Academic Director, Writing and Communications (The American Women's College)
When Bay Path opened its doors to students in downtown Springfield, MA in 1897, it had a very clear goal: to provide a practical, affordable, and career-oriented education to meet the needs of companies, organizations, and communities. From the beginning, Bay Path prided itself on being entrepreneurial, constantly pushing the boundaries of the academic experience to fit the student. To start them on the road of success. We still do.
Today, that spirit and philosophy is more important than ever in higher education. At Bay Path, it's not just the number and breadth of undergraduate and graduate programs that defines us-and we have many-but it is our ability to connect the classroom to learning to leadership to experience to career that is at the core of what we do best. We know the work that needs to be done.
Bay Path University, an independent and not-for-profit institution, was named Among Fastest Growing Baccalaureate Colleges by the Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac, and is a member of the Women's College Coalition. With a main campus in Longmeadow, MA and four satellite locations, (East Longmeadow, Sturbridge, Concord, Springfield), Bay Path offers undergraduate, graduate (for women and men) degrees, and professional certificates.
We're committed to preparing our students to navigate a constantly changing world. Whether it is one of our innovative academic programs, groundbreaking online learning platform, or through our Women as Empowered Learners and Leaders initiative, we educate our students in ways that will help them to grow, learn to adapt, and always to flourish. Be part of the change.
We invite you to visit our website at www.baypath.edu where you can learn more about Bay Path University.
- Position Code: ADWCO
- Job Type: Full-time
- Hours: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
- Schedule (Standard Work Days): Monday through Friday, some Saturdays and evenings required
- Position Location: Springfield, MA
The Academic Director position within The American Women's College (TAWC) is a full-time, 12-month, position that reports to the Deputy Chief Learning Officer and supervises all programs offered to adult undergraduate women online and on-ground in a particular discipline. Under the direction of the Chief Administrative Officer and the Deputy Chief Learning Officer, this position has administrative and leadership responsibility in a fast-paced educational environment and requires dedication to collaboration in moving ideas forward. The Academic Director supervises the adjunct faculty across three campuses (Sturbridge (CMC), Longmeadow (LMC) and Online) who teach courses under their programs. Additionally, the Academic Director teaches a minimum of two, 3-credit courses each fiscal year. (The teaching load may be geared towards teaching courses affiliated with adaptive technology development.) Willingness to work a flexible schedule, including Saturdays and weekday evenings, along with travel to other campus locations, is required. As this is an administrative position, faculty rank is not assigned but engagement with academic affairs across the University is required.
The American Women's College's unique model, which has garnered several national accolades since its inception, has six components: 1) intentional on-boarding to help students prepare, 2) accelerated 6-week courses that allow for flexibility, 3) customized learning environment which uses adaptive technology to meet students where they are and tailor instruction, 4) wrap-around support that uses data-driven intervention strategies, 5) virtual communities to increase engagement, and 6) faculty professional development to help instructors be more intentional with feedback and facilitation. This ecosystem is supported by data from the student registration database, advisers' interactions with students, the learning management system, and adaptive learning courses delivered online, which are pulled into a data warehouse. The resulting actionable reports allow instructors, advisers, and program directors to engage in proactive outreach to support student learning. Adaptive courseware also provides real-time data for instructors so they can intervene early and often to enhance student success. The Academic Director for Writing and Communications should possess the desire to work in such an innovative academic, technology-enhanced, and data-driven environment, be eager to participate in the building up of an adaptive learning curriculum, and be able to collaborate across divisions and in partnership with academic technologists, instructional designers, advisors and student service teams, as well as a dedicated marketing and admissions teams. This academic leadership role must be committed to exploring new methods that advance learning, especially related to students' writing, and willing to assess and re-assess for constant improvement in alignment with the SOUL (Social Online Universal Learning) model delivered at The American Women's College.
