Director, Career and Professional Development

Western Governors University
Published
January 9, 2021
Location
Atlanta, GA
Category
Job Type

Description

Current WGU employees must submit their internal application before 1/19/2021 to be considered for the position.

The Director is an executive leader position focused on developing the career skills and professional development pathways for students and alumni.  The director leads the career advisor team and is accountable for self-service, personalized offerings and technology resources offered to students and alumni.  The Director will lead the organization to systemic transformation through designing, proposing, and implementing strategic initiatives that realize WGU’s goals for equitable attainment and affordability realizing a pathway to opportunity.  The Director, Student and Community of Care Experience, is responsible for the university-wide strategy for initiatives that impact career and professional development.

At WGU, directors are passionate, inspiring leaders for initiatives focused on student success outcomes and transformational experiences for designated learner profiles and employ leadership informed by deep domain expertise.  Directors create and inspire coalitions across department stakeholders, energizes teams for change, leverages complex data analysis to make courageous decisions and executes initiatives and projects to plan and achieves intended outcomes.  The director sets the criteria and design principles such that student journeys designed across the lifecycle and services departments, champions department and university policy, designs/defines service needs and analyzes operational implications (including budget impacts and approvals, skill development, technology and reporting requirements). 

This role works in partnership with executive leadership across the university on initiatives and projects both planned and emergent that will advance the transformation of the student experience and is an example of WGU’s innovation in higher education industry and student success (externally and internally).  The Director employs expert-level experience and judgement as well as industry standards and WGU specific practices of student experience design, continuous improvement, project management and reporting, change management, process mapping and Leadership Principles.

Essential Functions and Responsibilities

  • Accountable for centralized tools, resources, and services to develop the career and professional skills at scale for 400k students and alumni.

  • Engages in skill mapping and aligns services with programmatic needs and offerings

  • Accountable and responsible for designing, initiating, and sponsoring on large-scale university level projects and initiatives impacting segments of the student journey and impacting operations across multiple departments and functional areas to support transformational strategy.  Sets goals, KPIs, budgets, assess risk, and aligns timelines with university-level initiatives and projects.

  • Builds and leads coalitions of stakeholders across departments to achieve the initiative or project goals including: Colleges, Regions, Student Lifecycle, Office of the Registrar, Legal, Finance, P&T, Training, Marketing, Public Relationships, Strategic Partnerships, EdTech, IR, and external partners.

  • Scrutinizes and interprets highly complex data from multiple sources utilizing a comprehensive knowledge of the university, higher education and research on learner segments in order to craft inventive solutions and make decisions.

  • Employs expert-level expertise in career and professional development, experience at WGU and other higher education institutions and non-education organizations to lead cross-department level initiatives.  Influences strategic planning, proposes new solutions.

  • Presents and Reports regularly to WGU's Executive Staff, College VPs and Directors, EdTech, IR, Legal, Marketing, etc and primary stakeholders to influence decision making, gain buy-in and support systemic change to improve student outcomes.

  • Exhibits expert-knowledge of operational metrics, impacts and human resource deployment in collaboration with P&T, Training and Operational Leaders.

  • Actively engages with and sets priorities with EdTech product development.  Gathers, writes, vets business requirements for technology and operations infrastructure in order to achieve transformational goals and reviews development prior to deployment

  • Targets operational, professional, and technological transformation opportunities to promote and support change to champion the student experience.

  • Leverages a systems-thinking approach to student experience design in order to propose changes to university-level policies, business processes, best practices, services, service-level agreements, technology business requirements in order to improve student outcomes.

  • Establish metrics, budgets, timelines, evaluate ROI, and prioritize projects and initiatives against the WGU strategic and operational priorities.  Evaluate implemented initiatives to determine impact.

  • Responsible for the creation and presentation of communications, reports, and analysis which will be used to drive decision making related to the prioritization of actions and assignment of resources.

  • Assesses the student experience across learner profiles, operations, and interventions for efficiency and effectiveness to identify opportunities for new initiatives aligned with strategic priorities.  Propose solutions aligned to business problems identified.

