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Program Director, TRIO Talent Search (TS)

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Job Details


To advance the college’s mission, vision, principles, values and strategic initiatives through continuous improvement decisions.


This position provides overall leadership and management of the TRIO Talent Search (TS) program in accordance with institutional and federal regulations and communicates the objectives of the program to the College community including faculty, staff, administration, and students. The TS Director will manage an annual budget of approximately $280,000 according to the college and US Department of Education guidelines, supervise program Advisors and program tutors, prepare funding proposals, grant reports, continuation applications and program reports. The Director will also maintain regular contact with the Department of Education to ensure the program meets all grant-related requirements.

The person in this position and other TS staff seek to identify barriers to student success, access and achievement, particularly economic, organizational, and equity challenges. The ideal individual will be integral in implementing academic tutoring and mentoring, college and career preparation activities and postsecondary access with particular effort to foster greater equity in the outcomes of individuals who qualify as participants.

This position is grant-funded. Current funding for this position is scheduled to end on September 30, 2026. Continuation of this position beyond the current funding period is dependent on the renewal of this grant.


  • Advocate for Continual Improvement- empowering each other to identify opportunities for excellence.
  • Collaborate with Mutual Accountability- working together with a willingness to take ownership and accountability for our actions.
  • Champion Service- anticipating needs and creating a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive environment.
  • Perseverance- a commitment to excellence even in the face of adversity or delay in achieving success.
  • Lead- regardless of title, through positive influence.

  • Perform day to day responsibility for the operation and implementation of the TS program and adherence to grant specifications for processes, services, and outcomes.
  • Represent the TS program at college meetings, task forces, committees, and community functions.
  • Hire, train, supervise, mentor and evaluate all program staff.
  • Establish and build relationships with secondary school partners and other college departments including but not limited to Academic Departments, The Office of Admissions, The Dean of Students Office, Student Support Services, Enrollment Services, College Credit in High School; the Workplace Learning Connection, Kirkwood Adult High School & Continuing Education program; and other appropriate business, agency, and community organizations.
  • Educate students about the college application process, educational program offerings, financial aid, assessment testing and placement, and related college guidelines.
  • Conduct family and community outreach and activities to strengthen family/school partnerships, connect with the community and higher education resources to plan for post-secondary education, and facilitate comprehensive college selection and financial planning processes.
  • Analyze and review eligibility and needs assessment applications and conduct interviews and approve the selection of all TS program applicants.
  • Deliver a case-management approach, including proactive communications, case documentation, follow-through with participants, faculty and other resource entities to achieve student success.
  • Serve participants through Academic Advising, developing Individual Service Plans, test preparation, referral to services and other proposed service activities that will provide participant success and meet program objectives.
  • Perform program evaluation to assure continuous improvement to program services.
  • Manage Program database and generate Annual Performance Reports.
  • Ensure program compliance with federal regulations.
  • Ensure personnel “Time and Effort” reports are completed accurately and timely.
  • Perform other related work duties as assigned.

    Ability to administer and manage a TS program, along with marketing the program.Be able and willing to represent the College in a positive manner with the Department of Education, program participants, community partners, vendors, and the community we serve.Be a self-motivated, energetic, and creative individual with proven leadership, planning and administrative skills.Possess excellent conceptual and planning skills and be able to relate well with other professionals within the college and at other institutions. Read, understand, and express oneself clearly and effectively in oral and written form. Welcome, value, and nurture people of all backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences, as well as support and promote an environment that accepts differences. Demonstrate respect for all individuals and a positive attitude toward the capacity of disadvantaged youth to succeed in education.Knowledge of academic advising services, development of individualized service plans; and college, career, financial aid, and economic literacy services/programming for TS eligible participants.Knowledge of barriers to postsecondary education faced by low-income and potential first-generation college youth in the target area.Excellent written and oral communication skills.Knowledge of applicable federal, state, local, rules and regulations.Ability to develop budgets and monitor expenditures.Ability to collect and analyze data and conduct internal Program evaluations (formative and summative).You aspire to work with people of all backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences, as well as cultivate an environment that values differences. The statements contained herein reflect general details as necessary to describe the essential job duties/responsibilities and performance expectations of the job, which should not be considered an all-inclusive listing of work requirements. Individuals may perform other duties as assigned.


    The position involves working in an office setting. Occasional (10-33%) standing, pushing, pulling and grasping. Frequent (34-66%) reaching and viewing a computer and other types of close visual work. Constant (67-100%) sitting, walking, repetitive motion, talking and hearing.


    Master’s Degree required in student affairs, education, human services, counseling or other related fields, and/or a minimum of 3 years’ experience in administration, education or social programs, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.Documented experience with TRIO or other similar educational programs.Two years’ experience supervising staff in a related programmatic environmentExperience with grants, grant reporting, fiscal management, and program evaluation.Excellent written and oral communication skills.Demonstrate respect for all individuals and positive attitude toward capacity of disadvantaged youth to succeed in education.Strong working knowledge of both personal and instructional computing applications.Experience designing, implementing or directing educational programs serving low-income, first-generation and high risk populations and traditionally underrepresented populations.


    Include any required licenses, certifications or registrations needed to be considered for the position.


    Prior experience in the operation of a TS program.Preference will be given to individuals that have succeeded in overcoming the disadvantages and circumstances like those of the targeted population and/or were enrolled in a TS or other Trio programExperiences in teaching and/or college/career preparation counseling/advising. Understanding of the mission of higher education, knowledge of current college education and student services procedures and practices, with a demonstrated focus on student success.

    EEO Statement:

    Kirkwood Community College shall not engage in nor allow unlawful discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment. This includes all employment practices, hiring practices, and unwelcome harassment of applicants or employees based on race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, genetic information or actual or potential parental, family, marital status or veteran status. If you have questions or complaints related to compliance with the policy, please contact the Vice President of Human Resources at Kirkwood Community College, 313 Kirkwood Hall, 6301 Kirkwood Blvd., SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404, Telephone: 319-398-5572, Email: [email protected] or the Director of the Office for Civil Rights U.S. Department of Education, Citigroup Center, 500 W. Madison St., Suite 1475, Chicago, IL 60661-7204, Telephone: 312-730-1560, Fax: 312-730-1576, Email: [email protected]


    Working at Kirkwood Community College 

    Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids is a globally recognized leader in higher education where learner success has always been a focal point. For more than 50 years, Kirkwood faculty and staff have cultivated a welcoming and motivating environment that meets students where they are, and helps them get exactly where they want to be. With one of the lowest tuition in the state, more than 130 programs to choose from, flexible class offerings, and convenient locations across seven counties in Eastern Iowa, Kirkwood makes higher education more accessible for people in all walks of life. Through affordable, innovative educational training and many impactful community partnerships, Kirkwood hopes to continue strengthening the regional workforce for years to come.

    As one of Cedar Rapids' top employers, Kirkwood strives to reward employees with a generous benefits package and perks, including:

    • Professional development opportunities
    • Free use of the Kirkwood Recreation Center
    • On campus retail discounts at places like our bookstore, Eagle Tech, cafeteria and hotel (yes, we have a hotel too!)
    • Free admission to performing arts and athletic events
    • Computer and software purchasing program through Eagle Tech, our Apple-authorized campus store
    • Employee tuition discounts and half-price tuition for family members
    • Generous leave policies that provide a work-life balance
    • Choice of retirement programs and unheard-of employer contribution
    • Competitive Total Rewards packages
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