Director, Educational Talent Search

Director, Educational Talent Search

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America's Best Employers By State in 2021.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

COVID-19 vaccination is a requirement for all positions at the University of Pennsylvania. New hires are expected to be fully vaccinated before beginning work at the University. For more information about Penn's vaccine requirements and the use of Penn Open Pass, visit the Penn COVID-19 Response website for the latest information.

Posted Job Title
Director, Educational Talent Search

Job Profile Title
Director B

Job Description Summary
Reporting to the Vice Provost for Student Engagement, the Penn Talent Search Program Director (TSPD) leads a vibrant, hybrid, college preparatory program, the University of Pennsylvania's Educational Talent Search Program, a federally funded program designed to help first-generation students from low-income families successfully complete high school and enroll in postsecondary school. Educational Talent Search provides approximately 600 students in grades 6-12 from three middle schools and six high schools throughout Philadelphia with support services that promote the academic and personal development necessary for entry into and success in postsecondary school. Our services are completely free to eligible students.

The TSPD is responsible for developing, articulating, and implementing a strategic recruitment, enrollment, service implementation, participant eligibility and service documentation, and student progression plan for all participants. The TSPD is also expected to use in-person and digital, synchronous, and asynchronous, strategies to drive program awareness, to build, and to sustain a world-class recruitment and service delivery pre-college preparatory program for eligible students. Especially encourage the development of programs and activities that are specially designed for students who are limited English proficient, students from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education, students with disabilities, students who are homeless children and youths, and students who are in foster care or are aging out of the foster care system or other disconnected students.

In close partnership with SDP, Penn, and local academic and administrative partners, and with broad awareness of current and impending trends affecting college recruitment and enrollment for low-income, first generation, students, the TSPD plays an integral in the development of our valued program participants. The TSPD also tracks and measures progress and outcomes, ensuring all program initiatives are assessed and adapted for efficiency and effectiveness and that all Federal and University grant protocols and procedures are followed.

Job Description

  • Responsible for developing, articulating, and implementing a strategic recruitment, enrollment, service implementation, participant eligibility and service documentation, and student progression plan for all participants that will ensure that 583 eligible students receive TS program services annually.
  • Work collaboratively, on site and on campus, in person and virtually, with SDP principals, counselors, teachers; other School District personnel, VPSE and other Penn faculty and staff, Philadelphia community leaders, and other partners to provide academic enrichment, tutorial services, career exploration, aptitude assessments, counseling, mentoring programs, workshops, information on postsecondary institutions; education or counseling services designed to improve the financial and economic literacy of students; assure digital literacy programming, and spotlight STEM coursework and general educational development programs for postsecondary education.
  • Hire, trains and effectively manages the performance of three full-time staff during academic year and summer programming.
  • Work closely with Talent Search parents and/or guardians to inform them of high school graduation requirements, academic enrichment opportunities and college

  • Develop and maintain systematic data collection procedures and maintains documentation of student eligibility, monitoring student progress through college admissions and program evaluations.
  • Prepare and monitor, with the Departmental Business Manager, the annual budget plan. Allocates resources and manages expenditures in accordance with federal, University and divisional policies and procedures. Responsible for the stewardship of resources in excess of $200,000 annually. Prepare APR and VPSE end of year annual reports and budget closeouts and submits annual and periodic programming and financial reports to the University and the Department of Education.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

  • A Master's Degree is required.
  • At least five years of experience in a progressive management role in college preparatory programming, admissions, enrollment management, and/or financial aid in higher education is also required.
  • The TSPD must also be a technology-fluent, organized, creative, collaborative, engaged, energetic and hands-on leader who will be expected to collaborate with numerous internal and external partners.
  • Demonstrated commitment to serving and preparing under served, racially and culturally diverse participants for academic success and post-secondary enrollment.
  • Experience working with low-income, first-generation participants.
  • Experience with instructional design and virtual learning environment.
  • Strong interpersonal, written, presentation and technology skills.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity.


$70,000 - $85,000, commensurate with education and experience.


A Cover Letter and Resume/CV are required to be considered for this position. Please upload your Cover Letter where it asks you to upload your Resume/CV; multiple documents are allowed.


Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
Provost Interdisciplinary Programs

Pay Range
$59,703.00 - $95,524.33

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits
  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family-whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement-and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

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