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We are currently hiring for the following position:

Director, Career Ladders Project

Career Ladders Project (CLP) promotes equity-minded community college redesign. We collaborate with colleges and their partners to discover, develop, and disseminate effective practices. Our policy work, research, and direct efforts with colleges lead to system change—and enable more students to attain certificates, degrees, transfers, and career advancement.

CLP is seeking a Director to lead our initiatives and projects focused on postsecondary education reform, with emphasis on equitable approaches to counseling and student services, toward the ultimate goal of improving community college student transition, success, and completion–and eliminating disparities in student outcomes by race, gender and socioeconomic status. This position will report to the CLP Executive Director. This is a full-time, exempt position requiring regular travel within California when public health conditions allow.

The physical CLP office is located in Oakland, CA and there are a few employees who live in southern California and telecommute. The Director could be based permanently outside the Bay Area. CLP has projects throughout the state, including the Central Valley, the greater Los Angeles area, the Inland Empire, and the Bay Area.

Temporary work conditions due to the Covid-19 pandemic
Currently, CLP staff are primarily working remotely. If staff are requested to travel for in-person meetings or other events, then this will be handled on a case by case basis depending on local public health conditions and other factors.

About CLP
CLP provides assistance to a range of community college-centered programs including the Dual Enrollment for Equitable Completion project, the CCC Guided Pathways, and others. CLP works closely with policy makers and state agencies, including the CCC Chancellor’s Office as well as the California Department of Education, to make evidence-based, practitioner informed recommendations to attain equitable student outcomes. CLP works with colleges and their education and community partners to transform educational structures, policies and practices to eliminate equity gaps and improve postsecondary credential attainment. CLP also works in partnership with a wide array of organizations in the educational reform space, including the Puente Project, Umoja Community, COLEGAS, EdTrust West, JustEquations, the Research and Planning Group, the Linked Learning Alliance, and the California EDGE Coalition. Originally established by the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, CLP operates under the fiscal sponsorship of the Foundation for California Community Colleges, the non-profit auxiliary for the California Community Colleges. More information is available at

Essential Job Responsibilities
The Director will lead capacity-building/technical assistance to colleges and other educational partners, design and facilitate professional development, and research and document promising practices. The Director will lead and manage CLP projects and also serve on a number of CLP cross-functional project teams. The Director will serve as a resource and share expertise across various CLP initiatives. Primary responsibilities include:

Initiatives and Program Core Work

  • Lead CLP projects and coordinate with the CLP team. Manage teams of staff and consultants to deliver outcomes as specified in contracts and grants.
  • Work with counseling faculty and student services leaders, foster dialogue, build networks, and lead communities of practice focused on student-centered, equity-minded counseling practices.
  • Support colleges and their partners in integration of initiatives, funding streams and structures in order to support and improve counseling and student services with focus on eliminating gaps in postsecondary outcomes by race, gender and income.
  • Seek or develop new program or project initiatives that advance CLP’s work.
  • Support guided pathways inquiry, design, and implementation.
  • Synthesize and/or conduct research into questions informing student success and equity in community colleges and aligned educational areas; work collaboratively with senior leadership and staff to use this learning to inform and enrich CLP approaches and initiatives.
  • Design and deliver high-quality capacity-building professional development sessions and college convenings. Give presentations at conferences.
  • Develop briefs, reports, and tools for community college practitioners on effective practices related to key program areas including: centering equity in community college counseling and student services; integration of counseling and student supports with instruction; equitable postsecondary transition, success and completion; college transformation and guided pathways; integration of career development and instruction; culturally competent and affirming pedagogy and counseling practices; anti-racist and equity minded college practices and reforms.
  • Represent CLP in meetings, conferences, and other events. Manage competing interests effectively, promote cooperation, and address conflicts diplomatically.
  • Continue to build professional knowledge of the fields of postsecondary reform; college and career transition and success strategies; race conscious approaches to transforming college policies, practices and structures; transformation strategies such as design thinking, human centered design and liberatory design.

Organizational Leadership and Responsibility

  • Work collaboratively with the CLP leadership team to support organizational development and contribute to ongoing process improvements.
  • Recruit other peer and content experts to assist in initiatives, projects and programmatic work, as required.
  • Form teams to deliver outcomes as specified in contracts and grants.
  • Assist in developing new initiatives and partnerships.
  • Other assignments as required.

