College Access and Success Program Director, Grant- Funded

West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
Huntington, West Virginia, Glenville, West Virginia, Logan, West Virginia
$50,000 to $55,000 annually, commensurate with experience

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Administrative Jobs
Institutional & Business Affairs, Program Administration, Student Affairs

We are seeking to fill three new Program Director positions at various campus locations in West Virginia. These positions serve as members of the management team responsible for regional implementation of the Student Affairs Division’s college access and success efforts, including the 2021-2028 federally funded GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) Grant.  The incumbent will offer leadership in advancing the Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC)’s goal of creating and fostering a culture of college-readiness and success by developing and implementing campaigns, programs, and services to mobilize communities, encourage innovation, change perception and behavior, and develop and advance policy in the assigned region.

Classification:  Non-Classified, Exempt, Benefits-Eligible, Grant-funded

Campus Work Locations:

  • Glenville State College, Glenville, WV (Central Region)
  • Marshall University, Huntington, WV (Southwestern Region)
  • Southern WV Community and Technical College, Logan, WV ( Southern Region)

 Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Ensures full implementation of the GEAR UP program in all middle and high school sites assigned.  Directs and provides leadership to site coordinators in assigned region.  Responsible for program implementation and oversight of site coordinators workplan and operating budgets.
  • Manages an annual budget of approximately $150,000 and provides oversight of 3-5 county LEA annual budgets totaling $400,000. 
  • Work with the Project Director and Assistant Director of WV GEAR UP to review and develop policies and efforts that support improved access to and success in postsecondary education. Offers leadership in advancing HEPC’s goal of creating and fostering a culture of college-readiness and success by developing and implementing programs, and services to mobilize communities, and change perception and behavior.  
  • Develops, plans, and directs college access and success initiatives for the WV GEAR UP program efforts in assigned counties. Serve as the primary contact for the Commission and Council for college access and success initiatives at the institution to which assigned to work. Directs program efforts between GEAR UP middle and high schools, county school district offices, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and other state agencies as identified.  
  • Works with the Senior Director of Student Services to develop and review policies, practices, rules, guidelines, reports, and other documents, relative to program implementation required by the Federal GEAR UP grant.
  • Responsible for budget management, hiring, training, supervising, and evaluating school-level GEAR UP staff. Oversees site-level staff (3-5 counties, 15-25 schools). Provides direct supervision for site-level staff within assigned region.  Responsible for hiring and conducting performance appraisals of staff.
  • Works closely with Site Coordinators to develop and direct local initiatives including but not limited to developing college experience programs, preparing students academically, college admission and financial aid planning for students and parents; designing and implementing support services such as transition programs, student leadership programs and summer academies, and disseminating data to identify professional development opportunities.  
  • Leads and develops an effective mentoring and student leadership program within assigned region.  Develops program curriculum, drafts contract, hires, supervises, trains, and evaluates the effectiveness of 15-30 contract mentors on an annual basis.  
  • Manages outreach strategies in assigned region to empower and engage community members, partners, staff, and other stakeholders to advance HEPC’s mission and goals. 
  • Provides complete oversight of regional projects and staff to ensure that GEAR UP outcomes are met and GPRA measures are well-aligned to support the federal grant requirements.  
  • Attend, present, and participate in, day, evening, and weekend region-wide activities as well as major GEAR UP, WVHEPC, and state-wide college access initiatives (i.e. College Application and Exploration Week, College Decision Day, etc.) as it relates to the grant. Designs and delivers presentations to diverse audiences including students, educators, administrators, parents, communities, educational stakeholders at colleges and universities and national audiences    
  • Manages the data flow and data accuracy of site-level staff and LEAs.  Collaborate with institutions and district offices as it pertains to data collection and analysis. Related to GEAR UP objectives and performance measures, analyzes data to develop improved strategies and to monitor measurable outcomes.  
  • Organize, lead, and participate in administrative meetings, district level budget and program implementation meetings, institutional partnership meetings, community awareness and outreach committee meetings, State, Federal and national conferences. Travel to local, regional, state, and national meetings.
  • Other duties as assigned.

 Minimum Requirements: Master’s degree in education or a related field and three years of experience in coordinating/directing college access and/or success programs and managing staff is required.
Five years of experience with College Access Counseling/Recruitment/Student Affairs/Student Support Services/Financial Aid Counseling is preferred. The ideal candidate must have the ability to travel, including airline travel, as significant travel is required. Well-developed interpersonal, communication, and problem-solving skills are required.


  • In depth knowledge of the admissions process, recruitment strategies, approaches to outreach and marketing, and financial aid programs and availability; strong knowledge of public education, economic, and cultural issues in West Virginia and the region served. 
  • Ability to assess programs and make recommendations for enhancement; knowledge of strategies to improve graduation rates/retention and postsecondary access and success.  
  • Ability to manage budgets and programmatic needs.  Experience in developing policies and procedures as well as experience in managing a large budget.
  • Ability to promote collaboration and communication amongst a wide variety of partners, including agency staff, campus and PK-12 stakeholders, regional and community partners, funders, policymakers, students, and families.
  • Proficiency with computers, Microsoft Office software; including Excel, Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint; database administration, social networking, ability to train staff on new software and other technology as needed.
  • Self-motivated to work independently at an off-site location in a fast-paced environment.  Ability to pay close attention to detail, meet deadlines, and manage multiple projects simultaneously as well as supervising multiple staff members.
  • Excellent communication skills; both written and verbal; ability to write reports, articles, ability to develop effective presentations, speeches and communicate them to a wide range of various audiences.  Must have the ability to collaborate effectively and engage in professional and, sometimes, formal environments.

Applications will be accepted until position is filled. Review of applications begins November 12, 2021.

Application must be submitted online at addition to filling out the job application, qualified candidates must submit a letter of interest and current contact information for three professional references. 

DETAILS OF RELEVANT EXPERIENCE MUST BE SHOWN IN THE WORK SECTION OF YOUR APPLICATION TO RECEIVE CREDIT FOR YOUR EXPERIENCE.  Final candidates are subject to employment and credential verification, as well as reference and background checks. 

Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer/Veterans/Disabled

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and the Community and Technical College System of West Virginia are equal opportunity employers. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability. The Commission and Council provide a collegial, respectful and inclusive environment that values the diversity, creativity and contributions of its staff.   

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