• Title

  • Chief Program Officer (CPO)

    Posted: 04/10/2022

    Job Type

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

    As a member of the executive team, the Chief Program Officer (CPO) collaborates with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to define and implement the strategic mission and vision of the College Crusade. The CPO is responsible for the oversight and coordination of all student and family-facing programs of the organization, including guidance, supervision, and professional development to all program staff. The CPO has a perspective unique to the organization, with visibility into each department, including its staffing resources, program delivery, school-based partnerships, and budget. As a result, the CPO is responsible for ensuring coordination across departments for a seamless, integrated experience for students and their families.  


    The CPO oversees a comprehensive array of programs and services designed to improve college access and success for Rhode Island students. The CPO is responsible for directing the allocation of resources to maximize the impact of the Crusade’s programming and working closely with internal and external researchers to maximize program impact and effectiveness. The CPO also assists with fund development and helps to promote organizational visibility through relationships at the local and national level.



    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.

    Major Responsibilities

    Oversee the planning, execution and delivery of all programming

    • Establish and oversee the process for determining which programs are offered, identifying opportunities to streamline and improve programming.
    • Design and oversee processes and controls that support effective program monitoring and evaluation, ensuring that program goals and objectives are consistently met.
    • Coordinate and analyze data to inform programmatic and operational decision making.  
    • Promote and facilitate integration among program areas including middle school, high school and postsecondary success; family engagement; and research and evaluation. 
    • Collaborate with an independent evaluator and other researchers that the Crusade engages to measure impact. 
    • Monitor emerging trends, challenges and opportunities in the college access and success field and develop innovative programs that respond to first-generation students’ evolving needs.

    Supervise and support the development of full-time program staff 

    • Directly supervise seven program staff, including the Middle School, High School Postsecondary and Family Engagement Directors; Project Specialists; and our Curriculum & Instructional Specialist. 
    • Hold regular check-in meetings with all direct reports plus ad hoc meetings to address issues as they arise. 
    • Determine, implement and oversee staffing plans that support achievement of program goals and objectives, and refine as necessary. 
    • Guide the recruitment and participate in hiring decisions for new program staff.  
    • Ensure the smooth transitioning of new and existing program staff to support continuity of program operations.
    • Promote and support a high-performing culture in the program department; 
    • Cultivate a positive work environment within and amongst all teams. Identify and coordinate the delivery of relevant professional development opportunities for program staff.

    Support the strategic direction, management and overall health of the organization 

    • Together with the Chief Executive Officer and leadership team, contribute to the overall development, strategic direction, program delivery, and management of the organization. 
    • Attend and actively participate in Leadership Team meetings.
    • Facilitate cross-departmental coordination and communication in the interest of organizational integration.
    • Develop departmental budgets and maintain a high level of fiscal responsibility.  
    • Collaborate with the Director of Development on the preparation of grant applications and budgets.

     Manage relationships with external partners and stakeholders 

    • Meet and coordinate with school district personnel regarding the relationship between the Crusade and districts.
    • Develop and update Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) between the Crusade and school districts as needed.
    • Represent the College Crusade on relevant committees and task forces, as well as at speaking engagements, conference panels, and trainings.  
    • Participate in reporting program successes and milestones to funders, key stakeholders, and the public.  

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

    • A commitment to the College Crusade’s mission and an ability to communicate this mission to others.
    • Demonstrated experience building and managing a high-performing team responsible for delivering multiple programs. 
    • The ability to provide meaningful professional development and mentorship to staff. 
    • Other required skills:
    • comprehensive working knowledge of program planning, budgeting, administration, and grant development; 
    • expertise in K-12 education, higher education, and/or youth development; 
    • capacity to analyze and present complex data for planning and reporting purposes; 
    • excellent written and oral communication skills; and 
    • the ability to represent the organization externally.
    • Strong relationship builder and facilitator who can find common ground, build consensus, and strengthen collaboration among diverse stakeholders both within and external to the organization.

    Education and Experience Requirements:

    • A minimum of ten years of leadership experience overseeing programs serving low-income youth or communities in a nonprofit, government, or philanthropy environment
    • Responsible for Departmental outcomes, budgets and managing staff.
    • Bachelor’s degree required; master’s degree in related field strongly preferred. 

    Each employee of the College Crusade is expected to demonstrate the following in the regular performance of his or her job duties:

    • Commitment to the vision, mission, and values of the College Crusade.
    • A positive attitude and willingness to contribute productively to the success of your team and the organization as a whole.
    • An understanding of and commitment to the Crusade’s core competencies of accountability, collaboration, communication, institutional values and service.
    • Active participation in efforts geared toward directing and improving the overall operations of the Crusade, such as strategic planning, organizational development and performance improvement.
    • Commitment to acting as an advocate and ambassador for the College Crusade.
    • 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.


     Salary Range: $110,000 to $130,000 

    Apply Here


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