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • At the time of hiring, this position carries no staff supervision responsibilities. In the future, the Director may be called on to supervise staff. In this case, the Director would be responsible to recruit, orient, and provide direction, evaluation, and professional development for all supervised staff within the policies and practices of the Foundation and CLP.
  • Oversee consulting and professional services contractors. These may include peer experts, senior consultants, writers, meeting planners, and others engaged in contracted services. Responsible for identifying and recruiting as well as negotiating scope of work and deploying consultants in the field to ensure organizational needs and deliverables are met at multiple sites.

Education, Skills, and Experience
The following qualifications are required:

  • Successful faculty and/or administrative experience in counseling or student services at a community college.
  • Experience leading and administering large and comprehensive grants or programs related to improving design and delivery of college programs or services.
  • Knowledge of effective practices related to higher education and equity—especially with respect to improving student transition, success and completion for racially minoritized and for low income students; proactive, intensive and integrated support services and counseling; institutional transformation, guided pathways and integrated approaches to reform; development and redesign of K16 pathways; use of data and evidence to inform change.
  • Demonstrated success in working with and serving diverse populations; promoting systemic equity and a culture of community, diversity and inclusion; promoting culturally affirming, race and gender forward strategies; and providing leadership in supporting students, faculty and staff in addressing issues of equity that impact student learning.
  • Knowledge of key initiatives, policy issues and funding streams impacting the California Community Colleges.
  • Experience managing and leading complex and diverse projects.
  • Experience in providing leadership and supervision for employees or a team.
  • Excellent writing skills and experience writing briefs, reports, or proposals.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Excellent verbal and public presentation skills.
  • Excellent meeting facilitation skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills including an ability to cultivate relationships with community colleges, government agencies, and community organizations.
  • Familiarity with secondary, postsecondary, or adult education systems.
  • Familiarity with higher education reforms and supporting research.
  • Commitment to racial, gender and social justice and economic mobility for Californians.
  • Passion for student educational achievement and career advancement.
  • General computer literacy and familiarity with common office and presentation software programs.

The following qualifications are highly desirable:

  • Advanced degree (master’s or doctorate), or equivalent in relevant field from accredited university.
  • Experience in garnering and managing large-scale and multiple funding sources including foundation, state, and national grants simultaneously and within funder guidelines and regulations.
  • Experience with developing and providing professional development activities or programs, or with providing technical assistance in a postsecondary context.
  • Experience with college governance, department or division leadership, committee work or other relevant college leadership or administrative responsibilities.
  • State-level policy knowledge, leadership experience via state committee work, professional associations, task forces or other related venues.

Working Hours, Location, and Travel
This is a full-time position, 40 hours per week, with additional hours as needed to address the organization’s needs. This is a California-based position, with the flexibility to work remotely (in California) or in person at our Sacramento office. This position may require moderate travel to attend meetings, conferences, and perform other essential functions of the job.

Physical Requirements
The Foundation may make reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the job’s essential functions/physical requirements. The following physical requirements are essential to the performance of this position:

  • Must be able to remain in stationary position up to 4 hours at a time and 8 hours total in a day.
  • Ability to constantly work at a computer workstation for up to five consecutive days.
  • The person in this position frequently communicates with internal office staff and/or external third parties who have inquiries about their job tasks. Must be able to exchange accurate information in these situations.
  • Ability to frequently move and/or remain in a stationary position without breaks during meetings.
  • Ability to constantly operate a computer.
  • Ability to perform repetitive movements (e.g., typing and filing) and operate and use common office equipment (e.g., copy machine, printer, telephone).
  • Ability to frequently move and/or remain in a stationary position without breaks at meetings and program site visits.
  • Ability to operate personal vehicle for Foundation business and possess current valid California driver’s license or utilize an alternative mode of transportation (e.g. ride share) to carry out Foundation business.
  • Ability to move or transport office items (e.g. work supplies, laptop, files) up to a maximum of 20 pounds.
  • Frequent overnight travel by land and air may be required, subject to public health directives.
  • Well-lighted, heated, and air-conditioned indoor office setting with adequate ventilation.