Location: Flexible, Washington, D.C. or Oakland preferred
Reports To: Vice President
FLSA Status: Full-time/Exempt


The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS) is a national non-profit based in Washington D.C. and Oakland, California. We are a trusted source of research, design, and advocacy for student-centered public policies that promote affordability, accountability, and equity in higher education. We conduct and disseminate research, build diverse coalitions, develop policy solutions and advocate for their adoption nationally, in California, and in Michigan.

Our programmatic work spans college access, affordability, and success, particularly for historically marginalized students. Our program work aims to strengthen student financial aid, increase federal support for public higher education, simplify the student loan repayment system, and expand evidence-based comprehensive college support strategies that improve student success. We also seek to ensure colleges are held appropriately accountable for student outcomes, and that students have the information they need to make informed decisions about where to go to college and how to pay for it.

We nurture close relationships with policymakers, providing specific recommendations that help them navigate legal, budgetary, and political hurdles. We build momentum for new policies by building diverse coalitions of advocates and constituents and by driving media coverage. We pride ourselves on the impact of our work and are known for our reliable research, carefully designed policy recommendations, and partnerships with policymakers, community organizations, and advocates.

For more information, please visit the website: www.ticas.org.

Job purpose

The Associate Director/Director of College Completion Policy will develop and implement TICAS’s policy and advocacy strategy on how policymakers can support college completion. A significant part of that work will focus on expansion of funding for and the implementation of evidence-based student support programs that have been demonstrated by researchers to help more students graduate.

The Associate Director/Director will:

  • Maintain relationships with evidence-based student support programs across the country. TICAS facilitates a community of practice comprising seven evidence-based programs that meet quarterly; this position will plan those meetings and ensure that they are helping to advance shared goals.
  • Lead federal policy development and advocacy strategy, including coalition efforts, to advance federal policies that will support college completion efforts.
  • Lead state policy development and advocacy strategy, including coalition efforts, to advance state policies that will support college completion efforts.

The position will also represent TICAS in meetings with federal and state executive and legislative branch policymakers, state experts and advocates, members of the press, and philanthropic partners.

As a member of TICAS’ Management Team, the Director will also contribute to the overall culture of the organization, help deepen the organization’s partnerships and alliances, seek alignment across new and existing program areas, and support fundraising efforts.

Key duties and responsibilities

  • Lead the development of TICAS’ policy agenda, priorities, and objectives for college completion through legislative, regulatory, and other means at the state and federal levels.
  • Lead state and federal coalition efforts and partnerships to advance effective policies.
  • Build strong relationships with college and student support program leaders, researchers, and policymakers.
  • Lead the TICAS Comprehensive Advising and Student Support (CASS) community of practice.
  • Analyze and make recommendations on policy proposals, including those from legislative, regulatory, and administrative branches as well as other organizations.
  • Contribute research, analysis, and writing to reports, issue briefs, op-eds, blog posts, fact sheets, and letters.
  • Clearly communicates TICAS research and policy recommendations to policymakers, journalists, researchers, and advocates in the state.
  • Effectively communicate with organizations with different priorities from TICAS.
  • Represent TICAS in press interviews, public speaking engagements, testimony, conferences, and meetings.
  • Support the organization in fundraising for the efforts, working closely with the executive team and TICAS’s operations team. This includes building relationships with funders, developing proposals, and communicating the impact of TICAS successes.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Skills and Qualifications

  • Must have a minimum of five years of work in college success efforts AND related state or federal policy development.
  • Strong written and verbal communication and organizational skills.
  • Strong management skills and dedication to supporting staff.
  • Ability to exercise good and sound judgment.
  • Excellent at working in a team and independently.
  • Can balance both short- and longer-term priorities.
  • Exceptional attention to detail and commitment to continuous improvement.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

TICAS is committed to sustaining a diverse community with a work environment that is welcoming, respectful, and encouraging to all. TICAS fosters a culture of inclusion that celebrates and cultivates diversity along multiple dimensions, including race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, national origin, socioeconomic status, religion, culture, and experience.

TICAS strongly encourages applicants from diverse and historically underrepresented backgrounds to apply.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Compensation: $90,000 to $120,000, depending on experience.

Application process: Candidates should submit a brief cover letter (no more than one page) and resume to: careers@ticas.org.

In your cover letter (no more than one page), please include:

  • Why you are passionate about TICAS’ mission
  • How you believe you are the right fit for this position

Please include two professional references.