Director of the NexSTEM Program

Job description


NexSTEM (A Community Assets Program that Fosters the Next Generation of STEM Leaders) is a scholarship and academic support program For Science, Technology, Mathematics, and Engineering (STEM) students.  Funded by the National Science Foundation (October 2018 - October 2023), its goal is to increase the number, diversity, and success of students completing STEM degrees in McLean County, IL. The program is a collaborative effort between Heartland Community College, Illinois State University, Illinois Wesleyan University, and not-for-profit agencies.  The NexSTEM program is built on the premise that its three institutions of higher education (IHEs) can generate more STEM graduates and increase their success by working together, and with community partners, than by working separately.  Although the project's three IHEs have a shared commitment to student-centered, undergraduate STEM education, they offer programs of study and campus environments that complement rather than duplicate each other.  Because of a national shortage of STEM professionals, employers in the US often struggle to fill jobs in these fields.  And, this shortage of STEM professionals arises, in part, because persistent socioeconomic inequities have prevented equal access to these disciplines.  The NexSTEM project will counter these trends by offering substantial, 4-year, college scholarships; research experiences; and mentoring to talented high school seniors who are interested in STEM, but for whom significant financial need and limited familiarity with STEM careers are obstacles to bachelor's degree completion.  In this way, the program will increase the pool of capable and motivated STEM professionals.

Job Summary:

Reporting to the Principal Investigator (PI) of the grant award, the Director of the NexSTEM program will work with personnel at the three IHEs on project management, communications, logistics, data collection, reporting, employee supervision, and financial management efforts of the project. The Director will have regular contact with the PI and Co-PIs, faculty participants, students, staff, student workers, community partners, program evaluators, and administrative offices on three campuses.  The position is renewable for 5 years contingent on satisfactory performance review.   

Job Responsibilities:

The Director will play a critical role in supporting students, faculty, community partners, and staff involved in the program.

  • Fosters an inclusive and supportive environment where students from diverse backgrounds can feel comfortable and encouraged in their pursuit of STEM degrees.
  • Oversees student recruitment, selection, and orientation processes.
  • Works with faculty and staff on the three campuses to facilitate student retention and success.
  • Collaborates and communicates with program stakeholders – faculty, students, administrators, community partners – to plan and implement programming.
  • Coordinates logistics for events, community research projects, and high school outreach.
  • Organizes and prepares internal and external program communications.
  • Manages the program budget.
  • Collects data and works with project personnel to generate required reporting.
  • Works with project personnel to ensure compliance with NSF rules and regulations.
  • Supervises student workers.
  • Maintains an office presence on three campuses and visits local high schools and community partners.
  • Coordinates and cultivates relationships with stakeholders within the local community.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Minimum qualifications:

The successful candidate will have:

  • Commitment to supporting a diverse group of students in their pursuit of STEM degrees.
  • Proven project management capabilities.
  • Interpersonal skills to organize and work cooperatively and effectively with individuals and groups.
  • Strong communication skills, with the ability to express ideas clearly both orally and in writing.
  • Experience with budgets and record keeping.
  • A bachelor’s degree with relevant work experience.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Background in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
  • Experience with grant funded programming.
  • Experience with higher education administration.
  • Experience with mentoring and programming for STEM students and/or students from low-income backgrounds.

Application Process:

Please submit a letter of application, resume, a statement demonstrating your commitment to diversity and inclusion, and the names and addresses of three professional references to Human Resources. Within your cover letter, please indicate how you learned of this opening. 

Illinois Wesleyan University

Human Resources, Holmes Hall 209

1312 Park Street

Bloomington, IL 61702

Email: [email protected]

Fax: (309)556-1710

Review of applications will begin on January 22, 2019 and continue until the position is filled. The final candidate must pass a pre-employment background investigation.

Illinois Wesleyan University’s sexual harassment and sexual violence policy may be accessed at


Illinois Wesleyan University is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusive excellence; details at




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Job No:
Posted: 12/12/2018
Application Due: 2/10/2019
Work Type: