Director of Community Engagement

Job Type

Full Time



Start Date:


Application Deadline:



247 South State Street
Suite 700
United States


Job Summary

The Director of Community Engagement will manage Chicago Scholars’ community presence and engagement strategies, including the recruitment and selection of each incoming class of Chicago Scholars, collaboration with Community Based Organizations (CBOs) to extend the organization’s outreach and multiply our impact within Chicago, the development of community relationships to support early outreach efforts to build a pipeline of future applicants, and the identification of resources for our Scholars.

Key Responsibilities

Scholar Recruitment: Oversee the Chicago Scholars application process to select a class that is a good fit for our program.

o Create and execute a strategy to recruit an incoming class of diverse, academically ambitious Scholars from under-resourced communities.

o Manage all aspects of the new scholar application, selection and enrollment processes to select a high-quality, deserving class of Scholars.

o Coordinate the logistics and planning of Interview Nights with our hosting corporate partners.

o Oversee the recruitment, training and management of Interview Nights staff and volunteers.

o Develop a Scholars Ambassador Program to support recruitment and outreach activities. 

Community Engagement & Relationship Building: Ensure that members of CBOs and stakeholders in key neighborhoods are informed about opportunities to engage with the Chicago Scholars’ programs and initiatives.

o Develop and deepen relationships with current and new CBO contacts in order to share the mission of Chicago Scholars and our core value of Collaboration.

o Define and outline strategic partnership opportunities to guide collaboration with all schools and CBO partners (CBOPs).

o Identify the key selection criteria, membership guidelines, costs, and application process for Chicago Scholars Onsite Partners.

o Manage a portfolio of CBOP’s who support first generation, low income, and academically ambitious young leaders from Chicagoland.

o Organize, host and support events to increase our exposure to potential Scholars, parents and CBOs across Chicago.

o Administer the selection process of all CBOPs and confirm their alignment with our guidelines and timelines for participation in Chicago Scholars events.

o Select, onboard, and prepare Onsite Partners for the Onsite Admissions Forum by using CS Connect and by maintaining frequent communication.

o Consult with CBOPs to align their student preparation efforts for Onsite Admissions Forum with those of the Chicago Scholars College Counseling curriculum.

o Monitor outcomes for Onsite Partner students and collect data to contrast the impact of our program in comparison to others; assess and implement system efficiencies.

Design and manage early outreach strategies to support the development of a pipeline of future applicants.

o Develop, deepen, and manage relationships with new and current community contacts (i.e. community &/or church leaders, political offices, etc.) in order to share the mission of Chicago Scholars and our core value of Collaboration.

       - Define and outline strategic partnership opportunities to collaborate and identify future applicants. 

       - Organize, host, support, and/or attend events to increase our exposure with these community contacts.

Community Outreach for Scholar Resources: seek and support new opportunities to collaborate with Partners to support our Scholars and the recruitment of volunteers, mentors, and donors.

o Evaluate one time partnerships and collaboration opportunities from outside organizations to ensure their alignment with our mission and focus.

- Management of a team to support recruitment and early outreach activities.

- This role will require local travel, and therefore access to transportation is necessary.  Additionally, the Director will staff and facilitate monthly evening and weekend Scholar workshops, other programming events, and support student recruitment, counseling and engagement.

- Attend and support mandatory all staff events: the UnTied Gala, College Choice Celebration, New Student Orientation, All Scholar Retreat, First Look, the Onsite Admissions Forum, New Student Interview nights, and our Quarterly Staff Retreats. 

- Attend and support mandatory all Program team events: Chicago Scholars Day and Scholar Holiday Party. 


Education:  College degree required

Experience:  10-15 total, with 5-7 years of relevant experience in the areas of student recruitment, community outreach, or college access. Minimum of 3 years of experience managing a team of direct reports

Core Competencies: 

• Exceptional verbal, written and interpersonal skills and ability to engage a broad spectrum of audiences and consistently demonstrate respect, concern, and responsiveness.

• Ability to speak in public and engage all stakeholders (students, parents, mentors, volunteers, college representatives).

• Demonstrated ability to cultivate and sustain relationships with diverse audiences (educational level, socio-economic circumstance).

• Ability to manage projects, organize and compile complex tasks, and prioritize multiple assignments to meet deadlines and objectives.

• Ability to remain flexible and adapt to changing needs and priorities.

• Advanced proficiency with technology and standard office applications and ability to learn and master other computer technology/software programs as needed.

• Demonstrated ability to interpret data for decision making and program/process evaluation; ability to make recommendations for continuous improvement using data driven approach.

• Demonstrated management skills, including the ability to manage change and generate a culture of continuous improvement.

• Ability to manage a team and a budget to achieve defined goals and demonstrate a commitment to use resources effectively.

• Ability to handle sensitive and confidential information with discretion.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

To Apply

- Please click 'Apply' to submit your application which should include a resume and cover letter no later than Sunday, April 29. 

- All candidates MUST be available for a first round group interview the morning of Tuesday, May 8th. Note that the second round interview is scheduled for Wed, May 16th and the final round presentation for Thursday, May 24th. 

- Chicago Scholars sees a college education as a means to an end with the end game being leadership. In your cover letter, discuss the value of College Access and Leadership Development programs for the students we serve.