectivity.

Specific Responsibilities of the Position

The associate director of First Scholars® Initiatives will:

  • Partner with the senior director to lead the development of the Center’s signature programming series, First Scholars®, and to support programs toward achieving strategic scaling goals;
  • Execute the content editing and execution of a reimagined First Scholars® affiliates curriculum and implementation plan;
  • Manage the content editing and execution of the First Scholars® toolkits that include a focus on student success workshops, faculty development for supporting first-generation students, strengths-based approaches and living-learning programs;
  • Oversee additional First Scholars® initiatives currently in development;
  • Facilitate a branding and marketing strategy for First Scholars® as the Center’s signature programming;
  • Lead all First Scholars® materials through copyediting, design, and execution processes to ensure branding alignment;
  • Strategize prospect identification and recruitment of institutions ideally suited for First Scholars® engagement;
  • Implement the technical assistance offerings for First Scholars® programming to include recruitment and training of reviewers, development of review tools, and feedback reports;
  • Coordinate annual reporting processes for First Scholars® institutions and systems for offering feedback to institutions and reporting aggregate program data;
  • Manage the First Scholars® program development budget and strategies for fiscal sustainability;
  • Develop the external presence of First Scholars® programs on the Center website;
  • Facilitate relationships with third-party organizations involved in the First Scholars® offerings;
  • Offer monthly reports to The Suder Foundation and key Center constituents on First Scholars® progress;
  • Represent First Scholars® through NASPA and external events, conference presentations, publications, and other outlets; and
  • Support Center and NASPA tasks, projects, professional development, and engagement as deemed appropriate.


  • A Master’s degree is required with experience in higher education or student affairs with at least 4 years of relevant experience;
  • An entrepreneurial spirit to realize the scaling potential of First Scholars®;
  • A commitment to first-generation student success through personal experience, research interests, and/or practice;
  • Experience with curriculum development, assessment, and evaluation within a higher education setting;
  • Experience with program development and implementation within a higher education setting;
  • Strong critical thinking skills, including the capacity to identify, assess, and order competing interests and priorities;
  • Proven ability to identify key issues and carry forward ideas or projects from conception to execution;
  • Strong communication skills with an emphasis on written communication in a variety of mediums including analytical and research skills with the ability to convey complex concepts in a clear, concise, and logical manner;
  • Keen attention to detail and a standard of high quality work;
  • Good judgment, discretion, tact, and the ability to work with stakeholders and leaders at various levels;
  • Project management experience, preferably in grant-funded, nonprofit, or higher education setting, including an ability to coordinate multiple projects;
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team; and,
  • Proficiency in the use of computers and application software in a networked environment.


NASPA is the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession. We serve a full range of professionals who provide programs, experiences, and services that cultivate student learning and success in concert with the mission of our colleges and universities. Established in 1918 and founded in 1919, NASPA comprises more than 16,000 members in all 50 states, 29 countries, and 8 U.S. Territories.  

Through high-quality professional development, strong policy advocacy, and substantive research to inform practice, NASPA meets the diverse needs and invests in realizing the potential of all its members under the guiding principles of integrity, innovation, inclusion, and inquiry.

NASPA members serve a variety of functions and roles, including the vice president and dean for student life, as well as professionals working within housing and residence life, student unions, student activities, counseling, career development, orientation, enrollment management, racial and ethnic minority support services, and retention and assessment.

NASPA is an equal opportunity employer. NASPA does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, gender identity, gender expression, affectional or sexual orientation, or disability in any of its policies, programs, and services.

Level of Language Proficiency

Mastery of the English language, both written and oral, is required. Fluency in other languages, particularly Spanish, may be a benefit.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

Master's degree

How To Apply

Interested candidates should submit the following for consideration:

  • a letter of interest with salary requirements;
  • resume/vitae;
  • three references; and
  • a sample of recent writing relevant to this position or that demonstrates program development and execution experience.

A complete set of materials should be emailed to Sarah E. Whitley, Ph.D., Senior Director, Center for First-generation Student Success, at Please include "Associate Director, First Scholars Initiatives" in the subject. Materials received by Wednesday, September 19th will receive priority consideration but review will continue until the position is filled. No calls, please.

To learn more about the Center, please visit: