Senior Program Director

Deans for Impact

About Deans for Impact (DFI)
At DFI, we envision a future where every child is taught by well-prepared teachers. We support educator-preparation programs (EPPs) to bring the science of learning into teaching practice; partner with policymakers to ensure that pathways into teaching are accessible, practice-based, and focused on equitable instruction; and equip leaders with the tools to address today’s most pressing challenges in educator preparation. Guided by principles of learning science, we aim to help aspiring and early-career teachers create rigorous and inclusive classrooms where all children thrive.

To learn more, visit our website, hear from leaders in our community, and read about one of our networks and the policy initiatives we have helped to lead.

Our Values
We believe that a great workplace is one where you are inspired by your colleagues and deeply engaged in your work every day. Six core values guide us:  

  • Design for inclusivity – We take deliberate steps to foster inclusivity in everything we do, from hiring to program design to identifying partners. We are attentive to our nation’s history and its ongoing impact on marginalized identities and communities, actively interrogate our biases, and work to create a sense of belonging for our team and partners. 
  • Be good stewards – We care deeply about our culture and organizational health, and we expect everyone to positively nurture its growth and evolution.  
  • Practice good pedagogy – We use knowledge of content and how the human mind works to create rigorous learning experiences that foster a sense of belonging, agency, and purpose, and we hold ourselves accountable for learning outcomes. 
  • Always seek solutions – We take a nimble approach to develop solutions to problems, test them, and then iterate based on what we’ve learned.  
  • Transform the system – We take the long view, shifting mindsets and everyday practices in order to counter pervasive historical inequities. 
  • Model professionalism – We model professionalism by seeking out feedback and fostering growth through honesty and humility.  

About the Senior Program Director
DFI works closely with non-profit partners, state leaders, and leadership and faculty teams from EPPs to redesign learning opportunities for aspiring and early-career teachers. Building on a track record of success in supporting EPPs to prepare novice teachers to understand and implement in their practice well-established scientific principles of how children learn to read, DFI supports networks of EPPs aiming to improve the way they prepare aspiring teachers around effective literacy instruction using high-quality instructional materials (HQIM). This work benefits all students, but especially students who, due to structural inequities, have historically had less access to high-quality foundational literacy instruction.

The Senior Program Director will work with program leaders and teacher-educators across multiple DFI-facilitated networks to redesign coursework and clinical experiences by: (1) designing and facilitating opportunities for faculty to deepen knowledge and develop shared vision aligned with state and district priorities around early literacy and the use of HQIM, and (2) overseeing the implementation of that vision by supporting faculty to integrate new assignments and materials into courses across the arc of candidate learning in their EPPs. The Senior Program Director will also be responsible for building relationships with state, district, and EPP program leaders, including negotiating between state priorities and the goals of EPPs and their district partners, coaching individual faculty, developing professional learning opportunities and cross-program learning structures, and facilitating improvement processes at the participating EPPs.

Responsibilities
The Senior Program Director will be responsible for:  

  • Program Design and Management (40%)
    • Setting the vision and strategy across multiple DFI-led programs for supporting EPP leaders and teacher-educators to redesign coursework and clinical experiences and sustain those changes over time
    • Independently managing the day-to-day work of multiple DFI-led programs, including: managing relevant budgets, creating and managing work plans, coordinating communications with external participants, developing structures to share learnings, and identifying, designing, and implementing processes and systems required to carry out the work 
    • Independently designing systems to collect, analyze, and share evidence on the impact of DFI-led programming, including in collaboration with partners 
    • Independently managing internal communications about relevant DFI-led programs and leading cross-team and/or cross-functional groups to advance program goals
    • Effectively structuring and managing the work of project consultants and of other DFI staff, including supporting DFI staff performance and development in alignment with our organizational values
    • Proactively cultivating relationships with and representing the work of each DFI-led program to external stakeholders including partner organizations, state leaders, and leaders of EPPs across the field
  • Program Participant Learning and Course and Program Redesign (45%)
    • Leading the design and facilitation of meaningful, rigorous, inclusive learning experiences to support EPP faculty and leaders in building understanding of evidence-based foundational literacy skills and how to effectively use high-quality instructional materials to build knowledge in the elementary classroom
    • Supporting faculty – through ongoing, individualized coaching – to redesign coursework and clinical experiences and implement content that will support teacher-candidates to enact instruction aligned with evidence-based foundational literacy skills and effectively use high-quality instructional materials 
    • Supporting faculty and EPP leaders in reflecting on evidence from implementation to create more effective learning experiences for teacher-candidates
    • Proactively building and sustaining positive, productive relationships with leaders and teacher-educators at participating EPPs and leaders from their states
  • People and Culture (15%)
    • Contribute to regular team activities, including weekly team meetings, bi-annual retreats, and other individual and organizational learning structures
    • Proactively steward a values-centered team and culture

About you

We’re looking for someone with experience facilitating complex organizational change efforts and with expertise in practice-based teacher preparation with a focus on early literacy.

