Associate Director, Research & Evaluation

Associate Director, Research & Evaluation

About Jumpstart

Jumpstart envisions the day when every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. A national early education organization with operations in 14 states plus Washington, DC, Jumpstart drives outcomes for young children in three critical ways. Jumpstart provides language, literacy, and social emotional direct service programming utilizing an evidence-backed curriculum for preschool children from underserved communities, workforce programming to expand the pipeline of qualified, diverse talent pursuing careers in early education, and policy advocacy to support the early childhood field and promote high-quality early learning for all. By leveraging nearly 30 years of experience serving over 157,900 children with the support of more than 62,500 college students, community volunteers, and alumni who are credentialed ECE teachers, Jumpstart executes these three objectives to improve the quality of the early education workforce and increase opportunity for young children to succeed across America. Learn more at www.jstart.org and join us in transforming the lives of young children!

RESEARCH AND EVALUATION AT JUMPSTART


Jumpstarts 2021 – 2025 Strategic Plan includes a commitment to strengthening the quality and consistency of program delivery. This position will play a critical role in advancing these organizational priorities. During the summer of 2022, Jumpstart engaged an external consultant to work with the Research and Evaluation team to recenter in the purpose of Research and Evaluation at Jumpstart, and together they established the following Vision and Goals:

Vision: By 2025, Jumpstart will have strengthened the quality and consistency of their program delivery through establishing trust in the accuracy of the data that is collected and reported on and empowering staff to use that data to make decisions for program improvement, such that Jumpstart can demonstrate and amplify their impact on both children and Corps Members (the college students who implement Jumpstarts curriculum in preschool classrooms).

Goals:

  1. Establish a Culture of Data Collection, Use, and Empowerment: Develop tools, resources, and processes that make it easier for front-line staff to systematically and consistently enter and use data, and ensure staff at all levels trust the accuracy of data collected and reported.
  2. Strengthen Decision-Making and Continuous Improvement Practice: Clearly articulate and implement an organization-wide Theory of Change, align data collection and use strategies with desired outcomes, and enhance outcomes-focused communication and collaboration practices to strengthen decisions made in service of program improvement.
  3. Pursue Future Evaluation Activities Strategically: Pursue evaluation activities that both prove and improve program outcomes while ensuring learning agenda questions are reflective of what the organization, staff, and program participants want to know.
  4. Demonstrate and Amplify Impact: Utilize the organization-wide Theory of Change to collect and report on program outcomes that accurately demonstrate the impact of Jumpstart programming on children and Corps Members and share with key stakeholders, staff, program participants, and the broader field.


POSITION OVERVIEW


The Associate Director of Research and Evaluation is a passionate internal evaluator and leader who wants to use their background in program evaluation and analysis to achieve data quality, assess impact, and drive data-based learning and continuous improvement.

The Associate Director leads data analysis and writing/reporting efforts for Jumpstart and offers content leadership to Jumpstarts Research and Evaluation team. Writing and reporting efforts include internal evaluation reports, PowerBI reports, progress reports to funders, journal articles, conference presentations, and partnering with other staff on evaluation briefs for external audiences and white
papers.

The Associate Director is a member of the Research and Evaluation department, which falls under the Operations Division. The Associate Director reports to the Associate Vice President of Research and Evaluation and has 1 direct report, the Manager of Research and Evaluation.

WHAT YOU’LL DO (SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES)


The Associate Directors role works across four interrelated functions: (1) Program Evaluation; (2) Strategy; (3) Support and Inspire Incoming Manager; and (4) Reporting and Application.

Program Evaluation

To ensure Jumpstart gets the most out of its evaluation activities, the Associate Director:

  • Leads data analysis and writing/reporting efforts for Jumpstart and offers content leadership to Jumpstarts Research and Evaluation team;
  • Leads on all aspects of conducting national evaluation of Jumpstart programming;
  • Supports the Associate Vice President of Research and Evaluation with engaging external evaluation partners to strengthen Jumpstarts evidence-building efforts;
  • Structures and finalizes Corps Member survey items;
  • Meaningfully contributes to the advancement of Jumpstarts 2020-2025 Strategic Plan; and
  • Supports members of the Research and Evaluation team to work with various internal teams on program evaluation activities, including specifically Development Staff, and Policy and Government Relations staff.

