Academic Director

Rainier Scholars

Posted: 3/12/2020

Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)

Function: Other

Primary domain: Education

City: Seattle

Postal code: 98144

State: Washington

Country: United States

Organization Information:


$3M - $10M


Mission statement:

Rainier Scholars cultivates the academic potential and leadership skills of hard-working, underrepresented students of color. 

By creating access to transformative educational and career opportunities and providing comprehensive support to scholars and families, we increase college graduation rates and empower new generations of leaders. 

Position Details:

Job Description:

POSITION TITLE: Academic Director

MISSION: Rainier Scholars cultivates the academic potential and leadership skills of hard-working, underrepresented students of color. By creating access to transformative educational and career opportunities and providing comprehensive support to scholars and families, we increase college graduation rates and empower new generations of leaders. 

ORGANIZATION: Rainier Scholars is a comprehensive academic enrichment program that supports determined students of color over a 12-year journey – from 5th grade to college graduation. We seek to serve those who are most under-represented on college campuses and have the greatest number of barriers to achieving a college education:  85% qualify as low-income, 90% will be the first in their family to earn a college degree. Our program offers rigorous academics, leadership development and personalized support for scholars, providing access to educational pathways and myriad opportunities previously unimagined. By embracing our core values of Excellence, Perseverance, Integrity and Courage, our scholars propel themselves beyond what they and others deemed possible.  

With a budget size of $4.5 million, a staff team of 35 FTE and over 800 scholars and families whom we currently serve, Rainier Scholars has established a positive brand for our unwavering commitment to education, proven success rate, and sustainable impact.  We grow new generations of diverse college graduates, career professionals and community leaders.

SUMMARY: The Academic Director plays a critical part in our effort to close the opportunity and access gap for students of color. This educator role provides direct support to Rainier Scholars students and their families throughout the 14-month Academic Enrichment Phase (AEP). The AEP is designed to prepare scholars to be successful on a college prep pathway for middle school and beyond. Over the course of two summers and one school year, students engage in over 1,000 hours of additional academic enrichment during their 5th grade year. The Academic Director is responsible for the development and implementation of the AEP curriculum that exposes students to content one-three grade levels above their current grade level. The curriculum is also designed to provide scholars with the opportunity to learn and practice skills and build habits that they will need to be successful on the college prep pathway, develop a strong sense of cultural identity, and build resiliency. This Leadership Team-level position works in concert with the other members of the Leadership Team to set the vision for the organization and to ensure Rainier Scholars continues to carry out its mission to empower new generations of leaders who reflect our diverse society for the enduring benefit of all. The Academic Director reports to the Associate Executive Director. The tasks listed below are intended as a general framework of the responsibilities of this position. Flexibility and continued quality improvement are necessary in our organization; thus, Rainier Scholars requires that individuals not perceive any job description as fixed. 




·         Design and implement AEP curriculum, instruction, and assessment; collaborate with teachers and Rainier Scholars staff to review and revise as necessary. 

·         Recruit and hire faculty; plan, organize and supervise their work, including training, evaluating instructional practice, and providing job performance feedback.

·         Coordinate response to all academic, social, emotional, and behavioral issues of students and families, as well as collaborate with mental health team on student issues.

·         Support student recruitment and placement processes.

·         Develop and monitor program budget, including expenditure projections and recommendations.

·         Participate in agency-wide efforts—such as strategic planning, fundraising, and development—as a member of the Leadership Team.

Organization/Team Support

·         Supervise Dean of Students/Program Assistant and Director of Placement and support their professional growth and development.

·         Collaborate with the Director of Academic Counseling and Director of Leadership & Career Development around student performance and implications for AEP curriculum and instruction. 

·         Oversee the gathering and analysis of data and report on metrics/key performance indicators regularly, with the goal of achieving Key Performance Indicators.  Provide regular analysis of student performance to share with the Leadership Team and Board of Directors.

·         Assess and evaluate program effectiveness, using data to inform decision-making and report key outcomes.

·         Work with the Database & Systems Administrator to develop and maintain a thoughtful database system for student information.  

The successful candidate will be able to:

·         Implement effective college prep academic programming.

·         Build trusting relationships with diverse populations, especially families and communities of color in service of program goals; facilitate interpersonal dynamics and functioning work relationships among capable, diverse staff.

·         Build relationships with school administrators, counselors, and program directors; navigate educational institutions to identify and create access for scholars.

·         Identify emerging relationship and programmatic issues, engage participants in solving problems, evaluate decision options, and use intervention strategies appropriately. 

·         Respond quickly and wisely to an emergency or crisis involving a student.

  • Demonstrate a professional presence, strong interpersonal skills, and excellent written and verbal communication skills (including public speaking).

·         Develop and implement strategic and program plans. 

·         Develop program budget and monitor expenditures.

DESCRIPTION:  40 hours/week, competitive salary dependent on experience, benefits included. Schedule during summer sessions is Monday through Friday, Tuesday through Saturday during the school year. Some evening work is required. 



·         Bachelor’s degree in a related field; Master’s degree preferred.

·         7+ years working in education or an education-related field, demonstrating leadership.

·         Knowledge of current best practices in curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

·         Experience managing and providing performance feedback for a staff team.

·         Experience working with students and families of color. 

·         Service mentality to families, ability to demonstrate discretion and good judgment handling confidential information.

·         Fiscal management experience, including creating, overseeing, and managing budgets.

·         Functional knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Adobe), Google Docs, and familiarity/ease with databases (FileMaker Pro) and familiarity with analyzing data.


·         Bilingual proficiency in Spanish.  

·         Proficiency in UbD unit design (Understanding by Design, Wiggins & McTighe, 2005). 


Not Specified


Commensurate with Experience

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply:

Interested applicants should send cover letter, resume and list of references to: 

Rainier Scholars

Attn: Hiring, Academic Director

2100 24th Ave. S., Suite 360

Seattle, WA 98144

Office: (206) 407-2118 / Fax: (206) 407-2112 / E-mail:  [email protected]

Please specify in your cover letter how you learned of this position.

Rainier Scholars is an equal opportunity employer.



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