The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Since its founding in 1949, the Institute has been driving change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most critical challenges facing communities in the United States and around the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners.
The College Excellence Program (CEP) aims to identify and replicate practices and policies that significantly improve college student outcomes. Through the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence, the American Talent Initiative, and other highly visible national projects, the College Excellence Program works to improve colleges' capacity to achieve high levels of success for all students, and to eliminate disparities in postsecondary attainment and social mobility for students from low-income backgrounds and historically marginalized and underserved groups. Our work focuses on improving higher education in four areas: ensuring high-quality learning, increasing completion rates, improving post-completion success in transfer or the workforce, and achieving equity in outcomes across all domains. Learn more about our work at https://highered.aspeninstitute.org/
The College Excellence Program staff is a diverse team of driven and energetic professionals who share a commitment to increasing access to and success in higher education. We are motivated by the power of education to change lives, and we work hard to have measurable impact while also pushing ourselves to learn constantly, collaborate and innovate, and take joy from our work. The Aspen Institute's DC headquarters provides a vibrant setting in which to pursue these goals, and we benefit from a rich array of expert panels, discussion groups, and lectures that occur throughout the year.
About the Role:
This program manager will lead project management across a set of initiatives focused on identifying best practices that advance excellence and equity at community colleges. CEP's program managers engage with and solicit input from a broad range of stakeholders including institutional leaders, partner organizations, internal colleagues, and funders to develop high-quality programming, research, and tools that are responsive to the greatest needs in the field.
The program manager will fill this important role for two projects, in collaboration with a project manager focused on research and analysis:
Advancing Rural Community College Success: CEP recently launched a two-year project to investigate strategies that lead to strong and continuously improving student outcomes at rural and rural-serving community colleges. Over the course of this initiative, this program manager will develop and lead processes that support research into practices at effective community colleges and advance the work, including engaging an advisory board of rural college and community leaders and planning and implementing workshops for rural college leaders in partnership with the advisory board, to take action on the findings and recommendations that result from the research. This project offers the opportunity to contribute to shaping and defining a new area of research and community college reform for CEP.
Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence: The $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, awarded every two years, is the nation's signature recognition for America's community colleges—as President Obama called it, basically the Oscars for great community colleges. The Aspen Prize honors institutions with outstanding achievement in four areas: teaching and learning, certificate and degree completion, workforce success, and equitable outcomes for students of color and low-income students. This program manager will support the process by which experts select top colleges at various stages, organize site visits to finalist colleges, and plan in-person or virtual events to honor the Aspen Prize winners.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
CEP seeks a proven project manager skilled in balancing competing priorities and timelines to deliver high-quality results across multiple projects. Ideal candidates are curious, eager to learn and solve problems, and driven by making an impact. They have experience mobilizing teams around shared goals, a track record of collaborating with a complex range of stakeholders, and a commitment to equity in education. They can align organizational activity and resources to a high-level strategy and lead a project team to deliver high-quality outcomes on time and within budget, while keeping an eye on the big picture.
CEP's program managers grow professionally through collaboration with senior staff and exposure to thought leaders in higher education, as well as through the many opportunities the position offers for deep learning about strategies for increasing postsecondary access, equity, and success.
Specifically, the program manager will:
What it's like to work with CEP:
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