Please login/register to apply for this job.
13 Jan 2022

Full-Time Senior Director of Student Services Somerville, 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 Student Services (SDSS) to oversee all aspects of student support and family engagement for our middle school summer and school-year programs at one of our three campuses as well as provide leadership and support across our three campuses for our Student Services team. The SDSS will be responsible for leading the annual student recruitment and admissions process; overseeing SEL programming; and managing school and community partnerships. The SDSS is a leadership role within the Student Services Team and as such takes on additional responsibilities such as coaching/mentoring colleagues, special initiatives, collaborating across departments, coverage planning for open roles and partnership development. The SDSS works closely with other members of a dynamic Program Team and reports directly to the Managing Director of Student Services.



A successful Senior Director of Student Services will work in close alignment with the Managing Director of Student Services to:

  • Lead within the department in areas that include but are not limited to: short and long term departmental planning, partnership development, special initiatives, staff support and coverage, data/reporting.
  • Plan and lead safe and engaging programming during the summer and school year for middle school students and Teaching Fellows
  • Manage recruitment and admissions efforts across Breakthrough’s partner schools to enroll a cohort of 45-50 students annually
  • Oversee family engagement initiatives including maintaining frequent positive communication and facilitating fall and spring family check-ins for all 7th and 8th grade families
  • Maintain accurate, up-to-date student records to inform appropriate social emotional support services and/or academic interventions
  • Collaborate with the Director of Curriculum and Instruction to plan and implement high quality school year and summer programming
  • Work closely with the Director of Curriculum and Instruction to ensure all middle school students are well supported in their academic and social emotional learning
  • Establish and maintain strong collaborative relationships with partners that advance the work of your department including partner schools, universities, community based organizations and local companies



In this role you will be responsible for a combination of direct service, program oversight, and critical leadership responsibilities including:

Departmental Leadership

  • Build vision and collaboration among department team members across campuses
  • Plan and lead regular department meetings
  • Foster and develop key external partnerships linked to departmental work
  • Create and share regular program reports, highlights and updates
  • Represent Breakthrough at key events connected to your department
  • Collaborate with other program department heads to ensure aligned and high-quality programming across sites
  • Collaborate with the Development team to support in data and story-telling connected to your department
  • Support in hiring program staff within department area, including permanent full-time employees, as well as part-time and seasonal staff and regular programmatic volunteers
  • Observe programming within functional area across sites on a consistent basis
  • Provide coaching, mentoring and onboarding support to staff members within the department
  • Create coverage plans and cover open areas of work during staff transitions within department

Program Management

  • Work in collaboration with the rest of BTGB’s full-time program team to:
    • Plan and implement summer and school-year programs
    • Oversee the day-to-day operations of year-round academic programming at your campus
    • Train and provide ongoing support to teaching fellows
  • Ensure accurate and effective data collection to inform programmatic decision making and student success 

Student Recruitment and Admissions

  • Develop and maintain student recruitment pipeline relationships with teachers, administrators and parent liaisons at partner schools as well as representatives from other youth-serving organizations
  • Plan and conduct a comprehensive student recruitment effort, including recruitment presentations and workshops in all sixth-grade classrooms at partner schools
  • Oversee student admissions, selecting the most qualified students from a pool of applicants from 6th grade classes across our partner schools

Student Support

  • Support students’ social emotional health and well-being, including supervising BTGB’s school-year and summer counselors
  • Manage Student Advising Program to ensure that all students are connected to a BTGB advisor and receiving consistent advocacy touchpoints
  • Oversee the creation and implementation of Tier I, Tier II and Tier III interventions to support students, including daily mindfulness practice (Tier I), restorative circles (Tier II) and SEL Skill Building groups (Tier III)
  • Provide students with connections to supplemental and enrichment opportunities and maintain important organizational partnerships
  • Collect relevant data (report cards and progress reports) to track student academic progress

Family Involvement

  • Maintain positive, frequent communication with students’ families, nurturing healthy, trusting relationships and collaboratively ensuring students’ success
  • Conduct family check-ins each semester with all families to assess academic progress, address areas of concern and discuss extra-curricular enrichment opportunities
  • Work with the Board of Directors family representative to support the Family Advisory Board and encourage broad family participation in student recruitment, family communications, special events, and more

Partnership Management

  • Help to articulate goals and advance work for your department’s partnerships
  • In collaboration with program team members, maintain frequent, positive and productive communication with school staff members, representatives from local community-based organizations, and target colleges to collaboratively ensure our students’ success
  • Conduct teacher check-ins each semester with all BTGB students’ teachers to assess academic progress, address areas of concern and identify enrichment opportunities
  • Oversee collection of student academic records, including report cards, progress reports and Individualized Education Plans


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

  • Five to seven years of experience within the student services field with significant experience in program management and working directly with students, preferable in grades 6-9, ideally students who will be first generation to college
  • Experience with student recruitment
  • Experience leading school-wide/program-wide family engagement initiatives
  • Expertise within the field of Social Emotional Learning
  • Experience coaching and supporting colleagues
  • 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, 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 $71,920-107,880; 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 Chloe Davis-Carden, Managing Director of Student Services, 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 32 days.

22 total views, 1 today

Apply for this Job