College Success Coach

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

Primary functions and purpose of this position including overall objectives of the position.

The College Success Coach is a primary liaison between the student, Onward We Learn, and the college/university, and provides information about institutional programs and requirements to the students they serve. The Coach offers intensive support to incoming college students with all aspects of college enrollment, financial aid, and orientation processes. Through one-on-one advising, mentoring, small group instruction, and program development, the Coach works with a caseload of students to help them identify and achieve their educational goals, and promotes and encourages student success, retention, and graduation.

This position provides on-campus services to Onward We Learn students attending the University of Rhode Island (Kingston, RI) and also supports a mobile caseload of Onward We Learn students enrolled in other colleges and universities. 


Major Responsibilities

Major responsibilities, essential functions, and/or activities required to perform the position including the portion of time spent needed to perform each responsibility and how the work of the position should be accomplished.

1. Major Responsibility: 

    Manage an assigned caseload of students, advising and connecting them with support services as needed. 

Supporting Actions: 

  • Coach students through the challenges of balancing academic life with external commitments that may interfere with their ability to be successful in college.
  •  Provide an accessible and welcoming presence to students and families via in-person, phone, video conferencing, text, and e-mail on a regular and consistent basis.
  •  Accurately track and document all student interactions, information, and progression in Information Systems.
  •  Connect students with college emergency funding sources and assist eligible students with accessing Onward emergency funds.
  •  Maintain a current list of all college resources available to support students through their first year and beyond.
  •  Plan, implement and evaluate skills-based programming on topics related to college access, career exploration, social/personal development, and academic success.

2. Major Responsibility:

    Provide ongoing support with college enrollment, retention, and financial aid processes.

Supporting Actions: 

  •  Provide support to students with course registration, degree planning, and understanding general education requirements, and academic policies and procedures.
  • Assist students with resolving any holds on their accounts, including, but not limited to, student accounts and financial aid.
  • Provide general information about financial aid and scholarship requirements and processes, as well as other options for financing education.
  • In collaboration with campus offices and programs, coordinate and implement college retention and successful outreach efforts to increase Onward student retention, persistence, and graduation.
  • Promote academic success by continually monitoring student progress and making referrals for academic support services as needed.

3.  Major Responsibility:

     Design and offer programming and transition support for incoming students.

Supporting Actions: 

  • Work with graduating Onward We Learn high school students to establish rapport and trust and build the foundation for a good working relationship when students enter college. 
  • Collaborate with the high school team to provide educational workshops on college transition, enrollment, and success.
  • Provide academic enrichment sessions for secondary students i.e., workshops on Common App, FAFSA, career exploration, and financial literacy.
  • Coordinate and/or participate in college visits for Onward high school students and potential college transfer students.
  • Provide one-on-one support for prospective transfer students including credit articulation, exploration of academic and career                                 options, placement testing, and alternative and flexible credit options.   


Position Qualification and Competencies

Essential KSOC’s (knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics)

  • Bilingual English/Spanish speaker preferred.
  • Knowledge of K-12, higher education systems, and community resources.
  • 2 - 3 year’s experience in an education setting, higher education setting preferred. 
  • Demonstrate ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • capacity to multi-task and a high energy level. 
  • Ability to make decisions proactively and quickly.
  • Knowledge of the college admissions process and financial aid systems. 
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills. 
  • strong interpersonal skills, especially the ability to connect with high school and college students. 
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and the ability to learn and effectively use the latest software and technology systems employed by Onward We Learn.

Education and Experience Requirements:

  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in education, counseling, human services or a related field. 
  • Master’s degree preferred.
  • Experience working with first generation students, providing advising, support and mentorship

Other Requirements

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

  • Commitment to the vision, mission, and values of Onward We Learn
  • A willingness to contribute productively to the success of your team and the organization.
  • An understanding of and commitment to Onward’s core competencies of accountability, collaboration, communication, institutional values, and service.
  • Active participation in efforts geared toward directing and improving the overall operations of Onward We Learn such as strategic planning, organizational development, and performance improvement.
  • Commitment to acting as an      advocate and ambassador for Onward We Learn.
  • Knowledge of the barriers and obstacles that low-income families and first-generation students encounter in the journey to higher education is preferred.
  • Sense of ownership and pride in personal performance.
  • Adherence to all existing company policies and procedures.
  • Perform additional duties as needed.

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 Range: $40,040 - $60,299