Job Title: Navigator Instructor
PVN ID: JJ-1812-002854
Category: Instruction and Social Service

Key Features

John Jay College Prisoner Reentry Instit
Part Time
Pay Range
Closing Date
Mar 26, 2019 (Or Until Filled)


Job Description

General Description

PRI seeks a Navigator Instructor to teach an introduction to human services in NYC, with a focus on training students to conduct basic service needs assessments, find relevant social services, and make successful referrals.  The Navigator Instructor will incorporate key theoretical models (Stages of Change, participant-led/participant-centered goal setting) and a trauma-informed approach into the development of human services “navigation” skills.  The Navigator Instructor will work with students enrolled in a new Navigator Certificate program, which begins in February 2019.  The 16-week Navigator Certificate training program will be a partnership across several John Jay departments:  operated by John Jay’s Prisoner Reentry Institute (PRI), sponsored by John Jay Professional Studies, and taught by a team of John Jay faculty and other instructors with professional expertise. Students enrolled in the Navigator training will be working in or seeking employment in the Human Services field, and will have been involved in the criminal justice system. 

About PRI and the Navigator Certificate:

The Prisoner Reentry Institute (PRI) is a center of research and action at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.  PRI has a diverse portfolio of projects that focus on identifying what it takes for people to live successfully in the community after justice involvement and on increasing the effectiveness of the professionals and systems working with them.  Capitalizing on its position within a large public university and recognizing the transformational power of education, PRI focuses much of its work on increasing access to higher education for people with criminal histories.  PRI’s comprehensive and strategic approach includes direct service, research, technical assistance, and policy advocacy.

With support from the NYC Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, the Prisoner Reentry Institute Career Pathways team is developing a new certificate training program for individuals with lived experience in the criminal justice system who seek employment and careers in human services. The training will prepare students to work with others who are also directly impacted by the justice system and to be effective human services professionals.  The certificate program is also designed as an on-ramp to higher education.

To achieve these goals, the Navigator Certificate curriculum will combine a theoretical foundation for human services work in a community justice context with experiential instruction in crucial skill areas:

  • An introduction to issues of justice when providing human services: an overview of the development of the human services profession, ethics in the profession, and ways to meet human needs through the promotion of justice;
  • Employability skills such as understanding workplace norms and culture, communication skills, and self-care;
  • Foundational human services “hard skills” such as navigating and accessing social service systems and documenting services provided; and
  • Use of technology in human services, especially mobile platforms.

Other Duties

Key Responsibilities:

In a classroom setting, the Instructor will teach Navigator skills to build the capacity of people with lived experience in the criminal justice system to help others access resources and services.   The Navigator instructor will also provide one-on-one coaching, and support students with incorporating classroom instruction into their everyday work and/or field placements.

The Instructor will join a team of John Jay faculty and consultant instructors who are collaboratively teaching in the Navigator Certificate program.  Faculty and instructors will be asked to read key materials and to participate in a collaborative development process to ensure that all course components are integrated into a seamless experience for students. The Instructor will participate in planning meetings, track student attendance and assignment completion, and maintain ongoing communication with PRI about student attendance and progress.  The Instructor will hold office hours specifically for Navigator students and have some informal contact with students to support the community-building aspect of the program (e.g. eat dinner before class with students occasionally, attend graduation).  The Instructor will complete review of student assignments in a timely manner.

Other duties:

Instructor will build student proficiency in navigating human services. Students should gain an understanding of the health/mental health/housing and other service needs that they are likely to encounter in working with people involved in the criminal justice system.  Students should also gain awareness of how their individual experience in the justice system fits into the context of overall demographics and experiences of communities that are disproportionately represented in the justice system.

Key areas of instruction will include:

  • Human services systems in NYC, including housing, health care, mental health care, substance abuse treatment, immigration services, child welfare, and criminal justice-related services. Instruction will cover government systems and non-profit/community-based organizations.
  • Strategies to obtain human services and achieve favorable outcomes for people reentering the community after criminal justice involvement.
  • Demographics and frequently occurring service needs of individuals involved in the criminal justice system.
  • Strategies for outreach to prospective program participants and engaging people in services based on their expressed interests and goals for themselves.
  • Finding voice and drawing on lived experience in the justice system to help others access services and make changes in their lives.
  • Trauma-informed practice and incorporating self-care into navigation services.
  • Ethical practice of navigation (making connections with other instruction modules that will also cover ethics in the human services field).
  • Effective communication with social service providers to find needed services and make referrals.
  • Completing basic screenings and intakes, and conducting brief interventions.
  • Theoretical frameworks and ways to incorporate evidence-based approaches in a community justice context, such as the Stages of Change model, Risk-Needs-(Strengths)-Responsivity, Motivational Interviewing, and cognitive behavioral interventions.

The Instructor will develop in-class and homework exercises to develop student proficiency in these skill areas.  The Navigator Instructor will provide one-to-one coaching to support students throughout the training, especially with their field placements/field research.

Minimum 100 hours required per semester:

  • 20 hours of group instruction
  • 45 hours of one-to-one coaching
  • 35 non-teaching hours (grading, curriculum development, and student progress communication with PRI and/or other faculty)

Option for candidates to extend to 150 hours per semester, with extra 50 hours of participation in additional Navigator training modules taught by other instructors in order to provide support for students in applying content to navigation skills practice.

Position available January-June 2019, with option to renew for July 2019-June 2020.


  • Expert-level knowledge of NYC human services systems and demonstrated service navigation skills; ideal candidate will have firsthand experience with navigating as a human services professional.
  • Previous demonstrated success with adult teaching/professional skills development.
  • Bachelor’s degree, social work degree, or equivalent experience.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills; comfort speaking in public forums.
  • Interest and availability for collaborative design and implementation. Instructors are asked to contribute their expertise and energy to the success of the program overall.
  • Familiarity with Blackboard or other online academic platforms a plus.
  • Individuals with relevant life experience are encouraged to apply.
  • Able to work evenings and occasional weekend hours.


Please include resume with cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, as well as 2 writing samples. Top candidates for this position will conduct a demonstration lesson as part of the application process.