Associate Dean, Academic Programs Initial Licensure Programs-Teachers College

Utah, United States
Salary Not specified
Sep 11, 2020
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Position Summary

The Academic Program Director (APD) & Associate Dean for the Initial Licensure Programs is an executive leader position in the Teachers College that reports into the Academic Vice President & Dean of Teachers College.  The APD oversees the Initial Licensure Programs (ILP) Program Chairs and is responsible for working across the department-level leadership to define, develop, and deliver all domain specific academic requirements as well as monitor, measure, and drive continuous improvement of domain-specific assessment, curriculum, and learning resources strategies, instructional models, applicable admissions strategies, faculty quality and sufficiency assumptions, and academic policies.  

As a leader across Teachers College Initial Licensure Programs, the APD is accountable for prioritizing and approving domain-level changes to the following: program design, curriculum mapping, assessment redevelopment, strategic development of future roadmaps, readiness and admissions strategies, instructional model, diagnostics and playbooks, and academic policy. They are also responsible for working closely with their cross-functional domain partners to prioritize and approve changes to community of care services and SLAs.

The APD collaborates closely and shares accountability with the administrative director, curriculum director, and evaluation director as well as college program leadership for setting and achieving the financial, operational, and student success targets outlined in each domain and program business model and charter.

The APD is responsible for participating in the development of the Teachers College Initial Licensure Programs academic long-term vision/strategy and works closely with both internal and external partners and constituents to further the aims and reputation of Teachers College, as well as the WGU as a whole.  As appropriate, for new course and program development, the APD is accountable for significantly contributing to the program concept phase and approving program business model, scope, and requirements for: program design, admissions, curriculum development, assessment development, learning resources, internship and service learning opportunities, and instructional models against targeted enrollment and student success outcomes.

The APD manages all aspects of academic-related talent management, finances, profit & loss statements, ROI, legal/ethical issues, facilities, and data governance for their domain. This role works in partnership with executive leadership across the university on student success initiatives and projects both planned and emergent that will advance the academic success of the student and quality of the academic program.  The APD is an example of WGU’s innovation in higher education industry and student success (externally and internally).  The Director employs expert-level experience and judgement as well as industry standards and WGU specific practices of student experience design, continuous improvement, project management and reporting, change management, process mapping, and Leadership Principles.


Essential Functions and Responsibilities:

  • Defines and implements the Initial Licensure Programs academic and programming strategy for Teachers College to achieve the long-term department and university vision and goals
  • Develops and monitors, and continuously improves all domain-specific academic performance standards and requirements, including (but not limited to): curricular, assessment, faculty quality and sufficiency, awarding of credit
  • Develops and monitors, measures, and continuously improves domain-specific curriculum performance against targeted student outcomes (including: learning impacts, student success impacts, efficiency, innovation)
  • Establishes and nurtures domain-specific relationships with internal and external constituents and partners
  • Leverages employer partnerships and industry data to identify current and future workforce needs
  • Manages domain-specific student governance and accessibility policies and practices
  • Contributes to the impact of the Teachers College Initial Licensure Programs academic and operations strategy
  • Provides clear and effective leadership to the Initial Licensure Programs Program Chairs and cross-functional partners to achieve strategic goals
  • Implements co-curricular academic programming across the student journey (in collaboration with cross-functional teams)
  • Understands and manages all aspects of domain-related academic finances and expenses, profit & loss statements, academic ROI, financials to develop and maintain programs, academic talent acquisition and management, facilities, and data governance
  • Conducts ongoing holistic evaluation of course and domain performance, as related to student outcomes, curriculum performance, budget, accreditation requirements, market demand, and external partnership opportunities
  • Facilitates the departmental and domain input in determining potential new offerings and ensuring existing domains
  • Oversees domain-specific participation in national and specialized accreditation and state program approval reviews
  • Understands and applies WGU concepts in alignment with governance of action research and capstone projects in accordance with human subjects protections and IRB policies and procedures
  • Maintains partnerships at the national, state, and local levels, including with key professional and industry organizations; for example: community colleges, professional associations, and universities
  • Represents the department on educational matters at the university, state, and national levels
  • Promotes the department and WGU through external engagement and thought leadership, including speeches, articles, interviews, and events
  • Other essential functions and duties may be assigned with evolving university needs


