Jan 31, 2021

Director of College Access and Persistence

  • Ewing Marion Kauffman School
  • Kansas City, MO, USA
Full-time Education School Leadership

Job Description


The Ewing Marion Kauffman School is a free, public charter school serving more than 1,200 students in 5th through 12th grades. Focused on student achievement and strong character, the school’s mission is summarized in three words: create college graduates. The school serves a student population of which 87% qualify for free and reduced lunch and 90% identify as students of color. Students are accepted by a lottery that prioritizes the six highest-need zip codes within the district. In 2019, the Kauffman School graduated its first, and founding, class of students – 100% of seniors were accepted to a four-year college or university and 72% of students will be the first in their families to attend college.

The Kauffman School seeks results-driven and culturally responsive educators to join its team. We fundamentally believe that every student can reach ambitious goals when provided a supportive academic setting, when they are surrounded by teachers who have a deep belief in their potential, and when those teachers intentionally build relationships with and connect with students’ personal goals and ambitions. We show belief in every student through setting and holding them to high expectations while building relationships. We approach rigorous learning as an activity that is responsive to students’ cultural contexts and pushes them to think critically. We seek opportunities for students to engage with and respond to the world around them - both in their immediate lives and in their broader society - while being pushed intellectually at all times.


We are looking for a visionary department leader with the ability to build and develop our growing Department of College Access and Success to meet our ultimate goal of creating college graduates. The Director of College Access and Persistence will have immense influence and impact on decision making within the school, direct connection with the instructional team, and opportunity to branch out and build partnerships both within the community and nationally. The DCA will promote the mission of “creating college graduates” by overseeing the college counseling department’s vision to achieve this goal. The DCA will lead the entire College Access and Success team to ensure strong college selection, acceptance, placement, matriculation, and graduation for all Kauffman School alumni.



College Access Strategy—Create Visionary Strategy to Fulfill our Mission

  • Create a college-readiness culture plan for Kauffman School staff that outlines habits and mindsets to develop in high school so that students are emotionally and socially prepared for college life
  • Stay up to date with the latest trends and research on college completion to ensure Kauffman School has the right policy and approaches to meet our goals
  • Create an alumni-success plan that ensures students receive adequate support and guidance from matriculation through college graduation.
  • Share knowledge and expertise across Kauffman School on topics relating to college completion and career success; this includes advising Principals and other seniors leaders, and presenting to large and small groups of Kauffman School staff
  • Build and manage relationships and partnerships with colleges that are “best fits” for our students
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with college admissions officers and the individuals responsible for college recruitment and acceptance at each campus by meeting with college representatives, visiting college campuses, and attending regional and national conferences
  • Partner with key external stakeholders to identify, build and implement pre-college opportunities that will support students’ development of skills and passions through internships, work/job shadow experiences, and travel
  • Focus constantly on student achievement; think critically and strategically to ensure every Kauffman School student is in the most advantageous position possible when applying to college


College Access Systems—Build out Systems that Improve Effectiveness and Efficiency

  • Fully set-up and utilize online tracking tools and systems to facilitate the college search and application processes
  • Consistently evaluate progress, using data to drive improvements in the college counseling process
  • Develop targeted college readiness skills through small group and whole group facilitation
  • Compile and disseminate scholarship and summer program information
  • Help organize and run student, parent, and faculty information events on campus
  • Partner with key external stakeholders to identify, build and implement sustainable systems and practices for engaging and supporting Kauffman School alumni

Manage and Develop College Counseling Team—Invest in, Commit to, Develop, and Lead our People          

  • Leadership and coaching of the College to ensure counseling sessions meet effective outcomes for each student
  • Leadership to the Persistence Counselor who provides coaching and support to alumni in college
  • Facilitate department-wide meeting structures to monitor departmental progress and respond to trend-level needs of students and alumni
  • Formally review and evaluate direct reports at least annually and conduct regularly scheduled one-on-one meetings with all direct reports
  • Establish clear expectations for and coach the College Access team with an eye to continuously develop staff
  • Continually update college access and commitment plans throughout the year and ensure team members are hitting monthly and annual goals of solidifying students’ college plans


  • An undergraduate degree is required, while an advanced degree is strongly preferred
  • A minimum of 5+ years of relevant college access and matriculation experience is required
  • Prior experience working in schools, urban communities, non-profit, military, private sector, and/or a fast paced entrepreneurial environment is preferred
  • Results-driven with experience driving operational excellence
  • Demonstrated project/program management experience is necessary. Must possess experience successfully managing multiple projects simultaneously
  • Experience working in cross-functional teams and collaborating with external vendors to develop and implement systems and processes to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of a growing organization is essential
  • Effectively prioritize work and meet deadlines; organized; manage multiple assignments; follow assignments through to completion; respond quickly to requests for information and assistance
  • Excellent computer skills including applicant tracking software, Microsoft Office; Power School, Outlook, Word, and Excel are necessary


  • Desire for daily feedback on projects and willingness to immediately implement
  • Entrepreneurial energy, hands-on approach, and ambition necessary for a start-up school
  • Personality should project enthusiasm, professionalism, and growth mindset
  • Ability to maintain a calm, professional demeanor in the face of competing demands and external pressures
  • Ambition and desire to work both autonomously and collaboratively
  • Commitment to getting the job done right and willingness to do whatever it takes to create and maintain an orderly, effective school organization
  • Acute attention to detail coupled with the ability to think and act strategically
  • Strong time management skills; ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously and meet tight deadlines
  • Demonstrated strong communication and interpersonal skills with students, parents, colleagues and community members
  • Must have a strong personal value system that encompasses high integrity, honesty, a solid work ethic, high professional standards, and strong moral character


The Kauffman School offers a competitive compensation package commensurate with anticipated duties and experience.  This position is eligible to participate in the school’s benefits program.


Interested applicants should complete a formal application through the Kauffman School Careers page at http://www.kauffmanschool.org/In your cover letter please address the following topics:

  • Describe a time and the specific action steps you took when working with students to set and achieve a counseling goal
  • Highlight your experience working with low-income, minority, or historically underachieving students
  • Provide specific evidence of your alignment with the Kauffman School’s mission of “creating college graduates” and/or the Kauffman School’s PREP Values (Perseverance, Results, Empathy, Passion)

The Kauffman School is an Equal Opportunity Employer, welcoming people to flourish in an open and inclusive work environment. A diverse pool of candidates is welcomed and encouraged.

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