Director, Initiatives (HE)

Remote, state
Depends on Experience  Annual

*Please read the full requirements below before applying, especially the Skills and Knowledge for Director Focused on Higher Education

Overview of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL):  

Strada Collaborative, Inc dba CAEL (referred to in document as "CAEL"), is a national, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to partnering with educators, employers, and workforce and economic developers to reimagine and create lifelong pathways that integrate learning and work for adults.  CAEL helps organizations succeed by providing expertise, resources, and solutions that effectively support adult learners as they navigate on- and off-ramps between education and employment. We partner with entities across the adult learner ecosystem to help create actionable career pathways along the journey of lifelong learning and meaningful work.  All employees work remotely out of their homes.

Overview of Higher Education Services: CAEL provides planning, facilitation, research, and technical assistance to colleges, universities, state systems, and groups of higher education institutions. CAEL's work is focused on exploring, planning, launching, enhancing, and growing services and supports for adult and nontraditional students. This includes services to build and scale prior learning assessment programs, enhance advising services, connect curriculum and services to career and labor market realities, build adult student enrollment, and improve adult and nontraditional student persistence and completion.

Overview of Position: The Director, Initiatives is a full-time position responsible for managing complex client projects within CAEL's Initiatives Team to impact the success of our clients' programs, ensure effective delivery of assigned projects, identify new clients and/or opportunities, and contribute to annual impact and revenue goals by nurturing strong client relationships and assisting with proposal development, scoping, and pricing of projects. The role involves coordinating internal team work and the work of external consultants to deliver high quality meeting planning and facilitation, technical assistance, research and data analysis, action plans, and reports on findings and recommendations.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

Client Management

  • Manage both major multi-year as well as short term and one-off projects to ensure CAEL is diagnosing clients' needs and matching them with appropriate CAEL solutions, developing effective delivery strategies and sequencing, conducting high quality client communications, and effectively managing external consultants and internal staff to provide the appropriate expertise for the project

  • Nurture relationships with former and prospective CAEL clients to build an ongoing dialog that will contribute to success for our clients, and impact on the adult learners and earners CAEL ultimately serves

Project Management

  • Work with the Operations Team within the Partner Success Team to update project budgets and assist with invoices, contracting, and internal budget/progress reporting

  • Conduct research projects including: managing work plans; assisting with research project design and planning; designing surveys; managing distribution of surveys; collecting data, and conducting related data analysis and reporting; identifying and utilizing proprietary and publicly available data sets; creating and formatting summary charts and graphs from datasets; conducting interviews and focus groups; preparing presentations and writing reports, policy briefs, and issue summaries as needed

  • Compose reports, action plans, and proposals for colleges, college consortia, state higher education systems, regional multi-sector partnerships, foundations, and other clients

Sales, Product Development and Marketing Support

  • Review sales proposals for appropriateness and applicability to prospective clients' needs and assist with pricing and timing of delivery

  • Create and deliver presentations at local, regional, and national conferences and other meetings

  • Work with colleagues across CAEL to contribute to development of new products and refinement of existing products, contribute to thought leadership in the form of blogs and articles, and support marketing and sales strategies

Education and Experience: 

  • Bachelor's Degree in related field required; Master's Degree preferred

  • Minimum of 5 years of related and progressively responsible work experience

Skills and Knowledge for Director Focused on Higher Education Initiatives:


  • Understanding of postsecondary organizations including accreditation and quality assurance concerns

  • Ability to communicate and develop rapport with state and university administrators

  • Knowledge of and experience with adult learners, institutional responses to engaging and serving adult learners, and applying a variety of prior learning assessment techniques

  • Minimum of three years' experience in a postsecondary institution or related setting

  • Minimum of three years' experience working with and/or teaching adult learners

  • Perform additional duties, assignments and projects as required
  • Superior written and oral presentation skills

  • Superior client relationship and organizational skills

  • Strong listening skills, and the ability to identify a range of client needs and synthesize targeted and multi-pronged solutions

  • Experience in marketing and selling services and/or products

  • Ability to create and manage project budgets and plans

  • Attention to detail and ability to guide a project from inception to conclusion, including timely submission of final reports

  • Desire to exceed expectations and show initiative and creativity

  • Ability to collaborate and work as part of a team including teams composed of various combinations of CAEL staff, consultants, and client representatives

  • Excellent time management skills and ability to balance multiple projects in a fast-paced environment

  • Advanced proficiency in Microsoft Office and/or Google Suite. Data analysis and data management skills with proficiency in EXCEL data tools and formulas a plus

  • Excellent online presentation skills using web conferencing platforms, such as Zoom

  • Ability to quickly learn new technology platforms

  • Ability and willingness to travel

Travel Requirements: 

This position will require the incumbent to travel approximately twenty-five to fifty percent (25-50%) of the time for business meetings with some overnight travel required. The amount of travel and expectations are subject to change based on business needs and demands. 

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are central to CAEL's organizational vibrancy, employee experience, and mission. We strongly encourage applicants from people of color/the global majority, immigrant, bilingual, and bicultural individuals; people with disabilities, members of the LBGTQIA+ and gender nonconforming communities; and people with other diverse backgrounds and lived experiences. We believe every member on the team enriches our workplace by exposing us to a broad range of ways to understand and engage with the world, identify challenges, and discover, design, and deliver critical insights and solutions.

To Apply:  Please submit the following materials on our website:

  • Cover letter (no more than 2 pages), describing areas of expertise and how they align with CAEL's mission and focus areas.  Make sure to give examples of projects and software programs that you have used. 

  • Resume