Director of Community Education, North Bennet Street School

Pearl Street Collective - Boston, Massachusetts

Job Category: Programs

Job Type: Paid

Job Term: Full Time

Compensation: $70000 - $80000

Application Deadline: December 31, 2022

About Our Organization


NBSS was founded in 1881 by Pauline Agassiz Shaw, an American philanthropist and social reformer, to help immigrants achieve selfsufficiency through vocational and life skills training. More than a century later, NBSS has evolved into an international leader in craft and vocational education, with 17 expert faculty, 60+ CE instructors, and 20 dedicated staff members. Learn more about NBSS, and tour its facility. 

Job Summary

The renowned North Bennet Street School (NBSS), an esteemed Boston institution where the time-honored tradition of fine craftsmanship remains a vital influence on the City’s culture and economy, seeks a Director of Community Education (DCE) to explore new learning opportunities across adult education, youth programs, and community partnerships. Collaborative and creative, the Director will bring a growth mindset to the design and development of a recharged collection of high-quality educational programs that are accessible and relevant, and that will help broaden and diversify the student audience.

America's first trade school, NBSS is a welcoming, collaborative institution located in Boston's historic North End. For over 140 years, the small, ambitious School has helped generations of students achieve meaningful lives and livelihoods through craft and trade disciplines. The range of accredited and non-accredited offerings from NBSS today include professional career training programs, skill-building classes and experiences, public programs, exhibitions, community partnerships, and more.

Historically, the School’s continuing education program has enrolled ~800 students/year, from beginners to advanced professionals. During the pandemic, NBSS successfully pivoted to deliver virtual classes but paused its in-person continuing education program. The School has since emerged with inperson classes fully restored and a new five-year strategic plan that includes expanding its online offerings, as well as stabilizing and building on the success of the original program, now named Community Education (CE).  

With CE as a key initiative for the sustainable future of the School, the DCE has an opportunity to meaningfully contribute to the way NBSS is defining the next chapter of craft and trade education. Reporting to the Director of Marketing & Engagement and leading the Community Education team (2 FTEs, 1 PTE), the DCE will rebuild a diverse and sought-after suite of programs as they transform continuing education into a broader Community Education program. Leveraging a rich set of existing assets and resources, the DCE will engage the School’s audiences, communities, and stakeholders totranslate interests and needs into a full complement of in-person and online educational offerings for adult education, high school programs, youth experiences, and community partnerships. Additionally, the DCE will draw from the work of colleagues in career training, exhibitions, and public programs, as well as in admissions and development, as they collaborate and imagine possibilities together.

Through their work, the DCE will help raise the profile of the School, connect the institution to new communities and partners, enhance revenue, and create more points of entry to the NBSS experience.

The successful candidate will feel inspired by the opportunity for collaborative authorship and creating access to educational and enriching experiences through the CE program. They will bring an understanding of learning – specifically hands-on and experiential learning, and ideally offer prior experience designing programs. Equally as important will be a passion for creatively bringing new and effective ideas to the community and an ability to attract a wide and diverse audience to the traditions of craft and trade. They will also bring the cultural fluency, authenticity, and charisma necessary to represent the institution and serve as a key liaison to its audiences. 


● Research, develop, and deliver a diverse suite of non-accredited in-person adult courses including new offerings for high school-aged students. Solicit proposals for new courses and developing a year-round schedule of educational programs.

● Take a holistic approach in examining NBSS’ past and current continuing education structure and success, and in collaboration with colleagues, create a business plan that grows interest and enrollment, engages a wide range of new and existing audiences, and invites both internal and external constituents (e.g., faculty, students, universities, schools, community nonprofits) into an exploration of program design and the development of new learning initiatives with NBSS.

● Guide and develop the School's new online course strategy, which has a five-year plan and is in a pilot phase.

● Oversee and develop the School's youth programs, hiring CE instructors faculty, and working closely with partner schools to coordinate schedules and curricula. Develop tailored content and work with partner schools and organizations to support young students in being successful in NBSS programs.

● Recruit, retain, inspire and lead a team of three composed of the Associate Director of Learning Design & Technology, CE Technician, and CE Coordinator. Provide coaching and identify opportunities for continued professional development and mentoring. 

● In collaboration with the CE Technician, CE Coordinator, and continuing education Instructors, coordinate and manage logistics for all courses, including tool/material/supply lists, room schedules, course handouts, and other duties as necessary.

● Establish authentic relationships and collaborate with a large roster of instructors (60+ with 20-30 active instructors at a given time) to identify opportunities for course development, audience engagement, and program expansion. Strategically plan for the growth of the CE instructor cohort in tandem with program growth.

● Collaborate with the Marketing & Engagement department to develop course listings, promotional materials, social media posts, and marketing videos. Partner with the Development department as the need arises to secure funding to support programs.

● Manage and coordinate administrative tasks of the CE program including online listings, correspondence, registrations, budget, and payment processing.

● Serve as a member of the School's Engagement team; identify opportunities for collaboration with colleagues and faculty across NBSS.

Job Qualifications & Requirements

● 5+ years of progressively responsible experience in community-based education program management. A relevant degree is also welcome and may be substituted for some of this experience.

● A creative, entrepreneurial mindset, with the ability to take actionable steps towards strategic business, revenue, and audience goals.

● Commitment to quality and excellence in their work, with an attention to detail but also able to see the "big picture."

● Collegial and collaborative, with the ability to work with a wide range of constituencies, personalities, and partners.

● Lives the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion with the ability to express these through the CE program.  

● Experience and skill in the operation of communication tools, computers, and relevant software, including database systems.  

● Effective written and verbal communication skills.

● Experience launching new learning initiatives is a bonus.

● Professional experience with hands-on coursework, or personal experience with crafts, trades, or the arts, also a bonus. An appreciation for trade and craft traditions is a must.

How to Apply

Please submit your resume and cover letter to Adele Mezher and Maeve Clifford, Managing Partners at Pearl Street Collective, a national women-owned search firm committed to advancing the common good, are leading the search. 

NBSS is committed to continuously cultivating and maintaining a welcoming and inclusive community where individual differences are expected, supported, respected, and valued. We embrace our obligation to improve our institution’s culture, strengthen our partnerships, and positively impact the future of the industries for which we train. An equal opportunity employer, NBSS encourages application from a diverse group of people. Applicants for employment and employees are reviewed on their individual qualifications for a position. Under no circumstances will NBSS discriminate against qualified persons based on race, color, religious creed, retaliation, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender, disability, mental illness, genetics, marital status, age, veteran status, or any other basis prohibited under applicable law. 

Applicants, as well as position incumbents, who become disabled as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act must be able to perform the essential job functions (as listed) either unaided or with the assistance of a reasonable accommodation to be determined by management on a case-by-case basis.