Learning Collaborative Manager

Title: Learning Collaborative Manager

Supervisor: Senior Director

Status: Full-Time; Exempt

Location: Washington, DC

Application Deadline: Until filled


The Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU) and APLU are seeking a Learning Collaborative Manager for the Student Experience Project (SEP).  The Manager’s role is to enhance learning and adoption of evidence-based practices to improve students experience and create equitable learning environments.  The individual will coordinate with project partners to develop and deliver activities for the cohort and assist with meetings and deliverables related to the six sites.   The successful candidate will be part of a team spanning six national organizations and will work with a broad range of university leaders and constituencies across the United States.  The position requires a highly motivated and collaborative individual, who is able to communicate effectively with diverse groups, and possesses strong administrative, project management, analytic, and writing abilities and is a self-starter. 

Background on USU and APLU

The Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU) is a president-led network of public, urban-based research universities working together on innovations and transformative models to support student success and equity, while engaging deeply with urban communities.  USU is permanently partnered with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) to oversee our joint Office of Urban Initiatives.

APLU is a research, policy, and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. With a membership of 241 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations, APLU's agenda is built on the three pillars of increasing degree completion and academic success, advancing scientific research, and expanding engagement. Annually, member campuses enroll 4.9 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.3 million degrees, employ 1.3 million faculty and staff, and conduct $44.9 billion in university-based research. For more information, consult www.aplu.org.

The Student Experience Project

The Student Experience Project (SEP) is a partnership effort of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities/Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (APLU/USU), with several leading research and policy organizations.  Through the SEP, a cohort of six APLU/USU member universities are working together and with researchers to explore the ways in which psychological factors (e.g. social belonging, growth mindset, purpose) influence college student success, persistence and degree completion. From this exploration, cohort institutions will develop and test strategies to build equitable learning environments using a continuous improvement framework and methods.   

During the period from 2019 -2021, the project focus is students’ experience in gateway courses within the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines.  The emphasis is on broadening participation and increasing success of students from traditionally underserved or marginalized groups.  

This Project is designed as a research-practice partnership and a national learning collaborative.  Our intention is to support rapid learning and solution development within and across participating institutions.  To do so, APLU/USU will lead strategies to promote learning, and support campuses with leading organizational change and continuous improvement to close equity gaps.  Our work will also engage the broader network of APLU/USU member universities to increase awareness and adoption of evidence-based practices, and leverage insights for broader impact in the higher education sector.

Primary Responsibilities

The primary responsibilities of the Learning Collaborative Manager are as follows:

Management of the University Learning Collaborative

  • Develop appropriate mechanisms to manage the network of university leaders and maintain communication with sites and external partners to meet project outcomes. 
  • Document and track learning that is occurring at sites, with an aim towards developing resources, products, and tools that advance the field. 
  • Deploy Microsoft Teams to foster engagement and learning across site teams, and to manage resources being developed.
  • Coordinate execution of the cohort learning and engagement agenda, to include:  cohort web conferences, working groups, technical assistance and coaching, professional development experiences, and webinars.  
  • Work closely with subject matter experts and partner organizations to build campus leadership for equity and capacity for this work.
  • Engage a variety of venues (including use of technologies such as listservs, webinars, social media, online surveys) to promote learning and adoption of evidence-based practices among the network of USU and APLU universities. 

Project Coordination & Administration

  • Manage the project day-to-day, including administrative (e.g. keeping contact lists, providing reports to the Board, managing logistics), finances (e.g. tracking budget and expenses), and project management (e.g. developing timelines and tracking activities, completing progress reports as needed for grant requirements).

Meeting Planning and Facilitation

  • Develop meeting agendas, prepare background materials, and coordinate logistics for monthly calls with site teams.
  • Have primary responsibility for planning workshops, conferences and sessions at APLU-USU annual meetings for the broader network of universities.  
  • Travel to off-site meetings to provide point-person assistance; occasional presentations as needed.

Communication, Writing & Research

  • Develop detailed knowledge to respond to written inquiries and represent the Student Experience Project with universities, partnering organizations, and national agencies.
  • Prepare and distribute products such as e-newsletters, meeting summaries, and learning briefs. The Manager may also assist in conducting research, developing background material, and writing or editing programmatic and policy reports and publications as needed.
  • Assist in data collection, analysis and documentation of evidence-based practices.
  • Help promote the Student Experience Project and its findings using social, in-person and institutional networks to USU/APLU and beyond.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience in higher education, public policy, or science/health disciplines.  Minimum of three to five years of professional experience preferred.
  • High level of organization, with ability to carry out administrative, financial, and significant project management activities with accuracy, and attention to detail. 
  • Experience in project management, highly preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan and facilitate meetings, and ability to work effectively and professionally with high-level university leaders (e.g. deans, vice-presidents, department chairs).
  • Commitment to closing equity gaps in higher education, and awareness of the historical, social, and structural barriers facing students from underserved and marginalized communities.
  • Experience in coalition building, with ability to deploy different communication technologies (i.e. listservs, webinars, online surveys, Microsoft Teams).
  • Superior analytic, writing, and editing skills.  Experience in writing program or policy reports is ideal.
  • Individual must be a self-starter, who is able to problem-solve and take on a wide range of tasks to deliver results; collegial and professional manner; excellent communication and inter-personal skills. 
  • Experience with qualitative and quantitative research or program evaluation desirable, but not required.
  • Advanced degree, such as MPP, MPA, MPH, or MSW or commensurate experience, highly preferred.
  • Ability to travel domestically as needed.


To Apply

Please send a cover letter and resume to APLU’s Human Resources Department at [email protected] with the subject line: Learning Collaborative Manager. Applications will be reviewed as received and continue to be reviewed until the position is filled.

Salary is commensurate with experience. APLU provides a generous benefits package. For more information on APLU, please visit www.aplu.org