Open Position: Southwest Tennessee Reconnect Director

September 5, 2017


Tennessee Reconnect helps adults return to college to complete a degree they started but never finished, and supports them through degree completion. The Director is a key leadership position, contributing to the initiative’s goal of increasing postsecondary attainment among adults in the Southwest Tennessee region.

Relationship Building: The Director is responsible for developing strong partnerships with advising offices at area colleges and universities, and with community organizations and employers. These strong partnerships will be essential in identifying adults who could benefit from the project and in connecting these adults with appropriate educational institutions to meet their educational goals.

Project Design: The Director is responsible for working with project partners to design a more reliable system for getting adult learners to and through school. This includes developing a central call number for interested adults to access the project, as well as recruiting and selecting community organizations and contract advisors to provide advising to interested adults.

Project Implementation: The Director will oversee the daily services provided by the contract advisors and expand and strengthen relationships with project partners. The Director will ensure that the activities are achieving service goals and maintaining outstanding service quality in full cooperation with partner institutions. The Director will assist with solving the problems of adult learners from the point of engagement with Southwest Tennessee Reconnect through completion of a college degree. This includes supporting partner college onsite advising, and liaising with recruitment, enrollment, and advising staff at partner institutions.

Outreach and Marketing: The Director will work with Southwest TRC Guiding Team to develop marketing and outreach plans, and implement those plans to effectively engage adults interested in completing their education. The outreach and marketing will include a combination of paid and earned media, social media, and promotion with community organizations and employers.

Project Evaluation: Southwest TN TRC’s programming is data-driven and evidence-based, and the Director is accountable for the tracking and reporting of client progress and advisors’ outcomes.

Illustrative examples of work

The following represents the essential functions of this position. Additional duties may also be assigned and be essential to the successful performance of this position.

• Create broad-based understanding among multiple stakeholders regarding the importance of college degree completion for adults; establish partnerships and collaborative relationships with other community stakeholders. Ability to secure funding/fundraise for sustainability of the program past the 18-month grant period.

• Recruit and encourage adults to return to college to complete their education.

• Work with a guiding team of partner representatives and community stakeholders to ensure that advising and outreach activities are carried out as defined and planned, on time, with highest levels of professional expertise, integrity, and regard for all. This position will report to the Manager of Workforce Development for the Jackson Chamber, with input from the Southwest TN Guiding Team members.

• Develop and implement a strategic and tactical annual work plan for the Southwest TRC initiative that includes programmatic and budgetary goals and objectives, along with metrics and quarterly benchmarks to monitor progress.

• Organize, implement and oversee day-to-day operations of the outreach and advising services, including leading, supervising, and developing contracted Advisers; producing and maintaining policies, practices, processes, protocols, budgets, and outcomes; designing and delivering outreach and advisor training to Southwest Tennessee Reconnect’ s staff and partner staff.

• Responsible for supervision of contractors hired as the advising team, including conducting quarterly evaluations, creating professional development plans. Hire advisor with support of Jackson Chamber representative and Guiding Team.

• Provide timely, comprehensive quantitative and qualitative reports on outreach and advising activities and outcomes.

• Engage and support the active participation of the college advising representatives.

• Design and implement operations for a central call number and at community advising sites; coordinate activities with site partners.

• Represent Southwest TRC at meetings and conferences.

• Evaluate effectiveness of activities and cooperate with external evaluators.

• Work with staff and external stakeholders to design and implement public education and outreach campaigns to reach adult students interested in returning to finish a degree.

• Develop strategic communications and outreach plans with internal staff and external partners and identify tactics to implement the plans, including grassroots efforts, social media, earned media and paid advertising.

• Oversee the content of the Southwest TRC website.

• Identify funding opportunities and assist with grant proposal preparation as appropriate.


The position requires a bachelor’s degree in Public or Business Administration, Community or Economic Development, Education, Planning or a related field. The position requires at least five years related experience in educational advising or programming; community, economic or workforce development.

An understanding of post-secondary advising is desired. The position requires the ability to develop strong working relationships with senior leadership in businesses and post-secondary institutions, and engage new corporate partners. Ability to work directly with, and establish trusting relationships with adults seeking educational support. Strong organizational, project management, and oral and written communication skills are essential for the position. The position requires the ability to analyze economic, labor market and education data to help the community identify needs and assess progress.

The Director understands that the power of Southwest Tennessee Reconnect Community is in the partnership and engagement of the various stakeholders, and in its role of bringing innovation and best practices to the field of adult degree completion. The Director is an effective, efficient, professional and cordial team leader and member, a good listener and communicator, understands the needs of the different populations served by Southwest Tennessee Reconnect, and how to best serve them. Southwest TRC’s advising is based on the principles of developmental advising and is tailored to the needs and perspectives of adults.

This position requires flexibility and maturity in managing people, data (computer software program), time, tasks, communication and professional relationships. Qualifications include a self-starting, self-driven individual and strong team player; a person who is curious and open to and eager for new learning; patient with people and processes, yet driven to produce timely results. It also requires someone that is comfortable with periods of uncertainty about project direction, who can maintain focus and motivation while exploring potentially conflicting options; who has the ability to understand strategy and the “big picture” and translate it to tactical solutions in a fast paced environment.

Send resumes to NO phone inquiries please.