Job Title: Director of College Access
PVN ID: JJ-1709-002080
Category: Managerial and Professional

Job Description

General Description

The Prisoner Reentry Institute (PRI) at John Jay College of Criminal Justice is seeking a full-time Director of College Access to oversee our expanding educational programs in New York prisons and jails.

At PRI, we operate a higher education continuum designed to create educational pathways for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people. In New York State prisons, this includes college information sessions, developmental education and college readiness coursework, credited college classes, and support for accessing higher education when people return home. Our newly initiated program on Rikers Island will expand this educational access work to New York City jails and seek to increase the number of people who have the information, preparation, and support to attend college after they are released.

The Director of College Access will be responsible for supporting and managing these programs and the staff who work on them, building trusting relationships with key stakeholders and organizational partners, actively seeking out and engaging student input, and advocating for institutional policies and pathways necessary to support incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students.

About the Prisoner Reentry Institute
The mission of the Prisoner Reentry Institute is to spur innovation and improve practice in the field of reentry by advancing knowledge; translating research into effective policy and service delivery; and fostering effective partnerships between criminal justice and non-criminal justice disciplines. Building on faculty expertise and student interest at John Jay College, the Institute's work focuses on professionalizing the field of reentry by providing practitioners and policymakers with practical tools and new ideas to advance their work. The Institute actively seeks financial support for its work from government and foundation sources. It is one of 12 centers and institutes that constitute the Research Consortium at John Jay College.

Other Duties

The Director of College Access will be supervised by the Director of Educational Initiatives and will be responsible for:

  • Overseeing college-in-prison programs in 6 prisons across New York State, including the Prison-to-College Pipeline through which students receive CUNY college credits while incarcerated.
  • Managing CUNY’s implementation of the Second Chance Pell Pilot program, a federal grant that allows our incarcerated students to receive Pell grants for the first time in 22 years.
  • Implementing a newly designed college access program on Rikers Island.
  • Creating pathways, institutional policies and relationships necessary for formerly incarcerated students to return home and complete their college degrees on campus.
  • Building and maintaining institutional and organizational partners including CUNY, SUNY, community-based organizations, other college-in-prison programs and coalitions, reentry service providers, and the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS).
  • Supporting the leadership of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students, and being programmatically responsive to the needs students express.
  • Supervising a full-time staff of three, which includes two Outreach and Student Support Coordinators and a Program Associate, and supporting part-time college faculty and instructors.
  • Monitoring program finances and managing reporting to CUNY and funders.
  • Collaborating with PRI’s Research Analyst to maintain and analyze data on participation and outcomes.
  • Other duties as assigned.


The ideal candidate will have strong organizational and interpersonal skills with the ability to manage multiple stakeholders, build partnerships, and engage with students. In addition, candidates should have:

  • An undergraduate degree and at least three years of experience in social services, education, or related field, or graduate degree and three years experience.
  • Integrity and a deep commitment to educational access for all people.
  • Ability to manage multiple complex projects and competing deadlines, while helping maintain a collaborative and mutually supportive work environment.
  • Experience providing services in prisons, jails, or reentry settings.
  • Experience in educational or college access settings preferred, particularly prior experience at CUNY.
  • Facility at developing and managing organizational partners and stakeholder relationships.
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills and ability to effectively communicate with diverse constituent groups.
  • Well-practiced strategic, problem-solving, and analytic skills.
  • Prior supervision experience preferred.
  • Individuals with prior criminal justice involvement are encouraged to apply, but must be able to gain clearance to New York State prisons and Rikers Island (which requires that applicants have no contact with criminal justice system, including parole or probation, for at least two years).

About the Research Foundation

The Research Foundation of The City University of New York (RFCUNY) was established as a not-for-profit educational corporation chartered by the State of New York in 1963. RFCUNY supports CUNY faculty and staff in identifying and obtaining external support (pre-award) from government and private sponsors and is responsible for the administration of all such funded programs (post-award).

RFCUNY stands between CUNY’s principal investigators (PIs) and the sponsors who support them and strives to fulfill its essential responsibilities to both groups. Working closely with individual PIs and Grants Officers on the campuses, RFCUNY oversees employment, accounting, audit, reporting, purchasing, and special responsibilities that include management of a planned giving program; liaison with governmental agencies and foundations; negotiation of agreements; facility construction and renovation; protection and commercialization of intellectual property; and compliance with applicable standards in research involving human subjects, animal care, environmental and radiological safety, and conflicts of interest.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

The Research Foundation of the City University of New York is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Americans with Disabilities Act/E-Verify Employer. It is the policy of the Research Foundation of CUNY to provide equal employment opportunities free of discrimination based on race, color, age, religion, sex, pregnancy, childbirth, national origin, disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, domestic violence victim status, arrest record, criminal conviction history, or any other protected characteristic under applicable law.

Key Features

Prisoner Reentry Institute
Full Time
Depends on Qualifications
Closing Date
Nov 20, 2017 (Or Until Filled)
Bargaining Unit