Brown University — Director, College Access Program

Brown University’s college access initiative is a new pilot program that will provide multi-year support to cohorts of Providence public school students on their pathway to college. The working mission statement of the initiative is as follows: Brown University’s college access initiative seeks to empower academically motivated public-school students who live and learn in Providence to explore their interests and strengthen their academic preparation in order to identify, select, afford and attend colleges that align with their aspirations. As a reflection of the University’s approach to student-centered learning, focus will be on developing student agency as a means for self-reflection, exploration, and self-determination. Particular attention will be focused on serving students who are the first in their families to go to college, from historically underrepresented groups in higher education, or who have limited financial resources.

The initiative will accept approximately 25-30 rising high school students into a cohort each year and be implemented over a four-year period through high school graduation. Program services will include both residential summer sessions on the Brown campus and year-round support provided by Brown faculty, staff and students. The initiative will provide participants with a holistic supportive experience that includes academic preparation, individualized college counseling and planning, financial aid advising, standardized test preparation, identity exploration and personal development, and family engagement. The initiative will complement and be integrated with existing and future Brown initiatives that facilitate college readiness and support college access for local students.

The Director will hire and train a team and be primarily responsible for the development, implementation, leadership, and management of the initiative, which will be situated in the Division of Pre-College and Undergraduate Programs. Brown University’s Pre-College Programs are a leader in the field of higher education institutions that provide rigorous academic opportunities to students, and experiential learning through on-site engagement and living and learning among peers from diverse backgrounds. Each summer, these Pre-College programs offer students over ten different programs from which to select over 300 non-credit courses that range in length from 1 to 6 weeks, as well as credit-bearing seven-week courses learning alongside Brown undergraduates. The approximately 6000 pre-college students each summer hail from all 50 states in the U.S. and over 70 countries. They come to study a wide range of liberal arts subjects that reflect the breadth of Brown’s undergraduate open curriculum. These courses are taught by approximately 500 instructors who are Brown faculty, post-docs, staff, and graduate students, and who are hired, trained, and supported by pre-college Program Directors with support from colleagues across the University.

The Director will oversee the development of the program model and curriculum in preparation for a Fall 2023 launch, and it is anticipated that, as the pilot develops, the Director will work with colleagues in the Division to determine where there are appropriate alignments with existing activities within the Division.

The incumbent reports to the Dean of Pre-College and Undergraduate Programs, and is a member of the Division’s Leadership Team, with a dotted line to the Vice President for Community Engagement. The position works closely with relevant University academic and administrative units including, but not limited to, the Office of the President, the Swearer Center for Public Service, the Office of College Admission, the Department of Education, the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, and the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity. As Brown continues to implement and build out other college readiness initiatives, the Director will also serve as a key partner and collaborator to ensure integration of the program with complementary initiatives within the University.

Major responsibilities include:

  • Strategic leadership, program design, implementation, and administration (60%)
  • Communications, Outreach, and Engagement (30%)
  • Assessment and Evaluation (10%)


Education & Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in related field (e.g., Education, Nonprofit Management, Public Policy, Sociology) required and Master’s degree in Higher Education, Student Affairs, Nonprofit Management, or another related field preferred.
  • Minimum of 5-7 years related experience working in college access with a focus on students from underrepresented backgrounds (groups that are historically underrepresented in higher education, low-income, or the first in their families to go to college).
  • Demonstrated experience developing, articulating, operationalizing, and assessing strategic priorities.
  • Proven track record in program design and implementation with a demonstrated ability to be entrepreneurial, innovate, and course correct as needed.
  • Experience establishing evaluation frameworks for new programs, including creating databases, implementing data collection protocols, and determining outcome metrics to drive decision-making.
  • Demonstrated ability to build, lead and manage a high-performing team.
  • Experience leading initiatives that focus on identity exploration, social justice, and personal development for students from underrepresented backgrounds.
  • Strong community engagement skills, with the ability to build relationships and create partnerships with stakeholders across a wide range of interests and perspectives.
  • Demonstrated success working in a diverse environment with a deep understanding of equity, diversity, and inclusion with respect to student and workplace environments.
  • Experience building and adhering to program budgets, and overseeing spending and financial accountability.


  • Extensive knowledge of college admissions, the college application process, financial aid, and college advising, with a particular focus on supporting students from underrepresented backgrounds.
  • Understanding of instructional models and curriculum development for academic enrichment programs that prepare students for college.
  • Deep understanding of issues of access, equity, and inclusion in higher education.
  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative, collaborate, and solve problems; and to build relationships and create partnerships with stakeholders across a wide range of interests and perspectives.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills with the ability to exercise a high degree of judgment, diplomacy, and discretion.
  • Demonstrated capacity to work effectively with persons from diverse backgrounds and to foster sensitivity to diversity and an inclusive campus and community culture.
  • Possess a willingness and ability to support and promote a diverse and inclusive campus community
  • Excellent organizational, administrative, and project management skills.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with students, faculty and staff at all levels.
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule, including evenings and weekends as needed.

BACKGROUND CHECK: Criminal & Education

Please note: a completed application consists of a cover letter & resume

Recruiting Start Date:

Job Posting Title:
Director, College Access Program

Pre-College & Undergraduate Programs

Grade 12

Worker Type:

Worker Sub-Type:

Time Type:
Full time

Scheduled Weekly Hours:

Position Classification:
Hybrid Eligible

Submission Guidelines:
Please note that in order to be considered an applicant for any staff position at Brown University you must submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions. Please include a cover letter and resume with each position application.

Vaccination Requirements:
In order to maintain 90% or greater universal vaccination rates on campus, all newly hired employees at Brown University must receive the final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before they begin work, unless they are approved for a medical or religious exemption. All employees must also receive a COVID-19 booster within thirty (30) days of becoming eligible. For more information, please visit the Healthy Brown site.

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