Strategy

To ensure that Jumpstarts Research and Evaluation team advances the organizations core strategic priorities, the Associate Director:

  • Supports comprehensive data management systems and strategies to ensure readily accessible and maximum use of data for programmatic teams, leadership and other stakeholders;
  • Uses strong communication and cross-team collaboration skills to work with the Operations and Technology teams Data Reporting Specialist to describe meaningful manipulations/transformations of raw data for interactive data visualizations; and
  • Leverages data analysis techniques and tools to analyze and synthesize quantitative and qualitative data to inform discussions about outcomes and continuous improvement efforts.

Support and Inspire Incoming Manager

To ensure that Jumpstarts Manager, Research and Evaluation is set up for success, the Associate Director:

  • Sets up direct report to do their best work, develop professionally, and navigate challenges through regular 1:1s, goal setting and performance reviews, and day-to-day support.

Reporting and Application

To ensure results from evaluation activities are shared with and understood by members of the Jumpstart team, the Associate Director:

  • Serves as the lead author on internal evaluation reports;
  • Contributes results and supporting narratives to reports for funders;
  • Works with Operations Technology to maintain internal data visualizations for staff at various levels of the organization;
  • Informs programmatic decision making and iterative improvement (e.g., in curriculum design, training) using results;
  • Works with and lead discussions about results with senior leaders; and
  • Works with the Development teams Director of Content to disseminate findings and contribute to national conversations.

WHO YOU ARE (QUALIFICATIONS)


Strong candidates will bring:


Required:

  • Education: Masters degree in Education, Psychology, Sociology, or related field with training in statistics and quantitative and qualitative methods of program evaluation; Ph.D. welcomed
  • Experience: At least 7 years of relevant work experience (including research work during Ph.D. if applicable) in research or program evaluation with a high degree of comfort with technology, databases, and change management including ability to streamline & improve processes.
  • Commitment: A commitment to Jumpstarts core values: learning, social justice, community, joy and inclusive leadership. On-going commitment and interest in social justice or diversity, equity and inclusion work including equitable evaluation.
  • Technical Knowledge and Skills: Experience working in Salesforce – or similar relational database – with a demonstrated ability to create reports and dashboards. Advanced proficiency with data visualization and experience using business intelligence tools, preferably Power BI. Experience with form building tools, preferably Cognito forms. Experience with running or contributing to continuous improvement efforts.
  • People Management Skills: Experience managing direct reports.
  • Data Skills: Ability to manage, analyze, and draw interpretations from large datasets in Microsoft Excel.
  • Communication Skills: Demonstrated ability to provide clear and concise verbal and written communication with both technical and non-technical audiences.
  • Project Management Skills: Experience managing multiple projects or tasks under deadlines.
  • Partnership Skills: Experience working across departments, preferably within the context of empowering non-data people to embrace research and evaluation.

Preferred/Ideal:

  • Knowledge of the Field of Education: Understanding of the education landscape, including early education, higher education, and workforce development
  • Knowledge of AmeriCorps funding or process

Travel

Approximately 10% local, national, or regional travel to conduct observations of Jumpstart sessions, as needed, to inform reports or support pilots or to attend conferences

Start Date

February 2023 (desired start date, yet position open until filled)

Location

Flexible location from one of Jumpstart’s Offices in Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY, San Francisco, CA (Berkley office), or Washington, DC

Applicants must be able to work from one of these locations on a full-time basis. Telecommuting options possible through Jumpstart’s formal approval process.

Salary & Benefits

Salary – $74,000-78,000 – commensurate with education and experience; along with excellent benefits and a great mission-driven work environment

How To Apply

Please complete the online application found on Jumpstart’s website. Both a cover letter and resume are required to complete your application.  Applications without a cover letter may not be considered.  Candidates will be reviewed on an on-going basis.  Please upload/attach your resume to your applicant profile as well as your cover letter.

*Jumpstart’s online application process is supported by Paycom. To ensure that the online application works properly, please make sure cookies and pop-ups are enabled on your browser, and that firewall software (if used) is set to permit inbound and outbound traffic on port 443. Unfortunately, touch screens are not supported or certified by Paycom. For the best possible user experience, is recommended a minimum screen resolution of 1280 x 800.

Jumpstart is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion or creed, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, sexual and reproductive health choices, marital status, age, pregnancy, veteran status, disability or any other legally protected status recognized by federal, state or local law with respect to employment opportunities.

Consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act, applicants may request accommodations needed to participate in the application process.

Together, we can help all children build the key language and literacy skills they need to take on the world.

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