Kauffman School

College Persistence Counselor (College Persistence Coach)

Job Posting

Job Details

TitleCollege Persistence Counselor
Posting IDCollege Persistence Coach


The Ewing Marion Kauffman School is a free, public charter school serving more than 1,000 students in 5th through 12th grades. Focused on student achievement and strong character, the school’s mission is summarized in three words: create college graduates. The school serves a student population of which 87% qualify for free and reduced lunch and 90% identify as students of color. Students are accepted by a lottery that prioritizes the six highest-need zip codes within the district.


Students entering Kauffman School in fifth grade typically scored in the bottom third of the state on their fourth grade exams. After four years at Kauffman School, 8th grade students score at the very top in state exams; in 2015-2016 Kauffman School 8th graders ranked #1 in math, #3 in science, and #12 in ELA in the state of Missouri. Our founding freshman class was the #1 ranked district in Biology and the #2 ranked district in Algebra on Missouri’s end of course exams. These results have allowed us to create a high school that offers AP courses for all students, meaning 100% of students participate in AP courses by the time they graduate from our high school. 


In 2015, the Kauffman School was recognized as Missouri Charter School of the Year. In 2016 and 2017, the Kauffman School earned a perfect score on its statewide Annual Performance Rating, one of only 7% of districts statewide to do so. In 2017, Teach For America named the Kauffman School a School To Learn From. Additionally, the Kauffman School became the first charter network outside of New York City to earn the top tier “Platinum” rating from the Leverage Leadership Institute, an extension of the Relay Graduate School of Education. Our school and student results demonstrate our students’ incredible brilliance, passion, creativity, and work ethic. Kauffman School students are empowered by their identities and place in the community and develop a critical consciousness of the world around them. Kauffman School staff actively partner with families to be a school, not just in the community, but of the community.


The Kauffman School is seeking a highly effective College Persistence Counselor. The Persistence Counselor will create and employ strategic structures to support EMKS alumni enrolled in college. The Persistence Counselor will work with our scholars and their families beginning in the spring of their senior year, as they prepare for the transition to college, including overseeing the College Seminar Transition to College class. The Persistence Counselor will stay in touch with college students, track their progress, and offer academic and other support. This includes visiting students at college campuses and arranging meetings to fit the needs of alumni and their families. The ideal candidate will possess an extensive knowledge of the college admissions and financial aid processes as well as the skills necessary to help students be successful in college. The Persistence Counselor will report directly to the Director of College Access & Success.




Senior Matriculation Process

  • Write lessons, oversee and/or co-teach the College Seminar “Transition to College” unit during spring of senior year
  • Manage senior matriculation-to-college process 
  • Track data and materials to ensure smooth and efficient matriculation process
  • Manage key matriculation deadlines across the Spring and Summer to prevent ‘Summer Melt’
  • Provide 1-on-1 counseling with students to establish matriculation and success plans, connect on campus, manage logistics, and prepare emotionally
  • Meet with families of seniors to support family management of logistics, emotions, etc. in facilitating the matriculation process

Strategic Support (Academic, Emotional/Social, Financial) for Alumni

  • Provide cycle of support: 1) Identify highest-leverage need(s) for individual students; 2) Create next steps for student to address need, often via on-campus support; 3) As needed, facilitate introductions to on-campus support; 4) Implement accountability system to check that student is utilizing support (often with on-campus partners); 5) Assess efficacy of intervention; 6) Repeat.
  • Contact each alumnus on caseload via phone, email or in person in predetermined frequency to progress monitor and to build relationships
  • Conduct face-to-face meetings with high priority alumni in predetermined frequency
  • Assist students with application process for summer opportunities, internships, intended major, and graduate school
  • As appropriate, conduct tutoring sessions for students to build academic skills, building towards gradual release for on-campus supports
  • Map out career exploration for each student with career pathway for a career in field of study within 6 months of graduation
  • Implement and execute data-driven approach to alumni support (coding student risk-level, action planning in response to data, etc.)
  • Proactively build relationships with Academic Advisors, Academic Success Programs, Opportunity Programs, Financial Aid Officers, and Deans at various colleges to loop students into support services at their schools  
  • Coordinate and manage the Alumni Book Scholarship
  • Develop, coordinate, and manage summer bridge program, where rising college freshmen take 10+ credit hours at local community college to develop college-level skills while earning college credit prior to matriculation at permanent college

