Bard College at Simon’s Rock seeks an energetic and creative leader as Director of Admission.
This is a unique opportunity to apply relevant background and expertise to the distinctive challenge of recruiting and admitting students to both high school and college.
Bard College at Simon’s Rock is the only four-year college in the United States specifically designed to allow highly motivated adolescents to fully realize their intellectual and creative potential by beginning college immediately after the 10th or 11th grade. For over 50 years, Simon’s Rock has occupied a unique space in the educational landscape, practicing the simple yet radical idea that many students are ready for college before the age of 18.
In 2014, Simon’s Rock launched Bard Academy, an innovative two-year high school for boarding and day students, with courses designed and taught by college professors and leading to entry into college after the 10th grade. In doing so, we have connected high school and college in one cohesive, coherent six-year arc. Typical entry points include the ninth grade and the first year of college.
Reporting to the Dean of the College, the director is responsible for planning and implementing recruitment and admission strategies designed to meet institutional enrollment goals; directing territory and prospect management; ensuring a compelling and authentic presentation of both the Academy and the College to prospective students, parents, educators, and others; overseeing the evaluation of applications; leading, inspiring, and motivating a staff of eight to 10 professionals; and overseeing departmental technology use, data collection, evaluation, and planning. The director also manages a small recruitment territory and travels to represent the college.
Recognizing the range of backgrounds and transferrable skills that could lead to success in this role, we welcome candidates from both within and outside of the admission field. The successful candidate will possess the ability to adapt best practices in recruitment and admission to a unique institution; an understanding of a liberal arts environment; an affinity for bright, curious, independent, and creative students with the courage to make an atypical educational choice; an instinct for collaboration; an imaginative approach to problem solving; successful supervisory experience including the ability to build a cohesive team and to motivate others; experience using data in planning and evaluation; an eagerness to participate in, as well as to supervise, the work of the Office of Admission; excellent interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills; flexibility; creativity; and the ability to embrace change and ambiguity with a sense of humor. Experience with Technolutions Slate or other relevant CRM will be considered a plus, as will experience with international, underrepresented, and/or first-generation students. Bachelor’s degree required, master’s degree preferred.
Simon’s Rock is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified individuals are encouraged to apply. This is a 12-month position with excellent employee benefits. Please send cover letter, resume, and contact information for at least three references to Leslie Davidson, Dean of the College by email with “director of admission” in the subject line (firstname.lastname@example.org). No phone calls, please.
The six years at Simon’s Rock comprise three programs:
Bard Academy is a two-year high school for boarding and day students, offering an innovative curriculum in the liberal arts and sciences, with courses designed and taught by college professors and leading to entry into college after the 10th grade.
The Lower College, culminating in the Associate of Arts degree, combines a strong core curriculum with opportunities to explore broadly in the liberal arts and sciences while also pursuing individual interests in depth.
Extending from these foundations, the Upper College invites students into an intensive and highly customized course of study, choosing from more than 35 concentrations, with options for study abroad and away, concluding with the yearlong senior thesis and the Bachelor of Arts degree.
Students may spend two, four, or six years at Simon’s Rock, with admission options at each level. All Simon’s Rock students enter intending to complete at least the A.A.: some begin high school at Simon’s Rock, some complete the B.A. at Simon’s Rock, and some do both. At each successive transition, we invite reflection, self-assessment, and engaged planning for the next stage of our students’ education.
Our classes, taught at all levels by experts in their fields with a commitment to adolescent learners, are small, participatory, and writing-intensive, emphasizing collaboration over competition. Most feature active, seminar-style discussion, in which students learn to take responsibility for their own ideas and engage constructively with the ideas of others. The classroom experience is informed by the Writing and Thinking Workshop, completed by all new students in the Academy and in the College, establishing a common language and culture for shared inquiry and inclusive discourse. Based on an understanding of adolescence as the beginning of adulthood, rather than the end of childhood, our academic and campus life programs offer substantial independence, supported in extensive advising and mentoring, with an emphasis on individual and collective wellbeing, concern for others, social justice, and restorative practices.
The College remains deliberately small, with approximately 425 students in residence. This ensures an individualized and responsive educational experience, which begins with a deeply personal admission process. Even as we offer all the advantages of a small community, Simon’s Rock is an integral part of Bard College, just over an hour away, with its national and international presence and influence. AA and BA degrees are granted in over 35 areas of study. Most graduates proceed to earn graduate and professional degrees at highly selective universities. The campus is located on 275 rolling and wooded acres in Great Barrington, MA, the center of the Berkshires and, according to Smithsonian Magazine, “the best small town in America.” Equidistant between New York and Boston, the Berkshires is a site of great natural beauty and numerous outdoor activities, as well as a cultural destination.