Post Date: 06/17/2020
Close Date: 07/31/2020
Title: Provost / Director of Equitable Learning
Time Commitment: Full-time (35-40 hours per week average)
Salary: $38,000 - $40,000 annual salary
Benefits: Generous vacation policy, flexible schedule, remote working opportunities, enrollment in OregonSaves retirement program, attend Labs for free, attend Learn & Explore trips at a reduced cost, and occasional professional development opportunities as negotiated.
Location: Wayfinding Academy campus at 8010 N Charleston Ave., Portland, OR, occasional meetings and events in the Portland metro area
Reports to: Michelle D. Jones, Ph.D., President
Why does this position matter?
This will be a new position for Wayfinding and will build upon the work started by our Equity and Inclusion Specialist through AmeriCorps VISTA. We are a white woman led organization and would like to take some big steps forward in our efforts to help dismantle systemic racism while also doing the work to make sure we are practicing equity and inclusion in our campus community. While we have consistently done some intentional equity and inclusion work during our 5 years of existence, we have not done enough. We are looking to hire someone who is willing to help us evaluate our current practices, implement change in our organization, and develop our voice in the broader national conversation related to eradicating institutionalized racism in higher education.
In addition, we are seeking someone who is able to create and sustain an administrative role that serves our students and organization in a way that balances our desire to treat one another as whole humans and that makes sure all our record-keeping and compliance behind-the-scenes is strong. We have spent our first several years putting some systems in place and refining how we want to do things. We are now ready to level those up and make them more effective and sustainable for the long term, so we are looking for both a detail-oriented and systems-oriented thinker.
Finally, we believe the best way to understand Wayfinding’s mission at a deep level is to work directly with our students, so ideally the person in this role would also be a Guide or a core faculty member. For more information on the Guide role, you can view this job description. Core faculty members teach one of the core courses one time per year for a 12 week term.
NOTE: priority will be given to BIPOC candidates.
Qualities of an ideal candidate (and what you can expect from your co-workers):
- Conscientious: do what you say you’ll do
- Dedicated: you need to care about the college, the mission, and the people in it
- Curious: you won’t know everything you need right away, so you better love learning
- Independent: management resources are thin, so most of the work is self-directed
- Humble: we’re learning as we go, and that requires a willingness to self-critique
- Gritty: when the going gets tough, you don’t run away or shut down
- Kind: starting a new kind of college is challenging, we need to be good to each other
- Revolutionary: we need change in higher education, you should be on board for that
- Must have at least a Bachelor’s Degree or higher (to satisfy Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission’s requirements for faculty qualifications)
- Demonstrate a commitment to or willingness to explore issues of racial justice and equity
- A U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or lawful permanent resident (because we are not able to sponsor work visas at this time)
- Experience implementing diversity and inclusion efforts
- Project management experience
- Proficiency with Google Drive
Director of Equitable Learning Responsibilities/Activities
Overall goal of this position: strengthen Wayfinding Academy’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts internally as well as our outreach externally through building sustainable community partnerships, reaching out to underserved high school students, and increasing funding for marginalized students. In particular, these programs will work towards alleviating poverty by focusing on traditionally underserved students, especially students of color and students from a low socioeconomic background. Some specific initial focus areas (others to be developed in collaboration with the person who takes this role once an organizational audit of equity and inclusion practices is complete):
- Develop and strengthen Wayfinding Academy’s efforts to create an inclusive and equitable community for students, crew, faculty, and Guides
- Develop and strengthen partnerships with organizations that work with students of color, including occasionally traveling offsite to expand the reach of Wayfinding Academy
- Assist in raising funds and scholarships for students of color and students who are typically poorly supported by the traditional education system through grants, fundraising, and/or events.
- Collaborate with the Board to increase diversity and representation on the Board of Directors.
- Collaborate with the President to increase diversity and representation among faculty, Guides, and crew.
- Collaborate with the President and equity and inclusion committee to develop medium- and long-term strategies for organizational and industry-wise dismantling of systemic racism in college settings.
