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 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 working hand-in-hand to 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 TICAS website.


TICAS is seeking a talented and committed candidate to design and execute our Michigan state policy advocacy strategy on behalf of low-income students and students of color residing in Michigan. This position involves researching and advocating for policies that improve college affordability and equity statewide, with a special emphasis on first-generation and low-income students and students of color.

The principal duties and responsibilities of the position include:

  • Advocacy and Strategy
  • Policy Analysis and Development
  • Research and Writing

The successful candidate will work with the TICAS leadership team to craft and implement strategies for achieving policy goals on issues including equity, affordability and accountability in higher education. The team member will represent TICAS in meetings with state executive and legislative branch policymakers, state experts and advocates. Key aspects of the role include helping inform legislative and regulatory policy processes through research and analysis, developing and advocating for research-based policy proposals, and building and maintaining coalitions of like-minded partners.

The position will report to TICAS Senior Advisor for Michigan.

Location: this position is based in the Lansing Michigan area.

Essential Functions:

Advocacy and Strategy

  • Develop and execute strategies for advancing TICAS’ policy priorities through legislative, regulatory, and other means in partnership with TICAS team members.
  • Build strong coalitions of allies, keep them informed of developments and identify opportunities for them to contribute.
  • Represent TICAS at in-person meetings and on conference calls with state policymakers, researchers, and advocates. Hear the concerns of state legislators and respond to their requests for non-partisan, unbiased, and reliable research on higher education policy. Specifically,
  • Schedule, organize, and develop plans for meetings with policy makers and staff, including gathering pertinent materials and providing appropriate follow-up materials and clarifications for subjects discussed in the meeting.
  • Participate in meetings and attend conferences on selected issues.
  • Identify and cultivate coalitions of organizations with shared interests. Effectively communication with organizations with different priorities from our own.
  • Build strong relationships with a variety of lawmakers with different perspectives and interests by providing trusted, reliable and independent information and research.

Policy Analysis and Development

  • Analyze, summarize, and make recommendations on draft policy proposals, including on legislative, regulatory and administrative issues.
  • Monitor and analyze regulatory, budgetary and legislative developments, particularly in the areas of college affordability.

Research and Writing

  • Contribute research, analysis, and writing to reports, issue briefs, blog posts, fact sheets, and letters.

Required Skills and Abilities:

This individual must be creative and enjoy working within an environment that is mission-driven, results-driven and community oriented. The ideal individual will have the ability to exercise good judgment in a variety of situations, with strong written and verbal communication, administrative, and organizational skills, and the ability to maintain a realistic balance among multiple priorities.

We are open to various experience levels.


  • You have a passion for mission-driven environment.
  • A desire to reduce structural inequality and racial disparities.
  • You have an interest in higher education policy/research.
  • You are excellent at working in a team and independently.
  • You have an exceptional attention to detail.
  • You have excellent communication skills.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at TICAS:

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.

Compensation: commensurate with experience; excellent benefits.

Application process: Candidates should submit a brief cover letter and resume to: pbalana@ticas.org with ‘Program Associate, Michigan’ in the email title.

In your cover letter, 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.

March 2021