Director of Innovation

College Track

Posted: 2/12/2020

Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)

Function: Education/Training

Primary domain: Education

City: Oakland

Postal code: 94607

State: California

Country: United States

Organization Information:


Not Available


Mission statement:

College Track is a comprehensive college completion program that empowers students from underserved communities to graduate from college. From ninth grade through college graduation, our 10-year program removes the academic, financial, and social-emotional barriers that prevent low-income and first-generation students from earning their college degree. In 1997, we started with 25 students in East Palo Alto, and today, we have ten centers located in underserved communities across California, Colorado, Louisiana, and the D.C. Metro Area with more than 3,000 students on the path to upward social mobility.

To learn more, please visit  

Position Details:

Job Description:

Position Overview

Reporting to the VP of Program, the Director of Innovation holds the vision for how innovation at College Track will dramatically increase student outcomes. The position and manages the systems and structures needed to take innovation concepts from ideation to scaling.  

Primary Responsibilities Include:

Hold vision for program innovation at College Track

  • Refine and communicate College Track’s approach to innovation
  • Work closely with leaders and teams to develop a culture of innovation and change
  • Ensure alignment of overall innovation efforts with department priorities

Manage and refine innovation systems and routines

  • Refine College Track’s internal Innovation Framework
  • Manage proposal and renewal process, aligned with annual planning and budgeting
  • Work cross-functionally with teams and departments (Design Team, Organization
  • Performance, Executive Directors, Site Directors, HR/Talent, Finance, MarCom) to ensure successful evolution from concept to prototype to pilot
  • Communicate status of pilots and projects across sites to all stakeholders through a consistent system of documented reporting 
  • Scope, plan and organize multi-phase projects, taking innovation concepts from ideation to scaling 

Manage External innovations

  • Investigate potential innovations that would solve existing problems but do not lend themselves to internal experimentation (e.g., student dashboard): look at platforms, ed tech or other products, and make strategic recommendations for adoption in order to improve our impact.
  • Lead exploration of new opportunities to improve outcomes, and help determine buy vs build decisions

Train and Support Staff

  • Provide training as needed for innovation owners: design thinking, project management, data analysis

Data and research 

  • Regularly review and analyze data and observe practices to confirm innovative practices are improving student outcomes and meeting intended goals
  • Stay abreast of relevant research and reports to better understand highest impact practices, identify emerging trends and opportunities. Synthesize and bring strategic insights to CT based on trends and innovation that are integral to the field. Present research and insights findings in a compelling way that paints a meaningful picture for all stakeholders, and results in actionable intelligence.
  • Model potential implications of major innovations (changes in staffing structure, budget allocation) to determine feasibility

Highest Priority Competencies

  • Vision: co-creates a clear, inspiring vision; invests others in it by helping them connect the vision to both daily work and long term impact in a way that creates momentum and shared commitment to action


Skills & Experience Required

  • Bullet point list of key responsibilities
  • Minimum 4-year college degree 
  • 5+ years of experience leading and implementing programmatic design changes 
  • Experience managing change efforts and building systems in a large or matrixed organization
  • Passion for building, growing and scaling; executing against big and bold ideas 
  • Obsessed with improving organizational impact 
  • Experience with innovation and change management theory and practice
  • History of working effectively in underserved communities 
  • Exceptional organizational skills; keen attention to detail; time management and follow-up skills
  • Exceptional communication skills with demonstrable ability to write effectively, speak persuasively, and listen attentively 
  • Unflappable self-starter who has the ability to effectively manage a wide range of tasks and projects
  • Strong project management skills
  • Expertise in motivating others to action without formal authority


Not Specified


Commensurate with Experience

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply:

Please apply on our website!


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