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Post-Secondary Program Manager

Skoll World Forum

Skoll World Forum

Boston, MA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Post-Secondary Program Manager

Summer Search Boston

At Summer Search, we believe in ‘No Ceilings’ and envision a world in which young people, regardless of circumstances, can chart their own destiny. In the United States, students from underserved communities – disproportionately BIPOC and first-generation – face systemic inequities in school, in the workforce, and in life. Nevertheless, these young people possess unique strengths, resilience, and limitless potential.

Since 1990, Summer Search has partnered with young people during their transition from adolescence into adulthood by connecting them to expansive opportunities, professional mentoring, and a community of support. Summer Searchers recognize their potential and build a toolkit to navigate and challenge systemic barriers, break new ground for their families and communities, and achieve economic equity and a life of purpose.


At Summer Search, we are reimagining post-secondary programming to support Summer Searchers in reaching success as they define it. Summer Search Boston is seeking a Post-Secondary Program Manager to play an essential role in implementing, refining, and evaluating innovative new programming impacting how we work with Post-Secondary program participants in the Boston area and across the network. The manager will lead a team of three Program Coordinators, collectively serving nearly 300 Summer Search Boston participants as they prepare for and embark on their next chapter after high school and into life as young adults.

The best work doesn’t happen in isolation. This hire will join a team of dedicated and knowledgeable youth development professionals with a passion for equity, growth, and wellbeing.


People Management: Influence, inspire, and support a team of three frontline staff, responsible for advising approximately 100 high school seniors and 80 participants who are in their first year post-high school (Post-Secondary Year 1).

Set each member of your team up to do their best work, develop professionally, and navigate challenges through regular 1:1s, goal setting and performance reviews, and day-to-day support.

Oversee the mentoring work, data management, and outcomes for all students served by these Program Coordinators; including conducting observations of 1:1 and group mentoring to support staff development of mentoring quality behaviors.

Coach team members through providing feedback and guidance in all buckets of work including individualized advising, group facilitation and workshops, and events.

Provide opportunity for professional growth and learning on the team through

Creating and/or delivering foundational and supplemental Summer Search trainings in partnership with program staff across the network

Identifying and pursuing other local training opportunities

Foster a team environment that values feedback, accountability, flexibility, and collaboration where staff can show up as their authentic selves and thrive in a time of programmatic transition.

Program Management: In partnership with local and national program staff, play a key role in delivery, refinement, and evaluation of innovative new programming on the site level and org-wide.

Drive local program delivery through mapping out the annual calendar, supporting the preparation of workshops on topics like alternative pathways, financial aid, and college application for students and families, and developing systems and resources that help your team to provide the best possible support to participants on their caseload.

Collaborate with Director of Post-Secondary and Alumni Relations to identify and pursue opportunities to innovate and improve program operations and performance, including implementing systems for assessing program quality and staff effectiveness.

Lead your team in meeting national and local goals through setting seasonal benchmarks, continuously tracking team progress, and partnering with your team and the Director of Post-Secondary and Alumni Relations on strategies that support high outcomes for participants.

Help to bridge high school and post-secondary programming by working closely with the high school program team to integrate post-secondary access into broader high school programming.

Play an active role in the ongoing development and refinement of Post-Secondary programming org-wide through collaboration with local, regional and National staff and other organizations in Boston serving students with similar backgrounds.

Ensure a high-quality data culture by establishing clear expectations for accurate and timely data collection by Program Coordinators as well as by utilizing data to analyze key drivers/barriers to program progress and performance.

Build upon your expertise by participating in trainings in the fields of college access/success, alternative pathways, and workforce development.

Post-Secondary and College Readiness Programming:

Support caseload of youth in the 12th grade and year 1 after high school.

Utilize the Summer Search mentoring model to manage a caseload of students in our post-secondary program, coaching students to navigate challenges and focus on problem-solving, particularly around situations commonly faced by first-generation, low-income college students.

Provide holistic, group-mentoring, and individualized post-secondary advising to 25-35 high school seniors on an annual basis, developing and implementing curriculum that are specific to each cohort’s needs and strengths.

Provide one-on-one mentoring to 25-35 Post-Secondary Year 1 participants from high school graduation through completion of their first year after high school graduation, celebrating successes, navigating challenges, and supporting decision making, inclusive of all post-high school pathways

Prepare and facilitate college, career and financial well-being workshops for students and their families.

Advise students on academics, financial aid and money management, engagement on campus and in the community, and career exploration, as well as providing access to other resources, as necessary.

Conduct frequent and consistent outreach to caseload as outlined by site expectations to ensure students are meeting engagement minimums to remain in the program.

Collaborate with High School Program to identify and address risk factors for college matriculation and attrition.

