The mission of Onward We Learn is to prepare and inspire young people in Rhode Island to become the first in their families to attend and complete college. From the time they join through their early years of college, participants experience the steady, nurturing presence of caring adults and participate in programs that focus on academic enrichment, personal development,
career exploration, and college preparation.
Onward We Learn encourages people from underrepresented backgrounds to apply, particularly Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC); those who are the first in their family to attend college; LGBTQIA+ community.
The primary functions and purpose of this position include the overall objectives of the position.
Onward We Learn seeks a dynamic and dedicated Project Manager to lead our partnership with Providence Public School District (PPSD) high schools and spearhead implementing the "Better FAFSA" process across the district. The primary objective of this role is to ensure that all PPSD high school seniors and their families, along with high school staff, are well-informed and trained on the new FAFSA process. This project aims to increase financial aid completion rates for high school seniors within PPSD, aligning with our commitment to achieving an 80% FAFSA completion rate district-wide by the end of the 2023-2024 school year. This is a temporary position with an anticipated end date of June 30, 2024.
- Manage the project internally within the organization, fostering collaboration with PPSD, RIDE, and individual schools.
- Serve as the primary point of contact between Onward We Learn and PPSD, ensuring effective collaboration and communication through regular partnership meetings and shared resources.
- Collaborate and communicate with Onward We Learn staff, including members of the executive, post-secondary, and high school teams.
- Prepare regular reports analyzing FAFSA completion statistics and related data for dissemination to school teams and the district, following FERPA.
- Supervise part-time staff involved in the project, ensuring seamless coordination and communication.
Logistics and Project Management
- Oversee the execution of a detailed FAFSA Implementation Plan, including strategies, tiered support approaches, and collaboration with PPSD's central office (to include administration, school counseling team, family engagement, and communications) and individual high schools.
- Establish a collaborative process for sharing advising materials and presentations with PPSD.
- Working with PPSD utilizes printed resources, social media, workshops, meetings, and other communication methods to ensure high school staff, students, and families are well-informed.
- Collaborate with PPSD on a needs assessment to customize FAFSA training and community-facing programs.
- Collaborate with building-level staff and external vendors to secure access to rooms, technology, and other facilities essential for hosting events, ensuring seamless execution of FAFSA workshops and events.
- Develop and implement multifaceted awareness campaigns, collaborating with the PPSD Communication Office and School Counseling team.
Education and Experience Requirements
- Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field; master’s degree preferred.
- Experience leading and managing complex projects from inception to completion.
- 2 years experience in partnership management, preferably in education or community outreach.
- Must have reliable transportation.
- Strong communication and interpersonal skills.
- Ability to collaborate effectively with diverse stakeholders.
- Analytical mindset with a focus on data-driven decision-making.
- Attention to detail and commitment to maintaining accurate and confidential records.
- Knowledge and experience with financial aid processes, especially the FAFSA, is a plus.
- This position is eligible for a hybrid schedule of 20-30 hours per week, requiring some weekend and evening in-person hours.
- Knowledge of the barriers and obstacles that low-income families and first-generation students encounter in the journey to higher education is preferred.