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Application Review Date
The First Review Date for this job is: August 20, 2019. This position will remain open until filled.
The PUENTE Project is a national award-winning program that for more than 30 years has improved the college-going rate of tens of thousands of California's underrepresented students. Its mission is to increase the number of educationally disadvantaged students who enroll in four-year colleges and universities, earn college degrees and return to the community as mentors and leaders to future generations. The program is interdisciplinary in approach, with writing, counseling and mentoring components.
Started in 1981 at Chabot Community College in Hayward, California, the program has since expanded, through its partnerships with educational institutions, to 3 middle schools, 36 high schools and 61 community colleges throughout the state. PUENTE staff train middle school, high school and community college instructors and counselors to implement a program of rigorous instruction, focused academic counseling, and mentoring by members of the community. PUENTE is open to all students.
Puente is housed within the Center for Education Partnership at the University of California at Berkeley, the primary unit on campus charged with developing and implementing programs and strategies to improve academic preparation, expand educational opportunities, and ensure access to higher education and to the University of California for low-income and educationally-disadvantaged students. Working in partnership with local schools and communities, CEP improves academic achievement and expands post-secondary educational opportunities for students who face significant barriers to college.
The Communications Specialist for the Puente Project designs and executes communications strategy to highlight and assist the Co-Executive Directors in carrying out their vision and goals. Builds deep organizational understanding and support for the Puente and Puente's mission, vision, objectives, strategic priorities and impact narratives amongst internal and external audiences. Provides strategic planning and coordination of all communication to ensure message discipline, high levels of communication cohesion, alignment and collective impact on target audiences. This position will report to both Co-Executive Directors.
Strategic Planning & Brand Development
In partnership with the Co-Executive Directors, the leadership team, and the Puente Advisory Board, develops and implements long and short-term strategic communications plans and/or projects; an internal and external communication plan to keep site team members, and other external constituents informed; promotes understanding of priorities, publicizes progress and success stories, builds a narrative that grows a following for sustained and lasting support.
Manages comprehensive communications programs, including written, visual, and social media, and electronic communications.
Provides a compelling internal and external view of the impact of Puente on the positive lived experiences of students, breaking down of barriers, responsiveness to issues of equity and ensures key audiences fully understand, become advocates for and embrace the unique and impactful qualities of Puente.
Identifies specific communications needs of Puente and develops the content and process for improvements.
Creates messaging protocols.
Provides direction and leadership of a multifaceted communications strategy (social media, websites, email, print, agendas, online resources and curricula, visual and audio messaging etc.).
Oversees branding and communication of activities and products to ensure cohesion, strategic alignment, common look and feel, message discipline, quality, and effectiveness of communication.
In collaboration with Puente's Institutional Research Analyst and training coordinators. develops and implements suitable feedback mechanisms to ensure communication of program achievements and progress towards goals.
Ensures production of high quality communications that effectively deliver the desired message within budget and time constraints.
Partners with Equity & Inclusion Fundraising/Philanthropy Office to assist in communicating and advancing the needs, strategies and priorities of Puente especially around Berkeley's Big Give and annual giving program.
With directors, prepares Annual Report for education partners and sponsors.
Oversees development of the Puente website.
Provides communications counsel, toolkits, and templates for greater agility and independent success for site teams.
Assists coordinators in cross promotion of achievements and events; monitors overall communications activity to ensure equitable messaging and promotion of programs.
Works closely with coordinators and site staff to develop story ideas and create materials for communication campaigns.
Provides support in hosting receptions and other events for increased program visibility
Manages writing, editing, and production of high level reports, strategy communiques for key audiences.
Participates in Puente Leadership Team Meetings and Advisory Board meetings as necessary.
Serves as media spokesperson for Puente; fields media inquiries.
Effectively uses clear understanding of news, skilled work with the media, programs for public outreach and or strategic communications and messaging.
Monitors new media and develops strategies to ensure the impact of the Puente Project is well messaged and understood.
Professional development; keeps abreast of communication trends in higher education to work successfully. May serve on committees as requested. Other duties as assigned.
Thorough knowledge of aspects of communications, including strategic planning for various media venues, technical aspects and requirements of various venues, and most appropriate and effective applications.
Knowledge and understanding of technical applications to effectively direct technical staff, or personally perform technical work, including design concepts, various media, and applications.
Excellent collaborative skills and recent experience in successfully working in a collaborative environment
Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal communications, tact and political acumen to effectively represent Puente, particularly around issues of equity for low-income, first-generation-college, underrepresented groups.
Knowledge of and recent experience with website content development and maintenance, social media principles and technologies, photography and image handling.
Thorough research, analytical and critical thinking skills, including sound judgment and decision-making skills and skill to correctly identify real and potential problems, advising management as required, and proposing effective strategic resolutions.
Skill in project management and meeting deadlines.
Experience working with low-income, first-generation-college aspirants and their families.
Solid skills to create, develop, and implement comprehensive long and short-term strategic communications plans.
Knowledge and skills to advise and consult with management to ensure delivery of the desired message to target and/or broad general audiences.
Bachelors degree in related area and/or equivalent experience/training.
Salary & Benefits
For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University visit:
Please submit your cover letter and resume as a single attachment when applying.
Conviction History Background
This is a designated position requiring fingerprinting and a background check due to the nature of the job responsibilities. Berkeley does hire people with conviction histories and reviews information received in the context of the job responsibilities. The University reserves the right to make employment contingent upon successful completion of the background check.
This position has been identified as a Mandated Reporter required to report the observed or suspected abuse or neglect of children, dependent adults, or elders to designated law enforcement or social service agencies. We reserve the right to make employment contingent upon completion of signed statements acknowledging the responsibilities of a Mandated Reporter.
The University of California was chartered in 1868 and its flagship campus - envisioned as a "City of Learning" - was established at Berkeley, on San Francisco Bay. Today the world's premier public university and a wellspring of innovation, UC Berkeley occupies a 1,232 acre campus with a sylvan 178-acre central core. From this home its academic community makes key contributions to the economic and social well-being of the Bay Area, California, and the nation.