The program director provides leadership and direction to the Martin Luther King (MLK) Scholar Program, a cohort-based scholarship program for BIPOC students at Ithaca College, as well as the First-Gen Program an initiative that supports the academic, social and professional development of First-Gen college students. Formulates long-range strategic plans for the successful growth and maintenance of the Programs and establish consistent operating procedures, policies, and initiatives; prepare and execute annual financial and activity plans for both programs . Participate in recruiting strategies for MLK Scholars and First-Gen students in conjunction with the Office of Admission. Design and plan experiences in and out of the classroom for the MLK Scholars and First-Gen students; oversee the management and administration of the MLK Scholar Program and the First-Gen Program. Collaborate with key campus and community partners to provide MLK Scholars and First-Gen students with the necessary knowledge, skills, and experiences to advance social justice and social change.


This position reports to the Executive Director for Student Equity and Belonging and is a member of the leadership team in Student Affairs and Campus Life. This position has no direct supervisory responsibility for staff. This position will provide functional guidance, direction, and supervision to departmental student support staff.


Duties may include, but are not limited to the following. Other duties may be assigned

F ormulate long-range strategic planning for the successful growth and maintenance of the MLK Scholar Program. Serve as the primary contact in collaboration with admissions team in developing recruiting strategies and selection of incoming students in the MLK Scholar program. Collect and report on institutional data on the recruitment and retention of the First-Gen students and MLK Scholars at IC. Through the lens of social justice and service, utilizing the principles of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to d esign experiences in and out of the classroom, to support the learning, growth, and development of the MLK Scholars.

  1. Develop and coordinate programs that support MLK Scholars and First-Gen students e.g. Pre-Orientations programs, First Look, Leadership Workshops, advise the Residential Learning Community, First Place, yearly Civil Rights Tour, and end of the year transitions including a senior celebration. Collaborate with campus partners in the development of programs to address transition, academic, personal, and social issues for MLK Scholars and First-Gen students.
  2. Teach a three-credit U.S Civil Rights seminar for first-year MLK Scholars and the Researching Social Justice seminar, a one-credit Special Topics seminar for sophomores. Both courses are only open to MLK scholars.
  3. Evaluate and assess the needs and experiences of MLK Scholars and First-Gen students and provide support services including assisting students in obtaining appropriate resources and academic support services and provide referrals to other campus offices.
  4. Cultivate and lead alumni, supporter/family, and community outreach efforts to enhance and support the MLK Scholar Program and First-Gen Program.
  5. Oversee the development of MLK Scholars and First-Gen program websites, promotional materials, forms, documents, and publications to accommodate the needs of the students and campus community. Develop and share publication materials for MLK Scholars and First-Gen students via electronic newsletters, IC Engage, and/or social media outreach.
  6. Foster and demonstrate equity, inclusion, and diversity competencies and contribute to cultivating an inclusive, diverse and respectful College community. Model civil and inclusive behavior when interacting with staff, faculty, students and visitors to the College. Promote a flexible, collaborative and inclusive work and living environment and engage in educational opportunities to increase awareness and understanding of equity, diversity, belonging, and inclusion.
  7. Administer and monitor budgets for the MLK Scholar Program and the First-Gen Program.
  8. Serve as an advocate for assigned student organizations such as the First Gen student organization and participate in the recognition processes. Serve as a member of campus-wide, divisional, and departmental committees and task forces as appropriate.
  9. Participate in professional organizations that support First-Gen student populations such as the First Forward NASPA Cohort and professional organizations that support scholarship program like the MLK Scholars.


Master's Degree in higher education, social justice education, leadership studies, or relevant social science and a minimum of 3 years of experience in higher education and working with population-specific programming, a demonstrated ability to design, evaluate and implement targeted experience programs with preference for First-Generation and underrepresented college students and social justice education. Experience in curriculum development and implementation, knowledge of student success literature (academic and co-curricular), an understanding of the work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and experience leading scholarship-based cohorts and teams. Proven success working with student populations in an advising or mentoring role, ability to work independently and as a member of a team are required. Strong written and verbal communication skills; budget management, and the ability to work evenings and weekends in support of campus events are required.


Demonstrate a range of social justice, social change, and equity-based models; Excellent interpersonal and communication skills; Strong organizational and research capabilities; Ability to work with diverse stakeholders; Ability to communicate effectively with individuals at all levels; Commitment to advancing social justice and ensuring the success of underrepresented students; Proven ability to work across complex organizations and ability to achieve key priorities and outcomes.


Ithaca College is small liberal arts school that is looking for bold and creative individuals to join our team as we move forward with our Ithaca Forever strategic plan. Most of the work of the incumbent is carried out within a generally accessible, safe, indoor environment. The incumbent will be required to operate a personal computer provided by the college and associated equipment such as computer printers as well as other office equipment used in day-to-day operations. The incumbent will be required to attend workshops, conferences, and meetings on and off campus and during and after normal business hours and must be able to walk or drive or make alternative arrangements.

Application Instructions:

Interested applicants must apply online at and attach a resume and cover letter. Questions about online applications should be directed to the Office of Human Resources at .

Ithaca College is committed to building a diverse academic community and encourages members of underrepresented groups to apply. Experience that contributes to the diversity of the college is appreciated.

Visa sponsorship is not provided for this position.

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