The position is responsible for program development, curriculum, delivery, assessment of student learning and achievement, faculty selection, management and development, and career advising. In addition, the Academic Director is tasked with enhancing enrollment and retention of students in the appropriate degree program(s) by working closely and collaboratively with TAWC's other academic directors, academic technology staff, advisors, student support staff, admissions, and marketing staff, as well as the corresponding academic department on the main campus.
The Academic Director works closely with the Adjunct Faculty Hiring Manager to onboard, train, and oversee adjunct (and at times lead) faculty in their discipline(s) to ensure that students are meeting their outcomes and career goals and that faculty members are providing quality instruction and support. The Director leads curriculum development, supervises the effectiveness of online/on-ground classroom management, and develops on-going training for adjunct faculty, in collaboration with other academic directors, academic technology and the Director of Faculty Development. In addition, the Academic Director reviews and assesses the respective program annually. This position advocates for curricular and support service changes that help students successfully complete their programs. Working in tandem with members of the academic technology team, the Director is responsible for creating the optimal academic experience for students.
The Academic Director must possess excellent organizational and leadership skills, an ability to understand their field with an eye towards new program development, and familiarity with online teaching pedagogy and technology. The Academic Director will understand and use data driven decision making in their analysis of the discipline, in determining faculty performance, and in gauging student learning outcomes. The Academic Director will have experience teaching and developing courses for adults at the college or university level.
This position will be responsible for maintaining, enhancing, and growing our quality writing and communications programs and courses in our core curriculum in the accelerated session based delivery modality, as well as exploring the development of new innovative program(s). The Academic Director will be expected to fulfill the mission-critical task of infusing writing skills and experiences throughout all our degree programs. This will require an entrepreneurial spirit, considerable review and understanding of current labor force needs in various disciplines and of our core curriculum, and an ability to collaborate. At TAWC, as our educational model itself indicates, we believe in the transformative power of technology to undergird students' mastery of written and oral communications skills and core learning outcomes, in whichever field they pursue. This individual should also be committed to our mission of educating and advancing women and recognize the important role of developing the vital skills to propel women into fields in every industry.
Academic Program Oversight
- Works collaboratively with staff, faculty, and/or educational leadership on the main campus in the development, management, and assessment of discipline specific degree programs.
- Works with Associate Registrar at The American Women's College on course offerings for each session and term for each location.
- Participates in the development, refinement, and enforcement of relevant academic policies and procedures for The American Women's College.
- Manages and responds to all discipline specific accreditation requirements.
- Researches academic offerings in respective disciplines offered by other organizations and keeps current on latest trends in field and related labor markets. Develops online and on-ground programs and resources accordingly to benefit students in college, careers, and life. Considers new opportunities for program development, modification or concentrations that have a competitive value.
- Promotes program by collaborating with admissions and marketing to gain visibility, showcase instructors, find discipline-specific markets, and maintains accuracy of marketing materials and website content dedicated to programs.
Faculty Development and Oversight
- With the assistance of the Adjunct Faculty Hiring Manager, the Academic Director is responsible for the effective recruitment, hiring, on-boarding, supervision, mentoring and evaluation of adjunct faculty and lead faculty in TAWC programs, staffing all course sections within each academic term.
- Responsible for the identification of adjunct faculty training and development needs and providing ad-hoc support, as needed.
- Reviews faculty-student evaluations and other course metrics each semester.
- Works with the Deputy Chief Learning Officer to conduct ongoing assessment of faculty.
- Stays abreast of teaching/learning innovations and recommends changes for continuous improvement. Responsible for maintaining communication to adjunct faculty teaching in specific program for any relevant notifications or modifications to policy/ procedures.
- Manages and oversees the Virtual Learning Community of adjunct faculty in his/her discipline.
- Participates in FIPSE and SOUL training as necessary to serve as a knowledgeable consultant and guide to faculty teaching under the study.
Resource Generation and Management
- Provides visionary leadership for the development and revision of online, blended and on-campus courses for the programs housed within The American Women's College and collaborates with academic technology on design and compliance.
- Identifies and cultivates on-ground and online resources for teaching/learning, such as OER and accessible learning-related content to help students achieve learning outcomes.
