Director, Auburn University Harris Early Learning Center

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Job Title

Director, Auburn University Harris Early Learning Center

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Job Description Summary


The Director of the Auburn University Harris Early Learning Center (Harris ELC ) reports to the Head of the Department of Human Development and Family Science at Auburn University and the Dean of the College of Human Sciences at Auburn University.


Lead the management of a NAEYC accredited early care and education program for approximately 200 children ages infancy to age 5. Oversee the assistant director and a center staff of approximately 60 including teaching, support, facility, and dietary staff, including assessing and addressing varied staffing, management, clients (child/parent), and facility needs on a daily basis and overseeing the annual evaluation process.

Support and promote the participation of the Harris ELC families in scholarly research conducted in the Center by Auburn University professors and other college and university colleagues.

Maintain NAEYC accreditation (center accredited since 1997 with current accreditation valid until summer 2021) using those standards as teaching and training foci for center staff and students placed with the center.

Seek grant funding and administer accordingly. Administration of three on-going state Pre-K grants.

Regularly communicate with and train center staff regarding developmentally appropriate practice, NAEYC standards, and state regulations through weekly staff newsletters and memos, monthly staff meetings and bi-annual staff development training.

Oversee college and university undergraduate and graduate student placements in the center, matching student learning needs with the proper age/stage of development. Network with varied college and university contacts to recruit students for observation, practicum, and internship/student teaching placements within the Center. Provide orientation, training as well as guest speaking and teaching for college and university students. Participate, along with the teaching staff, in the evaluation of college and university students who are participating in varied educational activities in the Center.

Serve as an instructor or guest speaker for the Department of Human Development and Family Science within the College of Human Sciences of Auburn University.

Lead efforts to expand blended and distance course offerings for degree-seeking and non-degree seeking students in the area of early child development and teacher training.

Service and Outreach
Act as a professional representative for not only the Center but also for Auburn University, the College of Human Sciences and the Department of Human Development and Family Science. Serve as a leader in the early care and education community by bringing visibility to Harris ELC and Auburn University in the Birmingham metro area and across the state through leadership roles within area colleges and universities, the ECE community, and varied state ECE related agencies. Actively seek to present at local, state ( DECE ), regional ( SECA ) and national ( NAEYC ) conferences. Serve as an early care and education resource and participant in the ongoing development of the ECE profession.

Initiate, coordinate and/or participate in the planning and coordination of special projects and activities within the Center such as: monthly parent seminars and bi-annual Parenting Fairs, annual Week of the Young Child, annual Teacher of Excellence awards, annual Pre-K graduation celebration, Center anniversary events, and other child or parent focused events in the center.

Utilize extensive communication, collaboration and networking skills to work with a diverse group of individuals external to the Center including: corporate sponsor contacts, early care and education community stakeholders across the Birmingham metro area and state, college and university contacts, Auburn University, the College of Human Sciences and the Alabama State Department of Early Childhood Education.

Minimum Qualifications

A Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Science/Studies, Early Childhood Education, Child Development or a closely related area at the time employment begins; Theoretical and substantive knowledge of current child development and child guidance principles, theories and methods and the ability to model those principles for university students and teachers; Strong public relations skills and the ability to relate to a wide range of individuals, community groups, corporate representatives, and families; Active membership in the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The candidate selected for this position must be able to meet eligibility requirements to work in the United States at the time the appointment is schedule to begin and continue working legally for the proposed term of employment; excellent communication skills required. THIS POSITION IS LOCATED IN BIRMINGHAM, AL.

Desired Qualifications

Prior experience administering an NAEYC accredited preschool program for children infancy to 5 years, preferably in a university setting; Experience in implementing parent education programs; Experience teaching and supervising college or university students and interns, ideally in face-to-face and distance learning contexts; Grant-writing and administration in an early care and education context.

Special Instructions to Applicants

Please provide an application letter (containing research and teaching interests), a current CV, Ph.D. transcripts, and samples of no more than three recent publications. In addition, candidates must provide contact information for three professional references who may be contacted after the initial review of applicants. For more information about the position, contact Sharon Wilbanks (334-844-4696; Review of applications will begin on February 22, 2021 and will continue until the position is filled.

To learn more about Auburn University, visit Auburn university is understanding of and sensitive to the family needs of faculty, including dual-career couples.

Open Date

Close Date

Open Until Filled


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Optional & Required Documents
Required Documents
  1. Cover Letter
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. Transcripts
  4. Reprints of Recent Publications
Optional Documents
  1. Other Documentation

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