Overall goal of this position: create and sustain an administrative role that serves our students and organization in a way that balances our desire to treat one another as whole humans and that makes sure all our record-keeping and compliance behind-the-scenes is strong. Some specific initial focus areas:
- Maintain our database of student records (currently housed on the Airtable platform)
- Improve our record keeping systems to make them more streamlined and able to cross reference one another
- Collaborate with curriculum leads (Lab Program Coordinator, Internship Program Coordinator, faculty, Guides) to ensure accuracy of data
- Collect termly course evaluation data from Guides, faculty, and Lab leaders
- Collect termly feedback/evaluation data from students about their experience in the curriculum
- Generate transcripts and diplomas for graduating students
- Analyze existing data related to course-based learning outcomes and write reports to enable us to share results in presentations, conversations, grant applications, and reports
- Assist President in completing bi-annual HECC authorization paperwork
- Assist President in completing NWCCU accreditation paperwork and site visits (if we choose to pursue this accreditation)
Optional Helpful Responsibilities
- Periodically research eligibility for access to federal financial aid as the US Dept of Education policies change
- Investigate and complete applications for access to other forms of aid for students such as Veteran’s Education benefits, AmeriCorps education stipend, hosting international students. Etc.
Marginal Responsibilities Expected of all Crew Members:
- Attend and participate in at least one new student Orientation per year
- Attend and participate in Graduation
- Attend off-site strategic planning retreats approximately once per year
- Attend various student recruitment events (e.g., Open Houses) or community engagement events (schedule permitting)
Who we think will thrive in this role:
Someone who is collaborative, self-directed, tenacious, asks great questions and is an even better listener. Someone willing to push themselves in service of a mission. Positivity is a big plus. So is curiosity. Experience building relationships with and serving adult learners is preferred, but many sorts of lived and professional experiences will be helpful and taken into account. Understanding of the higher education system is a strong plus - to change it we must understand its inner workings and leverage points.
Why you might want to do this:
Wayfinding Academy can help you learn new skills, expand your network through ours, make new friends, and stretch yourself in the context of a supportive community. If you want to struggle for greatness, laugh while you work, define your own path, build something that matters, and change the lives of students, this is a good opportunity for you. We are committed to helping everyone we work with figure out their next steps and help them take those steps, so you’ll know what you’re doing next when this position is over.
About Wayfinding Academy:
We’re a 2-year nonprofit college in Portland at the heart of a movement toward a revolution in higher education. We are working to turn a backwards model of higher education frontwards by first teaching students how to ask and answer questions like, “who am I?” “what do I want to do with my life?” and “how do I get from here to there?” We combine a core curriculum of 9 courses designed to help build effective citizens with intensive workshops, advising, mentorship, and internship programs that are tailored to the individual student’s needs and dreams. As a nonprofit startup college, we are still laying much of the groundwork of our programs and figuring out some of our systems. We opened our doors in 2016 and have enrolled 5 cohorts of students thus far. We are based out of our campus in the St. Johns neighborhood. For more information about the Wayfinding Academy, who we are, what we do, and what we believe, check out our website at https://wayfindingacademy.org.
Statement of diversity & justice:
We believe diverse backgrounds and perspectives are not simply ideal, but critical to Wayfinding Academy, the movement to re-imagine higher education, and to the students we serve. We believe justice is an active pursuit, not a passive stance. As such, we place special emphasis on candidates from underrepresented racial, ethnic, religious, gender association, sexual orientation, economic, (dis)ability, and cultural backgrounds which will increase the diversity of our organization and help us strive toward justice on those (and other) fronts.
Wayfinding Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, religion, national origin, disability, previous military service or any other protected category in the admission of students, employment, access or treatment in its programs and activities or the administration of its educational and employment policies.
Wayfinding Academy is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All applicable federal and state laws and guidelines are followed, including Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Executive Order 11246 of 1965, as amended by Executive Order 11357 of 1967; Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
How to apply:
Please submit an up-to-date resume or CV and a cover letter that tells us who you are and why you’re applying to email@example.com by Friday, July 31, 2020. Please also respond to the two following questions. These are very similar to the questions potential students respond to during their application process to join our 2-year program:
- Our Creed represents what we stand for and strive toward every day. Read it thoughtfully and imagine yourself at a college that believes these things. Is this a place where you will thrive? (Find it here: https://wayfindingacademy.org/our-creed)
- Which of the tasks and responsibilities for the role are you most confident about? Which one(s) do you feel would be the most “stretchy” for you?
Complete details: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1AzRb25Mu3OzK9MGf6_VcxDSS-Ek3sQd5