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Strategy Manager - High School Innovation

This job is no longer available

Lansing, MI, USA

Under the supervision of the Deputy Director who also serves as the director of the High School Innovation strategy, the Strategy Manager will assist with leading MCAN’s work in strengthening school systems and college access practitioners through professional development, research, data, innovation, investment and technical assistance. This position is new and will support the increased organizational focus and capacity needs in this strategy.  The ideal candidate is self-motivated, technically-capable, detail-oriented, and has the ability to prioritize multiple tasks in a fast-paced, innovative environment.

Areas of Responsibility: 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

The Strategy Manager performs a wide range of duties including but not limited to the following:

  • Support the organization in reaching its equity and inclusion goals.  Assist in the audit of existing programs and design of new programs to ensure they are designed to close gaps, specifically among low-income students, first-generation college- going students, and students of color.
  • Enrich MCAN’s professional development strategy focused on serving college access practitioners including but not limited to school counselors, K12 staff, and nonprofit professionals.
  • Facilitate the high school systems change grantmaking strategy including providing ongoing coaching and technical assistance to grantees.
  • Coordinate and manage the review process for all departmental grantmaking.
  • Serve as the primary manager of the online grants-management system for the High School Innovation strategy in partnership with the Strategy Manager for Community Mobilization.
  • Collaborate in the development and launch of the School Counselor Fellows program.
  • Collaborate in the development and launch of the Academic Transitions grantmaking strategy to K12-higher education partnerships focused on developmental education reform including ongoing coaching and technical assistance to grantees.
  • Manage and grow the Roadmap to Opportunity project focused on providing tools and resources for direct service providers to better advise students on stackable education credential pathways.
  • Provide support for MCANs Annual Conference by leading the recruitment of speakers and development of content for the conference breakout sessions.
  • Serve as the primary manager of the CVENT event management system for the High School Innovation strategy.
  • Serve on MCAN’s grant review team. Independently read and score various grant applications and participate in team meetings to review and determine the status of grant proposals.
  • Provide mentorship and guidance to the Strategy Assistant within the High School Innovation strategy on their key projects.
  • Oversee the planning and hosting meetings, convenings, trainings, and other special events within the High School Innovation strategy.
  • Professionally and accurately communicate, in written and oral form, with critical MCAN constituents such as K12 professionals, higher education staff, LCAN coordinators, partner organizations, and state agencies.
  • Compile and analyze data to improve effectiveness of MCAN’s strategies.
  • Utilize technology to drive efficiency of MCAN’s strategies.
  • Attend meetings and events on behalf of MCAN as requested. 
  • Perform other duties as needed to advance the mission of the Michigan College Access Network.


The ideal candidate should:

  • Have an understanding of the concepts of institutional and structural racism and bias and their impact on underserved and underrepresented communities.  
  • Have experience considering the impacts of college access on multiple communities, including communities of color, and those with low socioeconomic status.
  • Have experience incorporating the perspectives of multiple communities, including communities of color, in the consideration of impacts and outcomes of a decision-making process.
  • Prioritize work, multi-task, work independently with minimal supervision, and accurately perform duties in a fast-paced environment
  • Have ability to solve problems, pay attention to detail, and follow through on tasks assigned through completion
  • Work efficiently and adhere to established deadlines
  • Possess strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively as part of a team
  • Have a passion for working in the nonprofit and education sector – especially for post-secondary attainment
  • Have extensive knowledge of Microsoft Office Products and Gmail as well as knowledge of basic office and communication equipment and software
  • Have strong written communication skills that demonstrate professional composition, proper grammar, clarity, and reflect the tone of the Michigan College Access Network
  • Communicate clearly and professionally with MCAN staff and its partners
  • Have a valid in-state driver license for local travel
Educational Background: 
Bachelor's degree in a relevant field

Education, Job Knowledge, and Experience Requirements

A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field and 3-5 years of related experience is required; master’s degree preferred.

  • Familiarity and comfort with technology, specifically Microsoft Excel

Salary: $40,000 - $45,000


This position is full-time and is eligible for MCAN’s full benefits package including generous health, dental, vision, life, and disability insurance, retirement benefits, significant paid time off, paid holidays, and a fun work environment. 

How to Apply: 

To Apply:

MCAN believes that diversity and inclusion among our teammates is critical to our success and we seek to recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. MCAN is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages people from all backgrounds to apply.

For questions related to this position, please email Vicky Wright, Director of Operations, at [email protected]

To apply, please submit résumé and cover letter to [email protected].  We encourage you to apply by January 13, 2020.  

