Scholar Advocate – College
ABOUT THE ROLE
Reports to: Program Manager – College
Location: Kansas City, MO
Hybrid: 2 days in office, 3 days remote (technology provided)
Status: Exempt, Full-time
Salary: Annual salary based on experience
Benefits: Medical, dental, vision, STD, LTD, Life Insurance, PTO, Holidays, leave program, 401k including employer contribution, and others
Operating hours: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm CST
Key Performance Indicators:
- Achieve 95% persistence from year to year for Traditional Scholars in college cohort.
- Ensure 75% of Scholars complete a credit-bearing credential, associate, or bachelor’s degree.
- Ensure 80% of Scholars are in a family-sustaining job or furthering their education within 6 months of graduation.
- Ensure 90% of Scholars feel supported by their Advocate based on end of year survey.
The Scholar Advocate – College (Advocate) is a team member in enacting processes/systems, communication, and college advising and persistence coaching and support related to our Traditional and College Savings Match (CSM) program components from the time the Scholar enters college through college completion within a six-year timeframe and into the first year of employment. The Advocate is on the team that has responsibility for and shares accountability for achieving benchmarks set by KC Scholars regarding annual college enrollment, persistence, and completion rates.
Primary responsibilities include:
- Serve as an active member of the Scholarships and Program Team, contributing to strategic thinking and action and ensuring high-quality coaching and support for all KC Scholars.
- Develop strategic thinking and acting directly related to Traditional and CSM scholarship program components and achieving the goals listed above.
- Serve as an effective team member by supporting Traditional and CSM Scholars in college (Scholars), including: ongoing coaching, communication, events for Scholars, timely and complete inquiry response, ongoing college advisement support, administrative tracking, verifying of Scholars meeting renewal eligibility requirements, and maintaining of complete records (that inform reporting, scholarship payments, and more) – to drive progress toward KC Scholars’ achieving its benchmarks, outcomes, and goals related to college enrollment and persistence and completion.
- Serve as an advocate for a caseload of college Scholars – conduct virtual and/or in-person meetings one-on-one and in groups; send and respond to emails, phone calls, and texts; and assist students to discover and progress towards their goals and to identify and overcome barriers to academic success, including connecting them to resources on and off campus.
- Help identify Scholars for special events and invitations, such as luncheons, media opportunities, newsletter articles, speaking opportunities, and more.
- Help assess effectiveness of supports and processes related to Scholars transitioning to and in college on a continuing basis and suggest calibration to 1) keep pace with program scaling, 2) prepare for future growth opportunities, and 3) ensure that supports provided can be linked to demonstrable results and the program goal of 75% college completion.
- Maintain and follow KCS policies and institutional documents that describe processes, specifically related to supporting and communicating with Scholars.
- Assist with planning and delivery of required orientations and college planning education/workshops for Traditional Scholars and CSM Scholars.
- In tandem with Scholarships and Program team members, work with post-secondary network staff, including student support personnel, advisors, and financial aid officers to ensure collaboration, address gaps or challenges, and ensure aligned and accurate communication to students.
- Make recommendations about identified roadblocks or gaps that prevent Scholars from persisting in and completing college and propose action steps to be taken.
- In tandem with the Program Manager – College and under direction of the Director of College Programs, research, analyze, and synthesize information as needed to demonstrate the impact of the program components, developing presentations and reports that use effective data visualization techniques to clearly communicate program outcomes.
- Provide Scholars-specific content for cohort newsletters, overall program communication, and trainings.
- Assist with development of programs and initiatives to help with outreach and increase awareness of KC Scholars in the community.
- Attend meetings and events as needed, serving as a representative of KC Scholars to external stakeholders.
- Other related activities and duties as assigned.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
- An undergraduate degree is required, while an advanced degree is preferred.
- A minimum of 3+ years of relevant experience in complex college access and completion programs which support first-generation, low-income high school students to and through college, including specific knowledge related to successful support strategies for college persistence and completion.
- Deep command of knowledge and practice of the college application process, admissions eligibility, financial aid, academic requirements, college enrollment, and college persistence – specifically for students historically underrepresented in higher education.
- Proven and successful experience collaborating with other organizations to achieve program goals.
- Experience working in a fast-paced, goal-oriented environment with the ability to set and meet clear deadlines.
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Power Point, and Excel).
Additional Knowledge, skills, and competencies:
- Passion for increasing college access and completion, especially among students who may be first-generation, low-income, and/or a member of a demographic group traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education.
- Quick learner with the ability to develop a solid understanding of the content, processes, deliverables, and overall objectives.
- Personal values system that encompasses the highest standards of honesty, confidentiality, integrity, loyalty, and professional ethics reflective of the ability to succeed in building and maintaining positive relationships with Scholars and stakeholders.
- Excellent, culturally competent, communications skills (written, verbal, research skills, presentation skills, facilitation skills).
- Creative and strategic thinker with good judgment and ability to make independent
- Strong organizational skills, well-developed process skills, attention to detail, and ability to multi-task and meet multiple competing deadlines.
- Desire for feedback and ability to use it to drive quality.
- Strong computer skills and the ability to learn new applications and complex features as needed.
- Bilingual in English and Spanish preferred.
- Ability to lift up to 15 lbs.
- Ability to work in an office and remote environment.
- Ability to travel from and to work and occasionally to regional sites as the organization grows.
- Ability to interact with others via technology, face-to-face and collectively.
To apply, please follow this link, and be prepared to upload your resume.
KC Scholars firmly supports the principle and philosophy of equal opportunity for all individuals, regardless of age, race, gender, creed, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other protected category pursuant to applicable federal, state, or local law.