About UMass Amherst
UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.
The University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute (UMDI) Regional Head Start business unit provides training, consultation and other technical assistance to Head Start grantees throughout the six New England states. This training, consulting and technical assistance supports Head Start programs in their continuous improvement of comprehensive services to low-income children and families from birth to age five, with special focus on helping preschoolers develop the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in school. The UMDI Regional Head Start group also supports Head Start programs’ work with families to help them understand and meet their children’s educational, health, nutritional, dental and social emotional needs. Head Start federally funded programs are operated throughout the United States through grants to local public and private non-profit and for-profit agencies.
Grantee Specialists provide training, consultation and technical assistance to Head Start grantees on program, fiscal management and governance issues. Grantee Specialists work at the direction of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Regional Office.
- Provide intensive on-site training and technical assistance to grantees with program and management compliance findings identified through the federal monitoring process, at the direction of the Regional Office. This will require on-site work for periods of time ranging from one day to several weeks;
- Provide technical assistance to grantees with deficiencies in the development of a comprehensive Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) by exploring root causes and analysis of the findings for submission to the Regional Office;
- Provide on-site training and technical to grantees on emerging Head Start priorities, guidance to new directors, and short-term grantee requests upon the request of the Regional Office or grantee.
- Maintain regular and timely communication with the appropriate Regional Office staff assigned to work with grantees throughout the duration of the assignment with the grantees. At the direction of the Regional Office, this may include regular debriefing meetings following on-site visits, participation in risk management meetings, staffing and other meetings;
- At the direction of the Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) and Regional T/TA Coordinator (TTAC), consult with and secure the assistance of Content Specialists at the OHS Central Office;
- At the direction of the COR or TTAC, function as representative and liaison for the Regional TTA network in national and regional committees;
- Notify the Regional Office regarding any problems encountered in implementing corrective actions prior to the follow-up review;
- Work with grantees with concerns raised through the Regional Office oversight process, including national and regional briefings, risk management meetings, annual visits and review of other data sources, such as the Program Information Report (PIR), refunding application analysis, and monthly enrollment reporting;
- Provide grantees with training and technical assistance that is designed to help them strengthen their internal systems, follows best research-based practices, and is compliant with the Head Start Act and regulations;
- Coordinate T/TA with Early Childhood, Health and Systems Specialists to ensure effective integration of management and delivery systems that support improvements to education, family services and health services as directed by the Regional Office;
- At the direction of the Regional Office, develop and provide virtual and/or in-person training in topical areas to audiences including Regional Office staff, grantees and state partners;
- Submit required reports for each training and TA events, as required, for the use and reference of the grantee, Regional Office, Central Office, other government officials , and other members of the public; and
- Attend quarterly meetings with the Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF) Regional Office in Boston, and additional meetings of contract staff.
- Participate in business unit and UMDI initiatives as required.
- Performs other duties as assigned.
Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)
- Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science from an accredited university or college;
- Minimum of 3-years’ experience as a Head Start/Early Head Start director or senior manager;
- Minimum of five years of experience related to program design and management and fiscal operations in or with HS/EHS programs and the development and implementation of comprehensive management systems;
- Demonstrated experience, knowledge and/or skills in the following:
- At least one of the following:
- Fiscal expertise in either Head Start or Federal grants and contracts,
- Data gathering, analysis, evaluation and reporting.
- Analyzing and redesigning systems for grantees in order to improve the effectiveness and quality of program operations;
- Program design and re-design that supports learning through quality program delivery;
- Providing ongoing process consultation or technical assistance;
- Assisting grantees to successfully correct major compliance issues;
- Working with grantees experiencing management and organizational structure changes;
- Ability to help grantees prioritize goals and objectives, assess progress, and plan for five-year grant periods;
- Experience providing technical assistance to governing bodies, including non-profit Boards of Directors;
- Providing trainings to large groups and one-on-one TTA in-person ad virtually, to include proficiency in the use of virtual platforms such Zoom and Adobe Connect;
- The flexibility to work on-site with grantees for periods of time ranging from one day to several weeks, and;
- Proficiency in Microsoft Applications, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook.
- Ability to travel throughout New England at least 50% of the time and, on occasion, nationwide.
- Must be able to transport and set up equipment and materials to TTA sessions weighing up to 20 lbs. per item.
Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)
- A Master’s degree in public from an accredited university or college.
- Ability to speak languages in addition to English.
Physical Demands/Working Conditions
- Must maintain a home office, with high speed internet access, sufficiently free of distractions to allow work to be done.
- UMDI will supply: laptop computer, printer/copier, LCD projector, computer speakers, cell phone. Other equipment and resources may be provided. All must be returned to UMDI when leaving UMDI service or upon the conclusion of the contract.
- The physical/mental demands and work environment factors described are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.
- Job offer is contingent upon the Office of Head Start acceptance and approval.
- This position is funded by grants and/or contracts, and is contingent upon funding.
- No relocation assistance provided.
- This is a full time benefited position.
- Applicants who are not authorized to work in the U.S. will not be considered.
- Successful candidate must live in one of the six New England states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Vermont.
- Any job offer is specifically conditioned upon the potential candidate consenting to and successfully completing a background review.
- The Regional Head Start business work is built upon advancing equity and strives to use culturally responsive and equitable practices in all of its work. To this end, we are actively working to engage a diverse team of Training, Consultant and Technical Assistance Specialists that is reflective of the Head Start Community.
Standard full time work schedule consisting of five eight-hour days and 40 hours each workweek. Work performed in addition to the regular work hours may be necessary and may require a change in availability at specific times to accommodate for variations in work demands.
PSU Salary Ranges
Special Instructions to Applicants
Along with you application, please submit a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three professional reference. Search will remain open until filled.
UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University. To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.