Knowledge, Skill and Abilities

  • Accountable and responsible for developing, designing, initiating, and sponsoring on large-scale university level projects and initiatives impacting segments of the student journey and impacting operations across multiple departments and functional areas to support transformational strategy
  • Sets goals, KPIs, budgets, assess risk, and aligns timelines with university-level initiatives and projects
  • Builds and leads coalitions of stakeholders across departments to achieve the initiative or project goals including: Colleges, Student Lifecycle, Office of the Registrar, Legal, Finance, Marketing, Public Relationships, Strategic Partnerships, EdTech, IR, and external partners
  • Scrutinizes and interprets highly complex data from multiple sources utilizing a comprehensive knowledge of the university, higher education, and research on learner segments in order to craft inventive solutions and make decisions
  • Employs expert-level domain specific expertise, experience at WGU and other higher education institutions, and non-education organizations to lead cross-department level initiatives, while influencing strategic planning and proposing new solutions
  • Presents and reports regularly to WGU's Executive Staff, College VPs and Directors, EdTech, IR, Legal, Marketing, etc., and primary stakeholders to influence decision making, gain buy-in, and support systemic change to improve student outcomes
  • Leverages a systems-thinking approach to student experience design in order to propose changes to university-level policies, business processes, best practices, services, service-level agreements, technology business requirements in order to improve student outcomes
  • Establish metrics, budgets, timelines, evaluate ROI, and prioritize projects and initiatives against the WGU strategic and operational priorities, while evaluating implemented initiatives to determine impact
  • Responsible for the creation and presentation of communications, reports, and analysis which will be used to drive decision making related to the prioritization of actions and assignment of resources
  • Tracks and summarize the effects and impacts of completed projects in terms of student outcomes and positive impacts to the quality of the experience for student lifecycle teams and students
  • Assesses the student experience across learner profiles, operations ratios, and interventions for efficiency and effectiveness to identify opportunities for new initiatives aligned with strategic priorities, while proposing solutions aligned to business problems identified
  • Leverages system-thinking approach to design thinking, communication theory, strategic planning methodology, and human motivation theory to designing segments of the student experience and identify how policies, business processes, best practices, services, service level agreement, impact student learning success
  • Plans, coordinates, and delivers multiple business transformation projects/programs across WGU
  • Secures commitments (approval, resources, and funding) from different stakeholders to deliver the initiative to achieve goals and objectives
  • Experience with national accreditation (i.e., CAEP, AAQEP), specialized accreditation (e.g., CEC, ACTFL), and state approval requirements and processes
  • Demonstrates the WGU leadership principles in all aspects of service to students, employees, and partners of WGU, while influencing through direct and indirect management and leadership strategies
  • Responds with urgency to student and organization needs and exhibits excellent judgment to deliver results
  • Demonstrated strong technical writing and communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to use and interpret data to make decisions, and communicate results effectively to various stakeholders
  • Systems thinker who can identify systemic structures contributing to outcomes, identify high-leverage activities to impact outcomes, and articulate the implications of business decisions
  • Key competencies include: systems-thinking approach, project management, change management, data analytics
  • Ability to develop a business case and models
  • Highly organized and detail-oriented
  • Proven ability to take initiative and be both innovative and flexible
  • Works well in a team environment
  • Ability to build consensus and motivate others
  • Strong oral communications abilities
  • Strong technical and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to plan and meet schedules for both individual and collaborative projects
  • Ability to create concise, informative reports on projects and initiatives
  • Ability to clearly document and catalog information and progress on assigned initiatives
  • Proficiency with Office 365 applications, live event tools, CRM software, Tableau or PowerBi, SmartSheet



Minimum Qualifications:

  • PhD in education or an educator preparation related field
  • Demonstrated experience leading teams and prioritizing initiatives to impact student outcomes through strategic priorities
  • At least 5 years of experience in higher education institutions and teacher preparation/program management
  • At least 5 years of project or program leadership experience with cross-functional influence; First-hand experience leading and managing multi-department and multi-year initiatives, cross a distributed, matrixed organization
  • At least 3 years of significant people leadership, including leading people leaders through systemic change. Demonstrated experience managing teams and initiatives to impact student outcomes through specific interventions


Preferred Qualifications:

  • PhD in Elementary Education, Special Education, or Secondary STEM Education a plus
  • Strong record of research and publication of scholarly work
  • Experience working in or with K-12 schools and school systems
  • Public and/or customer relations and communication experience a plus

Working Conditions

  • Moderate travel required, approximately 25%


Disclaimer: This Job Description has been designed to indicate the general nature, essential duties, and responsibilities of work performed by employees within this classification. It does not contain a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications that are required of the employee to do this job.  Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice. This Job Description does not constitute a contract of employment and the University may exercise its employment-at-will rights at any time.

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