The Education Trust seeks an Assistant Director of Higher Education Research and Data Analytics to support the organization’s mission of promoting high academic achievement for all students at all levels—pre-kindergarten through college—and closing gaps between low-income and students of color and their more advantaged peers. We work alongside parents, educators, policymakers, and community and business leaders across the country in transforming schools and colleges into institutions that serve all students well. Lessons learned in these efforts together with unflinching data analyses shape our state and national policy agendas at both the federal and state levels.
Reporting to the Director of Research and Data Analytics, the Assistant Director will play a lead role in the data analysis and reporting work of the Higher Education team. They will work closely with the Director to provide direction to the organization’s higher education work; plan and produce research that highlights trends and current inequities in higher education that affect students of color and low-income students; and will support the data needs of teams across the organization. Core responsibilities include data management and analysis, management of junior level staff and interns, leading a line of research, and serving as an organization spokesperson.
The Education Trust is a national nonprofit that works to close opportunity gaps that disproportionately affect students of color and students from low-income families. Through our research and advocacy, Ed Trust supports efforts that expand excellence and equity in education from preschool through college; increase college access and completion, particularly for historically underserved students; engage diverse communities dedicated to education equity; and increase political and public will to act on equity issues.
Major responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Support the Director with the creation and execution of an equity-focused research agenda that advances the higher education team’s policy priorities and the organization’s overall mission;
- Produce data analyses, briefs, and reports on higher education matters related to access, accountability, affordability, and success for students of color and low-income students;
- Identify, develop, and lead, in consultation with the Director, a new body of research that address an equity issue in higher education and advances the higher education team’s agenda and larger organizational mission;
- Manage, support, and develop junior-level staff, working closely with them to hone their skills and ability to produce high-quality research and analyses related to the higher education team’s priorities;
- Identify and mine higher education databases to glean lessons and to articulate patterns in access and success rates, and to draw attention and deepen understanding of current problems, trends, and hopeful developments. Continue to advocate for better data collection and smarter use of data in policy and practice design;
- Work closely with the Director to develop and refine web-based tools that can provide useful information to students, parents, policymakers, and institutional leaders on the state of college access, affordability, and success;
- Serve as an organizational spokesperson and equity champion, identifying and securing opportunities to share our work with peer organizations, policymakers, institutional leaders, college administrators, faculty, and other researchers at conferences and convenings, locally and throughout the country. The Assistant Director will interact with press/media and have an active presence on social media;
- Produce written content for the Equity Line and Equity Lens blogs that promote our research, policy objectives, and mission;
- In coordination with other Higher Education team members, support fundraising efforts by helping generate fundable research ideas, drafting grant proposals, and meeting with fundraisers;
- In consultation with the Director, provide the Higher Education Policy, Legislative Affairs, Communications, and Partnerships and Engagement teams with data support;
- Develop relationships and networks with other researchers, policy experts, and advocates with related interests tied to our mission; and
- Work towards improving alignment and articulation between P-12 and higher education. Participate in the design of policy and practice that facilitate transitions between the two, including advocating for inter-operability of data systems for seamless reporting of transition outcomes between P-12 and higher education.
We are looking for a combination of the following qualifications and experience:
- A graduate degree in higher education or related field with a minimum of five to seven years of experience in higher education research and policy work;
- Successful project management experience;
- Deep understanding of undergraduate education issues;
- Understanding of federal and state policy contexts that affect higher education, and thoughts about how to improve these policies;
- A deep knowledge of education-focused datasets and other publicly available data sources (i.e., census data);
- Excellent analytic and communication skills (both oral and written, and in a variety of formats and contexts); and
- Demonstrated ability to interpret data and supervise quantitative analyses; and to
- mentor direct reports successfully.
- Passion for improving the educational experiences and outcomes for low-income students and students of color, and an unwavering belief that these students could be much more successful if institutions better served them;
- Self-starter mentality and the ability to work both independently and in highly collaborative environments;
- A demonstrated commitment to excellence;
- Healthy respect for colleagues and a deep appreciation for diversity and differences in the workplace;
- Goal-oriented, project-oriented, and results-oriented;
- Desire to be part of an intellectually rich and action-oriented work environment;
- Strong sense of honor and integrity;
- A warm, personal style with a good sense of humor; and
- Mature interpersonal and communication skills.
Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. The Education Trust offers a comprehensive benefits package.