Manager of Special Programs

at After School Matters in Chicago, Illinois, United States

Job Description

Organizational Summary:

After School Matters is a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that annually offers after-school and summer programs to nearly 19,000 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.

Thirty years later, now known as After School Matters, our program has engaged more than 350,000 Chicago teens and is the nation’s largest and most successful provider of after-school and summer programs for high school teens. No other organization offers programs to high school students at the scale and quality that we do.

We offer paid apprenticeships led by professionals in the fields of arts, communications and leadership, sports, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Our nationally respected youth development model has been replicated in cities across the country and earned us the City Livability Award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors. 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.

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Summary of Position:

Reporting to the Director of Special Programs, the Manager of Special Programs will be responsible for managing several city-wide initiatives. These programs are a new addition to the ASM program portfolio and aim to prevent learning loss and build executive functioning skills by coupling academic learning with After School Matters career exploration programs, guiding participants to make meaningful connections between academic content and their career areas of interest. The management of this project falls into four primary work streams:

+ Community Outreach: Outreach to individual instructors, school principals, city-agencies (Chicago Housing Authority, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago City Colleges), to partner with After School Matters as program providers, recruitment liaisons, or locations for programs. Liaise to connect teens to ASM opportunities throughout the year.

+ Program Implementation: Management of the launch, ongoing implementation, and continuous improvement of the program initiatives.

+ Operational and Logistical Support: Interface with internal departments (Contracts, Human Resources, Finance, Operations, Communications, Research and Evaluation, etc.) to plan, implement and monitor all aspects of the CHA Learn and Earn and other programs.

+ Reporting: Partner with the Research and Evaluation team to develop program reports.

To execute this project, the Manager of Special Programs will interface with a variety of stakeholders (teens, instructors, funders, schools, etc.). The ideal candidate will have a passion for improving the lives of Chicago teens and must be flexible and able to manage large-scale initiatives and attend to day-to-day program components.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

+ Oversight and management of special initiatives including:

+ Creating a project plan to implement the programmatic and operational aspects of the projects;

+ Meeting with external and internal stakeholders to understand their needs, perspectives and how they will contribute to the projects;

+ Planning events

+ Arranging teen transportation to and from programs

+ Identifying and onboarding any potential instructors to implement programs;

+ Identifying community locations such as schools, City Colleges, ASM locations, etc. to house programs and showcases

+ Arranging any instructor and program staff training for special curriculum and logistics that will be implemented in the programs

+ Coordinating and collaborating on all aspects of any final showcases or events associated with the programs in partnership with Advancement/Events, Communications and the Program Supports teams

+ Performing site visits to monitor quality and implementation of programs

+ Directing supervision of seasonal Program Specialists and instructional staff to implement programs

+ Hosting and coordinating tours of funders, elected officials, or other guests to visit the program or showcase

+ Partner with key internal departments (Operations, Finance, Cityspan, Legal, Research and Evaluation, Communications, etc.) to successfully plan and implement the project

+ Maintain relationships and be the direct liaison to CHA and CPS for connecting its community to ASM opportunities

+ Complete outreach and interface with funders, elected officials, and other guests to meet the desired outcomes for the special initiatives

+ Conduct site visits and observations to monitor program implementation and quality to coach programs to continuously improve teen engagement and progress towards defined program outcomes

+ Partner with the Senior Manager of Learning Communities and Professional Development to determine the best ways to support the instructional practices and quality in programs

+ Design and provide oversight of special events in coordination to creatively showcase teen participants and their projects

+ Schedule and lead tours for funders, elected officials, and other guests

+ Other duties required.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

+ Seasonal Program Specialists

+ Certified teachers

+ ASM Content Area Instructors

+ Site Program Assistants

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 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 organizational, conceptual, and analytical skills; strong process orientation, problem solving and trouble-shooting skills; a firm commitment to quality

+ Excellent verbal and written communication skills

+ Strong grasp of instructional best practices

+ Skilled in developing and facilitating collaborative relationships and interacting with a range of stakeholders

+ Comfortable with delivering training, giving constructive feedback, and providing coaching to staff and teachers

+ Demonstrated experience in managing multiple projects at one time, able to respond to requests quickly, flexible, and able to thrive in a fast paced, high energy environment

+ Strong orientation to customer service (i.e., ASM staff and teens, community and government leaders, corporate executives, etc.)

+ Detail oriented and capable of meeting deadlines

+ Ability to exercise discretion and sound judgment

+ Proficiency in MS Office applications required


+ Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree strongly preferred

+ 5+ years of experience in education and/or non-profit administration

+ Classroom teaching experience preferred

+ Commitment to the youth of Chicago

+ Valid Driver’s License, insured transportation, and driving record that satisfies our Motor Vehicle Policy required1

+ Evenings and weekends may be required

How to Apply:

Submit a cover letter and resume at


After School Matters is an Equal

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Job Posting: JC236716588

Posted On: Mar 22, 2023

Updated On: Sep 29, 2023

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