- Responsible for hiring Subject Matter Experts to work with academic technology on course design and redesign.
- Collaborates with academic technology staff, as necessary, to ensure that faculty have access to and facility with hardware/software necessary to teach effectively.
- Serves as liaison with academic and professional organizations that promote development of women entering and moving up in respective field.
- Scans the on-ground and online academic landscape to develop ideas for partnering with academic and other organizations in order to drive enrollment.
- Maintains an active presence on the campus including attendance at major University and student events (e.g. Commencement, Academic Achievement Days, Assessment Day, a standing faculty committee, etc.).
Student Development and Oversight
- Provides students with clear pathways to college success within respective discipline(s) and ensures that students are adequately prepared for graduate school or entry into their professions.
- Directly engages with students enrolled in discipline(s) by hosting office hours, webinars, open houses, etc.
- Provides opportunities for career counseling or networking. Supervises the delivery of accurate and appropriate career and academic advising to students.
- Troubleshoots student complaints, appeals and disputes according to institutional policies and procedures.
- Analyzes the need for academic support among students and makes recommendations, as appropriate.
- In collaboration with others, develops and implements processes for assessing student satisfaction and learning and responding to areas of concern.
- Writes letters of recommendation for students and alumnae, as needed.
- Demonstrates commitment to a culture of diversity, inclusion and respect.
- Cooperates with staff and faculty on procedures and standards for operations within The American Women's College and the University.
- Participates in regular meetings for the ongoing development of respective programs online and on-ground.
- Participates in regularly scheduled faculty and school meetings/events.
- Attends trainings as required.
- Minimum of a Master's degree in a field related to the respective discipline(s). An earned doctorate or currently enrolled in a doctorate program is preferred.
- Must possess excellent organizational management and leadership skills, as well as broad understanding of the academic fields, labor markets, and competitive landscape for the respective discipline. The successful candidate must also have the ability to develop new programs and demonstrated familiarity with online teaching pedagogy.
- Must have a record of successful administrative leadership, including oversight of adjunct faculty, and a demonstrable record of successfully recruiting and retaining adjunct faculty. Must have technical skills that facilitate administrative leadership.
- Ability to communicate clearly and effectively with faculty, students, staff, and administration and a commitment to principles of diversity and inclusion.
- Understanding and ability to engage in appropriate outcomes assessment practices for the appropriate programs and a willingness to collaborate with peers on meaning-making from assessment data to improve curricula.
- Energetic, positive, collaborative leadership style.
- Ability and/or willingness to use the University's resources, notably technology and data, to make decisions and promote effective teaching and learning.
- Competence in planning and management within prescribed fiscal constraints.
- Interest, initiative, and ability to work with the others to develop and evaluate programs and faculty in the school.
- Strong desire to enable women to succeed.
- An ability to be passionate about Bay Path University history, mission, and hallmark strengths.
- Appreciation for Bay Path's mission as a women centered institution.
- Ability to adhere to University policies and procedures.
- Ability to handle confidential information with discretion and within FERPA and HIPPA regulations.
- Should be committed to a culture of diversity, respect and inclusion
- Experience effectively engaging backgrounds, identities and communities different than one's own.
- General knowledge of the University's mission, purpose and goals and the role this position plays in achieving those goals.
Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
Bay Path University is a diverse community devoted to proactively nurturing a campus-wide culture that promotes and ensures respect, inclusion and safety for all members regardless of race, color, national origin, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity, socio-economic background, or physical ability. We are one University that opens our hearts and minds to conversations, to learning and to creating a community that is welcoming of all. Regardless of position, it is expected that each employee will embrace this commitment and demonstrate an attitude of respect toward and acceptance of all members of our community.
Applicants for this position should attach a cover letter resume / curriculum vitae, the contact information for four (4) professional, work related references and any other relevant information pertaining to this position and your candidacy. Please apply online. Faxes and emails will not be accepted.
An Equal Opportunity Employer, Bay Path University is committed to fostering diversity in its student body, faculty, and staff.