Founding College Access and Success Counselor
- Job Type
Our flagship high school, Brooklyn Ascend High School (BAHS), opened to 9th grade students in September 2015 and will have its first graduates in 2019.
At BAHS, we are looking for teachers who are passionate about their academic discipline and personally driven by the academic achievement of their students. Ascend teachers hold exceptionally high intellectual expectations of their students and create a culture of joyful academic discovery in their rooms. Their aim is to ignite intellectual curiosity in their students and build their academic knowledge and confidence in preparation for four-year colleges. They are vigilant in ensuring that all tasks placed before their students are rigorous and, without exception, reflect the school's aspirations of academic excellence.
Our teachers know that a strong culture that respects and motivates students relies on excellent academic teaching in every room. We believe in restorative practices and teach students to resolve conflicts on their own, understand the impact of their actions, and acknowledge responsibility to the school community. We believe that a true liberal arts education – which fosters and prizes critical thinking and independence of thought—cannot be joined to a no-excuses culture that emphasizes silence and compliance. We prepare students for success in college and in life by fostering agency—our students' confidence that they are in control of their own lives and can act of their own free choices. Discover more about BAHS.
We are looking for a founding college access and success counselor who work with the college team to create and sustain the school's college counseling and alumni program. He or she will execute the vision for the college and alumni program, which is designed to ensure that students matriculate in and graduate from college. He or she will support our second graduating class in applying to college and will then follow and advise this same group of students during their first two years of college. This is an ideal opportunity for a dynamic individual to play a role in growing and shaping a premier charter school committed to helping students not just to matriculate in college, but to graduate from college.
- Manage the college application and financial aid process for all graduating seniors in our second graduating cohort
- Teach the senior college seminar course, aligned with Ready, Willing and Able: A Developmental Approach to College Success, by Savitz-Romer and Bouffard. The course in senior year focuses on the college application process and transition to college
- Coordinate targeted college visits, college fairs, and trips
- Foster continuous family partnerships and secure parent support of student participation in college readiness by delivering a wide range of direct parent activities
- Provide Ascend students with individualized college counseling and resources in the areas of academic achievement, school success (attendance, behavior, personal, and social issues), and life-skills (e.g. organization skills, time management, individual and social responsibility, and work ethic) that impact school performance and college access, readiness, enrollment, and success
- Maintain an accurate system of complete records for students' application materials, college applications, financial aid applications, opportunity program applications, acceptances, matriculation, scholarships and aid awarded
- Actively maintain personal contact (regularly scheduled face-to-face meetings, periodic telephone/Skype conversations, meetings when the student returns home on vacations/weekends) throughout the student's first and second year of college
- Provide services and resources for alumni issues, including, but not limited to tutoring, transfer support, college admissions advising, crisis management, financial aid and academic advising to ensure persistence throughout college
- Maintain an alumni database to develop future intervention plans to support at-risk alumni. Connecting them with support staff and other resources to improve academic standing and maintaining/improving financial packages throughout college
- Monitor and assess adjustment to college and academic progress
- Ensure that students are aware of the resources available on their own campuses and at Ascend
- Support students in applying for internships during their first two years of college.
- Supervise a group of peer mentors, where alumni work with high school students
Staff and reporting relationships
The founding college access and success counselor reports to the college access and success manager and works closely with the director of college and alumni counseling.
- Master's Degree in Social Work, Education, Counseling, Public Administration, Higher Education, or similar preferred; certification in counseling preferred
- Minimum of three years' experience working in the field of college awareness/access and/or a related field preferred
- Previous teaching experience in an urban setting preferred
- Knowledge of college financial aid, public and private college/university admissions requirements/processes, in addition to expertise with Common Application, FAFSA/Dream Act, low-income, first generation students
Knowledge of current trends and topics facing higher education institutions affecting students and college retention rates
- Strong ability to develop and maintain positive and strategic relationships with colleges and universities
- Ability to provide assurance and counsel students experiencing the typical challenges associated with the college search process by creating an environment where students feels safe, supported, and challenged
- Passion for higher education accessibility and completion of college for first generation and underserved students
- Understanding and awareness of barriers that underrepresented, low-income, and/or first-generation populations face on their pursuit to a college degree
- Relentless drive to set and achieve ambitious goals
- Strong collaboration and teamwork skills
- Creative, strategic, and meticulous thinker in assessing and improving current college counseling program and developing new elements to enrich the quality of the program
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Alignment with a restorative approach to discipline, where discipline is approached an opportunity for learning, growth, and community-building
- Trustworthiness and ability to maintain the utmost confidentiality
Diversity at Ascend
Ascend is committed to building a diverse and inclusive community, both through our hiring practices and our focus on creating a culture and environment where diverse perspectives, ideas, and identities are valued and integrated into our way of working and educating students. Ascend staff represent a wide diversity of racial, socio-economic, gender, religious, and national identities—opening a window to the entire Ascend community on the richness of humanity. We welcome all applicants who share our mission and vision to join us in our deeply consequential work.
Ascend offers a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits package. Please visit www.ascendschools.org/careers to learn more about the benefits of working at Ascend.
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