College Success Counselor
Reports to: College & Career Persistence Manager Status: Full-Time, Exempt
(Please note: This is a Hybrid role. Must be willing to work in the office 5 days a month)
At the Social Justice Learning Institute, we are dedicated to improving the education, health, and well-being of youth of color by empowering them to take hold of their educational future using research as a tool for community and social change. We train students to conduct research on problems in their community using a rigorous yearlong curriculum while providing basic academic support (i.e., tutoring, homework assistance, academic counseling, etc.) and college preparatory education. SJLI’s youth learn what it takes to achieve academically in order to go to college and become civically engaged, solution oriented and critical participants in the democratic experience. SJLI envisions an educational system where youth become engaged citizens who discover their best talents and apply them to help improve the world they live within.
This role falls into two major categories -- College Persistence and Career Pathway Development. This position is responsible for coordinating with Urban Scholars Alumni on various activities and events, while collaborating with the College & Career Persistence Manager on the creation, planning, implementation and supervision of activities of SJLI alumni that support their continuance and completion of their college education and/or career path.
This candidate must manage a caseload of our alumni (ages 18 thru 24), primarily those who are currently on a two or four year post-secondary education and secondarily those who need support on how to resume their education. Importantly, this position is responsible for tracking our alumni on their college path and collecting data on youth being served. This position will also work with the College & Career Persistence Manager to create reports that reflect the current landscape of our efforts towards postsecondary planning for Urban Scholar Seniors.
Provide individual and group interventions for SJLI alumni who are currently in college or employment programming, while co-creating a plan with the Academic & Career Support Coordinator for post-secondary pathways for graduating seniors. This program provides a range of youth development services to promote access to and persistence in college and career.
- Coordinate Alumni Post-Secondary Planning
- Work in collaboration with College and Career Persistence Manager to coordinate a plan to support SJLI alumni's persistence through college.
- If needed, work with families to bolster college knowledge and engagement in the importance of continuing the college path.
- Review and monitor students' financial arrangements and financial aid to ensure maximum aid is attained and students can budget appropriately.
- Collect and Review Progress report with students to ensure they are on track to graduate
- Provide targeted outreach, engagement and education activities to Urban Scholar Alumni to increase education, economic viability, and personal resilience.
- Maintain an attitude of professionalism, collegiality, and optimism with both staff and youth to promote the welfare and well-being of the youth
- Cultivate a working knowledge and relationship with relevant community resources to create linkages that meet the needs of the young adults
- Coordinate, plan and implement activities, events and workshops.
- Guide Out of School Alumni back to school or Unemployed Urban Scholars Alumni into their desired career fields.
- Help with the design and refinement of SJLI's college counseling model with an eye toward long-term college persistence for SJLI scholars.
- Monitor and support SJLI alumni academic and non-academic persistence goals (e.g. organizational skills, self-advocacy, grit) while they are in college.
- Provide individual counseling to a cohort of SJLI alumni enrolled in college to maximize their opportunities for success in college. Subjects include class registration, financial aid procedures, social service needs, academic support and personal concerns.
- Collaborate with college personnel to provide the necessary support needed for degree completion including academic advising, mentoring, financial aid assistance, educational workshops, textbook funds, and public transportation assistance.
- Develop academic monitoring and early warning systems to address risks to college retention.
- Act as a liaison between Urban Scholars Seniors, SJLI alumni and colleges.
- Coordinate 1 on 1's with SJLI alumni to provide assistance for college re-entry, including financial aid, FAFSA, college, and scholarship application assistance.
- Identify the need for alumni scholarship awards and/or needed alumni resources.
Data Tracking and Reporting
- Maintain consistent contact with Urban Scholars Alumni at the colleges.
- Update database that tracks Urban Scholars Alumni College status
- Keep track of senior college portal logins
- Updates student data information on a bi-monthly basis
- Document phone calls/email correspondence pertaining to Urban Scholars Alumni progress
- Maintain Urban Scholar Seniors and SJLI alumni student records.
- Generate monthly reports updating status of client caseload.
- Track SJLI alumni scholarship awards and provided alumni resources
Knowledge, skills and abilities:
- Exceptional interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills
- Has a social justice framework and is knowledgeable of the tenets of equity.
- Able to demonstrate a commitment to the goals, guidelines, and principles the Social Justice Learning Institute
- Able to maintain confidentiality
- Possesses a valid Texas Driver’s License
- Able to obtain a live scan/background clearance
- Availability to occasionally work on weeknights and weekends
- Able to form strong relationships with a wide range of constituents, including, but not limited to, parents, students, staff and leadership
- Ability to collaborate in a team environment
- Experience in working with young people from the youth development perspective
- Bachelor’s degree in education, psychology, social welfare, or related field AND/OR 3 – 5 years of experience in a similar non-profit role