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Senior Program Specialist

Dallas, Texas
Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications
Date posted
Mar 12, 2024

Salary Range: 

Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications

About SMU

SMU’s more than 12,000 diverse, high-achieving students come from all 50 states and 80 countries to take advantage of the University’s small classes, hands-on research opportunities, leadership development, community service, international study and innovative programs. The University offers a strong foundation in the humanities and sciences and undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs through eight schools.

About the Department:

SMU College Access’ eight federal funded TRiO programs have assisted low-income and first-generation students prepare for college since 1966 when SMU was awarded its first Upward Bound grant from the U. S. Department of Education. SMU College Access programs have grown over the years to include Educational Talent Search, Upward Bound Math Science, and Ronald McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program.

Scholars in the precollegiate programs, Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math Science, and Educational Talent Search are students from either Dallas ISD, Garland ISD, Duncanville ISD, or Lancaster ISD. These scholars receive support with academic guidance, PSAT/SAT/ACT test prep, college admissions, FAFSA, and summer enrichment. Lastly, the collegiate program, Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program combines faculty mentoring, undergraduate research, and academic support services to prepare and encourage students to pursue postgraduate studies.  

SMU College Access has a collective goal to ensure that students who are part of these programs will realize their dream of attaining a college degree and ultimately be prepared for competitive job opportunities.

About the Position:

Program Specialist supports SMU College Access Programs at Southern Methodist University by managing financial records and processing financial transactions. Position requires working collaboratively with Simmons Dean's Office, SMU Division of Business and Finance Offices, Grant and Contract Accounting, and SMU Research Office. Program Specialist also serves as assistant to Director of College Access Programs. Position requires a high level of confidentiality.

This role is an on-campus, in-person position.

Essential Functions:

  • Manages financial records for Talent Search, Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math Science, McNair Scholars, and other sponsored projects in College Access Department. Assists Director with creation and management of project budgets. Completes monthly reconciliations of federal and non-federal accounts. Maintains accurate and complete files of documentation for charges.

  • Processes and monitors financial transactions through university financial systems. Reviews staff Concur travel requests and expense reports. Ensures that documentation for reports meets SMU and agency guidelines. Assists staff with questions pertaining to Concur. Prepares and processes journal entries. Creates and submits requests through ePAF, Procurement, and other SMU financial systems.

  • Acts as a liaison to Simmons Dean's Office, SMU Division of Business and Finance Offices, Grant and Contract Accounting, and others regarding financial matters, purchase, and travel. Develops rapport with offices to ensure that College Access business needs are met. Orders supplies for office and program use. Escalates issues to Director for resolution as necessary.

  • Serves as executive assistant to Director of College Access Programs. Assists with the preparation of reports to funding agencies. Communicates with other university offices and external stakeholders on behalf of the Director. Position requires a high level of professionalism, integrity, and confidentiality.

  • Serves as a member of the College Access Leadership Team and supports continuity of programs that are designed to ensure student transition and success. Attends Leadership Team meetings and contributes to the direction and strategies being undertaken by the College Access Department. Supports efforts to expand College Access programs under the supervision of the Director of College Access. Completes other duties as assigned.





Education and Experience:

Bachelor’s is required. Preferably study of field in Business, Accounting, Public Administration, Management and Leadership. Candidate with master's degree is preferred.

A minimum of five (5) years of experience working with multiple budgets is required. 

Candidate with knowledge of federal grant regulations and experience with PeopleSoft and Concur is strongly preferred.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Candidate must demonstrate advances proficiency with MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Proficiency with SMU PeopleSoft and Concur (or similar programs) is preferred.

Candidate must demonstrate strong interpersonal and verbal communication skills, with the ability to communicate broadly across the University and develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of constituencies. Must also demonstrate strong written communication skills.

Candidate must possess strong problem-solving skills with the ability to identify and analyze problems, as well as devise solutions. Must also have strong organizational, planning and time management skills.  

Physical and Environmental Demands:

  • Sit for long periods of time
  • Reach above shoulders
  • Carry/lift 25lbs.
  • Stand 

Deadline to Apply: 

Posted until filled.

EEO Statement:

SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601


SMU offers staff a broad, competitive array of health and related benefits. In addition to traditional benefits such as health, dental, and vision plans, SMU offers a wide range of wellness programs to help attract, support, and retain our employees whose work continues to make SMU an outstanding education and research institution.

SMU is committed to providing an array of retirement programs that benefit and protect you and your family throughout your working years at SMU and, if you meet SMU's retirement eligibility criteria, during your retirement years after you leave SMU.

The value of learning at SMU isn't just about preparing our students for the future. Employees have access to a wide variety of professional and personal development opportunities, including tuition benefits.

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