Director of Student Recruitment and Admissions at the Chicago Academy

Job Description

Who We Are

The Academy Group (AG) is a unique enterprise founded to realize the long-term potential of young people from underserved communities across the United States.  Designed to tap into the deep wells of often overlooked talent that exists nationwide, the Academy Group empowers youth to thrive in school, work and life.

In 2017, we launched the Chicago Academy, with an enrollment to grow to 1000 students. We expect to establish Academies in cities across the nation in the years ahead.  Academy students develop the agency and belief to excel. They receive high dosage, individualized academic programming from elementary school through college; a case based business curriculum focused on building entrepreneurial, financial and analytic expertise; college and career counseling; rigorous job preparation and internships and; personalized advising and executive mentoring. Students attend their home schools, colleges and universities – with Academy programming occurring after school, on weekends and throughout the summer.  The core values of the Academy Group are Excellence, Determination and Justice.

The Academy Group is built on a sustainable business model that aligns the commercial and social sectors.  The Academy Group take ownership stakes in a diverse portfolio of commercial companies. The earned revenue generated from the Academy Group Companies funds the education programs, provide apprenticeships for students through college and create employment opportunities to Academy Group graduates.  

Ultimately, the Academy Group aims to generate a new class of innovators and leaders by delivering long-term opportunities for exceptional young people to own, operate and create successful companies across multiple sectors.  

The Role

The Director of Student Recruitment and Admissions will take full ownership of the Chicago Academy’s ambitious student recruitment goals.  In this role, they will be responsible for managing and coordinating the AG team to execute the end to end student recruitment process for prospective elementary and high school students.

The Director plays a critical role in developing, maintaining, and enriching the Chicago Academy’s relationships with our partnering schools, organizations, prospective students and their families. They will be charged with driving efforts to further expand our recruitment partnerships in order to ensure the Chicago Academy reaches across all of Chicago, and excels in impacting the Academy Group’s target population: students from Chicago’s most underserved neighborhoods.  

In managing the end to end process, The Director will lead the design and execution of all external recruitment meetings and our internal selection processes.  They will work with senior leadership to develop compelling models for high student conversion, create new recruitment initiatives, and build consistent brand communications to inform families of our value proposition, while compelling high yield application completion. They will manage the full post-application process including, student selection, enrollment, and student and family onboarding.  The Director will leverage data to drive recommendations for recruitment improvement and refinement on a year to year basis.

This Director of Recruitment and Admissions will report directly to the Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer.


The Director of Recruitment will be responsible for achieving the following goals within the first three months:

  • Coordinate initial informational meetings with internal stakeholders to understand past recruitment practices
  • Set goals and build supporting strategies to ensure full enrollment
  • Develop recruitment workplan for the 2018-2019 school year
  • Coordinate initial introductory meetings with partners, affiliates, and hubs and begin to schedule fall 2018 recruitment
  • Design 2018 recruitment collateral
  • Build recruitment meeting flow and system for ensuring staffing coverage

Principle Duties and Responsibilities

Student Recruitment

  • Serve as initial point of contact to prospective students, families, and educational practitioners
  • Propose, execute, and evaluate current recruitment strategies
  • Design a tailored approach to attract and recruit students based on the AG’s targeted demographics
  • Build exceptional communication collateral, including presentations customized to audiences and promotional content for distribution
  • Manage existing and build new relationships with schools (public and charter), school leadership, network chiefs, etc. to make inroads
  • Coordinate with hubs, community partners, and affiliates to recruit students and families and access venues for informational sessions
  • Set and achieve enrollment targets across all grade bands
  • Produce regular reports outlining progress towards goals

Student Application & Evaluation Process

  • Manage application processes across elementary and high school student entry points
  • Coordinate the inflow of applications and ensure all required application documentation is secured within established deadlines
  • Conduct randomized lottery for elementary student selection
  • Supervise the processing of applications, decisions, and essay evaluation
  • Arrange high school student application review process with AG staff
  • Establish protocol and rubric to evaluate student applications and guide AG staff throughout selection process
  • Execute and manage AG’s live interview day for high school applicants, “Ladder Up”

Student Enrollment

  • Streamline notification process for application decisions to students, families, and partner schools
  • Plan orientations for selected families and students
  • Prepare information packets for students and families ensuring they have all required information prior to enrollment

Shared Responsibilities

  • Coordinate with Program and Leadership team to plan student informational sessions
  • Support Program team to ensure high student matriculation
  • Systematize the online application process and electronic portal with Platform Developer
  • Determine metrics to gauge success of recruiting efforts
  • Develop innovative strategies to increase recruitment of prospective students

Who We are Looking For

Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum of three to five years professional experience.  Preferred candidates have three plus years of experience in recruitment, enrollment management, or admission in an educational program or operations
  • Experience creating and implementing strategies to connect with diverse, multicultural communities

Demonstrated Attributes  

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people
  • Passion, integrity, zest, mission-focus, and autonomous nature
  • Knowledge of current community challenges and opportunities relating to the mission of the organization
  • Ability to work under dynamic, evolving conditions
  • Ability to achieve a high degree of accuracy in numerical analyses and presentation
  • Ability to handle sensitive and confidential information with discretion
  • Strong time management skills for adapting and meeting deadlines
  • Interpret data for decision making and program/process evaluation; ability to make recommendations for continuous improvement

This position will be based in Chicago.

The Academy Group offers a competitive salary and comprehensive medical, vision, dental and 401k package.

To Apply
Please send your resume and a short (<250 words) note about your interest in the role to: