Director of Recruitment & Admissions

Organization Overview 

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. 



Purpose of the Position

The Director of Recruitment and Admissions develops, supervises, and evaluates Onward we Learn’s annual recruitment of approximately 500 middle-school students (grades 6-8). The Director of Recruitment and Admissions works collaboratively with program and communications staff to design and execute effective recruitment strategies and identifies and implements process improvements that increase the quality and efficiency of Onward’s recruitment and admissions efforts. The Director of Recruitment and Admissions interacts regularly with school personnel, administrators, families, and students to educate them about the features and benefits of Onward We Learn and encourage enrollment of eligible students. 

Application Instructions: Please include a cover letter stating how your unique background and/or experiences connect to this organization's mission, vision, and values. We are looking for a thoughtful, personalized cover letter that demonstrates your qualifications, work style, and interest in this specific role. 

Major Responsibilities 

Recruitment Strategy and Outreach

  • Develop and implement effective recruitment strategies that result in the enrollment of eligible students and their families from Onward We Learn’s participating school districts. 
  • Work with the Director of Marketing and Communications to develop a recruitment campaign including admissions-focused messaging and materials for partner schools, external stakeholders, students, and families. 
  • Engage with and present to school personnel and prospective families to promote Onward We Learn and its offerings, generate enthusiasm about the program, and encourage enrollment. 
  • Prepare compelling, informative written communications to families and/or Advisors with important updates and deadlines related to admissions. 
  • Network and build relationships with existing families, staff, and external stakeholders to help establish a strong pipeline of prospective students and families. 

Managing Admissions Processes 

  • Coordinate the participation of staff and resources to ensure successful implementation and monitoring of Onward We Learn yearly recruitment and admissions cycle. 
  • Supervise and mentor admissions staff, via the creation of a staffing resource plan that addresses the onboarding, training, and ongoing staff supervision of assigned staff members. 
  • Create and implement training for Middle School Advisors and other relevant staff on admissions protocols and processes and update this information from year to year. 
  • In partnership with key staff, provide technical assistance and overall manager management of Onward We Learn Admissions Portal with prospective students and families to closely link technology initiatives with specific recruitment strategies. 
  • Design, implement, and evaluate admissions-focused events including informational and application support sessions both in person and virtual, recruitment fairs, exhibitions, school, and community events. 
  • Manage and monitor the admission program budget to ensure resources are available to meet our admissions goals. 

Quality Improvement and Data Analysis 

  • Maintain and analyze admissions-related data and provide regular reports on the status of admissions efforts to key personnel. 
  • Collect, evaluate, and share data concerning the performance of individual recruitment initiatives and the overall student recruitment strategy. 
  • Oversee the input and monitoring of student data and documentation to ensure the implementation of a comprehensive quality improvement process. 
  • In concert with the Chief Program Officer, the Director of Middle School Success, and other staff, conduct an annual review of the admissions process and identify necessary updates to the admissions plan for the next cycle. 

Position Qualification and Competencies 

Essential KSOCs (knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics)

  • Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to communicate effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds. 
  • Well-developed presentation skills and the ability to communicate important information clearly and compellingly. 
  • Excellent time management skills and the ability to keep track of multiple efforts at once. 
  • The ability to work independently, seeking direction as needed. 
  • Familiarity with data systems and experience overseeing data management, quality assurance, and reporting. 
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, and Teams) and able to learn and effectively use the latest software and technology systems employed by Onward We Learn.  

Education and Experience Requirements: 

  • Bachelor’s degree required. 
  • A minimum of five years of relevant professional work experience, with at least two years directly managing admissions and recruitment efforts. 
  • Experience effectively supervising and mentoring staff, and the ability to provide clear direction about what needs to be accomplished. 
  • A recorded history of proven success in recruiting and enrolling program participants in alignment with, or more than, established goals. 
  • Strong preference for candidates with bilingual English/Spanish fluency. 

Other Requirements

Schedule: Must be willing to maintain a flexible schedule, including some weekend and evening hours. 

Each employee of Onward We Learn is expected to demonstrate the following in the regular performance of their job duties: 

  • Commitment to Onward We Learn's vision, mission, and values. 
  • A willingness to contribute productively to the success of your team and the organization. 
  • Knowledge of the barriers and obstacles that under-resource communities and first-generation students encounter in the journey to higher education is preferred. 

Total Rewards and Benefits 

 Onward We Learn offers a comprehensive benefits package that helps our employees live their best lives and grow personally and professionally. Our benefits package includes medical, dental, vision, disability, life insurance, flex spending accounts, generous paid time off, an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), and a 403(b)retirement plan with organizational match.  

Salary: $70,000 - $85,000