Senior 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 400,000 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.

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Summary of Position:

The Senior Program Specialist’s primary responsibility is to implement high quality programs within The Gately Center and after school, during the day, on weekends and during school breaks. The Senior 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 Senior 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 Senior Program Specialist will provide coaching to ensure improvement in areas identified.

The Senior Program Specialist will also facilitate and monitor the day-to-day logistics of all programs within The Gately Center.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

+ Oversee and ensure high-quality of all programs at Gately (and the surrounding area);

+ Build and maintain a high-quality program portfolio that includes after school, daytime, weekend, and school break programs.

+ Develop and maintain relationships with program partners and instructors;

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

+ In partnership with the branch team, recruit and interview, 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;

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

+ Plan and facilitate Teen Ambassador trainings each program session;

+ Plan, lead, and attend community meetings, open houses to promote the programs in our ASM building.

+ Plan and facilitate individual program start up meetings to review program session expectations, individual program quality goals, and resources;

+ Plan and facilitate instructor orientation, mid-session check-in, and end of session debrief.

+ Plan and facilitate teen orientations to review programmatic and building expectations.

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

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

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

+ Host and facilitate teen application help sessions, troubleshoot teen application and other systems errors;

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

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

+ Act as a liaison between Program Operations and program providers;

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

+ Provide direction to the liaisons 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;

+ Plan end of session program closings and demonstrations of learning;

+ 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 the Senior Program Manager in supervising support staff in the building;

+ Collaborate with operations personnel to ensure the cleanliness, safety, and security of After School Matters building;

+ Co-lead facilities meetings and maintain regular communication with Facilities Management re: building cleanliness, building organization, building repairs, space reservations, building improvements, security, safety drills, food service, etc.

+ Establish, communicate, and uphold building expectations (entry/exit, food/drink expectations, no gum, appropriate attire, etc.)

+ Provide leadership for the building when the Senior Program Manager is not available.

+ 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

+ Demonstrated experience managing facility and program operations

+ 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


+ Minimum Bachelor’s degree required

+ Minimum 5-7 years relevant experience

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

+ Cook County residency required

+ Experience in using Cityspan database a plus

+ Evenings and some 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

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Job Posting: JC248812478

Posted On: Sep 30, 2023

Updated On: Nov 28, 2023

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