Associate Director for Expert Guidance, First Scholars® Initiatives

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  • Post Date: September 6, 2021
  • Applications 0
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Job Overview
Type: Full-Time
Salary: 70000 to 75000 USD Per Year
Posted: 08/23/2021
Application Due: 09/13/2021


Established in June 2017 as an initiative of NASPA and The Suder Foundation, the Center for First-generation Student Success drives innovation and advocacy as the premier source of evidence-based practices, professional development, and knowledge creation for the higher education community to advance the success of first-generation students. As college and university leaders and practitioners are actively seeking avenues to best meet the specific needs of first-generation students, the Center for First-generation Student Success leads scholarly discussion, information sharing, networking, and program development and relies upon alignment with four strategic priority areas for success.

The key initiative within the Center’s Innovative and Scalable Approaches strategic priority, First Scholars provides institutions of higher education with the tools, resources, and guidance to radically transform the first-generation student experience, advance academic and co-curricular outcomes, and take necessary steps toward a more inclusive institutional structure. First Scholars provides a framework of actionable outcomes supported through diagnostic tools providing critical institutional insight, a host of customized solutions and turnkey toolkits, robust data reporting, and the guidance of experts across the experience. The First Scholars Network, composed of institutions of higher education, serves as the backbone for this national scaling model. First Scholars is designed to allow institutions the flexibility to shape their experience to meet institutional needs while also aligning with the key evidence-based outcomes imperative to advancing the success of first-generation students.

Expert Guidance, a hallmark of the First Scholars experience, partners content experts with First Scholars Network institutions to guarantee successful completion of each programmatic element and deliver support customized to institutional needs. The associate director will lead oversight of the Expert Guidance experience and will be responsible for identifying, selecting, and training service providers as well as members of the Center staff who also fill this role. The associate director will assist with the day-to-day management of both institutional and external partner relationships, communications, milestone progress, and relevant data analysis and reporting. The associate director will work in close partnership with the Center’s First Scholars team to execute the implementation of First Scholars strategic plans.

Reports To: Senior Director, First Scholars® Initiatives

Supervises: This position will not have supervisory responsibilities.

Specific Responsibilities of the Position

The associate director for Expert Guidance, First Scholars Initiatives will:

Project Management:

  • Support institutional participants through the First Scholars experience by engaging in monthly individual meetings and cohort-based workshops;
  • Assist institutional partners in identifying key priorities related to first-generation student success and provide support during the implementation process;
  • Train and guide institutional participants through continuous improvement cycles and milestone tracking to ensure progress toward goals;
  • Assist with implementation of Expert Guidance offerings for First Scholars programming to include recruitment and training of guides, development of review tools, and feedback reports;
  • Develop training materials for Expert Guides to ensure consistency for institutional partners throughout the experience;
  • Develop mechanisms for evaluating the effectiveness of the Expert Guidance experience;
  • Monitor and track Expert Guidance meetings to ensure that guides and institutional partners are meeting as scheduled;
  • Support the institutional onboarding process through outreach to institutional participants;
  • Support the recruitment, onboarding, and contracting process with external Expert Guidance providers;
  • Lead monthly workshops for institutional participants and training for Expert Guides; and
  • Troubleshoot issues related to Expert Guidance relationships and ensure that the senior director is informed and engaged as appropriate.

Communication and Marketing:

  • Partner with the senior director to strategize planning for marketing, prospect identification, and recruitment of Expert Guides to participate in First Scholars;
  • Promote First Scholars Solutions and Frameworks across electronic platforms and at conferences, workshops, and planned events to identify and recruit Expert Guides;
  • Collaborate in developing and updating the external presence of First Scholars Expert Guide components on the Center website;
  • Establish a system for communicating with Expert Guides and to identify any concerns or issues that need to be brought to the attention of the senior director;
  • Track institutional progress with respect to First Scholars milestones and coordinate with the research and data analyst on progress reporting; and
  • Represent First Scholars during NASPA and external events, conference presentations, publications, and other outlets.

Additional Responsibilities:

  • Participate in departmental, divisional, and organizational strategic planning, meetings, and projects; and
  • Support Center and NASPA tasks, projects, professional development, and engagement as deemed appropriate.

Required Qualifications: 

  • A Master’s degree in a relevant field is required;
  • Experience in higher education or relevant fields with three or more years of experience working with or in support of first-generation student populations;
  • A commitment to first-generation student success through personal experience, research interests, and/or practice;
  • Experience with project management and coordination;
  • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of student development, engagement, and learning theory in practice;
  • Strong interpersonal, critical thinking, and presentation skills with the ability to manage competing priorities in a fast-paced environment;
  • Prior consulting experience is desired but not required;
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team, with stakeholders and leaders at various levels; and
  • Proficiency in the use of Google suite, learning management software, Qualtrics, and video conferencing software; Asana experience desired.

Office Location/Working Conditions/Physical Requirements:

This position may be based anywhere in the contiguous 48 states but may choose to work in the NASPA Washington, D.C. Office (when re-opened) with the option for occasional work from a remote location, if desired.

If remote, this position is home office-based with primary work on a computer, including phone, email, and video conferencing. Must have reliable internet capabilities.

Occasional overnight travel to NASPA and Center events is likely, traveling by air and ground transportation, when deemed safe.

Employment Status: 

This position is classified as full-time, exempt status.

Salary Information:

The salary range for this position is $70,000 – $75,000 USD.

NASPA offers a comprehensive benefits package, flexible work schedule, and paid leave.

About NASPA: 

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.

To Apply:

Interested candidates should submit the following for consideration:

  • a letter of interest;
  • resume/vitae;
  • three references; and
  • a sample of recent academic or professional writing (No more than three pages, please.)

A complete set of materials should be submitted through this Asana formMaterials received by Monday, September 13, 2021 will receive priority consideration, but review will continue until the position is filled. Please send any questions to with the position title in the subject line. No calls, please.

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.
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