Track key data and monitor progress towards college completion, internship placement, career milestones and/or other post-secondary goals in Salesforce database.

Career Readiness Programming:

Support with post-secondary department strategies created by Career Navigator and Internship Manager to ensure students participate in the career coaching and internship program through intentional and strategic outreach, communication, preparation, and placements.

Identify career-specific needs from outreach to Post-Secondary participants who are 2-6 years in their post-secondary journey, specifically when it pertains to internships. Collaborate with the Career Team to address those needs using a student-centered approach.

Incorporate Summer Search CONNECT, our digital platform, into your daily work and encourage students and alumni to engage in the platform to support our student outcomes, including agency, educational attainment, career readiness, and financial well-being.


The Post-Secondary Program Manager position calls for a motivated leader who can translate organization-wide strategies into local program delivery and who is passionate about people management. Specifically, this hire will bring:

EXPERIENCE: At least 4 years of professional experience, and 1-2 years of people management experience, at a youth development, college access, or educational organization that serves low-income communities. High level of familiarity with the college application and matriculation process. Boston-specific knowledge is preferred. Knowledge of alternative pathways outside of 2- and 4-year colleges and/or experience working in post-secondary success is a plus.

PEOPLE MANAGEMENT: Experience in coaching and guiding team members to achieve short, mid and long-term outcomes. Ability to prioritize, delegate, and hold space for staff. Experience managing or coaching caseload-bearing staff is a plus.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT: Works in an organized manner to achieve goals and objectives. Balances competing priorities when managing projects.

CRITICAL CONCIOUSNESS: Recognizes sociopolitical barriers and understands the systems of oppression that operate in day-to-day lives of stakeholders e.g. students/participants, staff members, community partners, and alumni. Professional and/or personal experience of helping teams or groups engage around Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI)

ADAPTABILITY: Assesses information that is available and takes calculated risk. Stays productive and solutions-oriented in the face of change and unfamiliar scenarios. Remains curious and flexible and demonstrates a willingness to learn new ways to accomplish work. Ability to understand and navigate different perspectives.

DATA MANAGEMENT AND TECHNOLOGY SKILLS: A genuine love of data, with a honed ability use data to understand challenges and inform solutions. Proficiency in using databases and Excel for data entry and management; experience using Salesforce is a plus.

LANGUAGE SKILLS: Bi-lingual in English-Spanish/-Haitian Creole/-Cantonese/-Mandarin/-Vietnamese/-Cape Verdean Creole is a plus.

In addition, all Summer Search staff bring a commitment to our mission of unleashing students’ potential through mentoring and transformative experiences, as well as the ability to thrive in an environment that values excellence, gratitude, well-being, diversity, authenticity, and collaboration.


Work hours are Mon-Fri 10am-6pm with occasional weekend and evening special events. Boston staff are working from home 2 days a week and out of our office in Jamaica Plain 3 days a week.


This is an exempt position with a salary range of $67,893-$73,922. Summer Search is committed to transparent, equitable compensation practices. Salaries are benchmarked using current market data and salary bands are created to demonstrate the growth potential within the band. Typically, offers are made at the starting place of the salary band. The Hiring Manager partners with the Talent Team to ensure offers are appropriate, competitive and maintain internal equity.

Well-being, flexibility, and ongoing learning and development are pillars of our culture. We value our staff and are committed to creating an environment where every individual feels seen, heard and valued. Investments in our staff include:

Medical insurance with up to 90% employer contribution

Dental, vision, FSA, life and disability insurance plans

401 (K) and Employer Match up to $2,000 annually

Generous time off including 15 vacation days, 10 sick days, and 18 holidays (2 floating holidays of your choice, a birthday day-off, 10 company-wide holidays, and a 1-week December closure). Plus, Re-Fresh Friday’s – a paid half day off the first Friday of every month!

A comprehensive Employee Recognition Program (years of service awards, spot awards, and professional development funding).

A four-week paid sabbatical after five years of continuous employment.

Individual, local, regional and national training

A commitment to developing leaders from within the organization.

An organizational culture that supports staff well-being and holistic self-care/community care

Ample opportunities to connect with the students and communities we serve.

With a staff that cares deeply about social justice and racial justice, we believe that diverse perspectives and backgrounds create a rich work environment and enhance our ability to pursue our mission. We are committed to building an organization with raised consciousness in order to impact how we work with students, as well as how we work together as a team. We hope you will join us as we continue to build a justice-centered organization that fosters a work environment where people from all backgrounds are welcomed and valued.

Select “Apply for this Position” below to submit a resume and targeted cover letter, addressed to Adriana Espinal, Director of Post-Secondary Program and Alumni Relations that answers the question, “Why are you interested in the Post-Secondary Program Manager opportunity at Summer Search?”