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25 Jul 2022

Full-Time Senior Director of College Access

Breakthrough Greater Boston – Posted by Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Job Description


About Us and Our Philosophy

Breakthrough Greater Boston (BTGB) is a transformative college access and teacher training program. BTGB offers six years of academic enrichment and college preparation to middle school and high school students with high potential but limited opportunities. Simultaneously, BTGB recruits, trains, and inspires a diverse cohort of high achieving college students to become the next generation of urban teachers. Leveraging a Students Teaching Students model, BTGB provides engaging, tuition-free academic programming during the summer and after school. Our students gain the skills and motivation to succeed in rigorous high school courses and, ultimately, in college. Meanwhile, our teachers gain hands-on experience, research-based training and coaching from professional educators.


Over the past eight years, 97% of our graduating students have matriculated to college, and 82% of them have persisted through their undergraduate years. On average, more than 70% of our graduating teachers have gone on to pursue careers in education. After two decades of success at our original Cambridge site, BTGB embarked upon a significant program expansion and opened a second site in Boston in the summer of 2013 and a third site in Somerville in 2018. As an independent 501c3 nonprofit, Breakthrough Greater Boston is part of The Breakthrough Collaborative, a national educational movement working to improve educational outcomes for youth across 25 U.S. cities.


With a deep commitment to our mission, BTGB operates with the highest standards of integrity and best practices, while also enjoying the ability to be innovative and flexible to meet the evolving needs of our students, families, and teachers.  Our team is diverse, high-performing and dedicated.  We continue to build an organizational culture that emphasizes our core values for every member of our community:


  • Spirit: We cherish and embody the youthful energy and spirit of our students and teachers
  • Continual Learning: Everyone in our community has something to learn and something to teach
  • Team Together: We all chip in to accomplish whatever is needed for our teammates and the broader organization
  • Student Centered: Our students are our first priorityand our decisions center around what benefits our students
  • Equity and Opportunity: We value diversity of identity, background and thought. We treat everyone with dignity and respect
  • Excellence in Everything: We maintain high expectations for ourselves


Breakthrough Greater Boston encourages individuals of all backgrounds to apply for this position, and we do not discriminate on any basis prohibited by applicable law. We celebrate the diversity of our world and our community, and we seek to build a team that reflects that diversity in every way. We welcome and encourage all qualified applicants who share that same vision, as we wish to engage all those who can contribute to our work and this mission.



Breakthrough Greater Boston is currently seeking a highly motivated and talented Senior Director of College Access (SDCA) to oversee 9th-12th grade programs for its three campuses in Boston, Cambridge and Somerville.  The Senior Director role is a new level for the organization, responsible for managing a function and team. The four Senior Directors will oversee each of the programmatic departments and work together on a close-knit leadership team.


The SDCA will be responsible for programmatic planning, management and evaluation and will foster a culture of programmatic excellence. Leadership of this function includes oversight of early high school programming, college counseling, and student and family engagement for our high school program. The SDCA hires, trains, and supervises a full-time team as well as oversees seasonal hiring and volunteers for the department. The SDCA will nurture strong relationships with school partners as well as other partners that advance high school services at BTGB. The Senior Director of College Access reports directly to Breakthrough Greater Boston’s Managing Director of College Access & Success (this role will become the Managing Director of Programs).



A successful Senior Director of College Access will:


  • Ensure students and their families experience Breakthrough as a welcoming, inclusive, supportive community that works with them in partnership to pursue their long-term educational and life goals
  • Thoughtfully develop a closely aligned, highly motivated, and outcomes-driven team that delivers on BTGB’s mission and promise to students and families
  • Oversee the execution of safe, engaging, high-impact year-round out of school programming for 9th – 12th grade students
  • Guarantee that BTGB’s college access efforts are informed by the latest research, reflective of cultural humility and a commitment to equity
  • Nurture robust and mutually beneficial relationships with school and district partners across our three campuses, with a focus on one campus



