Position Information

Senior Program Manager
Ithaka S+R, a service of ITHAKA, is a non-profit research and consulting service that helps the academic and cultural communities serve the public good and navigate economic, technological, and demographic change. Team members in our Educational Transformation Program study and support the adoption and scaling of policies, practices, and innovations that improve student postsecondary access and success. Our growing team offers unique opportunities for your research skills and project management talent to play a vital role in shaping the national postsecondary educational landscape and improving the lives of students. Examples of our current projects include the American Talent Initiative; evaluations of data-informed student success interventions; equity-focused research on student debt; innovations in student and institutional financing of higher education; student veterans access and success; community college transfer; higher education in prisons; and state and federal education policy analysis.

The Role

Nationally, there are as many as 6.6 million students with “stranded credits” - credits they earned at one institution but cannot access because of a transcript hold due to an outstanding debt to the institution. Combined, these debts could be as high as $15 billion. Affected students are more likely to be students of color or from lower-income backgrounds, so these stranded credits likely compound personal financial difficulties (e.g. lower credit scores) and existing barriers to re-enrollment and degree completion. Even when affected students do re-enroll, their inability to access (and therefore, transfer) their stranded credits means they may have to retake courses, increasing both time to degree and total cost. 

Ithaka S+R is looking to hire an experienced program manager to drive our efforts to address the issue of stranded credits and improve student success. This person will build on and expand Ithaka S+R’s on-going work in this area (see our research report here, a recent blog post here, and attention from advocates, policymakers, higher education leaders, and the press) and bring several years of experience in managing complex projects, conducting rigorous policy and/or empirical research, and collaborating with multiple stakeholders. This person should be passionate about increasing postsecondary access and success, improving community college transfer, and re-engaging adult learners. Please see below for more information about the specific skills and experience a qualified candidate brings to the role.

In addition to leading our stranded credits work, the Senior Program Manager will be an integral member of ITHAKA S+R, taking day-to-day responsibility for building and contributing to a portfolio of mission-aligned projects in postsecondary attainment, adult learners, and community college transfer. This position will report to the Associate Director of Policy and Research in the Educational Transformation Program.

  • Build a portfolio of mission-aligned research and strategic advising work.
  • Develop new project ideas and prepare proposals to secure project funding in consultation with the Associate Director and other team members.
  • Monitor and respond to Requests for Proposals in consultation with the Associate Director and other team members.
  • Cultivate relationships with potential partners and funders to lay the groundwork for new projects. 

Project Management:
  • Coordinate and track activities of numerous stakeholders across multiple institutions and keep team members, teams, and collaborators on track to meet deadlines.
  • Design tools and resources to effectively distill and act on information gathered through regular communication with stakeholders.
  • Manage and mentor team members in the context of project work, with the potential to take on direct reports as the portfolio grows.

Strategic Advising:
  • Design and execute consulting projects that support the Educational Transformation Program’s mission, in consultation with the Associate Director, and in close collaboration with colleagues at partner organizations, funders, and the leaders of colleges and universities.
  • Provide our partners with evidence-based guidance on high-level and practical strategies for improving student access and success.
  • Produce high-quality reports, presentations, processes, and other deliverables on tight deadlines.

Research and Analysis:
  • Design and execute research projects, which may take the form of:
    • Collecting and cleaning large datasets from distributed administrative system.
    • Conducting data analyses using descriptive and empirical methods, including quasi-experimental approaches;
    • Conducting and synthesizing stakeholder interviews or focus groups;
    • Designing and administering surveys;
    • Conducting desk research utilizing public, internal, and partner-provided sources;
    • Analyzing the effects of education-related programs and interventions, such as state and federal policies, and a broad range of higher education student success initiatives
  • Manage the logistical aspects of research efforts, such as collecting and maintaining data, arranging interviews, managing relationships, and utilizing survey management and data analysis tools.

Reporting and Communications:
  • Write emails, memos, and briefs to communicate concepts and processes to internal and external stakeholders.
  • Create compelling reports and presentations of research findings and recommendations.
  • Represent Ithaka S+R at conferences, networking events, and partner meetings.

  • Develop solid relationships with internal and external partners and maintain awareness of major community issues that may affect our projects.
  • Organize and participate in brainstorming sessions to generate ideas and discuss strategy.
  • When COVID-19 related travel restrictions are no longer in place, travel for research, reporting, and representation purposes - approximately 5-10% (or 10-15% if your permanent location is outside of the New York area).

To apply for this position, visit: https://recruiting.ultipro.com/ITH1000ITHAK/JobBoard/5fe90ad4-9e26-490b-9c45-6c9669d4dcd0/OpportunityDetail?opportunityId=00a53567-ebed-4b5d-8e72-2bd8b99e6a6f
Position: Senior Program Manager
Organization: Ithaka S+R
Location: New York,  NY 
United States
Salary: $90,000 - $105,000, commensurate with location and experience
Posting Start Date: 8/5/2021
Date Posted: 8/5/2021
Requirements Education, Experience, and Skills:
  • Any combination of professional experience, volunteer work, coursework, and other transferable skills may be applied toward these qualifications. Candidates need not demonstrate all criteria to be considered for the role.
  • Undergraduate or graduate training in a field that requires solid writing and quantitative analysis skills or equivalent experience and skills.
  • More than four years of professional work experience with demonstrated proficiency in the following areas:
    • Contributing to projects that address major topics in higher education research, policy, and/or practice, especially community college transfer, institutional and student finance, and/or policies to support adult learners. 
    • Managing research and policy projects that involve applying descriptive and quantitative methods and using a statistical analysis software (Stata preferred).
    • Experience collecting and analyzing data using IPEDS (required) and other student- and institution-level data sources (preferred) such as national higher education surveys, state longitudinal education data systems, institutional data, or national population/labor market surveys.
  • Managing the design and implementation of large-scale, complex projects in collaboration with multiple internal and external stakeholders.
  • Navigating complex relationships and stakeholder interests and making sense of ambiguity.
  • Translating complex concepts and research data into compelling, accessible, and well-written reports and engaging presentations.
  • Understanding state policies and how they affect students.
  • Effectively supervising the work of others in the context of your projects.
  • Prioritizing and managing your own work, performing well under pressure, and meeting deadlines, while ensuring acute attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Working in our open, collaborative, and team-oriented culture.
Status: This listing expires on: 10/4/2021
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Organization Information
Ithaka S+R
Remote or New York City

New York,  NY 10065
United States
(914) 588-0816
James Ward

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