Commongood Careers Nonprofit Job Listings
Site Director - Wayne State University
Level Playing Field Institute
Program Management
Detroit, MI

About Us and Our Philosophy:
SMASH Academy, a program that US News and World Report called “Perhaps the most ambitious program to encourage African American and Latino students in STEM fields” is heading into its 15th summer and national scaling and exposure. It is the flagship program of the Level Playing Field Institute (LPFI), an organization committed to eliminating the barriers faced by underrepresented people of color in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and fostering their untapped talent for the advancement of our nation.

Founded in 2001, LPFI is an Oakland-based nonprofit organization that operates four STEM-focused education programs for underrepresented middle and high school students: the Summer Math and Science Honors Academy (SMASH) is a year-round academic program that serves high school students, the Saturday Math and Science Honors program (SMASH Prep) serves African American boys in grades 6-8, and Level the Coding Field hackathons are a two-day coding exposure experience for middle and high school students. Additionally, (and connectedly) LPFI conducts research examining inequity in access and opportunity across K-12, higher education, and workplace contexts in order to improve the outcomes for underrepresented students in STEM fields. LPFI is funded by private donors, foundations, and corporate giving and is currently expanding in exciting ways.

Working at LPFI is about fast growth, personal commitment and the tenacity to challenge the status quo. This is a pivotal time for LPFI as we build on the success of our education programs, and embark on an aggressive expansion strategy to achieve national impact. This is not for the faint of heart, but if you think you have what it takes to change the face of STEM, join us.

Learn more about our impact directly from our scholars here

The Opportunity:
Reporting to the Program Director, the Site Director (SD) will serve as the founding Director for SMASH at Wayne State University. The SD is responsible for building, sustaining and improving the transformative educational experience that SMASH Scholars need to pursue, persist and succeed in STEM. SMASH site instructional, residential and operations seasonal teams will report to the SD. SMASH site size range from 30 to 100 rising 10th through 12th grade students. SDs, with the help of the Central Office, are responsible for hiring, training and overseeing the site teams, typically between 15 to 30 staff members, along with student recruitment responsibilities and admissions decisions. The SD provides leadership, vision and direction to SMASH Scholars, their parents and other community constituent groups aligned with the LPFI mission. With LPFI’s latest growth strategy and impact initiatives, this person will be an integral member of the Programs Team, playing a critical role in the scaling of SMASH and elevating our programming as a national model.  

Key Responsibilities:
Program Management
  • Build, implement, and sustain a vision of commitment to high standards, guided by a belief in the promise of all SMASH Scholars at respective program site
  • Oversee the various components of a year-round academic enrichment program, including a five-week residential program at the host university/college, while actively developing and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders, e.g. LPFI leadership, Scholar and Family Community, University Partners, Corporate Partners, Donors, etc.
  • Evaluate and assess program impact, recommend program/policy changes, and direct program shifts and improvements in line with LPFI goals. 
  • Hire and directly supervise the Residential Director, Lead Instructor and Program Coordinator, supporting colleagues in performance management, program implementation, culture building, and site logistics.
  • Plan and facilitate program events and activities throughout the academic year and SMASH Academy, including field trips, supporting CS Saturday Academy, workshops and volunteer opportunities
  • Collaborate with Accounting and SMASH Program Director to establish site budget; oversee and manage site operating budget
  • Manage volunteer programs, conduct training and necessary communications
Scholar, Alumni and Family Relations
  • Lead the recruitment and admissions process of SMASH Scholars, maintaining regular communication with applicants, scholars, and parents regarding LPFI-hosted events, local opportunities and STEM exposure activities
  • Oversee the strategic direction of the SMASH Parent Representative Program and the SMASH Alumni Program through regular communication, guidance and event planning support
  • Facilitate alumni information requests from various LPFI departments, e.g. Research, Development, etc.
Relationship Development, Management and Strategic Partnerships
  • Act as liaison and primary contact with university/college, school district, school and community organization partners
  • Serve as an external face of LPFI, identifying and cultivating strategic relationships, stewarding potential funding relationships, and participating in community events to elevate the visibility of LPFI as a leading national STEM program
Desired Skills and Qualifications:
  • 3+ years’ progressive leadership experience in program design, implementation, and evaluation in a youth development organization, preferably with youth from diverse ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds
  • Bachelor degree in a STEM field; Advanced degree in STEM or education preferred
  • Strong leadership abilities including an encouraging, motivating presence to help with culture and team building, prioritization and planning, mentoring and coaching.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication, presentation, and facilitation skills
  • Self-starter with ability to work on multiple initiatives at the same time; excellent project management skills.
  • Ability to be flexible, resilient and adaptable to changing priorities
  • Energetic and entrepreneurial spirit about innovative education models and nonprofit organizations
  • Demonstrated commitment to STEM diversity
  • Alignment with LPFI Organizational Values -- Focus on Impact, Strengthen Our Communities, Balance Passion and Practicality, Experiment, Evaluate, Modify, and Implement, Be a Strong Link in the Chain, Celebrate and Have Some Fun
  • Ability to travel to LPFI main office located in Oakland, CA for a one month training residency upon hiring and a minimum of once per quarter for various meetings and activities

To Apply  
Please upload a resume alongside a thoughtful and targeted cover letter, outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position and stating how you heard about this opportunity, both in Word format, addressed to Danielle Rose, Chief Program Officer by utilizing the link below.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

LPFI offers a competitive salary and benefits, commensurate with experience and skills.  
In keeping with our beliefs and goals, no employee or applicant will face discrimination/ harassment based on: race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, age, gender, marital/ domestic partner status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, or veteran status. Above and beyond discrimination/ harassment based on "protected categories," Level Playing Field Institute also strives to prevent other, subtler forms of inappropriate behavior (e.g., stereotyping) from ever gaining a foothold in our office. Whether blatant or hidden, barriers to success have no place at Level Playing Field Institute.

Would you like to apply to this job?

Apply for the Site Director - Wayne State University position

Previous MonthNext Month