College/University Relationship Development

  • Develop and maintain relationships with campus “champions” to build positive relationships and understanding of EMKS and you EMKS alumni
  • Become familiar with the academic and social environments at the various colleges alumni are considering in an effort to recommend suitable matches.
  • Build strategic partnerships with key players on campus to connect to our alumni and our college access department
  • Support the college process during strategic times as determined by the Director of College Access & Success
  • Leverage connections on campuses to support student acceptance and matriculation to college (and pre-college programs)
  • Foster formal relationship and arrangements with universities in order to partner in the acceptance and success of students

Data Management & Strategic Planning

  • Research & identify bright spots and gaps in current alumni in college re: course load, non-cognitive skills, academic skills, socio-emotional skills, etc. and make recommendations to CEO and high school leadership team in changes to EMKS 5-12 to better prepare students to persist in college
  • Utilizing recent and current literature in college access/persistence and by learning from other high-performing charter schools, identify best practices to implement with alumni in college and make recommendations to CEO and high school leadership team in changes to EMKS 5-12 to better prepare students to persist in college
  • Track report cards/transcripts, current contact information, and course selection for all assigned students 
  • Track and complete monthly reports on alumni results via the College and Alumni Report Card
  • Prepare reports and next steps for Alumni Academic Data Reports 
  • Prepare and present Alumni results at EMKS step-backs
  • Manage and maintain Alumni tracking database
  • Conduct quarterly strategic planning to drive towards quarterly metrics

Event Planning and other responsibilities

  • Co-plan and execute calendar-year of alumni rituals and traditions
  • Support HS team in planning and/or executing college field trips, especially for juniors
  • Attend college access team meetings and lean in to support students at strategic times
  • Attend and support in leading college access events to build relationships with students/families

Building School Culture:

  • Believe deeply in the mission of the Kauffman School and that all children can meet high academic expectations
  • Discuss, celebrate, and reinforce the school’s PREP (Perseverance, Results, Empathy, Passion) values
  • Implement school-wide behavior management system consistently with all students
  • Embrace feedback and constructive criticism in the spirit of constant improvement
  • Demonstrate maturity, humility, professionalism, confidence, and a strong work ethic inside and outside the classroom


  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • At least three years of relevant experience working with low-income, minority, or historically underachieving students
  • At least two years of relevant experience coaching and mentoring students on college application, matriculation and persistence
  • Preferred: experience teaching in an urban high school and/or multicultural admissions experience


  • Able to build positive relationships with students, families and colleagues
  • Commitment to and complete belief in the Kauffman School’s mission to create college graduates as well as in the School’s organizational success
  • Personality should project enthusiasm, professionalism and a high level of credibility
  • Ability to maintain a calm, professional demeanor in the face of competing demands and external pressures
  • Ability to take feedback well and implement changes immediately
  • Commitment to getting the job done right and willingness to do whatever it takes to create and maintain an orderly, effective school organization
  • Demonstrated strong communication and interpersonal skills with students, parents, colleagues and community members
  • Must have a strong personal value system that encompasses high integrity, honesty, a solid work ethic, high professional standards and strong moral character
  • Ability to effectively navigate through and around constant roadblocks that first generation college students encounter on a daily basis
  • Ability to “be your own team” as this position requires independent travel between EMKS and college campuses – must be able to work with degrees of autonomy, but also able to navigate many levels of accountability
  • Demonstrate resilience and grit to problem solve on-the-ground and to advocate for and to implement systems-level changes to mitigate challenges to college persistence and graduation
  • Strong togetherness/organizational skills and ability to juggle multiple deadlines for self and caseload of students


The Kauffman School offers a competitive compensation package commensurate with relevant experience and anticipated duties and responsibilities, including comprehensive health benefits



Interested applicants should complete a formal application through the Kauffman School Careers page at  In your cover letter please address the following topics:

  • Describe a time and the specific action steps you took when working with students to set and achieve a counseling goal
  • Highlight your experience working with low-income, minority, or historically underachieving students
  • Provide specific evidence of your alignment with the Kauffman School’s missions of “creating college graduates” and/or the Kauffman School’s PREP Values

The Kauffman School is an Equal Opportunity Employer, welcoming people to flourish in an open and inclusive work environment. A diverse pool of candidates is welcomed and encouraged.


Shift TypeFull-Time
Salary RangePer Year
LocationEwing Marion Kauffman School

Applications Accepted

Start Date06/01/2019
End Date06/11/2019

Job Contact

NameCandace (Potter) WilsonTitleTalent Recruiter