Middle School Career Exploration Coordinator

The Southwest Colorado Education Collaborative   Durango, CO   Full-time     Education
Posted on July 20, 2022

Position Summary:

This is a full-time, 11 month, grant funded Middle School Career Exploration Coordinator position for the Southwest Colorado Education Collaborative (“the Collaborative”). This position includes supporting 9 school districts with building and implementing a middle school career exploration program in each district that will provide a foundation for students to be educated and ready to engage in CTE pathways when they enter high school. Through a regional cross-collaborative approach, the MS Career Exploration Coordinator will support districts to design, implement and refine middle school career preparation programs. This role will focus on creating a personal learning community of middle school counselors across school districts to explore current career preparation models, participate in professional development, and design a model that supports the unique needs of each of their communities.

Additionally, through the counselor PLC the MS Career Exploration Coordinator will engage the counselor PLC to design and implement regional work based learning  opportunities for students to engage with both industry leaders and other students from across the Southwest region. 

Program & Position Overview:

In November 2020, the Collaborative received a RISE Grant through the Office of the Governor of Colorado. Comprised of five school districts in southwest Colorado (Archuleta, Bayfield, Durango, Ignacio, and Silverton), and two institutions of higher education (Pueblo Community College and Fort Lewis College), the Collaborative was formed to address areas of common need for students in the region, allowing them to access additional opportunities for post-secondary success. In partnership with school districts, two higher education patterns, and local community partners, the Collaborative plans to reimagine college and career pathways by partnering in a more deliberate and coherent way to ensure high quality programming is available to all students in the region. Having identified a need to support this vision through preparing middle school students, the Collaborative in conjunction with San Juan BOCES has been awarded the School Counselor Corps grant to support 9 school districts to build and implement career exploration programs in their school districts.

To support this program, the Collaborative is seeking a candidate who is both prepared and excited to serve as a community organizer and facilitator of bringing this vision to life. Ideally, we are seeking candidates who possess a background in education, career exploration, college preparation and a  preference for previous experience in school counseling.

Essential Functions

This 11 month position will have a month off between the months of June and July and includes building a successful regional middle school counselor PLC that will research, build, and implement middle school career exploration programs. The middle school career exploration programs will encompass elements of ASCA behavior and mindset standards, ICAP quality indicators, work based learning student opportunities, career exploration via a student database system, transition support between middle school and high school, family events, and 2-year and 4-year collegiate tours. 

Key functions include facilitating a regional middle school counselor PLC to research, design, and implement a successful career exploration program in each district’s  middle school(s). Additionally this role will plan, recruit, and execute work based learning events, family engagement events, college tours, and middle school to high school transition events for ongoing support of students and families. Responsibilities that align with the Middle School Career Exploration program  include:

  • Build and facilitate a regional middle school counselor PLC with monthly meetings
  • Conduct preliminary assessments with each middle school program for guidance to support future implementation strategies
  • Research existing career exploration programs across the country through the PLC, site-visits of high–quality programs
  • Support with the design and build of career exploration programs that is most relevant for each school district and their own community
  • Developing a culture of academic advising that provides professional development and resources to teachers and counselors to advise students about CTE pathways and careers based on students aptitudes and strengths
  • Research, purchase, and implement a database system within each district to support students with exploration of self, identification of strengths/aptitudes, and matched careers to interests
  • Provide regional WBL events for students and families to engage with industry and learn about career options
  • Conduct family events with a specific focus on students furthest from opportunities to learn about CTE pathways, concurrent/dual enrollment options for students in high school
  • Lead college tours for students and their families with a specific focus on students furthest from opportunities at the local 2-year and 4-year higher education institutions
  • Create and implement a transition summer program for students entering into high school that supports WBL exposure, academic advising, and exploration of self
  • Identify and conduct recruitment of students in school settings for work based learning opportunities
  • Develop new employer partners and maintain existing partnerships with local businesses and organizations
  • Identify and implement evaluation tools, gather and interpret data, and create reports based on information generated from participants and supervisors
  • Other duties as assigned

Skills & Qualifications:

  • Desire to develop, facilitate, and manage a PLC of middle school career counselors
  • Bachelor's Degree with a preference for a focus in education and/or school counseling
  • Possess high level organizational and communication skills
  • Experience in project-based learning models
  • Demonstrated ability with collaboration, flexibility, vision, and implementation skills
  • Experience as developing and implementing events with multiple stakeholders
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Strong understanding of and commitment to equity and inclusion
  • Ability to create, refine, and implement systems and processes to improve operations
  • Strong Relationship Manager 
  • Ability to work effectively with a variety of stakeholders in multiple contexts
  • Demonstrated success with building and implementing multi-district events and programs
  • Attention to the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in education

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Background work in diversity, equity, and inclusion in education or other field
  • Experience with middle school education and school counseling
  • Understanding of academic advising practices
  • Experience with event planning and implementation for youth and families
  • Understanding of ICAP quality indicators and ASCA behavior and mindset standards
  • Previous experience conducting assessment and designing plans of execution for quality improvement practices 


Salary range is $50,000 for a 11 month grant funded position with a comprehensive benefits package including: a health care stipend, worker's compensation, short-term disability, and up to a 3% match for retirement.

Application Process:

A complete application packet will include:

  • Cover letter addressing interest and qualifications for position 
    • Include details regarding how your personal and professional experiences allow you to encourage a learning environment grounded in equity and inclusion. 
  • Current curriculum vitae or resume 
  • Names and contact information for three current, professional references one of them being a direct supervisor

Please submit all materials as one PDF via email to: jmorrison@swcoedcollaborative.org

Application materials received by Friday, August 5th will receive full consideration. Position will remain open until filled.

Equal Opportunity

Southwest Colorado Education Collaborative does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political beliefs, veteran status, pregnancy, or genetic information. Accordingly, equal opportunity for employment, admission, and education shall be extended to all persons. The Collaborative shall promote equal opportunity, equal treatment, and affirmative action efforts to increase the diversity of students, faculty, and staff. The Collaborative is dedicated to building a culturally diverse and pluralistic faculty and staff committed to teaching and working in a multicultural environment; applications from underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged.

ADAA Accomidations

Any person with a disability as defined by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) may be provided a reasonable accommodation upon request to enable the person to complete an employment assessment. To request an accommodation, please contact Sara Butler by email sbutler@empowerschools.org at least five business days before the assessment date to allow us to evaluate your request and prepare for the accommodation. You may be asked to provide additional information, including medical documentation, regarding functional limitations and type of accommodation needed. Please ensure that you have this information available well in advance of the assessment date.