Manager of Student Services (MSS)

Breakthrough Greater Boston

Posted: 7/26/2019

Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)

Function: Other

Primary domain: Education

City: Cambridge

Postal code: 02238

State: Massachusetts

Country: United States

Organization Information:


$1M - $3M


Mission statement:

About Us and Our Philosophy 

Breakthrough Greater Boston (BTGB) is a transformative college access and teacher training program. BTGB offers six years of academic enrichment and college preparation to middle school and high school students with high potential but limited opportunities. Simultaneously, BTGB recruits, trains, and inspires a diverse cohort of high achieving college students to become the next generation of urban teachers. Leveraging a Students Teaching Students model, BTGB provides engaging, tuition-free academic programming during the summer and after school. Our students gain the skills and motivation to succeed in rigorous high school courses and, ultimately, in college. Meanwhile, our teachers gain hands-on experience, research-based training, and coaching from professional educators. 

Over the past eight years, 97% of our graduating students have matriculated to college, and 82% of them have persisted through their undergraduate years. On average, more than 70% of our graduating teachers have gone on to pursue careers in education. After two decades of success at our original Cambridge site, BTGB embarked upon a significant program expansion and opened a second site in Boston in the summer of 2013 and a third site in Somerville in 2018.As an independent 501c3 nonprofit Breakthrough Greater Boston is part of a national educational movement called The Breakthrough Collaborative working to improve educational outcomes for youth across 25 U.S. cities.   

With a deep commitment to our mission, BTGB operates with the highest standards of integrity, and best practices, while also enjoying the ability to be innovative and flexible to meet the evolving needs of our students, families, and teachers.  Our team is diverse, high-performing, and dedicated.  We continue to build an organizational culture that emphasizes our core values for every member of our community: 


  • Spirit: We cherish and embody the youthful energy and spirit of our students and teachers
  • Continual Learning: Everyone in our community has something to learn and something to teach
  • Team Together: We all chip in to accomplish whatever is needed for our teammates and the broader organization
  • Student Centered: Our students are our first priority and our decisions center around what benefits our students
  • Equity and Opportunity: We value diversity of identity, background and thought. We treat everyone with dignity and respect
  • Excellence in Everything: We maintain high expectations for ourselves 

Breakthrough Greater Boston encourages individuals of all backgrounds to apply for this position, and we do not discriminate on any basis prohibited by applicable law. We celebrate the diversity of our world and our community, and we seek to build a team that reflects that diversity in every way. We welcome and encourage all qualified applicants who share that same vision, as we wish to engage all those who can contribute to our work and this mission.

Position Details:

Job Description:

The Opportunity

Breakthrough Greater Bostonis currently seeking a highly motivated and talented Manager of Student Services (MSS) to oversee all aspects of student and family support services as well as program management for our 7th- 8thgrade school-year and summer programs at Breakthrough’s Cambridge Campus. The MSS will be responsible for student recruitment and admissions, student support services, management of the Academic Mentoring Program, family engagement, social emotional learning and fostering strong school partnerships. The MSS also plans and co-leads a weekly after-school program and six-week academic summer program for middle school students. The MSS works in close collaboration with the Director of Curriculum and Instruction as well as other program staff. This position reports to the Senior Program Director.

Your Contribution

Program Management

  • Work with the Director of Curriculum and Instruction to:
    • Plan and implement the school-year and summer programming
    • Oversee the day-to-day operations of year-round academic programs
    • Lead regular community meetings for a group of 150 middle school students aimed at fostering positive community and culture
    • Train and provide ongoing support to summer teaching fellows
  • Ensure accurate and effective data collection to inform programmatic decision making and student success 

Student Recruitment and Admissions

  • Develop and maintain student recruitment pipeline relationships with teachers, administrators, and parent liaisons at partner schools as well as representatives from other youth-serving organizations
  • Plan and conduct a comprehensive student recruitment effort, including recruitment presentations and workshops in all sixth grade classrooms at partner schools
  • Oversee student admissions, selecting the most qualified students from a pool of applicants from 6th grade classes across Cambridge Public Schools 

Student Support

  • Support students’ social emotional health and well-being, including supervising BTGB’s school-year and summer counselors
  • Manage the Academic Mentoring Program to ensure that all students are connected to appropriate academic support resources, including recruiting, hiring, and training Academic Mentors
  • Oversee the creation and implementation of Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III interventions to support students, including daily mindfulness practice (Tier I), restorative circles (Tier II), and SEL Skill Building groups (Tier III) 
  • Provide students with connections to supplemental and enrichment opportunities and maintain important organizational partnerships
  • Collect relevant data (report cards and progress reports) to track student academic progress  

Family Involvement

  • Maintain positive, frequent communication with students’ families, nurturing healthy, trusting relationships and collaboratively ensuring students’ success
  • Conduct family check-ins each semester with all families to assess academic progress, address areas of concern, and discuss extra-curricular enrichment opportunities
  • Work with the Board of Directors family representative to support the Family Advisory Board and encourage broad family participation in student recruitment, family communications, special events, and more

School Partnership Management

  • Maintain positive, frequent communication with teachers, administrators, and parent liaisons at partner schools as well as representatives from other youth-serving organizations to work collaboratively to ensure our students’ success
  • Conduct teacher check-ins each semester with all BTGB students’ teachers to assess academic progress, address areas of concern, and identify enrichment opportunities
  • Oversee collection of student academic records, including report cards, progress reports, and Individualized Education Plans


Your Background and Qualifications

As the incoming Manager of Student Services, you will possess many, though perhaps not all, of the following characteristics and qualifications:

  • At least three years of experience working with underserved students, preferably in grades 6-9
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills with students, families, and educators, including a great sense of humor 
  • Superior organizational and project management skills
  • Ability to work on multiple projects, adjust quickly to shifting priorities, meet deadlines, exercise good judgment, and handle high-pressure situations
  • Team player who demonstrates a positive attitude, energy, entrepreneurial spirit, and dedication to collaboration
  • Prior experience with the Breakthrough model highly desirable; familiarity with Cambridge Public Schools, a plus
  • Flexible schedule that allows for periodic work on Saturdays and evenings
  • Candidates of color and those from low-income backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply as are those with fluency in Spanish, Haitian Creole, Amharic, Somali, Arabic, Bengali, Hindi, Tigrinya or Urdu
  • Bachelor’s degree required; education or social work degree, preferred



Not Specified


Commensurate with Experience

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply:

How to Join Our Team

If you are interested in learning more about how your passion and experience can help Breakthrough meet its mission and grow its impact, please email a resume with 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 and addressed to Jennie McDonald-Brown, Senior Program Director, at [email protected].

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Learn more about Breakthrough Greater Boston at


To receive targeted job listings like this one by e-mail please create a job alert