  • Leverages system-thinking approach, design thinking, communication theory, strategic planning methodology, and human motivation theory to designing segments of the student experience and identify how policies, business processes, best practices, services, service level agreement.

  • Plans, coordinates, and delivers multiple business transformation projects/programs across WGU.

  • Secures commitments (approval, resources, and funding) from different stakeholders to deliver the initiative to achieve goals and objectives.

  • Communicates with students and alumni to gather input and address upcoming changes.

  • Demonstrates the WGU leadership principles and cultural beliefs in all aspects of service to students, employees, and partners of WGU.  Influence through direct and indirect management and leadership.

  • Responds with urgency to student and organization needs and exhibits excellent judgment to deliver results.

Required Education and Experience

  • Master’s degree, PhD preferred in Human Development, Human Resources, Leadership, Management, Psychology, Instructional Design, Education, or a similar field.

  • At least 8+ years of experience in leading career centers or leadership development programs at scale

  • At least 5 years of experience in higher education institutions, training or development organizations

  • At least 8 years of project or program leadership experience with cross-functional influence; First-hand experience leading and managing multi-department and multi-year initiatives, cross a distributed, matrixed organization (5000+ employees)

  • Minimum 5 years professional experience in a role that required extensive Project/Change

  • At least 5 years of significant people leadership, including leading people leaders through systemic change. Demonstrated experience managing teams and initiatives to impact student outcomes through specific interventions

  • Previous budget oversight of 5M projects and/or organizations

  • Experience with core systems and infrastructure including: content management systems, LMSs, Salesforce CRM, campaign management tools, reporting systems

  • At least 3 years with direct collaboration with multiple product and engineering teams in order to prioritize and define business requirements for technology development and/or acquisition. 

  • ProSci Change Management Certification or similar practical change management experience

Required Skills

  • Excellent judgement with the ability to make complex decisions, urgently that immediately impacts students

  • Demonstrated strong technical writing and communication skills.

  • Demonstrated ability to use and interpret data to make decisions, and communicate results effectively to various stakeholders

  • Demonstrated professional experience in communication to a broad audience base, with a technical writing emphasis.

  • Demonstrated professional experience managing complex projects and working cross-functionally.

  • Proficient in project management software tools and collaboration software

  • Excellent presentation and communication skills to a broad audience across multiple departments and stakeholders with a technical writing emphasis.

  • Design and facilitate workshops and large group gatherings to align priorities, gather requirements, problem solve and gain consensus across multiple departments and executive level stakeholders

  • Demonstrated professional experience in communication to a broad audience base, with a technical writing emphasis.

  • Demonstrated professional experience managing complex projects and working cross-functionally.

  • Proficient in project management software tools and collaboration software

  • Excellent presentation and communication skills to a broad audience across multiple departments and stakeholders with a technical writing emphasis.

  • Design and facilitate workshops and large group gatherings to align priorities, gather requirements, problem solve and gain consensus across multiple departments and executive level stakeholders

  • Systems thinker who can identify systemic structures contributing to outcomes, identify high leverage activities to impact outcomes, and articulate the implications of business decisions

  • Key competencies include: systems-thinking approach, project management, change management, data analytics

  • Ability to develop a business case and models

  • Highly organized and detail orientated

  • Proven ability to take initiative and be both innovative and flexible

  • Works well in a team environment.

  • Ability to build consensus and motivate others.

  • Strong oral communications abilities.

  • Strong technical and problem-solving skills.

  • Ability to plan and meet schedules for both individual and collaborative projects.

  • Ability to create concise, informative reports on projects and initiatives

  • Ability to clearly document and catalog information and progress on assigned initiatives

  • Proficiency with Office 365 applications, live event tools, CRM software, Tableau or PowerBi, SmartSheet

Preferred Qualifications

  • Terminal Degree in Higher Education administration, psychology, education, learning, leadership, business, etc.

  • PMP Certification

  • Salesforce Admin Certification

  • Lean Six Sigma Certification

  • Human Resources and/or workforce development experience a plus

  • Public and/or customer relations and communication experience a plus

Special Requirements

  • Moderate travel required, approximately 25%

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