Location: Flexible
Reports To: Research Director
FLSA Status: Full-time/Exempt

The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS) is a national nonprofit based in Oakland, CA, and Washington, DC. We are a trusted source of research, design, and advocacy for student-centered public policies that promote affordability, accountability, and racial equity in higher education. Our staff combines expertise in research and data, laws and regulations, change management, and the policymaking process.

We nurture close relationships with policymakers, providing specific recommendations, and 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 and advocates. For more information, please visit the website: www.ticas.org.

TICAS operates as a hybrid office; all staff have the option to work remotely on a full-time basis, and there are no expectations for regularly scheduled in-person work at an office location. Staff do need to travel to TICAS retreats or team meetings in Oakland, CA or Washington, DC a few times a year.

Job purpose
TICAS is seeking an Associate Director of Policy Analytics to play a key role on our research team. The research team, led by TICAS’ Research Director, leads our analytical work to make original contributions to the national debate over higher education policy and to shape and advance equity-forward, student-centered, and data-driven policies, nationally and in California and Michigan.

The Associate Director of Policy Analytics will lead quantitative data analyses on issues related to college access and completion, affordability, accountability, and student success, with the goal of informing federal and state policy and policy advocacy.

We are looking for a team player with a commitment to promoting equity in higher education, deep expertise of national postsecondary datasets, strong quantitative analytical skills, an impeccable attention to detail, and an ability to communicate policy findings clearly.

The Associate Director of Policy Analytics will be able to perform under very limited supervision and may be asked to manage temporary staff and interns.

Key duties and responsibilities

  • Policy Analysis
    • Conduct quantitative analyses in response to emerging policy advocacy needs, focusing on cross-cutting legislative, regulatory, and administrative policy proposals, resulting in a collection of issue briefs, blogs, memos, and op-eds.
    • Distill and transform analyses into easily understandable fact sheets and summaries, using tables, charts, and other data visualization techniques.
  • Data Support
    • Lead the process for filtering, prioritizing, and responding to data inquiries from various teams across TICAS.
    • Track releases and updates of relevant data sources, such as College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).
    • Train staff in specific data skills and serve on TICAS’ Research Liaison committee.
  • External Engagement
    • Present analytical findings to policymakers, academics, the media, and other stakeholders, including drafting talking points.
    • Represent TICAS in at least one coalition, such as the Postsecondary Data Collaborative (PostsecData).

Skills and Qualifications

  • Minimum of master’s degree in higher education, public policy, statistics, or related field.
  • Minimum of 4 years of experience in higher education, public policy, statistics, or related field.
  • Demonstrated record of building clear arguments rooted in equity.
  • Advanced expertise using national higher education datasets (e.g., BPS, College Scorecard, IPEDS, NPSAS, etc.).
  • Ability to manipulate, probe, and clean datasets to conceptualize and execute research projects. This includes mastery of statistical software, such as Microsoft Excel, Stata, SPSS, SAS, R, or similar programs.
  • Clear verbal and written communication skills to share ideas in a succinct and convincing manner with audiences who may not be steeped in a topic.
  • Comfort working both independently and collaboratively.
  • Agility to multitask and prioritize short- and long-term priorities.
  • Exceptional attention to detail and commitment to continuous improvement.
  • Familiarity with data visualization software (e.g., Tableau) is a plus.
  • Experience with state-level data systems is a plus.

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: $95,000-$105,000, commensurate with experience; excellent benefits.

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