Assistant Director, Upward Bound

Apply now Job no: 506379
Work type: Staff Full Time
Campus: UMass Boston
Department: Upward Bound
Pay Grade: 30
Categories: Other Staff Positions, Professional Staff Union (PSU)

General Summary: 

Founded in 1965, UMass Boston’s Upward Bound Program serves low-income and first generation high school students and students at high risk for academic failure. Through an after-school program during the academic year and a six-week residential summer component, Upward Bound provides participants with the skills and motivation necessary for successful completion of high school and successful entry into and completion of postsecondary education. Program activities include academic classes, tutorials, cultural enrichment activities, college advising, and career awareness activities.  The most intensive aspect of the program’s year-round programming, the summer residential component,   is designed to simulate a college experience. Program staff and students live on a residential campus (currently Anna Maria College, Paxton Massachusetts) for six weeks--from Sunday afternoon to Friday afternoon. Student take rigorous college-preparatory and elective courses, participate in educational and cultural workshops and athletic activities, go on field trips, and live with a roommate.  The six-week summer program is preceded by one week of staff orientation, run by the program’s administrative staff (Director, Assistant Director, and College Access Coordinator), and held at the residential site.

The Assistant Director for Upward Bound will assist the Director with the recruitment, screening and selection of program participants; and will meet with a caseload of program participants to provide holistic coaching and academic guidance regarding their secondary school progress, college and career goals, and postsecondary entry.  The incumbent will assist in the planning and implementation of the summer residential component, including working with the Director to select and train program tutors and teaching assistants and facilitating orientations for staff, students, and parents; will plan, implement and chaperone academic, career, and cultural field trips and activities;   and in collaboration with other program staff, will promote and report on program events, via website updates and social media. The Assistant Director will assist the Director with the collection of program data and the submission of regular program reports; and will maintain program operations in the absence of the Director.  

Examples of Duties: 

  • Assist the Director with the student recruitment process; work closely with teachers, guidance counselors and other school personnel and parents to recruit students for the program; provide information sessions to new recruits and collect program applications and health forms;  
  • Participate in the program admission process: meet with the Director and College Access Coordinator to make student admission decisions based upon the applicants’ need for the program, academic performance, commitment to enrolling in post-secondary education and other decision-making factors;  
  • Assist the Director and College Access Coordinator in the planning and implementation of the Upward Bound summer residential program,  including planning and implementing orientation for students, parents, and staff; 
  • Work with the College Access Coordinator and Program Director to support and advise non-residential Upward Bound students during the summer; check in weekly with students through face-to-face meetings, phone calls, texts, and/or social media;  prior to the summer, assist the College Access Coordinator in advising the non-residential students regarding their summer plans (e.g., summer school, Dual Enrollment courses at UMass Boston or another postsecondary institution, other structured programs, independent project or career internship);
  • Assist the Director in the selection and training of summer teaching assistants and interns and academic year tutors;
  • As part of the program’s participation in Boston After School & Beyond Summer Aligned Cohort, administer various student assessments and assist with the collection and entry of attendance and other relevant data into the online CitySpan database;
  • Provide academic, career, and personal counseling to participants, as needed; meet regularly with a caseload of program participants [approx. 50-75 students] to provide guidance regarding their academic progress, college and career goals, secondary and post-secondary course selection and to provide personal wellness counseling, as needed; 
  • In consultation with the Director, provide updates on program services, student progress, program events and other areas of interest pertaining to the program to school personnel; meet as needed with headmasters, teachers, guidance, and other personnel from the program’s partnering high schools to discuss student performance, program goals and accomplishments, upcoming school or program events, and other areas of program interest;  
  • In consultation with the Director, promote and report on program events, via website updates and social media; 
  • Prepare and submit activity, evaluation, and fiscal reports to the Director for the purpose of program management and improvement.  Assist the Director with providing activity reports and regular program evaluation reports to unit leadership for the purpose of program management and improvement;  
  • Work closely with the Director to adjudicate student discipline and code of conduct matters, serving often as the first administrator contact with the student regarding conduct matters; 
  • In collaboration/consultation with the Director and College Access Coordinator, plan, implement and chaperone academic enrichment, career, service learning/community service, leadership, and cultural fieldtrips and activities, some of which are overnight and/or weekend trips; 
  • Assist the Director in the development of partnerships with families to support academic achievement and the successful pursuit of postsecondary education; 
  • Collect and enter data related to areas of responsibility, and maintain integrity of program database containing all relevant student data on an ongoing basis;
  • In the absence of the Director, assume responsibility for maintaining program operation, including staff supervision;
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


Bachelor’s degree in Education or a closely related field and a minimum of three-five (3-5) years of experience within a primary, secondary school or post-secondary institution, preferably in an urban primary or secondary school or higher education institution setting, is required.  Demonstrated experience with academic and/or college counseling skills required.  Weekend and evening work will be required for seminars, after school classes and field trips.  Living in-residence during the 6-week summer residential program is required.  

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in Education, Counseling, or a closely related field preferred;
  • Motor vehicle driver’s license preferred;
  • Demonstrated experience with multi-ethic, multi-racial population highly preferred;
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with low-income, first generation urban students, including English Learners (ELs), and their families strongly preferred’
  • Knowledge of and experience working with the Boston Public Schools or similar urban district is preferred;
  • Bilingual in Vietnamese, Spanish, Cape Verdean Creole or Haitian Creole is preferred. 

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of college counseling, financial aid and post-secondary placement;
  • Knowledge of and experience with various software applications, including office software and database management;
  • Knowledge of and experience with social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and/or LinkedIn; 
  • Demonstrated experience with event planning, promotion and implementation; 
  • Ability to communicate effectively and work cooperatively with university and/or school personnel; 
  • Ability to effectively and efficiently work in a team capacity with a broad range of staff to accomplish departmental and program goals;
  • Ability to work independently and efficiently;
  • Ability to supervise the work of work-study students;
  • Strong oral and written communication skills;
  • Strong presentation and interpersonal skills, including the capacity to work cooperatively with a wide range of individuals;
  • Strong organizational and problem solving skills;
  • Strong attention to detail; 
  • Good judgment, discretion and ability to maintain confidentiality; 
  • Strong commitment to customer service;

Application Instructions: 

Please apply online with your resume, cover letter and list of three professional references.

Review of candidates will begin following the application closing date. 

Only Internal candidates in the Professional Staff Bargaining Unit will be considered during the first 10 business days of the posting.  All other candidates will be considered after that period. 

Salary Ranges for the appropriate Pay Grade can be found at the following link: 

Salary Ranges

All official salary offers must be approved by Human Resources.

Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: Eastern Daylight Time

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The University of Massachusetts is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action, Title IX employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age over 40, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, or other protected class.