Academic Program Director, President’s High-Tech Scholars – (Los Angeles, California, United States)

The University of Southern California is one of the world’s leading private research universities. An anchor institution in Los Angeles, USC has a large number of international students and offers extensive opportunities for internships and study abroad. With a strong tradition of integrating liberal and professional education, USC fosters a vibrant culture of public service and encourages students to cross academic as well as geographic boundaries in their pursuit of knowledge. For more information, visit

About the opportunity:

The Program Director for the President’s High-Tech Scholars Program (PHTS) is a newly created role designed to lead the implementation and management of PHTS. This two-year program’s mission is to prepare a select group of students transferring to USC from community colleges for fulfilling careers in the ever-advancing fields of technology through programming and networking opportunities. We envision that a successful implementation of this program will drive economic and social mobility, cultivate a diverse and ethical generation of digital leaders, and become a model for other institutions nationwide.

The Program Director will manage all aspects of the program including student recruitment; planning and executing the Summer Launchpad (a four-week residential summer transition program); providing year-round programming and support for the Scholars; and assessing the program and monitoring outcomes. The Program Director will manage the recruitment and selection process in partnership with the Admissions Office and select local community colleges. Furthermore, this position will be responsible for planning programming throughout the academic year to foster community; collaboration; and personal, academic, and professional growth. This position is expected to maintain broad networks of interaction with offices across campus including Student Life, Admissions, the Office of Academic Integrity, and Career Services. Additionally, the Program Director will maintain a robust internship program to ensure that every Scholar engages in mentored research and/or industry internships. The Program Director will also hire and supervise program staff; manage the program’s budget; and take an active role in measuring program success by establishing an ongoing assessment plan. Lastly, this position may be tasked with supporting other key initiatives and activities in the Office of Academic Programs to promote student success as needed.

We are seeking an individual who is passionate about working with USC transfer students to shape the future of tech leadership, is capable of creating and maintaining partnerships, developing programming to help the Scholars meet the dynamic demands of the tech industry, and has strong problem solving and interpersonal skills. In addition, the successful candidate must also demonstrate, through ideas, words and actions, a strong commitment to USC’s Unifying Values of integrity, excellence, diversity, equity and inclusion, well-being, open communication and accountability.

This position will primarily be based at the University Park Campus (UPC). The position reports directly to the Associate Vice Provost for Academic Programs.

Application Procedure

  • To be considered for this opportunity, please see submit a cover letter with your resume/CV. The cover letter and the resume/CV are added in the same place during the application process.

Responsibilities And Duties

  • Program Direction:
    • Directs, plans, and develops program objectives, curriculum, and/or content.
    • Researches and identifies trends to establish program direction and develop operating and administrative policies.
    • Adapts and executes functional or departmental business plans and contributes to strategy development.
  • Staff Management:
    • Directly or indirectly manages program staff.
    • Determines organizational structure, reporting relationships and short- and long-range staffing needs based on program goals.
  • Budget Management:
    • Responsible for major budgetary and resource allocation decisions.
    • Uses formal processes and tools for analyzing and managing resources, budgets, risk, and program changes.
    • Develops and manages program budgets covering operations, endowments, and sponsored projects.
  • Recruitment, Promotion, and Fundraising:
    • Directs strategy development for recruiting, marketing, and promotions.
    • Identifies and strategizes fundraising and development opportunities, seeking funds for program operations from public and private sources.
  • Student mentoring:
    • Directly mentors students to help them develop a growth mindset, a strong sense of self-efficacy, and an identity as a professional and/or leader.
    • Helps students set and track progress toward goals and identify tools and resources to manage adversity.
    • Writes recommendation letters and provide other support to help students matriculate into advanced degree programs or job opportunities as appropriate.
  • Stakeholder Collaboration:
    • Builds and maintains relationships with various stakeholders including but not limited to students, faculty, staff, community college liaisons, and industry partners to ensure the successful integration of academic and industry perspectives.
  • Measuring Success:
    • Keeps detailed records of program activities, rationales for policy and business decisions, and other operating activities.
    • Collects, analyzes, and utilizes data to inform decision-making. All program activities and efforts should be measured for effectiveness in an on-going data collection process, as well as tracking student performance.

Required Skills/Abilities

  • Strategic planning and vision setting
  • Curriculum development and instructional design
  • Research and trend analysis
  • Policy development and implementation
  • Academic leadership and supervisory skills
  • Workforce planning and talent management
  • Performance management and coaching
  • Budgeting and financial management
  • Risk analysis and mitigation
  • Data analysis and reporting
  • Marketing and promotional strategy
  • Brand management and public relations
  • Stakeholder engagement and relationship building
  • Fundraising and grant writing
  • Student mentoring and coaching abilities
  • Emotional intelligence and empathy
  • Motivational skills
  • Academic advising and career counseling
  • Relationship management and networking
  • Interpersonal oral and written communication skills
  • Collaboration and teamwork
  • Conflict management and negotiation
  • Cultural competency and inclusivity
  • Data analytics and metrics interpretation
  • Quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • Project management and documentation
  • Critical thinking and decision-making

Experience And Qualifications

Minimum Education: Master’s degree

Minimum Experience: 5 years of experience working with college-age students

Minimum Field of Expertise: Any STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math), Higher Education Administration, or related field

Preferred Education: Doctoral degree (Ph.D. or Ed.D.)

Preferred Experience: 5 years of experience leading and developing programming to support college-age students

In addition, the successful candidate must also demonstrate, through ideas, words and actions, a strong commitment to USC’s Unifying Values of integrity, excellence, diversity, equity and inclusion, well-being, open communication and accountability.

The annual base salary range for this position is $128,566.61 – $130,000 . When extending an offer of employment, the University of Southern California considers factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the candidate’s work experience, education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, federal, state and local laws, contractual stipulations, grant funding, as well as external market and organizational considerations.

USC is an equal-opportunity educator and employer, proudly pluralistic and firmly committed to providing equal opportunity for outstanding persons of every race, gender, creed and background. The university particularly encourages members of underrepresented groups, veterans and individuals with disabilities to apply. USC will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities unless doing so would result in an undue hardship. Further information is available by contacting


Minimum Education: Master’s degree

Addtional Education Requirements Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education
Minimum Experience: 7 years
Addtional Experience Requirements Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum work experience
Minimum Skills: Experience developing programs, partnerships, and funding sources. Proven experience in management/leadership roles, overseeing staff and building and maintaining relationships with domestic and international stakeholders. Experience resolving inquiries and complaints, and presenting information to varied audiences and maintain confidentiality. Proven analytical skills, exhibiting fluency in specialized areas. Outstanding interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills, with exemplary attention to detail. Experience in higher education and/or customer service. Proven ability to plan, implement, coordinate and organize program logistics. Demonstrated database/data entry experience. Proven project management and problem solving skills, able to handle multiple timelines, changing priorities, and fluctuating workloads.
Preferred Education: Master’s degree

Preferred Experience: 10 years in an academic leadership role in higher education
Preferred Skills: Proven track record of grant writing. Experience developing project ideas and in various academic fields with industry leaders, policy makers and analysts.

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