Swarthmore College is a highly selective liberal arts college located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, whose mission combines academic rigor with social responsibility. Swarthmore has a strong institutional commitment to inclusive excellence and nondiscrimination in its educational program and employment practices and encourages candidates who will further advance the goal of fostering a diverse and inclusive community. As one of the nation’s finest institutions of higher learning, Swarthmore College is global in outlook and draws students from around the nation and world. The 425‐acre campus is a designated arboretum, complete with gardens, rolling lawns, a creek, wooded hills, and hiking trails in the Crum Woods. Swarthmore College was recently ranked number 3 in the 2021 US News Best National Liberal Arts Colleges rankings - https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/swarthmore-college-3370.
The Assistant Vice President/Executive Director of Career Services (Executive Director) provides leadership, executive oversight, and strategic direction to Swarthmore’s comprehensive career education, internship, employment, and post-graduate opportunity program. Reporting to the vice president for student affairs, the Executive Director is a member of the Student Affairs Division’s senior leadership group and plays a significant role in shaping the strategic plan and direction of the College’s student affairs program. The Executive Director manages the Career Services staff and oversees all aspects of the department’s operations and programs.
The newly elevated position of Executive Director represents a transformation and new direction of the career services, including expanding responsibilities and opportunity to impact the college more broadly. Under this new construct, the Executive Director position will demonstrate an innovative and strategic approach to career services, including a proven record of successful partnership and collaboration with a wide range of both campus and external constituencies, commitment to strategic planning and management, experience fundraising, and an understanding of the importance of branding and storytelling in framing and leading a successful program.
The Executive Director will lead the development and implementation of a strategic plan for career services that builds on existing strengths and incorporates ideas and recommendations from the Report of the 2019 Career Services Working Group. As such, the Executive Director must demonstrate knowledge of and commitment to the values and principles that guide the core ideas at the foundation of Swarthmore’s approach to career education:
• Career education should be fully integrated into the Swarthmore student experience and build on the academic, co-curricular, and social experiences encompassed in a Swarthmore undergraduate education.
• Career Services should ensure equal access for all students to career related programs, activities, and opportunities regardless of personal background, experience, or socioeconomic status.
• Career Services’ identity and brand should clearly convey the breadth of its mission and purpose and signal its dynamic integration with the core mission of the College.
• Career Services should feature high profile internship, employment, and employer relations programs which provide numerous opportunities for students during their time at the college and beyond.
Operations & Management
• Provide strategic leadership and oversight to the Career Services Office and program.
• Hiring, supervision, and management of Career Services staff.
• Provide executive oversight to all aspects of the Career Services Office’s operations and programs including the staffing plan and annual budget planning and management.
• Work with the vice president for student affairs to develop short- and long-term plans to ensure Career Services physical location and spaces are best situated to support the goals and objectives of the program.
• Oversee effective assessment of Career Services programs and outcomes including partnering with Institutional Research on the annual senior exit survey and regular surveys of alumni.
Strategy & Communication
• Serve as primary ambassador for Career Services to generate buy-in and cultivate strong relationships with internal (e.g. students, faculty, staff, etc.) and external constituencies (employers, alumni, parents, etc.).
• Grow the employer relations program to expand the number of internship and employment opportunities for students, including the diversity of industries and geographic locations, and ensure they are prepared to succeed in the search and hiring process.
• Collaborate with key campus partners (e.g. faculty, the Provost, Lang Center, the Dean’s Office, etc.) to establish, implement, and scale a career education program that is fully integrated into the student academic and co-curricular experience at the College.
• Develop and implement a comprehensive office identity and marketing plan for Career Services.
• In collaboration with the vice president for student affairs and vice president for advancement, develop a fundraising plan and play a direct and active role in executing it (e.g. direct contact with donors, and other potential external funding sources).
• Develop and implement a comprehensive communications plan and strategy for Career Services (including website, internal and external communications, social media, etc.).
• Continue to expand and enhance efforts to ensure equal access for all students to career related programs, activities, and opportunities regardless of personal background, experience, or socioeconomic status.
• Expand and highlight global focus and international reach of Career Services at the College.
Campus Partnerships & External Engagement
• Serve as a member of the senior leadership group for the Student Affairs Division and contribute to shaping the strategic direction for the student affairs program at the College.
• Work closely with Advancement (including Alumni and Parent Programs) to coordinate career services offerings to alumni and engage alumni and parents/families in the career education and employer relations programs.
• Partner with campus constituencies to raise the profile and impact of Career Services.
• Work closely with Inclusive Excellence and Community Development (and related departments and programs) to ensure Career Service is truly inclusive in its approach and programs.
• Actively participate in regional and national professional organizations related to college and university career work.
• Serve on institutional working groups and standing and ad hoc committees/task forces as assigned by the vice president for student affairs.
• Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree or higher strongly preferred.
• 7-10 years management experience in a leadership role. Experience leading a career services function in higher education strongly preferred.
• Proven knowledge of the role of career services in the college setting including advising, employer relations, and relevant software and technology applications.
• Ability to promote the College to employers/internship providers and actively cultivate career/internship opportunities for Swarthmore students and alumni.
• Demonstrated experience in fundraising, marketing/public relations, and communications.
• Tangible experience as an innovative leader.
• Ability to travel and work nights and weekends as needed.
Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, current resume, and three references saved as one document, either Word or a PDF. The file name should start with your first name and then last name, such as, “Susan Smith Swarthmore Application.” This should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with the email subject of “Application for Swarthmore AVP of Career Services.”
To be considered, interested applicants should submit the requested materials no later than Friday, October 29 by 11:59pm EST.
Swarthmore College actively seeks and welcomes applications from candidates with exceptional qualifications, particularly those with demonstrable commitments to a more inclusive society and world. Swarthmore College is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.