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Associate Director for Programs at Science Education Non-profit

BSCS Science Learning
Colorado, United States
$135,000.00 - $180,000.00
Closing date
Feb 9, 2022

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Position Type
Executive, Fundraising, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Grant Seeking, Programs, Grant Administration, Grant Making, Program Administration and Management
Employment Type
Full Time
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BSCS Science Learning has an immediate opening for the position of Associate Director for Programs. This is a new position that has been established in response to the extraordinary growth in our educational design, development, implementation, and research activities in recent years.

About BSCS Science Learning

BSCS Science Learning is an independent, nonprofit organization that develops, studies, and disseminates powerful approaches to science education. Our mission is to transform science teaching and learning through research-driven innovation. Founded in 1958, BSCS has brought the experience of inquiry learning to millions of students and teachers across the U.S. and around the world. Today, BSCS conducts research, develops instructional materials for elementary and secondary education, offers professional learning programs for teachers, and conducts leadership development programs for schools and districts. Underlying all this work is a deep commitment to providing all young people with equitable, inclusive, and just science learning opportunities.

Position Overview

The Associate Director for Programs will have primary responsibility for developing and implementing BSCS’s strategy for Programs. In BSCS’s organizational structure, Programs refers to the design, development, implementation, and research activities we undertake to advance our mission.

The responsibility for strategy development will entail identifying next steps for existing lines of work and identifying new lines of work to advance BSCS’s mission. In recent years, BSCS’s programs have yielded a set of curriculum products and professional learning programs that have enormous potential for improving science teaching and learning. We anticipate that a big focus of our strategy in the near- to mid-term future will be scaling up the implementation of these products and programs to increase our impact. Alongside these efforts focusing on our current generation of curriculum products and professional learning programs, our strategy will also lay the foundation for future generations of BSCS products and programs by identifying promising approaches to study and develop in coming years.

To support strategy implementation, the Associate Director will oversee BSCS’s diverse portfolio of projects. BSCS’s work is performed under the auspices of individual projects with a Project Lead. BSCS projects are typically funded through a grant or a contract and accountable to their funder. To support projects, BSCS has established an organizational structure called a project cluster. Related projects belong to a project cluster, and each cluster is supported by one of 5 or 6 Cluster Directors. Cluster Directors monitor projects and provide guidance and support to Project Leads as needed. The Associate Director for Programs will be responsible for coordinating the work of Cluster Directors and will chair the Program Council, which is made up of the Cluster Directors.  The Program Council is responsible for coordinating and supporting work across all projects, including ensuring that project needs for staff and resources are met.

The Associate Director will also participate in the development of new business. In this role, they will work with the Executive Director, Cluster Directors, and Project Leads to identify and pursue funding opportunities to advance organizational strategies. 

While the development and implementation of BSCS’s Programs strategy will require most of the Associate Director’s time, these responsibilities will allow for some participation in project activities, including serving as a Project Lead. If the Associate Director does choose to engage in project activities, they may carry the additional title of Senior Science Educator or Senior Research Scientist, as appropriate. 

Expertise and Experience

The Associate Director must possess all of the following forms of expertise and experience:

  • A deep understanding of public K-12 education in the US and a demonstrated commitment to improving it.
  • A deep understanding of the challenges to equity and social justice in education in the US and a demonstrated commitment to overcoming them.
  • Substantial experience conducting and leading two or more of the following activities in BSCS’s current portfolio with a track record of success:
    • Design and development of Instructional materials;
    • Development and implementation of teacher professional learning programs;
    • Leadership development and capacity building in schools, districts, and educational agencies;
    • Research on teaching and learning.
  • Experience in the following roles with a track record of success:
    • Intellectual leader and manager of work and budget for large, complex projects;
    • Providing guidance and mentoring to individuals with leadership and management responsibilities;
    • Developing and implementing strategy to extend existing lines of work or establish new lines of work;
    • Generating revenue for research, development, or implementation activities by obtaining grants, donations, or establishing a profitable business model
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.

The following areas of expertise and experience are desirable. A successful candidate will bring one or more of them to the position.

  • An understanding of the current state of public science education in the US and of the recent history of reform and standards efforts.
  • Expertise in supporting the learning of emergent multilingual learners; historically marginalized populations; or other populations that are underrepresented in science.
  • Experience marketing a product or service to a K-12 audience.
  • Expertise in assessment, learning in informal environments, learning technologies, systemic change, or justice-centered pedagogy.
  • Management experience at the organizational level, such as:
    • Leading an organization or business unit of 20 or more individuals;
    • Responsibility for budget development and analysis;
    • Responsibility for hiring and staff assignment;
    • Management in a nonprofit setting.

Essential Qualities

The Associate Director for Programs must be a strategic thinker, who is able to manage effectively without losing sight of the big picture. They must be able to lead and collaborate effectively in diverse groups across a variety of contexts. They must also be able to develop and maintain partnerships with organizations whose expertise and composition complement BSCS’s.

To function effectively in this position, the Associate Director will also need to be internally motivated, collaborative, supportive, inclusive, and flexible.

Additional Information about the Position

Salary range: The full-time, annual salary range for this position is $135,000-180,000, depending on experience and qualifications.

We are open to either local or remote work arrangements for this position. Preference will be given to applicants who live in the Colorado Springs region or are willing to relocate here within 3 years.

This position requires travel and public speaking. (Travel requirements for all BSCS positions have been suspended in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.)

BSCS’s Commitment to Social and Environmental Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

BSCS is committed to advancing science learning that is inclusive, meaningful, and advances the work of social and environmental justice. To learn more, visit

BSCS Science Learning is committed to the recruitment of a diverse staff so that we can bring the broadest possible range of perspectives to our mission of improving science teaching and learning for a diverse audience. We are an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, sex, color, religion, national origin, disability (physical and/or mental), sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, military obligations, marital status, pregnancy, genetic information, or any status protected by federal, state, or local law.

BSCS as a Workplace

BSCS offers competitive compensation and a generous package of benefits, as well as a flexible and inclusive work environment, with a strong commitment to the professional growth of all staff. Our benefits for full-time staff include 26 days a year of paid time off, medical and dental insurance, and a generous retirement plan.

As a nonprofit research and development organization, BSCS’s work is funded through a combination of government and foundation grants, service contracts from school districts and other education-focused institutions, licensing revenue, and charitable donations.

BSCS’s offices are in Colorado Springs, ranked #4 in US News & World Report’s 2020 Best Places to Live. Located along the Front Range of the Rockies one hour south of Denver, Colorado Springs is known for a mild climate, a vibrant arts community, and year-round outdoor recreation.

For additional information about BSCS and our work, prospective applicants are encouraged to visit the BSCS web site (

To Apply:

Applications and inquiries may be sent to with “Associate Director” in the subject line. Inquiries will be forwarded to the Executive Director.

Because of the seniority of this position, applications and inquiries will be kept confidential within a small review committee. The interview process will also be conducted confidentially. BSCS will only contact references for shortlisted applicants, and we will contact those applicants to obtain their permission prior to contacting their references.

Applications should include the items below.  (Additional materials may be requested from shortlisted applicants.)

  1. Resume or curriculum vitae.
  2. Personal statement highlighting the applicant’s strengths with respect to the requirements and essential qualities for the position.
  3. List of three professional references.

The initial review of applications will begin on January 19, 2022. BSCS will continue to accept and review applications until the position is filled.

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