Program Specialist

at After School Matters in Chicago, Illinois, United States

Job Description

Organizational Summary:

After School Matters is a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that offers after-school and summer programs for thousands of Chicago high school teens to explore and develop their talents while gaining critical skills that will set them up for success in college and beyond.

Since 1991, more than 350,000 teens have participated in our project-based paid apprenticeships led by professionals in the fields of arts, communications and leadership, sports, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

Programs take place at community locations throughout the city, including three ASM buildings: downtown at Gallery 37 Center for the Arts, the Michael and Karyn Lutz Center in Belmont Cragin, and the Pullman community at Gately Park.

Currently, After School Matters’ annual operating budget is approximately $35M and employs approximately 500 staff across the organization.

For more information, visit

Summary of Position:

The Program Specialist’s primary responsibility is to facilitate and monitor the day to day logistics of After School Matters programs within an assigned region. The Program Specialist will conduct site visits, observations and provide recommendations regarding program quality, safety, compliance, instruction, program attendance, enrollment and retention and other critical issues. Acting as the liaison between After School Matters and the program providers and community partners, the Program Specialist will communicate requirements, policy changes and other relevant information to ensure successful implementation of the program, payment to teens and instructors. Based upon observations, site visits and other relevant data, the Program Specialist will provide coaching to ensure improvement in areas identified.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

+ Act as a day-to-day contact person with instructors and school staff for programs

+ Develop and maintain relationships with program partners and instructors

+ In partnership with the regional team, recruit and select Instructors and program providers

+ Conduct regular program site visits of each program in their portfolio and assigned Youth Program Quality Assessments

+ Provide coaching, and where, appropriate request professional development opportunities for instructors and liaisons

+ Act as a trouble shooter in the areas of program implementation, logistics, and data collection

+ Enter data into Cityspan

+ Plan, schedule and organize all assigned school and community meetings, etc.

+ Assist in developing, and implementing, effective teen recruitment and retention strategies for regional programs

+ Write monthly programmatic reports, impact statements and other documents to share concerns, recommended solutions and program highlights

+ Identify program needs, considering budgetary constraints and make recommendations and submit to Program Manager for approval

+ Secure the appropriate tools and supplies for each program and work with the warehouse department to ensure delivery

+ Act as a liaison between Program Operations and program providers

+ Trouble shoot teen application and other systems errors

+ Ensure that all required data, i.e., attendance, enrollment, program verifications, surveys, etc. are entered into the database system

+ Provide direction to the liaison and ensure compliance with program requirements

+ Work with the Program Quality team, Program Operations and Contracting, to ensure that all assigned programs are in compliance with After School Matters policies and procedures

+ Attend program closings and demonstrations of learning

+ Working with the regional teams, identify public media opportunities and share with the Regional Director and the Communications department

+ Working with the Program Manager, approve instructor and liaison timesheets and trouble shoot systems errors with instructors and liaisons

+ Conduct one on one meetings with partners, instructors and liaisons when needed

+ Assist in the hiring and management of Liaisons and Instructors

+ Other duties as assigned.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

+ Independent instructors and program providers

Physical Demands:

The physical demands here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

+ Must be able to lift up to 50 pounds occasionally.

+ Must be able to sit for long periods of time.

Work Environment:

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

+ While performing the duties of this job, the employee is not exposed to weather conditions.

+ The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

+ Excellent interpersonal skills

+ Skilled in developing and facilitating collaborative relationships

+ Demonstrated experience leading and developing teams

+ Excellent organizational skills and problem-solving abilities

+ Excellent oral and written communication skills

+ Excellent Microsoft Office skills ability to collect and maintain information as needed

+ Demonstrated experience in project management

+ Ability to multi-task and meet deadlines

+ Ability to work in a fast paced, high-energy environment

+ Respect for all levels of the organization and outside partners

+ Energetic team player who works well in collaborative situations

+ Strong orientation to customer service


+ Bachelor’s degree required

+ Valid Driver’s License, insured transportation, and driving record that satisfies our Motor Vehicle Policy required 1

+ Cook County residency required

+ Experience in using Cityspan database a plus

+ Evenings and weekends required

Additional Requirements:

Staff are required to provide proof of COVID-19 Vaccination or have an approved medical or sincerely held religious beliefs exemption prior to starting employment. If a medical or sincerely held religious belief exemption is approved, weekly Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing is required part of any reasonable accommodation.

How to Apply:

Submit a cover letter and resume at


After School Matters is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, protected veteran status, military discharge status, age, marital status, parental status, or source of income.

Powered by JazzHR

Copy Link

Job Posting: JC233705068

Posted On: Feb 06, 2023

Updated On: Jun 03, 2023

Please Wait ...