Associate Director, Postsecondary Attainment

Postsecondary Attainment · Virtual, District of Columbia
Department Postsecondary Attainment
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Manager/Supervisor

About ESG

Education Strategy Group (ESG) is a mission-driven consulting firm that works with America’s education, business, and civic leaders to expand economic opportunity and mobility by increasing educational attainment. We support the preparation, entry, and success of individuals from K-12 through postsecondary education to build a more equitable system, open economic doors for all, and strengthen our democracy. ESG specializes in strengthening the transition points that have the highest stakes for youth and adults and the highest benefit for states, communities, and economies. We are driven by the conviction that a robust education system aligned with workforce demand leads to a stronger, more equitable society.

Education Strategy Group has recently adopted a five-year Greater Impact Plan, which establishes an ambitious vision and clear expectations for the work the organization will undertake and the impact it will seek to have on the nation’s education and workforce systems. Within this plan, ESG has made increasing postsecondary attainment its north star, with a specific emphasis on increasing attainment rates for students of color and from low-income backgrounds. Fostering innovation and improving learner outcomes in postsecondary education is critical to raising postsecondary attainment rates and advancing economic mobility, particularly for groups that have been underserved based on their race, ethnicity, and/or socioeconomic background.  We are committed to expanding our work with higher education systems and institutions across the country to develop policies, strategies, and structures that improve attainment of meaningful postsecondary credentials and ensure that all credentials have pathways to degrees.  ESG is working to build the capacity of higher education to be engines of economic opportunity that purposefully improves economic mobility for learners, especially for traditionally underserved populations.


About the Position

The Associate Director will play an integral role in helping to develop and lead impact-driven projects and services within the ESG Postsecondary Attainment portfolio. ESG is working to create a clear set of actions for institutions that will advance post-college economic mobility and success for students. More specifically, this position will have an emphasis on building the capacity and willingness of higher education to meaningfully embed careers throughout the postsecondary experience to promote economic mobility and help their graduates successfully transition to meaningful careers. This will involve supporting the design and implementation of new initiatives and forging partnerships to increase the organization’s impact.

The position requires experience with advancing improvement initiatives within postsecondary institutions and a demonstrated commitment to closing equity gaps for learners of color. Successful candidates will demonstrate a proven knowledge and experience with designing, developing, and managing ambitious projects focused on reshaping higher education systems and processes to improve student outcomes. Experience marshalling student-centered improvements within postsecondary education that ensure labor market relevance for graduates is also desired. The ideal candidate will have strong analytic, project management, writing, and facilitation skills as well as the ability to collaborate and build relationships with a wide range of clients, including leaders from higher education institutions, municipalities, state higher education executive officer agencies, industry associations, advocacy groups, national education organizations, and foundations.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Associate Director’s primary duties and responsibilities will include:

Helping to lead the development of ESG’s efforts to better improve college to career outcomes. Play an integral role in building a body of work that will equip higher education institutions with the tools to approach student career success with the same intentionality as access, retention, and completion. ESG plans to leverage existing research and new quantitative and qualitative analyses of the student experience to identify strategies and interventions that will enable higher education to provide all learners with the ability to recognize and articulate their purpose and skills, and manage career transitions throughout their lives.

Leading and supporting key projects in ESG’s postsecondary attainment portfolio, collaborating with staff and consultants to ensure successful implementation. This includes initiatives around postsecondary attainment, adult learners, alignment of non-credit and credit credentials, and pathways to the workforce.

Contributing to the expansion of ESG’s broader Postsecondary Attainment Strategy. This includes collaborating with the Senior Director of Postsecondary Attainment and the ESG executive team to conceptualize new postsecondary success projects and services and converting them to concrete opportunities.

Providing visibility for the firm externally and shaping the direction of the field through blogs, reports, articles, speeches, and the strategic use of social media to influence national, state and local policymakers, partners, and postsecondary institutions.

Designing and deploying high-quality, technical assistance to a range of clients, including assessment of their strengths and gaps to develop recommendations for improvement.

Organizing and facilitating state, institutional, and community-level convenings of partners to advance their student success strategies.

Building and maintaining strong client and partner relationships, to expand ESG’s opportunities and strengthen our reputation in the field. 

Managing staff and consultants to deliver high-quality results and enable their professional growth.


Collaborating with staff in ESG’s other portfolios to align our work and increase our impact.


The ideal candidate will have:

  • A minimum of 7 years’ professional experience within a postsecondary institution, state higher education executive officer agency, or national nonprofit organization developing and leading work focused on student success and improved attainment of postsecondary credentials
  • Knowledge of and experience in leading student success strategies in redesign of advising and career services functions within higher education.
  • Experience working with labor market data to develop, prioritize, and promote credentials that lead to in-demand, high-skill, high-wage employment
  • Experience reviewing and analyzing quantitative and qualitative research to put into practice.
  • Knowledge of higher education reform efforts to build Guided Pathways, redesign advising, advance equity, and align meaningful non-degree credentials into degrees
  • Understanding of the legislative and policy-making processes that promote strong local implementation of college success initiatives
  • Strong research, analysis, writing, facilitation, and project management skills
  • Excellent organizational skills and keen attention to detail: candidates should have demonstrated experience and ability to prioritize work and manage time on multiple projects and tasks to meet deadlines
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and collaboratively: candidates should be self-motivated and comfortable within a largely virtual working environment
  • Well-rounded interpersonal skill set, with the presence and capacity to build relationships, work effectively in teams, and facilitate joint problem-solving with clients and within ESG
  • A growth mindset and commitment to continuous improvement
  • Maturity, flexibility, and comfort working in a small, virtual organization
  • A master’s degree in public policy, education policy, or related fields, or an equivalent level of knowledge and experience is required. Earned doctorate a plus
  • Access to high-speed internet
  • Ability to travel to support projects as needed (once travel is safely resumed)

Compensation and Benefits 

  • Competitive compensation commensurate with experience
  • Comprehensive health insurance, flex spending, short/long-term disability, parental leave, and retirement plan
  • Generous vacation and holidays



Education Strategy Group is a virtual firm with a home base in Washington, DC. We have staff located in cities across the country. Our flexible work environment enables our professionals to live and work in locations where they can be most productive—both professionally and personally.

ESG is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

Priority given to applications received by July 15, 2022

Thank You

Your application was submitted successfully.

  • Location
    Virtual, District of Columbia
  • Department
    Postsecondary Attainment
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience