Job Listings

Academic Program Director

Mount Tamalpais College
Job Location:
San Quentin, California
Adult and Continuing Education Programs

The mission of Mount Tamalpais College is to provide an intellectually rigorous, inclusive Associate of Arts degree program and college preparatory program, free of charge, to people at San Quentin State Prison; to expand access to quality higher education for incarcerated people; and to foster the values of equity, civic engagement, independence of thought, and freedom of expression. Mount Tamalpais College is a national leader in providing quality higher education opportunities to incarcerated people and in expanding access to higher education within California’s prison system and nationwide. In recognition of our work the organization was awarded the 2015 National Humanities Medal by President Obama.

Mount Tamalpais College is currently in a period of tremendous growth. After over twenty years of operating a robust Associate of Arts extension site of a local university at San Quentin, we have recently become independently accredited. Mount Tamalpais College is the first liberal arts college based inside a correctional facility, designed solely for incarcerated students. 

Job Description

Reporting to the Chief Academic Officer, the Academic Program Director is responsible for overseeing curriculum development and faculty recruitment, training, and supervision for all faculty working within the Associate of Arts degree program at San Quentin State Prison. This position requires working with faculty and students across multiple disciplines, while engaging with a broad range of stakeholders, including incarcerated students, correctional staff and administrators, and other program staff. 

The Academic Program Director will collaborate in an intellectually rigorous, diverse, equitable, inclusive campus community that is committed to civil dialogue and the free exchange of ideas. This position requires strong organizational skills and the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously. The Academic Program Director works closely with students, collaborates with staff and faculty, and serves as the primary administrative representative on all matters related to academic affairs. 

The Academic Program Director supervises academic staff, including the STEM Program Coordinator, the Writing Program Coordinator, the Academic Affairs Assistant, and the Program Manager. The Academic Program Director works closely with the Chief Academic Officer, the Chief of Institutional Effectiveness and Research, and the Director of Advising and Student Services. 

The Academic Program Director ordinarily spends approximately a third of their time inside the prison and two thirds working remotely or at the Mount Tamalpais College office in San Rafael. This job involves up to three miles of walking a day on uneven terrain and some lifting. Hours include at least two evenings a week and regular Sundays inside San Quentin. 

The ideal candidate for this position is an academic and educator by training, and is excited to pursue a career advancing excellence in teaching and learning and providing administrative service at a small Associate degree granting college.

Core job duties

  • Work closely with the Chief Academic Officer and Director of Advising and Student Services on all aspects of program administration, including semester planning and scheduling

  • Supervise and support Writing Program Coordinator, Learning Specialist, STEM Program Coordinator, and Program Manager

  • Recruit volunteer faculty for all credit courses in the social sciences and humanities

  • Provide ongoing supervision and support to instructors via advising on course planning, curriculum development, and syllabus design; individual and teaching team consultations; faculty meetings; and in-class observation

  • Develop and deliver training to all instructors, TAs, and tutors, in collaboration with other college staff

  • Support Chief of Institutional Effectiveness and Research in assessment cycles for accreditation, including compiling data and continually devising programmatic improvements

  • Act as Chair of the MTC Faculty Governance Committee and provide oversight of the committee’s work

  • Participate actively in training and professional development activities provided by MTC for external practitioners and other stakeholders

  • Escort faculty into San Quentin several afternoons and evenings per week, and provide support on site for faculty and students during those times

  • Maintain ongoing communication with San Quentin administrators and staff, regularly and as needed

  • Assist with the planning and supervision of site visits

Other job responsibilities

  • Collaborate with MTC’s Advancement team on special projects, on- and off-site events, and fundraising-related activities

  • Support program team with the planning and execution of special events inside San Quentin

  • Plan MTC’s annual academic conference, in collaboration with the Chief Academic Officer and the Program Team

  • Participate in regular (bimonthly) all-staff meetings, and other organizational meetings

  • Participate in weekly Program Team meetings and biweekly Academic Team meetings

Key success factors

  • Master’s degree required; Ph.D. preferred

  • Extensive graduate-level experience in the social sciences and/or humanities

  • Extensive teaching experience

  • Experience supervising and leading teams, including the ability to give clear and actionable feedback, to support each team member's development, and to support individual goal-setting of supervisees

  • Commitment to cultivating academic rigor and excellence

  • Outstanding communication skills (written, verbal, presentation, etc.)

  • Ability to manage multiple competing priorities under tight deadlines

  • Strong organizational and time management skills; detail-orientation and capacity to multitask

  • Analytical thinker, team-builder

  • Commitment to fostering a collegial and collaborative work environment

  • Ability to communicate effectively with diverse constituents, including students, faculty, staff colleagues, prison staff and administrators, donors, and others

  • Strong sense of personal responsibility and exceptionally self-motivated

  • Mastery of computer skills (MS Office Suite with strong emphasis on Excel, Google Docs, Sheets, Groups, and Calendar, Salesforce CRM, etc.)

  • On prison escort days, the position is physically active, including spending at least 1/3 of the day walking or standing, a 1/2 mile walk at least twice a day, and lifting up to 15 lbs.

Compensation and Benefits

Mount Tamalpais College offers competitive compensation, flexible work policies, and a collaborative work environment. Our benefits package includes medical, dental, and vision insurance, and the full cost of each plan is covered by Mount Tamalpais College. We also offer vacation and holiday pay, as well as opportunities for professional development.

How to apply

Please submit your cover letter and resume to with “Academic Program Director” in the subject line. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

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