College Visions Seeks Executive Director
About College Visions
Founded in 2004, the mission of College Visions (CV) is to empower low-income and first-generation college students to achieve the promise of higher education, while leading the way for innovative college planning and advising. CV is the first organization in the state of Rhode Island to guide students from the admission process all the way to college graduation.
College Visions advances equal access to educational opportunities in historically under-served communities. The Class of 2021 students served by CV identified as follows: 49% biracial or multiracial, 19% Black, 11% White; 9% Asian; and 1% Native American. Of these students, 100% were first-generation college students, 95% were eligible to receive a Pell grant, and most (67%) identified as Latino/Hispanic.
In pursuit of their mission, College Visions currently operates three inter-related programs:
- The College Access Program (CAP) provides the intensive, individualized advising that closes the gap between college aspirations and college enrollment for first-generation, low-income students. For the Class of 2021, the highly successful CAP supported 56 low-income, first-generation 12th graders to apply to and enroll in college. In this cohort, an impressive 92% of 12th graders completed the program, and 98% of those students enrolled in college in the fall, compared with 55% of Providence students. In 2021-2022, CAP has grown to serve our first cohort of 11th graders, totaling 20 students.
- The Kolajo Paul Afolabi* College Success Program (CSP) provides continued support to college students and graduates of the College Access Program (CAP) throughout their college experiences. The goal of College Visions is for every participant to earn a college degree. With the support of the CSP, 68% of College Visions students earn a degree within six years of college enrollment, which is more than three times the national average for low-income, first-generation students.
- In 2014, College Visions created The CV Lab to share its expertise in effective college access and success strategies with youth-serving organizations and educators, thereby strengthening and extending its impact on thousands of first-generation students within and beyond Providence. Partners organizations include Providence Public Schools, Rhode Island College, Providence After School Alliance, Breakthrough Providence, and Providence Alliance. Key accomplishments of The Lab include:
- Training more than fifty educators from organizations across Southern New England on topics such as the identification of match colleges; FAFSA completion; and advising on college affordability for low-income, first-generation students
- Partnering with other organizations to develop and implement innovative college and career readiness and success programming.
Headquartered in Providence, RI, College Visions has a staff of eleven and an annual budget of approximately $800K. College Visions is overseen by a highly engaged, mission-driven 11-member Board of Directors comprised of community representatives, K-12 champions, and local business leaders. CV is currently being led by long-tenured staff member and Interim Executive Director Moira Hinderer, who will step back into her role as the Director of Development once an ED is hired.
Opportunity Going Forward
College Visions is a dynamic non-profit organization with an outstanding record of success and ambitious plans for growth and sustainability. The Executive Director (ED) will lead a team of passionate, mission-driven young leaders at this exciting point in the organization’s development. She/He/They will have the opportunity to spearhead these plans for expanded impact through the overall administration and management of the organization, including programs, fundraising, and operations. The ideal candidate will have a strong commitment to the college access and success outcomes of low-income, first-generation students and an overall commitment to promote equitable access to opportunity in Rhode Island. They will also value diversity, participatory and student-centered leadership, being a life-long learner, and a work culture and environment that practices inclusion.
Working collaboratively with a diverse, mission-driven staff as well as an active and supportive Board of Directors, the ED will provide strategic, hands-on leadership and direction to advance CV’s mission and to sustain its impact and fiscal health. In addition to effectively and efficiently managing the organization and its people, high priorities for the ED include:
- Increasing the visibility and awareness of CV’s work and impact.
- Determining and enacting the most effective strategies to grow and sustain CV’s fundraising program.
- Continuing to advance CV’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging and justice (DEIBJ) in its programs, practices, and culture.
- Strategically identifying and cultivating relationships and partnerships with government leaders and organizations of relevance to CV’s goals.
- Exploring innovative service models/delivery to expand impact, align with emerging trends and needs in secondary school/higher education, and increase efficiency.
- Coaching and supporting the skill development and leadership of CV staff, many of whom are early-career professionals.
- Navigating and mitigating the continued effects of COVID-19 on the organization’s programs, staff morale, culture, and operations, including the future of remote/hybrid work.
