Project Director

Position Title Project Director Position Number 094581 Department College Access Partnerships - 240105 Description of University

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 20,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.

Minimum Qualifications
  • Master’s Degree in a related field.
  • Experience managing large scale projects.
  • Experience working in public schools.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of teacher professional learning requirements in North Carolina.
  • Ability to thoughtfully and efficiently design and execute large scale projects, preferably involving research.
  • Must be a dynamic communicator, able to quickly build rapport with others, willing to listen and receive feedback, and adapt to changing needs.
License/Certification Required


Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Reporting to, and under the direction of the Senior Director of College Access Partnerships, this position leads and manages day-to-day operations for the Education, Innovation, & Research ( EIR ) federal grant program, awarded to Appalachian State University in December 2020 through the U.S. Department of Education. The 5-year grant program, titled Empowering Teacher Learning ( ETL ), aims to study the effectiveness of an innovative professional learning system that offers a self-directed, competency based micro-credentialing program to public middle school teachers in western North Carolina.

The Director of EIR is responsible for the strategic coordination, communication, and implementation of the ETL framework with 20 partner school districts, 500 teachers, and nearly 10,000 students across western North Carolina. The program will offer stipends to teachers for participating and will be responsible for launching the grant, managing relationships with partners and the U.S. Department of Education, and overseeing the research implementation of the grant.


  • Supervise a team of 8-10, providing a positive, inclusive, and supportive environment where all team members can thrive.
  • Provide ongoing feedback and establish annual performance plans/reviews for all direct reports.
  • Lead team to achieve program goals and objectives according to the specifications of the grant award.
  • Provide effective day-to-day management and administration for EIR and ensure grant project is making adequate progress.
  • Serve as direct point of contact and maintain regular communication with the grant’s designated Program Officer at the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Implement and regularly advocate for departmental mission, vision, and core values.


  • Promote open staff positions and ensure all positions are hired and trained effectively to be successful in their work.
  • Recruit a minimum of 20 schools and 500 teachers to serve as participants in the Empowering Teacher Learning Program.


  • Establish, nurture, and sustain positive relationships and collaboration between and among Appalachian State University and partner districts.
  • Develop and maintain a culture of support to and engagement with partnering school districts. Work with partner school leadership to resolve any issues that may arise.
  • Maintain regular contact with and provide regular progress updates to district level leadership (Principals, Superintendents, etc.) regarding grant objectives. Travel to participating schools intermittently.
  • Provide oversight and guidance to external service providers to ensure contract deliverables are high quality, innovative, effective, and efficient.
  • Ensure participating teachers have the support they need to complete the core components of the program (needs assessment, learning contract, micro-credentials, receive stipends).


  • Oversight of EIR program budget of approximately $2.4 million per year for 5 years.
  • Responsible for ensuring funds are spent according to federal and state regulations, institutional policies, and program specifications.
  • Ensure 10% cost-share is captured with adequate progress.
  • Track and manage grant funds to assure their proper use, maintain records, and prepare financial reports as necessary.
  • Work collegially with intra-institutional offices (Special Funds Accounting, Sponsored Programs, General Counsel, Internal Audits, etc.) to ensure grant compliance and audit readiness.
  • Proactively monitor compliance and address any risks swiftly and effectively.
  • Develop and ensure consistent implementation of program policies and procedures.


  • Lead the development and submission of the Annual and Final Performance Reports to the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Oversee ongoing data collection and management according to FERPA, ensuring all personally identifiable data is shared and housed securely.
  • Regularly monitor and evaluate the performance of the program.
  • Adapt to changing environments/needs and course correct as needed.
  • Work with an external evaluator team in the development and implementation of a comprehensive research and evaluation plan for an experimental design study (randomized control trial) that meets What Works Clearinghouse standards without reservations.
  • Disseminate results of the study through publications, practitioner reports, blogs, peer-reviewed journals, etc.

For more information about the EIR proposal, click here to view the full proposal or here for the abstract.

Suggested Salary Range $80,000-90,000 Physical Demands of Position

Typical physical demands of professional position within a university.

Special Instructions to Applicants

Please provide a resume, cover letter, and answers to required supplemental questions in the application.

Please enter a minimum of 3 professional references in the application or attach a List of 3 References with Contact Information.

This position is time-limited and is anticipated to expire in December 2025.

AA/EEO Statement

Appalachian State University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. The University does not discriminate in access to its educational programs and activities, or with respect to hiring or the terms and conditions of employment, on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity and expression, political affiliation, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information or sexual orientation.

Diversity and Inclusion at Appalachian

We at Appalachian State University are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence both locally and globally.

We understand that the successful implementation of diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence is the responsibility of the entire university community, including alumni and official university governing bodies. A diverse campus community supports an influx of broad and distinct ideas that increase learning opportunities and strengthen the impact of our community as we work collectively to achieve a just experience for all.

We actively encourage, support, and promote a global mindset and an equitable environment where all will know that they belong and are safe to express their culture, identity, values, ideas, opinions, and creativity. We are committed to creating a culture of equity opportunity for all, one that has an expectation of fairness, justice, and equity-minded practice at all levels of the university community.

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