College Access Counselor

OBT values the diversity of the people it hires and serves. Diversity at our organization means fostering a workplace in which individual differences are recognized, appreciated, respected and responded to in ways that fully develop and utilize each person’s talents and strengths without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation/affectional preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, or veteran status.

Location: Remote to onsite
Brooklyn, NY

Position Code: AE4MS

Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow (OBT) exists to break the cycle of poverty and inequity through education, job training, and employment. OBT’s programs operate out of multiple locations and serve as a bridge to economic opportunity for youth, individuals, and families in underserved communities. Through various sector-based pathways, we offer programming that extends from high school equivalency programming to industry-certified training.  OBT is funded through a mixture of government contracts, corporate and foundation grants, and private contributions.

Position Summary

The College Access Program inspires participants to envision the role that post-secondary education plays on their path to well-paid and sustainable careers. Reporting to the Director, College Access Program, the counselor is a motivated and passionate professional who has demonstrated case-management experience with non-traditional students, and prior experience in youth development, college access, or college success programming. As a key team member, the counselor is responsible for providing one-to-one advisement to participants with a diverse range of needs and pathways to and through post-secondary education; facilitating educational workshops; and collaborating with internal and external stakeholders to support participant outcomes.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Utilize a holistic and youth-development approach to plan, implement and track all aspects of the college admissions and matriculation process for participants across OBT program sites, including:
    • Developing service plans that include short and long-term educational and career goals to help participants envision their future pathways.
    • Supporting participants with college major and career research.
    • Familiarizing participants with the various colleges and advanced training institutions.
    • Supporting with the completion of all aspects of college and financial aid applications, including supporting participants with writing personal statements, securing letters of recommendation, and financial verification, when necessary.
    • Helping participants plan for challenges they may face in transitioning to post-secondary education.
    • Collaborating with other OBT counselors and employment staff regarding participant information and service delivery; referring participants to appropriate internal and external resources, as necessary.
    • Engaging families to support positive outcomes for participants during the college selection, application, and financial aid processes.
    • Maintaining a resource bank of support programs and opportunities specific to the participant population that OBT serves and assisting these individuals with submission of applications to these programs and opportunities.
  • Implement and refine a comprehensive college preparation curriculum aimed at enrollment and retention, including differentiating for a diverse group ofparticipant needs across OBT’s youth programs.
  • Support participant persistence in post-secondary education in collaboration with OBT’s retention services team, through:
    • Conducting email and/or text message outreach to participants pursuing a college degree on a monthly basis.
    • Providing additional support to enrolled participants on an as-needed basis.
    • Co-leading monthly Stay at Work/Stay In College Program.
    • Creating College Access Program (CAP) community among those enrolled in college and advanced training programs.
  • Assist in planning and implementing CAP activities and special events, including OBT’s annual post-secondary options fair, aimed at improving the program outcomes.
  • With the support of the College Access Director, develop and maintain connections and partnerships with support networks and resources at post-secondary programs e.g., CUNY START, ASAP, and other relevant organizations to support program outcomes, including:
    • Maintaining accurate knowledge of best practices, new developments and professional development opportunities in the college access field.
    • Participating in citywide advocacy efforts to increase college enrollment and retention.
  • Maintain accurate and up to date case records and notes for both internal case management and to meet funder requirements.
  • Collaborate with and assist the College Access Director in implementing the vision and strategic goals of the College Access Program and OBT.

The College Access Counselor is expected to have the following professional and personal skills, qualities, and characteristics:

  • A passionate commitment to OBT’s mission and vision, and an understanding of the inextricable relationships between workforce development, post-secondary planning, and equity
  • A track record in youth development with young adults, preferably in college, employment, or career-oriented programs
  • Excel in building strong, supportive relationships with a diverse young adult population with varying needs and backgrounds, including an understanding of their strengths and the barriers they face in earning post-secondary credentials.
  • Demonstrated skill-sets in both individual counseling and workshop facilitation; a strong candidate for this role will have dynamic facilitation skills with the ability to deliver, engage non-traditional students in curricula both remotely and in person.
  • Demonstrated skill in managing multiple projects.
  • Ability to work flexibly, resourcefully, and collaboratively while exhibiting flexibility in achieving results, including establishing strong working relationships with colleagues and external key stakeholders.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Bi-lingual (English/Spanish) a plus.

Education and Experience

  • Minimum 2 years of experience in education, youth development, college advisement or relevant fields as described above required.
  • The following experiences are all pluses but not required: experience in college access or success; experience with non-traditional populations or opportunity youth; case management experience
  • Bachelor’s degree (candidates working towards a Bachelor’s degree with at least 2 years of experience in college advising may be considered)

Why You Should Join Us:

  • We are a passionate and motivated staff excited to propel NYC’s youth and adult communities.
  • Salary $45K + full benefits

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