Program Experience Manager II, CEBS

Western Governors University
Published
February 5, 2021
Location
Atlanta, GA
Category
Job Type

Description

Current WGU Employees must have their internal application submitted before 2-11-2021 to be considered for this role.

The Program Experience Manager-II performs a key role in the implementation of the Character Education for a Better Society (CEBS) Project.

The Program Experience Manager-II is a senior level position that plays a central role in Program Experience Management including program experience coordination and implementation of college-wide and program-level initiatives. The Program Experience Manager-II will ensure that the “voice of the student” is at the forefront in the delivery of all programs; seeking and listening to feedback from students, alumni, leadership, and WGU faculty and staff regarding the quality of the program experience.  This position will surface any and all points of friction to academic and operational college leadership, and establishes corrective action plans, along with leading and directing strategic initiatives to improve the student experience.

The Program Experience Manager-II has expert-level knowledge in change management, project management, policies and procedures, and cross-functional collaboration. This position operates in a complex and diverse environment where analysis of student experience friction points requires data evaluation and extensive research before the implementation of an optimization strategy. This position has an extensive knowledge of the operational framework of the college and university as a whole, and with this knowledge, knows how to best utilize resources to see projects and initiatives to full lifecycle accuracy and completion.

The Program Experience Manager-II, with the aforementioned expertise and knowledge, provides direct guidance and recommendations to the program chairs, directors, and vice president-level leadership, which impacts the college-wide and program-level functional and organizational objectives and budgets. The Program Experience Manager-II also serves as the intermediary of academics and operations in regard to any cross-departmental student experience projects and initiatives. 

Essential Functions and Responsibilities:

Strategic Direction and Leadership

  • Functions as a lead Program Experience Manager including project oversight, intake, project delegation, implementation, and project lead. 
  • Orientation and on-boarding of new Program Experience Managers.  Functions as subject and process matter experts across entire college.
  • Focuses on the entire arc of the student’s program experience -- from prospect to graduate-- to ensure WGU is delivering programs that are seamless, frictionless, and deliver on WGU’s student promise of degree and career success.
  • The Program Experience Manager will have a unique holistic view of the student’s program experience.  This position will recommend and lead pilot studies within the program and college, suggest amendments to policies and procedures, suggest and collaborate with Program Development on revisions to course resources, and take the lead on implementation of innovations.
  • May take the lead on maintaining the change management plan that the Ops Team designs to ensure that all needs have been considered and are orchestrated within the college.
  • Plays a key role in reviewing the support provided by the Student Support Centers to ensure that the support, learning resources, and/or tutoring is meeting the needs of students.
  • Maintains a solid understanding of college and institutional goals and priorities as they relate to the student experience.
  • Works closely with the leadership team to ensure programs and initiatives designed and maintained are meeting the needs of our students.
  • Works closely with Institutional Research and the quality assurance teams to ensure appropriate information related to retention and factors that contribute to student success are made available and interpreted appropriately.
  • Assists in the creation and implementation of the college's strategic plan.
  • Develops and facilitates ongoing faculty development to support college-wide initiatives and strategic change.

Program Development

  • Constantly challenges the status quo of all program delivery.  From a holistic perspective, the Program Experience Manager will relentlessly remind the Operations Leadership team to push for zero dissatisfaction and to identify opportunities for continuous improvement.
  • Works to integrate the college programs and initiatives to optimize the student experience.
  • Initiates and facilitates collaboration with university and college stakeholders to ensure full integration of programs and initiatives and that, whenever possible, these programs are college specific.
  • Maintains strategic oversight of college programs to ensure they are evolving to meet the needs of the students, campus and faculty partners.
  • As a member of the senior leadership team, will be expected to ensure integration and coordination of any new programs and services with programs currently being offered by the college and university.

Relationship Building

  • Establishes a network of strategic relationships with university partners and external organizations to remain up-to-date on new research and strategies and initiatives, and to disseminate this to the broader college community as appropriate.
  • Will participate in and contribute to regular staff and department meetings. Engages stakeholders in meaningful conversations about factors that contribute to student success, retention, and student engagement.
  • Represents the college at meetings related to the student experience.
  • Will be a member of the College Operations senior leadership team.

Research

  • Plays a key role in change management.  The Program Experience Manager is a key fact-finder and collaborator, ensuring that there is strong cross-functional and cross-departmental communication about solutions and improvements to the student experience.
  • Highly knowledgeable of the unique needs of WGU students particularly in the areas of student engagement, student retention and student satisfaction. He/she must be confident using this knowledge to inform strategy development and ongoing evolution.
  • Works with the leadership team to summarize and disseminate key research related to student experiences, factors that contribute to student success and university readiness, best practices at other institutions, developing and delivering intentional and engaging programs for students.
  • Is knowledgeable and keeps up-to-date on current WGU Institutional Research including university surveys, college specific surveys and the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).
  • Uses current research to design intentional, proactive, and responsive programs that are in line with the needs of our students and faculty partners.
  • Confident reading and interpreting of statistical information and data relevant to the student experience.

Knowledge, Skill and Abilities

  • Strong commitment to character education and to the learning and practice of character development.
  • Participates in on-going character education training.
  • Represents and champions the CEBS project to internal and external audiences.
  • Models character, leadership and professionalism and exhibits good judgement.
  • Proven ability to take initiative and be both innovative and flexible.
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills, solid organizational and critical thinking skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, build consensus, and be sensitive to the needs and interests of various stakeholders, and contribute to the functioning of a diverse team both within the college and across the university.
  • Demonstrated ability to contribute to and thrive in a collaborative environment and to apply a positive team approach to working with colleagues.
  • Demonstrated ability to use and interpret data to make decisions and communicate results effectively to various stakeholders.
  • Able to build collaborative working relationships across the university.
  • Ability to lead and influence colleagues and university stakeholders in understanding the student experience.
  • Teamwork skills are crucial as is consensus building and strategic leadership.
  • Highly knowledgeable in best practices, literature and research in the needs of students at post-secondary institutions.
  • Strong understanding of the unique needs of WGU students including graduate, undergraduate, and alumni.
  • Strong commitment to Competency Based Education.

Qualifications

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration, Business, Human Resources or other related discipline.
  • 5+ years project management experience.
  • Formal training and certification in Project Management system(s).

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Formal learnings in Character and Virtue Ethics.
  • Able to build collaborative working relationships across the university.
  • Ability to lead and influence colleagues and university stakeholders in understanding the student experience.
  • Teamwork skills are crucial as is consensus building and strategic leadership.
  • Experience managing/leading professional staff within a student service/academic organization.
  • Experience developing, delivering and evaluating strategies at post-secondary institutions.
  • Formal education, certification, and/or skill managing projects (project management).
  • Change management, PMP, or ADKAR/Prosci certification preferred.

Working Conditions

  • May be required to travel to offsite meetings.

Disclaimer: This Job Description has been designed to indicate the general nature, essential duties, and responsibilities of work performed by employees within this classification. It does not contain a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications that are required of the employee to do this job.  Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice. This Job Description does not constitute a contract of employment and the University may exercise its employment-at-will rights at any time.

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