Expanded Learning Partnerships Fellow at AmeriCorps Position Description
Our nation is currently battling the COVID-19 pandemic, our shared history of systemic racism, and an existential threat of climate change. Responding to these pressing urgent challenges requires an intensive, coordinated, all-hands on deck approach.
It is estimated that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, most children will have lost 3-11 months of learning with disproportionate impacts for Black, LatinX and low-income students. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, students’ experiences were varied and inconsistent. Too many children of color and children in low-income communities did not have access to the engaging and inspiring experiences they deserved. While progress was being made pre-pandemic, there were still significant opportunity gaps and not enough coherence between in-school learning and out of school experiences. In addition to recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, our nation is at a critical juncture in addressing climate change and ensuring that we leave a strong, healthy and thriving planet to the next generation. Addressing issues of climate start early through engaging young people in designing and implementing solutions. Underlying all of these challenges is the challenge to ensure equitable access and outcomes regardless of race, class, gender, privilege or other social identity.
AmeriCorps programs have a long track record of improving students’ social, emotional and academic outcomes and well-being for youth of all ages. AmeriCorps programs provide meaningful opportunities for youth to serve their country, deepen connections with individuals, communities and the physical world while building positive employment records and developing critical skills to further their education and career goals including science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. AmeriCorps programs provide opportunities for young people who have been impacted by COVID-19 to serve and/or to receive support.
With almost half of AmeriCorps programs focusing on education and youth development, there is a huge opportunity to learn from successful models that could support learning recovery and to ensure that communities, schools, districts and organizations know how to effectively work with AmeriCorps to support learning recovery and their rebuilding efforts. Expanded Learning programs, which could occur after school, before school, over the summer or as career learning opportunities offered concurrently during a school day) are evidence-based strategies to accelerate academic learning and build student’s social and emotional skills. Many expanded learning programs utilize AmeriCorps resources and corps members to provide support for students, families and communities. For example, many Afterschool and Summer Learning programs have utilized AmeriCorps state and national grant funds to expand their programs and reach more students. Afterschool and Summer Learning programs have also utilized VISTA corps members to support operations and logistics and provide much needed capacity for their programs.
AmeriCorps programs also provide important career pathways into education and youth development and could be leveraged more effectively to support the out of school time field to build the staff capacity they need to meet the demand of families and youth.
The National Service Partnership Fellowship provides a unique opportunity for an individual with expertise in National Service, Out of School Time, STEM education, and partnerships to support AmeriCorps’ mission to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering. In particular, the Fellowship would support the Partnerships Team to support expanding national service as a strategy to address the impacts of COVID-19, as we all supporting the Partnerships Team in the development, implementation and management of interagency partnerships in support of agency priorities.
The Fellow’s primary charge would be to support educational and other interagency partnerships by working alongside officials at AmeriCorps to utilize the power of AmeriCorps programs to support learning recovery and address workforce challenges.
The Fellow is to be responsible for identifying promising practices from the field, supporting interagency work, and harnessing the full power of Federal Agencies to support States, districts, schools, and communities to rebuild their education programs with equity, engagement, and community partnership as a primary focus. This Fellow also will work collaboratively with in-school and out-of-school groups to spotlight strong examples and promote new models for afterschool and summer learning.
In addition to working with offices across AmeriCorps, the Fellow will coordinate with other Federal Agencies that support afterschool and summer learning opportunities. These include but are not limited to: the U.S. Department of Education (ED), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Park Service, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Justice.
The Fellow’s duties and responsibilities at AmeriCorps will include but are not limited to the following:
- Identifying promising and proven practices from AmeriCorps grantees, AmeriCorps’ evidence exchange, State afterschool networks, out-of-school-time providers, other expanded learning providers and STEM programs.
- Liaising with/supporting the team to liaise with the U.S. Department of Education to determine opportunities to address learning recovery through effective use of AmeriCorps programs
- Build a database of examples of effective use of American Rescue Plan resources to support learning recovery and workforce needs in local communities.
- Coordinating with organizations and individuals with expertise in afterschool and summer learning and informal STEM to support the discovery and scaling of evidence-based practices.
- Coordinating with the Fellow’s supervisor and consulting with relevant staff at AmeriCorps to coordinate regular communications to the field that highlight strong practices, events and funding opportunities.
- Incorporating feedback and advice from their supervisor and other AmeriCorps colleagues to ensure quality work products.
- Coordinating with their supervisor and working with other Federal Agencies to strengthen collaboration between ED and other Federal partners, such as those listed above, in the area of afterschool and summer learning and other critical priority areas for AmeriCorps.
- Identifying opportunities (e.g., convenings, events, speeches, and other communications) to highlight models, interventions, and policies in afterschool and summer learning that others can learn from and replicate, as appropriate; support the Partnerships Team in identifying and managing additional such opportunities in other strategic priority areas as needed.
- Identifying opportunities to provide content area expertise around afterschool and summer learning practices and approaches.
- Other duties as assigned.
The ideal candidate for this role is an intrapreneurial and collaborative problem solver passionate about expanded learning, as well as educational equity. This person must be highly self-motivated, organized and excel at implementation of priorities.
- U.S. Citizenship required.
- Background investigation/security clearance and verification that he or she has not defaulted on any loan funded or guaranteed by ED required.
- Military selective service registration by the date of appointment as a STEM Next Opportunity Fund Fellow required (applicable only to males born after December 31, 1959).
- Bachelor’s degree required, although a graduate degree is strongly preferred.
- 10+ years of experience in education required, with experience in afterschool and summer learning and/or educational equity preferred.
- 5+ years of experience in education policy required.
- Previous experience building relationships across diverse groups of stakeholders required.
- Previous experience working in the Federal Government preferred.
- AmeriCorps Alumni preferred.
Please submit a written application here by May 31st, 2022 at 5pm PT.
Salary and Benefits:
The Salary Range for this position is $115,000-$165,000. STEM Next provides paid time off, sick leave and 13 federal holidays. STEM Next provides a comprehensive set of benefits including: Medical, Dental, Vision, Life, Short Term Disability, Long Term Disability, 401(k) Retirement Plan, and Health Savings Account and Flexible Spending Account.
STEM Next provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics.