Job Listings

Executive Director, PACE

National Louis University
Job Location:
Chicago, Illinois
Disability and Accessibility Services
National Louis University (NLU) is a 130+ year old university that is grounded in the values of innovation, access, excellence, and equity. As an institution, we believe in providing access to educational opportunity and that education is our greatest lever for social and economic mobility. We are a student-focused community that is committed to continuous improvement and asks how do we become more “student ready” so that we may better serve our students. We believe that through education we are able to empower change and build healthy communities. Our community works hard in the service of students and supports one another like a family.

Path to Academics, Community and Employment (PACE) at National Louis University is a three-year, residential post-secondary certificate program designed to meet the transitional needs of young adults with multiple intellectual, learning, and developmental disabilities. The Executive Director for PACE serves to develop long range academic and administrative planning for the PACE program centered around fundraising, alumni development and enrollment. The incumbent provides direct supervision for the PACE leadership team, and overall departmental management including quality of academic instruction, day to day operations, residential experience, and supporting student development and wellness.

Responsibilities and Outcomes:
  • Provides oversight and has responsibility for the daily operations of the PACE program including academics, career development, independent living life skills, and mental health services
  • Oversees all student recruitment including the admissions processes
  • Manages and oversees personnel hiring, training and professional development of all staff, including residential staff and on-call staff
  • Oversees ongoing development and implementation needs (i.e. academics, policies and procedures, assessments, etc.)
  • Manages fundraising as well as grant strategies and opportunities
  • Develops, leads and enhances community partnerships 
  • Oversees and manages program budgets in cooperation with Department Vice President and the Vice President of Finance
  • Develops and maintains Program Advisory Board
Competencies, Skills and Qualifications:
  • Master’s Degree in Special Education, School Administration, Social Work, Psychology, Disability Studies, or closely related field
  • Minimum of 3-5 years of previous leadership experience in a similar role
  • Effective communication skills with the ability to resolve problems
  • Leadership Skills: Takes the lead in developing a shared vision that challenges and inspires individuals across various stakeholder groups (e.g. with staff, students, parents). Articulates, discusses and models the vision in a manner that maximizes personal credibility as well as the understanding and buy-in of others. Empowers and oversees the creation and accomplishment of specific, challenging and attainable staff and student goals that are directly connected to the shared vision. 
  • Strategic Thinking Skills: Can analyze organizational strengths and weaknesses and then combine these with knowledge of the industry, market and organization to develop long-term strategy. 
  • Experience with Budgeting: Creates and adheres to realistic budgets in a manner that helps achieve the organizations objectives. Tracks expenses against the budget frequently enough to make adjustments at the optimum time. Communicates budget concerns and adjustments to all appropriate stakeholders so that they can adapt their plans and expectations. 
  • Managing Employee Performance: Takes action to ensure that employees fully understand their roles, responsibilities and performance standards/expectations and provides ongoing feedback and support as employees strive to achieve expectations. Engages in two-way conversations throughout the year that ensure an up-to-date understanding of expectations, performance gaps and actions required to close any gaps. 
  • Change Management: Proactively assesses the need for change, seeing to it that appropriate resources are available to facilitate changes, considers factors that will support or hinder change initiatives, enthusiastically promotes change in terms of the expected benefits, as well as removing or lowering the impact of potential obstacles. 
  • Building a Team Environment: Establishes an environment that creates incentives for, and eliminates barriers to, a team environment. For example, articulates common goals, communicates how individual roles contribute to team success, provides both clear direction and sufficient resources while removing or reducing obstacles to team success. 
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