College and Career Success Coach
Job Type

Organizational 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

Position Purpose

Onward We Learn recognizes that the pandemic and/or other life factors have brought significant challenges to students and their families, and some students have opted for some version of a “gap” in their studies with this interruption occurring in a variety of points – between high school and what would have been the first year of college, between the first and second year of college, etc. The College and Career Success Coach works directly with students who have taken some type of pause from their postsecondary studies to help them regain momentum working toward their postsecondary and/or career goals. The College and Career Success Coach also supports students with enrolling and completing workforce training and/or trade programs.

The College and Career Success Coach offers intensive support to students as they prepare to consider, enter, or resume postsecondary education, training, or competitive employment. This individual provides advisory and enrollment support and delivers programming tailored to meet the needs of this group and encourages their success and social mobility. The Coach acts as a liaison between the students, Onward We Learn colleges/universities, and employers to provide information about relevant opportunities, programs, and requirements. In addition, the College and Career Success Coach provides career-focused information to other departments and programs within the organization including career exploration, resume and cover letter development, and interview skills.

Program Delivery and Compliance

  • Deliver customized programming focused on re-engagement with postsecondary education and career exploration, addressing the unique needs of gap year students.
  • Provide one-on-one and group mentorship sessions focusing on personal development, academic guidance, credit articulation, career exploration, placement testing, and exploration of alternative and flexible credit options.
  • Support students in navigating re-enrollment processes, financial aid, scholarships, and accessing emergency funding to ensure a smooth transition back into education or employment.
  • Consistently adhere to Onward programmatic tenets, ensuring all activities and interactions align with the organization’s mission and educational philosophy.
  • Comply with all relevant school policies and legal requirements, such as mandatory reporting, to ensure the safety and well-being of students.

Student Transition Support

  • Identify and conduct targeted outreach to students whose postsecondary education has been interrupted.
  • Collaborate with postsecondary team members to design and deliver workshops and programming that facilitate the re-entry process into college or the workforce.
  • Provide support for prospective transfer students including credit articulation, exploration of academic and career options, placement testing, and alternative and flexible credit options.
  • Coordinate with colleges, universities, and employers to provide information about relevant opportunities, programs, and requirements tailored to gap year students.

Data Analysis and Reporting

  • Utilize Onward’s CRM's caseload management modules to maintain accurate and current records of all student interactions including program participation, academic progress, financial aid, and personal development milestones.
  • Leverage CRM reports regularly analyze student data to identify trends in student engagement and assess the effectiveness of academic support strategies.
  • Collaborate closely with the Director of Postsecondary Success to identify and implement interventions as necessary, ensuring sustained high levels of participation and students are meeting all assigned milestones.
  • Conduct at least one check-in per semester with each gap year student on the caseload, utilizing the CRM for streamlined communication, to assess progress, address concerns, and provide support.

Relationship Building and Management

  • Serve as a key point of contact for gap year students and their families, offering consistent support and guidance through various communication methods.
  • Maintain an updated list of resources and contacts that support student success in re-engaging with their academic and career paths.

Team Collaboration and Professional Development

  • Participate in post-secondary department and other Program meetings to understand organization goals and how the PS Coach role contributes to those objectives.
  • Work collaboratively with the postsecondary department and other teams to ensure a unified approach to student development and program delivery.
  • Engage in professional development opportunities to stay informed about trends in gap year student support, postsecondary education, and career services.
  • Bachelor’s degree in education, human services, or a related field
  • 2-3 years’ experience in secondary education, higher education, or career services
  • Prior experience advising, supporting, and mentoring first-generation college students
  • Demonstrated knowledge of college admission process and financial aid systems
  • Strong organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work independently and with a team
  • Ability to build effective relationships with stakeholders such as high school and college students and higher education staff
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and adaptability to new technology systems
  • Demonstrated commitment to Onward’s mission and vision


  • Master’s Degree in education, counseling, human services, or a related field
  • Prior experience in career services setting with a focus on career counseling
  • Fluency in languages spoken by Onward’s students and families (Spanish, Portuguese, Cape Verde, Hmong, Cambodian)
Salary Description
$45,000 to $60,000