Job Listings

Career Coach

National Louis University
Job Location:
Chicago, Illinois
Career Development and Services
In November 2020, National Louis University launched a new initiative called Accelerate U focused on workforce training for local, upwardly-mobile jobs and careers. A path-breaking “job first higher education” model, our work connects learners and employers, linking economic stability for participants with the diverse talent pipeline needs of employers. Accelerate U works closely with employer partners to build affordable (Pell-eligible) academic and training pathways that 1) bridge to an in-demand job in 3-6 months, 2) lead to an industry-recognized credential, 3) focus on technical and ”durable”/career readiness skill development, 4) include NLU coaching, wraparound supports, and a meaningful cohort-based experience, and 5) allow participants to earn up to 30 college credits that seamlessly “stack” into a bachelor’s degree.

Our first training credential – a Medical Assistant Certification – launched in Summer 2021. This is a new model, a new approach to preparing medical assistants for upwardly-mobile, meaningful healthcare jobs and careers. Learners complete 16 weeks of training followed by a 4-6 week in-person externship at a local healthcare provider. Learners will earn a Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) credential along with 30 college credits that can be applied towards a bachelor’s degree. Program participants will work with their instructors and a career coach throughout the experience and will interview with Accelerate U’s healthcare employer partners for a full-time job immediately following program completion. Accelerate U will add additional training tracks and fields in 2022, some in healthcare and other fields.

The Role

The Career Coach will provide essential coaching and mentoring directly to Accelerate U learners as they complete their training courses and through their externship as they prepare for work. The Career Coach will work directly with learners, serving as a “navigator” to help them build a professional peer network of support, as well as apply, interview for, and ultimately secure a job. This individual will support learners in the medical assistant training track to start and will coach other learners in additional training tracks over time. They will serve as a guide to the learner experience for the rest of the Accelerate U team and will play an essential role in creating exceptional, cohort-based learning experiences for participants. 
The Director of Allied Health Programs position is a twelve-month, full-time, staff position. The Career Coach will report to the Lead Career Coach. NLU seeks applicants that reflect the diversity of its student body and the city of Chicago. 

This is the right role for you if:

You are committed to equity, access, and building economic mobility.
You understand that economic disparity and income inequality are destabilizing forces for a true democracy. You know the power of a great education – one that catapults a learner into new, choice-filled opportunities. You also know that too many talented, high-potential people get left out, overlooked, or skipped over when it comes to opportunities. You want to break down those barriers, destroy those misconceptions, and prepare and connect extraordinarily talented people with the opportunities they deserve. 

You are driven to succeed.
You are passionate about serving all Accelerate U participants including first-generation learners and others motivated by the challenge of preparing for meaningful work. You want to take everything you know about coaching, support, interpersonal relationship building and professional preparation and use it to ensure all learners succeed in the program. You’re agile, flexible, and engaging, ready to learn quickly. You believe in and are excited to contribute to a supportive environment and learner-driven culture. You’re ready to work hard, determined to build something special for everyone who enrolls.

You are creative. And relentless.
You understand the urgency of the moment and the responsibility you have as each learner’s coach. You love to learn yourself by testing new approaches all in an effort to refine and improve Accelerate U’s coaching and support systems. You embrace the “and” and work with those around you to hold learners accountable – you have high expectations for what every one of our learners will achieve – and provide critical support when necessary. You never, ever give up. 

You want to create a community – a sense of belonging – for every learner.
You understand learners are not passive enrollees in our program, but active drivers of their own learning. That learners in our program support the learning of one another: exploring content together, encouraging one another, and holding each other accountable on their way to full-time work. You will create a space for learners to build “social capital” among their colleagues so that they head into work with a meaningful, professional network. 

As the Career Coach, your Essential Responsibilities will be to: 
  • Coach 3-6 cohorts of learners a year through the training, field-based externship, and job placement process of the Accelerate U program; 
  • Facilitate and teach the cohort coaching sessions, using the Accelerate U/Propel coaching curriculum once a week to each cohort;
  • Conduct weekly or bi-weekly individual check-ins with each learner to provide individualized support as they complete the program; 
  • Problem-solve with learners to create a personalized Accelerate U success plan and identify appropriate university and community resources and supports to address challenges and ensure completion of the training experience;
  • Serve as the first point of outreach for learner concerns using a variety of advising and interviewing methodologies to support program participants as they overcome barriers;
  • Work closely with Accelerate U instructors to identify areas for additional support from program kick-off through full-time hire in new job;
  • Participate in Accelerate U’s selection process, leading small group breakout sessions, interviewing candidates, and supporting learners with pre-work and technology setup;
  • Build community virtually (and in-person where possible) among learners to motivate and build networks;
  • Support learners in completing all necessary enrollment requirements;
  • Track learner progress towards a job, completing externship requirements, certification completion, job applications, and other key metrics indicating program completion;
  • Participate in regular meetings with the Accelerate U team, as well as training on Accelerate U program, technology, and curriculum; and
  • Communicate regularly with Accelerate U staff and instructors regarding learner progress throughout the program.

What you bring to the team.

First and foremost, the Career Coach must share Accelerate U’s sense of urgency about the need (and opportunity) to build affordable, flexible, rigorous, supportive, career-aligned learning opportunities that set learners up to be engaged citizens in the 21st Century.
Additionally, candidates for the position must have the following:
  • 3+ years of professional experience in education, social work, career coaching, or counseling 
  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant field preferred but not required 
  • Proven track record of success coaching and mentoring others, especially in supporting individuals across diverse backgrounds to succeed in careers;
  • Ability to build trusting connections and hold learners to high expectations, with empathy;
  • Strong facilitation and relationship-building skills, including active listening, compassion, and clear communication;
  • Proven experience using relevant technology and leading group sessions online with Zoom, Slack, Google Suite, and other learning management systems;
  • Ability to perform well under pressure while maintaining a positive attitude and building effective relationships with multiple stakeholders; and
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment
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