Desired Credentials/Profile of the Ideal Candidate
- Experience with and passion for youth development, mentoring, K-12 education, college access/success, and/or work with low-income, immigrant students and families.
- Lived experience as a first-generation college graduate or direct experience working with this population.
- Experience starting up and/or significantly growing a program, service, or organization preferred.
- Non-profit management experience (Director+) preferred.
- Knowledge of and direct professional experience in Rhode Island preferred; if not, a strong ability and desire to get involved and ingrained in the local community will be critical to success.
- Multilingual abilities a plus.
Skills and Experience
Motivating, Mission-Driven Leader Committed to Fostering a Diverse and Inclusive Environment
- Unwavering belief in and passion for College Visions’ mission and vision.
- Leadership style that aligns with and amplifies College Visions’ Values: Be Transformative, Strive for Equity, Support Honest Conversations, Value Identity, Deliver Excellence.
- Strong commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and justice (DEIBJ) with a detailed understanding of the demographic CV serves and a deep interest in proactively advancing the organization’s DEIBJ work.
- Supportive, accessible, and authentic staff leader who can relate to and value the diverse experiences of all who engage with College Visions.
- Facilitates organizational change via an inclusive approach that cultivates contributions from a variety of stakeholders, including students and alumni.
- Adept at synthesizing feedback and trends to drive clear, decisive action; comfortable making the ultimate decision.
Savvy Networker, Communicator, Relationship Builder and Fundraiser
- Able to clearly and passionately articulate the mission of CV to a wide variety of audiences, including a compelling personal connection to the organization’s work.
- Driven and excited by the opportunity to expand the network of organizations, donors, board members, and government leaders supporting CV’s work.
- Enthusiastic, seasoned fundraiser adept at strategically identifying, stewarding, and sustaining new donors.
- Astute leader able to navigate and balance competing interests and engage effectively with state/local officials and community activists to advance CV’s goals.
- Comfort and delight in serving as the primary external representative of College Visions at in-person and online events as well as on social media.
- Strong verbal and written communication skills, including the ability to write grants.
- Able to communicate and connect effectively with CV’s students and families.
Empowering Manager and Developer of Team and Individual Performance
- Authentic, accessible, involved leader who builds and sustains trust and a collaborative work environment.
- Serves as a mentor to others by modeling effective management practices and coaching staff in skill and professional development.
- Able to hold self and others to equally consistent high levels of expectations, accountability, and performance by setting their own example and inspiring staff to perform at their best.
- Able to offer both positive and constructive performance feedback to a diverse array of staff members in ways that inspire positive action and increase accountability.
Strategic Leader Able to Balance Vision with Operational Excellence
- Ability to envision and execute large-scale initiatives, setting goals that are inspiring yet attainable and crafting plans to get there.
- Innovative thinker willing to develop and try new service delivery and partnership models that can expand CV’s impact and sustainability.
- Comfortable in a hands-on, detailed-oriented role when necessary.
- Fiscally sound business leader familiar with budgets and forecasts, especially as it relates to fundraising and new business development.
- Experience engaging with and/or managing Board relations and recruitment.
Compensation and Benefits:
This is a full-time, salaried, exempt position with a starting salary range of $90,000 to $105,000, commensurate with experience and qualifications. College Visions also offers a comprehensive benefits package, including health, dental, vision, and life insurance; retirement plan with 3% match; and paid time off for vacation, sick days, and holidays.
Application Process and Additional Information
College Visions is committed to building a culturally diverse staff that represents the populations we serve. College Visions celebrates diverse life experience and is proud to be an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer (EEO/AA). Candidates who are bilingual/bicultural, of color, Native/Indigenous, with disabilities, who identify as LGBTQIA+, or who are members of other marginalized groups are strongly encouraged to apply.
Candidates must include a resume and a cover letter that describes how your qualifications and experience match the needs and mission of College Visions. If taking the job would require you to move to Providence, please mention why that is a good fit for you at this time. Applications will be accepted until the position has been filled. Upload required documents to: https://eostransitions.applicantpool.com/jobs/.
Eos Transition Partners consultant, Erin Cox, is managing this search. All submissions will be acknowledged and are confidential, and any questions can be submitted to Erin at: firstname.lastname@example.org.