Director of First-Generation Student Initiatives - CAAO
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Internal Number: oaK1kfwZ
The Center for Academic Access and Opportunity (CAAO) was created in 2007 as an extension of Suffolk University's founding mission: to provide access and support to individuals historically underrepresented in higher education and empower them to successfully complete postsecondary degrees, be socially conscience leaders, and catalysts for positive change. Today, the Center is home to the university's federal TRIO Programs - McNair Scholars, Upward Bound, and Veterans Upward Bound - which support first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented high school students, undergraduates, and pre-college veterans through federal grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. The CAAO also serves as the administrative home to the national First-Gen Forward designation granted to Suffolk University in 2021 for its institutional commitment to first-generation college students across its departments and divisions. It is made up of a primarily first-gen identifying staff, houses a dedicated conference room/lounge area for first-generation college students on campus, and collaborates cross-departmentally to celebrate first-gen student success for a full week in November each year.
Reporting to the Executive Director of the CAAO and Principal Investigator of Federal TRIO Programs, this inaugural Director position is responsible for the development, management, and implementation of non-TRIO first-generation college student programs and initiatives at Suffolk University. The role will also serve as the primary representative of the university's First-Gen Forward designation and works cross-departmentally to help centralize first-generation programs and initiatives on campus to make them more visible and accessible to students and their families. The Director works closely with the TRIO Program Directors and the Director of College Access and Postsecondary Success in the CAAO, as well as staff across institutional departments (e.g., Undergraduate Admissions & Financial Aid, the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion, the Center for Career Equity, Development, and Success, and the Division of Student Success) to help develop effective pipelines and ensure that first-generation college students at Suffolk receive access to educational support services, persist through graduation, and become prepared to succeed beyond their postsecondary education.
Note: Review of applications will begin immediately. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered. A limited hybrid schedule is available and will incorporate a mixture of in-office and remote work based on the needs of the office/program cycles.
30% - Program Development, Leadership, and Management: The position has primary responsibility for planning, organizing, resourcing, implementing, and managing current and new first-generation-related initiatives, programming, services, and assessments stemming from the CAAO; provides leadership and advocacy toward outcomes that support outstanding academic and social collegiate experiences for first-gen students on campus and for first-gen alumni; provides supervision, management, and oversight of any professional, faculty, graduate, or undergraduate student staff working with the programs reporting to this position in the future; represents CAAO on university and external committees and serves as the point-person for first-generation student initiatives in the campus community; assists with identifying, applying, and securing additional funding for the Center's first-generation programs through grants and other in-kind gifts.
25% - First-Gen Forward Designation: Serves as the point person for the first-gen forward designation and develop institutional objectives cross-departmentally for first-generation student support; chairs a first-gen forward committee to ensure representatives from across the institution; attends all regional and national meetings and workshops required by NASPA to maintain the designation; works with individuals across the three schools to collect information on first-gen offerings and track progress of first-gen support objectives required to complete the required annual reports; ensures deadlines and annual goals are met to renew the designation annually
20% - New and Current Initiatives: Oversee the development of new first-gen specific scholars program at the CAAO similar to those offered by the TRIO grants but that are not currently available to all first-generation students; works with institutional research and admissions to develop ways to better identify first-generation students and track their challenges and successes; serves as an advocate for the first-gen population across campus and works to implement a chapter of Alpha Alpha Alpha, the national honor society for first-generation college students; works with faculty and staff to create a first-gen directory for students to feel supported across departments and in the classroom
20% - Cross-Departmental Collaborations: Collaborate with a range of office and divisions to support first-generation students - including but not limited to, the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion, Undergraduate Admission and Financial Aid, the Division of Student Success, and the Center for Career Equity, Development, and Success - and create pipelines through current and new initiatives developed by this position at the CAAO; Lead the planning and the continued success of the university's annual First-Generation College Student Celebration; work with Orientation and New Student Programs to create programming that helps transition new students to Suffolk University during summer and fall; collaborate with faculty, staff, and academic departments to promote leadership opportunities for first-generation students (e.g., undergraduate research, student leadership, student internships, employment, athletics); work with Institutional Advancement to cultivate relationships with first-generation alumni
5% - Institutional Support: Support other university-related initiatives and/or engage in other duties, as assigned, to further the mission and visibility of first-generation programming, the federal TRIO Programs, college access and community partnerships, and the CAAO
Bachelor's degree with 3-5 years of experience or Master's degree with 2-3 years of experience. Experience in defined as teaching, advising, mentoring, and/or other professional experience in higher education or educational organization with a demonstrated commitment to supporting underrepresented student populations, particularly those from first-generation and low income backgrounds.
Direct experience and/or knowledge of financial aid, college admissions, student assessment, curriculum development, and/or current and emerging practices in student success initiatives, particularly as they relate to the needs for first-generation and low-income students
Must have demonstrated capability of being creative, proactive, and a team player, and possess strong organizational, interpersonal, communication, and presentation skills
A record of success in developing strategic partnerships, collaborating with academic units, and demonstration of high-impact programming and relationships with students;
Demonstrated strong leadership and strategic management skills and ability to work and lead people;
Experience in data collection and data analysis, as well as demonstrating competency in assessment and evaluation of student service activities in an educational setting to improve services to students.
Flexibility to attend activities/events, accompany students on college and other educational visits, or participate in professional development conferences and trainings in the evening or weekends, on occasion
Master's degree or higher, in student affairs, higher education administration, counseling, psychology, public policy and advocacy, social work or similar
Experience with the development and implementation of university-wide programs and services
Exceptional skill in the management and organization of data and experience in preparing data for annual reporting and/or grant writing for seeking external support
Previous experience working with or participating in TRIO or similar educational access and opportunity programs
Preference will be given to individuals who have overcome circumstances similar to those of the students served by the Center for Academic Access and Opportunity
Suffolk University does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, age, genetic information, or status as a veteran in admission to, access to, treatment in, or employment in its programs, activities, or employment.Suffolk University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. The University is dedicated to the goal of building a diverse and inclusive faculty and staff that reflect the broad range of human experience who contribute to the robust exchange of ideas on campus, and who are committed to teaching and working in a diverse environment. We strongly encourage applications from groups historically marginalized or underrepresented because of race/color, gender, religious creed, disability, national origin, veteran status or LGBTQ status. Suffolk University is especially interested in candidates who, through their training, service and experience, will contribute to the diversity and excellence of the University community.
Located right in the heart of downtown Boston, Suffolk University gives its students unparalleled access to the city and all it offers.Our college green is the Boston Common. We are steps from dozens of historic sites like the Old State House, Faneuil Hall, and the Massachusetts State House. We have no real boundaries to our campus' Boston and Suffolk blend together. That means our students have incredible access to a wealth of opportunities, whether it's museums and restaurants or internships and co-ops. At the same time, we also take pride in being a personal, student-centered school, where faculty and administrators know students by name. We take the time to recognize each student's promise, figure out what makes him or her tick, and build important mentoring relationships.As we have done since our founding, we strive for one thing at Suffolk: give students the tools they need to be successful, smart, and satisfied at whatever they choose to do.