Academic Program Director
Reporting to the Chief Academic Officer, the Academic Program Director is responsible for overseeing curriculum development and faculty recruitment, training and supervision for all faculty working within the Associate of Arts degree program at San Quentin State Prison. This requires working with faculty and students across multiple disciplines, while engaging with a broad range of stakeholders, including incarcerated students, correctional staff and administrators, and other program staff.
The Academic Program Director will collaborate in an intellectually rigorous, diverse, equitable, inclusive campus community that is committed to civil dialogue and the free exchange of ideas. This position requires strong organizational skills and the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously. The Academic Program Director works closely with students; collaborates with fellow staff and faculty; and serves as the primary administrative representative on all matters related to academic affairs.
The job is performed inside San Quentin and at the Prison University Project offices nearby. Hours include at least two evenings a week and regular weekends.
The Academic Program Director also supervises academic staff, including the Learning Specialist, the STEM Program Coordinator, the College Preparatory Writing Program Coordinator, and the Program Assistant. The Academic Program Director works closely with the Chief Academic Officer and the Director of Student Affairs.
Core job duties
Work closely with the Chief Academic Officer and Student Affairs Director on all aspects of program administration, including semester planning and scheduling
Supervise and support College Prep English Program Coordinator, Learning Specialist, STEM Program Coordinator, and Program Assistant
Recruit volunteer instructors for all credit courses in the social sciences and humanities
Develop and deliver training to all program instructors, TAs, and tutors, in collaboration with other Program staff
Oversee academic program efforts to recruit and retain a more diverse faculty
Provide ongoing supervision and support to instructors via advising on course planning curriculum development, and syllabus design individual and teaching team consultations; faculty meetings; and in-class observation
Develop and oversee systems of academic advising and student support, in collaboration with other staff
Lead academic team on program improvement projects related to course design, curriculum, and student learning support systems
Design and deliver student advising and support, including planning and conducting workshops for students in collaboration with the other staff
Recruit and supervise the work of volunteers and other partners on extracurricular activities
Escort faculty into San Quentin several afternoons and evenings per week, and provide support on-site for faculty and students during those times
Maintain ongoing communication with San Quentin administrators and staff, regularly and as needed
Assist with the planning and supervision of site visits
Other job responsibilities
Collaborate with Executive Team on special projects, on- and off-site events, and fundraising-related activities
Support program team with the planning and execution of special events inside San Quentin as needed
Plan annual academic conference, in collaboration with the Chief Academic Officer and the Program Team
Participate in regular (bimonthly) all-staff meetings, and other organizational meetings
Participate in weekly Program Team meetings and biweekly Academic Team meetings
Support Chief Academic Officer in assessment cycles for accreditation, including compiling data and continually devising programmatic improvements
Extensive graduate-level experience in the social sciences and/or humanities
Extensive teaching experience
Experience supervising and leading teams, including the ability to give clear and actionable feedback, to support each team member's development, and to support individual goal-setting of supervisees
Outstanding communication skills (written, verbal, presentation, etc.)
Ability to manage multiple competing priorities under tight deadlines
Aptitude for working in a culturally diverse environment; ability to interact patiently and diplomatically with a wide variety of constituencies
Strong organizational and time management skills; detail-orientation and capacity to multitask
Analytical thinker, team-builder
Mastery of computer skills (MS Office Suite with strong emphasis on Excel, Google Docs, Sheets, Groups, and Calendar, Salesforce CRM, etc.)
On prison escort days, position is physically active, including spending at least 1/3 of the day walking or standing, a 1/2 mile walk at least twice a day, and lifting up to 15 lbs.
All applicants should have a demonstrated commitment to PUPís mission and proven ability to work with multi-racial, multi-ethnic, intergenerational, and multi-gendered communities.
We especially encourage applications from candidates of diverse socio-economic backgrounds; and/or who reflect the cultural, ethnic and racial diversity of our student body; as well as people directly impacted by incarceration.
In keeping with our beliefs and goals, we welcome applicants who are LGBTQ and/or gender diverse. 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.
The mission of the Prison University Project is to provide an intellectually rigorous, inclusive Associate of Arts degree program and college preparatory program, free of charge, to people at San Quentin State Prison; to expand access to quality higher education for incarcerated people; and to foster the values of equity, civic engagement, independence of thought, and freedom of expression. The Prison University Project is a national leader in providing quality higher education opportunities to incarcerated people and in expanding access to higher education within Californiaís prison system and nationwide. In recognition of our work the organization was awarded the 2015 National Humanities Medal by President Obama.
The Prison University Project is currently in a period of growth. After twenty years of operating a robust, high-quality higher education degree program at San Quentin, the organization is seeking independent accreditation. This new college will be the first of its kind, a world-class college based at San Quentin, designed solely for incarcerated students.