Vice President for Program and Professional Development

Council for Opportunity in Education

There is a tremendous gap in educational attainment between America’s highest and lowest income students. The Council for Opportunity in Education seeks a program administrator and academic with a passion to support those who educate this underrepresented population.  These educators work in colleges, universities and agencies with students from middle school through college graduation.  The person in this role will develop program and professional development resources for TRIO administrators and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) educators who support low-income students. The challenge will be to meet the academic needs of diverse student populations from various races, genders, ethnicities, disabilities and veteran statuses.

The ideal candidate will have demonstrated success in a program administration role overseeing the academic needs of low-income populations—and must have background relevant to STEM programs.

About The Council

The Council for Opportunity in Education is a nonprofit organization dedicated to furthering the expansion of college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities throughout the United States. Its membership includes more than 1,000 colleges and agencies. Through its numerous membership services, the Council works in conjunction with colleges, universities, and agencies that host TRIO programs to specifically help low-income students enter college and graduate. More than one million low-income students and students with disabilities each year receive college access and retention services through our member colleges and agencies.

About TRIO

TRIO is a set of federally-funded college opportunity programs that motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds in their pursuit of a college degree. Over 850,000 low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities — from sixth grade through college graduation — are served by more than 2,800 programs nationally. TRIO programs provide academic tutoring, personal counseling, mentoring, financial guidance, and other supports necessary for educational access and retention. TRIO programs provide direct support services for students, and relevant training for directors and staff.

Federal TRIO Programs (Talent Search, Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math/Science, Veterans’ Upward Bound, Student Support Services, Educational Opportunity Centers, and the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program) help students to overcome class, social, academic, and cultural barriers to higher education.



Position Summary

The Vice President leads the Program and Professional Development Unit, which is responsible for assisting college access and support programs, particularly programs receiving funding under the Federal TRIO Program authority, to provide quality services to low-income students, first-generation college students, and students with disabilities seeking to graduate from college. The unit includes a Vice-President and a staff of four professionals and two support staff. Staff responsibilities include providing new curricular models and programming in science, technology, engineering and math through the Stokes Institute, with funding from the GE Foundation; providing professional development seminars on TRIO Legislation and Regulations under a grant from the Department of Education; and providing technical assistance and supervision to the GO College Option initiative under COE’s i3 grant.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Providing information to institutions and agencies offering college opportunity programs about program practice;
  • Assuring that practitioners’ questions regarding practice and regulatory compliance are answered;
  • Providing liaison to the Department of Education’s Division of Student Services;
  • Providing targeted professional and program development in the STEM fields;
  • Engaging in fund development to enhance unit services;
  • Assuring relevant programming during Council conferences and Seminars;
  • Overseeing federal and private grants within the unit and assuring compliance with grant requirements; and
  • Other duties as assigned.



  • Doctorate in curriculum and instruction with significant background and experience in either science or mathematics education.  A doctorate in mathematics or science education is preferred.
  • Significant experience in administering programs for low-income students and students from underrepresented groups
  • Experience teaching math and/or science or Bachelors in a STEM discipline.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills; and
  • Supervisory experience


$130,000 + benefits package valued at 30% of salary

For Immediate Consideration

This is a retained search. Email cover letter with salary requirements and resume to Shira Harrington, Purposeful Hire at