Position Information

Program Officer - Rural Postsecondary & Workforce Training
Ascendium is hiring a Program Officer to support the Support Rural Postsecondary Education and Workforce Training focus area. Ascendium has prioritized support for learners in rural communities recognizing that colleges and workforce training organizations in those areas are often left out of large-scale philanthropic efforts. The ideal candidate will have lived experience with and knowledge of rural geographic, economic, educational, and cultural environments.

The Program Officer carries out grantmaking activities to advance Ascendium’s philanthropic mission. These activities include the sourcing, development, analysis, and management of a portfolio of grants strategically aligned to Ascendium’s focus areas and investment priorities. Program Officers work across the lifecycle of grant funding, including sourcing ideas and partners, assessing strategic alignment in response to ideas that emerge from the field, shepherding applicants through the grant proposal process, developing appropriate reporting and payment structures, and providing ongoing support to grantees by facilitating connections with peers and other funders and helping to share project outcomes through strategic communications channels.

In addition to maintaining an active portfolio of grants, Program Officers build their own expertise in the subject areas relevant to their grantmaking and Ascendium’s mission and provide field leadership, including hosting/facilitating conference sessions and strategic convenings, engaging in aligned funder networks and professional associations, and writing thought pieces to share Ascendium’s learning and perspective with key audiences.

Position: Program Officer - Rural Postsecondary & Workforce Training
Organization: Ascendium Education Group
Location: Madision,  WI 
United States
Posting Start Date: 4/28/2022
Date Posted: 4/28/2022
Requirements Education/License/Certification/Experience Requirements
  • Knowledge equivalent to a master's degree in philanthropy, social sciences, social work, counseling, education, business, or a related field.
  • Five or more progressive years of postsecondary education, philanthropy, and/or nonprofit experience.
  • Valid driver’s license.

Knowledge and Skills Required for Position
  • Demonstrated commitment to Ascendium’s mission and to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Ability to work cooperatively and inclusively with others to achieve shared goals.
  • Effective interpersonal skills exemplified by initiative, courtesy, diplomacy, positive attitude, and professionalism.
  • Ability to develop and maintain strong working relationships with and among a diverse group of stakeholders.
  • Curiosity and a desire to be a continuous learner, building individual and team capacity for deepening Ascendium’s impact as a funder.
  • Comfort with ambiguity and the ability to adapt to a fast-paced, continually evolving work environment.
  • Strong project management skills with demonstrated ability to execute and follow through to achieve intended results, by honoring commitments, prioritizing work, and managing time and resources well.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Work Location & Travel
This position will be based in Ascendium’s Madison, Wisconsin, headquarters when offices reopen in May, 2022. Some travel required, as possible and advisable given evolving COVID-related restrictions. Travel may include going to conferences and other partner convenings as well as site visits to grantee partners’ events, when appropriate.
Status: This listing expires on: 6/27/2022
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Organization Information
Ascendium Education Group
38 Buttonwood Court

Madision,  WI 53718
United States
(608) 215-8382
Keith Witham

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