Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is the third-largest school district in the United States, serving over 330,000 students in 600+ schools and employing nearly 36,000 people, most of them teachers. CPS has set ambitious goals to ensure that every student, in every school and every neighborhood, has access to a world-class learning experience that prepares each for success in college, career, and civic life. In order to fulfill this mission, we make three commitments to our students, their families, and all Chicagoans: academic progress, financial stability, and integrity. Six core values are embedded within these commitments – student-centered, whole child, equity, academic excellence, community partnership, and continuous learning.
The Career & Technical Education (CTE) Director will develop, implement and oversee the strategic reinvention and management of CTE programs for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) high schools with the goal of enhancing student preparation for college and career success, as evidenced by increasing graduation rates, college enrollment rates, employment rates, and earnings level of CPS CTE students. Part of the Department of Early College and Career Education, the CTE programs at CPS serve 14K+ students across 80+ schools.
This work includes focus areas such as:
- Assessment of labor market data and student demand to determine industry priorities, selection and development of new CTE programs, evaluation and consolidation of existing CPS CTE programs,
- Design and implementation of curriculum and assessment for 40 career pathways (such as IT, Healthcare, and Culinary Arts)
- Organization of professional development for 200+ CPS CTE teachers citywide
- Coordination with CPS Operations to develop and maintain over 200 state of the art CTE labs citywide,
- Collaboration with Chicago Teachers Union and Illinois State Board of Education to ensure teacher qualifications meet industry standards
- Coordination with the Work-based Learning manager to ensure partnerships with hundreds of local businesses and industry associations to provide work-based experiences for students
- Engagement of Mayor’s workforce board to ensure ongoing City support of CTE programs
- Partnering with colleges to develop articulation and dual credit opportunities for CTE students and graduate
This position will collaborate with stakeholders across CPS departments and external partners to provide the best possible educational experience for CPS CTE students. The CTE Director will provide department leadership to a team of direct reports and will report to the Executive Director of Early College & Career Education.
The CTE Director will be held accountable for the following responsibilities:
- Implement long-term strategic vision and annual implementation plans for building strong CPS CTE programs resulting in significantly higher graduation and postsecondary outcomes for CPS CTE students.
- Design a replicable, scalable model for high-quality CTE program implementation in CPS.
- Establish long- and short-term key performance goals and strategic objectives, and manage ongoing progress toward achievement of goals and objectives.
- Ensure alignment with CPS district strategic vision and goals.
- Define and build the optimal CTE department organizational structure required to achieve results.
- Collaborate with Business Operations and Education for Employment (EFE) team in the development of ~$15M annual operating budget and ensure the effective and equitable management of resources to achieve program goals. Conduct external fundraising efforts as needed.
- Provide input on annual CTE program portfolio development decisions, including program expansion and closure recommendations based on a broad range of decision criteria.
- Lead the design and implementation of industry- and postsecondary-validated curriculum and assessments for 40 different career pathways serving 15K+ students, incorporating components such as project-based learning, work experience, citywide competitions, and integration with core academics and 21st Century Employability Skills.
- Oversee a broad range of professional development for 200+ CPS CTE teachers and 50 counselors citywide, offering PD and coaching in large groups, small groups, and 1-on-1 capacities throughout the school year, ensuring that CTE school staff are up-to-date on industry and instructional best practices.
- Collaborate with CTE Outreach and Program Supports to ensure effective marketing/student recruitment for CTE programs and high-quality middle school programming.
- Collaborate with other high school programs and student support services to integrate CTE and effectively serve the needs of the whole student (e.g., Counseling, College & Career Coaching, Credit Recovery, etc.)
- Collaborate with Principals and Chief Area Officers to drive program/student success.
- Collaborate with Early College Initiatives to build and maintain college partnerships to develop college credit-earning opportunities for students.
- Collaborate with stakeholders on building and maintaining industry advisory councils composed of businesses and post-secondary partners to provide ongoing guidance/oversight to CPS CTE programs.
- Supervise and develop CPS CTE staff, providing oversight and ongoing coaching to ensure achievement of performance and development goals.
- Manage CTE Cluster Managers to ensure performance targets are met
- Serve as an active member of Early College and Career Education (ECCE) leadership team. Engaging in efforts such as strategy setting, performance management, and team building. Support efforts to drive cross-departmental collaboration.
- Collaborate with the Work-Based Learning (WBL) manager to coordinate the sourcing and connecting of WBL opportunities with CTE students in their field of study.
- Develop new, innovative CTE programs, which includes research, development, and implementation.
- Oversee the management of ECCE presence on the Learning Hub.
- Other workstreams, projects, and duties as assigned.
In order to be successful and achieve the above responsibilities, the CTE Director must possess the following qualifications:
- Bachelor’s degree in education, social sciences, business, public policy, or related field from an accredited college or university
- Master’s degree preferred
- Minimum of seven (7) years of relevant professional experience in an educational field and/or career programming
- Minimum of two (2) years of experience in a supervisory role leading a team of direct reports.
- Experience in a large organization, driving complex projects requiring significant cross-functional collaboration is preferred.
- Experience leading, developing and implementing outcomes-based programs for urban students is preferred
- Experience in Career and Technical Education (CTE), whether in a classroom teacher position or as a school leader/administrator, is preferred.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
- Project planning and strategic planning capabilities, including the ability to establish long-term vision and goals, and the ability to align and manage activities toward execution of identified goals.
- Strong leadership and team-building skills, i.e., ability to develop high-performing teams united around a clear vision for serving schools and achieving student success.
- Self-starter with the ability to conduct multiple projects concurrently, both independently and as a member of a collaborative team.
- Strong budgeting and forecasting skills, and experience managing large-scale budgets.
- Ability to build trusting relationships and function effectively at the school level, central office level. With executive-level external partners in business, postsecondary, and government.
- Demonstrated ability to collaborate with internal and external stakeholders to drive change and achieve results. Experience developing business, government, post-secondary and other external relationships to garner support and resources.
- Ability to define problems, analyze data, and outline valid conclusions and action steps.
- Willingness to learn and adapt in the midst of new and shifting priorities with a ‘can-do,’ solutions-oriented approach to problem solving.
- Development-oriented mindset; reflective, self-aware, and driven to learn from setbacks.
- Exceptional written and verbal communication, organizational, and technology skills.
- Demonstrated program management skills including program planning, implementation and review/ evaluation.
- Knowledge of CTE, including employment trends and/or educational best practices, preferred.
Conditions of Employment
As a condition of employment with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), employees are required to:
- Establish/Maintain Chicago Residency. Employees are required to live within the geographic boundaries of the City of Chicago. Within six months of their CPS hire date and maintain residency throughout their employment with the district.
- Be Fully Vaccinated. Or submit to Weekly COVID-19 Testing. Employees are required to be fully vaccinated within 30 days of their hire date. Full vaccination is defined as at least two weeks after your second shot of a two-shot vaccination course. Or at least two weeks after a one-shot vaccination course. Unvaccinated staff must submit to weekly testing.