Additional Information: 

About the Michigan College Access Network

Established in 2010, the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) is a statewide nonprofit intermediary organization that mobilizes state and local leaders to increase college readiness, enrollment, and completion rates.  Our efforts are oriented toward achieving the ambitious goal of increasing Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60% by 2030. 

MCAN’s mission is to increase Michigan’s college readiness, enrollment, and completion rates, particularly among low-income students, first generation college-going students, and students of color.  MCAN aims to fulfill its mission through advocacy, capacity building, convening, dissemination of research and data, development of partnerships, and investment. 

As per our recently adopted strategic plan, MCAN will focus its work on the following priorities:

  • Foster a college-going culture
  • Identify multiple postsecondary education pathways and facilitate smooth transitions
  • Improve college affordability
  • Support credential completion

Vision and Values

College is postsecondary education
MCAN uses the term "college" to refer to the attainment of valuable credentials beyond high school, defined as postsecondary certificates and academic degrees.

College is a necessity
Postsecondary education is a prerequisite to success in a knowledge-based economy. Everyone must pursue and complete a postsecondary credential or degree beyond high school.

College is for everyone
The postsecondary education attainment rates among low-income students and students of color are significantly lower than those of other students. MCAN is committed to closing these gaps.

College is a public good
Postsecondary educational opportunity and attainment are critical to a just and equitable society, strong economy, and healthy communities.

For more information, visit

Organization Info

Michigan College Access Network

Lansing, MI
Annual Budget : 
11-50 employees
About Us
Areas of Focus: 

To increase college readiness, participation, and completion in Michigan, particularly among low-income students, first-generation college-going students, and students of color.

Why Work For Us?: 

Statement of Workplace Culture

WE ARE. . .


  • MCAN occupies an important niche in the education community. We enthusiastically take on new projects that move us closer to reaching sixty by 30.
  • We work with and support the people, partners, and organizations that are committed to our mission.
  • We are passionate about our mission and will work diligently improve educational attainment rates for low income, first generation college-going students, and students of color.


  • We foster inquisitiveness among staff by encouraging creative approaches to day-to-day challenges and organizational hurdles.
  • MCAN considers itself an idea incubator. We are comfortable with experimentation.


  • When we identify strategies, projects and programs that work, we strive to bring them to scale and share them freely with our statewide and national partners.
  • We see opportunities, not barriers. As such, we are comfortable with taking calculated risks in the pursuit of sixty by 30.


  • Physically and metaphorically, we are not bound by walls or doors. This means all staff are accessible.
  • We avoid recreating the wheel and ensure organizational continuity by intentionally communicating and sharing resources.
  • Our staff has a working knowledge of each other’s projects.
  • We are committed to and find strength in helping and supporting each other.


  • We are enthusiastically committed to diversity when engaging communities, hiring staff, recruiting our board members, and finding new partners across the state.
  • Everyone within our organization is a resource. Feedback is welcomed and accepted across the organization.


  • We are prompt, friendly, and clear in our internal and external communications. We are committed to consistent communication.
  • We do our homework, and come to the table prepared with meeting materials.
  • We are cognizant of the fact that we represent MCAN in our personal and professional lives.


  • We take the time to debrief on projects and events within the organization, to learn what went well and how we can improve.
  • We help staff achieve their professional goals by committing funds to professional development opportunities, and helping staff understand where internal growth opportunities lie (when appropriate).
  • Through consistent reviews of goals and performance, we ensure a culture of feedback (both internally and externally) is present throughout all of our work.


  • The landscape is constantly changing. To be most effective in our day-to-day work, we are comfortable with ambiguity and recalibrating our approach.
  • Our work is complex and moves quickly. Our staff is committed to being responsive to the needs of the organization for shared success.


  • We recognize that activities like board participation, mentoring, volunteering, and sports teams will enhance our employees’ productivity and their professional networks.
  • We empower decision making at all levels and are comfortable with our staff speaking on behalf of the organization.
  • We encourage our staff to think outside the box and take initiative to better the organization.
  • As MCAN continues to grow in national prominence in the college access movement, we encourage and promote our staff as leaders in the field.


  • MCAN has created a familial environment for its employees.  We take time to celebrate our individual accomplishments as well as our collective successes.
  • We know that important connections can be made during informal downtime at work and restoration is important for productivity.
  • Humor is a key component of our work environment. We have built a culture that facilitates interpersonal connections.

Connect With Us

Listing Stats

Post Date: 
Jan 2 2020
Active Until: 
Feb 2 2020
Hiring Organization: 
Michigan College Access Network