We understand that people gain skills through a variety of professional, personal, educational, and volunteer experiences. We encourage candidates to review the key responsibilities and desired qualifications below. If you believe you have the transferable skills necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of this role, we encourage you to apply. 

  • Experience: 
    • You have at least eight years of professional work experience in teaching or teacher preparation, with at least five years of experience in pre-service teacher preparation with a focus on early literacy
    • You have experience with practice-based teacher educator pedagogies
    • You have experience with instructional coaching 
    • You have experience leading improvement initiatives that require buy-in from stakeholders at multiple levels of the system (e.g. state leaders, district and school leaders, EPP leaders, teacher educators)
    • You have experience managing the work of others across multiple complex projects and supporting their performance and development
    • If you have experience working with HQIM, or supporting multilingual learners or students with disabilities in the area of early literacy, that’s a plus
    • If you have experience coaching teacher educators to redesign courses and/or clinical experiences for teacher-candidates, that’s a plus
  • Skills and qualities: 
    • You recognize the connection between historical injustices and present-day inequities in education – and want to work to remedy them
    • You can set a vision and strategy for a body of work that includes multiple complex projects and align and manage activities, stakeholders, and resources in support of that strategy
    • You are an effective facilitator and coach of adult learners and have a strong track record of designing learning sessions and using data and evidence to drive improvement in teacher preparation
    • You can juggle multiple tasks across multiple projects simultaneously, manage time and resources across multiple work streams effectively, and deliver high-quality work on time, and support others to do the same
    • You take initiative, anticipate challenges, and proactively pursue solutions to problems ranging from the mundane to the complex
    • You pursue your own continuous learning, think about how your history and experiences influence your perceptions, and actively interrogate your biases.

Location, Benefits, & Compensation
DFI is a national remote organization. The Senior Program Director will work flexibly from a location of their choosing in the U.S. Occasional travel for programming and team events (estimated at up to 25%) is expected. 

This is a full-time, salaried position with competitive salary and benefits and a flexible, mission-driven professional environment. DFI’s compensation and benefits are intended to support our ability to recruit and retain a diverse and talented team and ensure internal consistency and equity. The salary for this role is $115,000-$130,000. New hires will be offered a salary at the starting point of the range. To ensure that starting compensation decisions are equitable and transparent, DFI does not negotiate starting salaries. 

DFI offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes:

  • 12 holidays plus a winter break from Dec. 24 – Jan 1
  • 20 PTO days, prorated during a new hire’s first year
  • Generous parental, medical, and bereavement leave policies 
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance (covered at 90% individual, 70% dependent-only), life insurance, short and long term disability coverage, health and dependent care Flexible Spending Accounts 
  • 401k plan with an automatic 4% employer contribution 
  • One-time stipend to support employees’ home office set-up and reimbursement of a portion of ongoing monthly internet and cell phone use, and
  • Dedicated funds for each employee to support professional learning and growth 

Application Process
There are six stages of our application process, which will take roughly six to nine weeks between February to April. Our process is thorough because we want prospective team members to get to know our team and organizational values as much as we are getting to know who you are as a person and what you will bring to our team.

  1. Application review
  2. Initial conversation (voice only)
  3. Performance task and in-depth interview (via Zoom)
  4. Finalist interviews where you’ll get to meet more of our team (via Zoom)
  5. Reference checks 
  6. Verbal offer and offer letter

To apply, please visit https://bit.ly/DFI_Careers 

For more information, visit www.deansforimpact.org. If you have any questions, please reach out to careers@deansforimpact.org. We will start screening candidates immediately and will continue until we find the right person. 

At DFI we believe that diverse perspectives and backgrounds create a rich work environment and enhance our ability to pursue our mission. We hope you will join us as we continue to build an organization where people from all backgrounds are welcomed and all identities are affirmed. 

DFI provides equal opportunity in employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, military status, pregnancy, or parenthood.

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