Open Position - Program Associate, Office of Diversity, Equity and Student Success

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), a national higher education organization committed to improving the quality of undergraduate education, seeks a bright, self-motivated, detail-oriented, and creative individual for the position of Program Associate in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Student Success (DESS).

With nearly 1400 college and university members, AAC&U works to improve the quality of undergraduate education with special attention to student learning, curriculum design, innovative pedagogies, and inclusive institutional policies. The DESS office is dedicated to liberal education on equitable terms for all students and takes a leading role at AAC&U in activities that foster innovation and success, especially for groups historically underserved by U.S. higher education. The Program Associate significantly contributes to other office and AAC&U diversity, equity, and student success initiatives as they arise. The Program Associate helps to research, develop, coordinate, and implement project programming and provides administrative support and higher-level, programmatic budget management.  The program associate also contributes as need and workload permit to other work of the DESS office and to AAC&U in ways appropriate to expertise, interest, and office priorities.


These tasks include, but are not limited to:

  1. Assisting with DESS and other AAC&U projects:
    • Assisting in the conceptualization and coordination of the design, development, and implementation of sponsored projects
    • Assisting in identifying, organizing, and researching project event planning, event topics, conference speakers, and the structure of programs 
    • Assisting in planning and drafting communications with project participants, senior fellows, and other stakeholders through email, correspondence, conference calls, and webinars
    • Working efficiently on several projects simultaneously, both independently and within a team, including teams from multiple AAC&U offices
    • Managing and monitoring project budgets; tracking ongoing project budget status and providing monthly updates
    • Developing and updating contracts and overseeing payment of vendors and consultants
    • Overseeing logistical coordination of project-related activities and events, including hotel accommodations, travel arrangements, catering, etc., for sponsored project meetings and conferences—in coordination with a DESS program assistant.
  2. Assisting in the coordination, writing, and editing, and production of materials for DESS programs and projects, including grant proposals, reports, monographs, web materials, brochures, and letters; collaborating as needed with OCPPE on cover designs, mass mailings, press releases, and other communications
  3. Conducting primary and secondary research and analysis for select programs and projects; compiling, presenting, publishing, and otherwise disseminating findings as appropriate under the supervision of the senior leaders of the office
  4. Coordinating or managing select projects or project components, including creating and monitoring project work plans and milestones, organizing or coordinating staff and project meetings, coordinating communications and collaborations with project partners, contributing to grant reporting, etc.
  5. Contributing to the efficient functioning of DESS through active participation in team meetings, information sharing, reporting, and attendance at professional conferences and functions related to the work of the office
  6. Providing administrative support and research assistance to the senior staff of the office
  7. Managing, producing, and updating content of the LEAP Connections Resource Hub,, and other web-based platforms used by the office; approving and moderating LEAP Connections Resource Hub users and user content
  8. Managing ongoing development of LEAP Connections Resource Hub
  9. Managing and coordinating assignments for interns and senior fellows in the DESS office, when applicable
  10. Assisting in other AAC&U program and publication areas as needed


  • Familiarity and interest in the scholarship of diversity, equity, and student success with particular emphasis on public higher education at two- and four-year institutions
  • Experience in the higher education environment, and involvement and/knowledge of projects related to students, faculty, and staff 
  • Experience working with diverse populations
  • Familiarity with the structure of higher education
  • Excellent written, oral, and visual communication skills
  • Capacity to work independently and as part of a team
  • Excellent project management and organizational skills; attentiveness to detail with understanding of the big picture and complex priorities
  • Strong ability to develop work plans, set deadlines, work with minimal supervision, manage multiple projects and duties simultaneously; to set priorities among assignments and produce high-quality results
  • Experience maintaining and monitoring budgets
  • Familiarity with internet and digital tools and programs
  • Familiarity with social networking
  • Ability to be flexible in regard to working style and work assignments
  • Availability to travel occasionally
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced advocacy organization
  • Familiarity with Drupal and basic HTML preferred

At least 3 to 5 years of work experience required (preferably in a higher education or nonprofit environment). A bachelor’s degree is also required, and a master’s degree is preferred.

Salary mid to high 40’s plus exceptional benefits. Please submit a résumé and a cover letter describing relevant work and educational experience to AAC&U, Box DESS, 1818 R Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009, or to Review of applications will begin December 2, 2016.

AAC&U believes that a broadly diverse staff is critical to achieving excellence as a national higher education association. We seek to recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. We are fully committed to equal employment opportunity and compliance with the full range of fair employment practices and non-discrimination laws.