In this exciting role you will be responsible for a variety of critical leadership responsibilities including:


Departmental Leadership

  • Maintain up-to-date field knowledge within College Access area
  • Build vision and collaboration among department team members across campuses
  • Plan and lead regular department meetings
  • Create and share regular program reports, highlights, and updates; collaborate with the Development team to support in data and storytelling for your department
  • Oversee departmental expenditures against budget on a monthly basis


College Access Team Supervision

  • Hire program staff on the College Access team, including permanent full-time employees, as well as oversee the hiring of part-time and seasonal staff and regular programmatic volunteers
  • Ensure High School team members receive high quality onboarding and training to set them up for long term success in their roles, as well as oversee onboarding and training of part-time and seasonal staff and regular programmatic volunteers
  • Conduct weekly supervision, professional development planning, and regular performance evaluations for your team, providing them with consistent support and opportunities for professional growth
  • Observe your team and College Access programming across sites on a consistent basis
  • Create coverage plans and cover open areas of work during staff transitions within department


Program Leadership

  • Collaborate with other Senior Directors to ensure aligned and high-quality programming across sites including regular observation
  • Ensure BTGB’s positive relationships with its students, families and teachers through direct relationship building and advisement to your team
  • Oversee the development and tracking of goals to measure and advance College Access work
  • Support in the development and execution of strong programmatic policies, systems, and infrastructure for effective program delivery
  • Collaborate with other Senior Directors to lead, support, and grow the broader program team
  • Plan and lead regular program team meetings and retreats


Partnership Management

  • Build awareness of BTGB’s mission and clearly articulate program impact to stakeholders
  • Establish and maintain meaningful contact with school and district leaders through regular meetings and program reports as well as informal touchpoints
  • Ensure school and district communications are tracked in Salesforce
  • Manage partnerships with external organizations for the College Access department including community-based organizations, universities and more
  • Represent BTGB at key events for your department



As the incoming Senior Director, you will possess many, though perhaps not all, of the following characteristics and qualifications:

  • Five to seven years of experience within the college access area and leading educational programs with experience in supervising staff and working directly with students, ideally students who will be first generation to college
  • Experience with college admissions and/or counseling
  • Expertise in adolescent development and within the college access and success field
  • Experience managing and fostering positive relationships with schools and school districts
  • Ability to hold others to high standards while also offering support and maintaining positive relationships
  • An unwavering commitment to equity, in deepening your personal understanding and in advancing our collective work
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills with students, families, and educators
  • Superior organization and project management skills
  • Ability to work on multiple projects, adjust quickly to shifting priorities, meet deadlines, exercise good judgment, and handle high-pressure situations
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills with the ability to interact effectively with a variety of audiences
  • Team player who demonstrates a positive attitude, sense of humor, energy, entrepreneurial spirit, and dedication to collaboration
  • Prior experience with Breakthrough model highly desirable; familiarity with partner schools or districts a plus
  • Flexibility that allows for periodic work on Saturdays and evenings
  • Candidates of color and those from low-income backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply as are those with fluency in Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Amharic, Somali, Arabic, Bengali, Hindi, Tigrinya, or Urdu
  • Bachelor’s degree



Breakthrough Greater Boston offers a competitive compensation package and is deeply committed to pay equity and transparency. The salary range for this position is $77,317-115,971; Breakthrough Greater Boston makes an offer based on relevant years of experience and does not negotiate salaries.


How to Apply

HOW TO JOIN OUR TEAM If you are interested in learning more about how your passion and experience can help Breakthrough meet its mission and grow its impact, please submit your resume and a thoughtful and targeted cover letter outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position and stating how you heard about this opportunity. Applications can be submitted to Amee Naik, Managing Director of College Access and Success, at   Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Learn more about Breakthrough Greater Boston at  

Job Categories: Equal Opportunities. Job Types: Full-Time.

Job expires in 78 days.

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