Careers at UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst COVID-19 Response: The University of Massachusetts Amherst is currently re-examining open positions as our campus monitors and responds to the novel coronavirus pandemic. At this time, hiring priority is being given to positions that are critical to academic, research, and business continuity. Searches for current openings may be placed on hold or cancelled. Candidates will be contacted directly by the hiring department with regard to the status of their current application(s). We appreciate your patience and flexibility during these unprecedented times and thank you for your interest in the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

System Specialist I

Apply now Job no: 508755
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: UMDI - TTA Head Start
Union: Non-Unit Exempt
Categories: Analytics/Programming/Data, Administrative/Office Support

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.


Job Summary

The University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute (UMDI) is a public service, outreach, and economic development unit of the University of Massachusetts, providing government, business, and non-profit organizations with effective solutions in the areas of research, organizational development, training, and technical assistance through its 9 distinct business units. UMDI has a budget of approximately $23 million per year and employs approximately 130 full-time professional employees, and 50 part-time, seasonal, and graduate student employees.

UMDI’s 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 child development 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.

The Head Start Systems Specialist will work with the Region 1 Office and T/TA coordinator and managers to identify cross-system coordination opportunities among the Office of Head Start (OHS), the Office of Child Care (OCC) and related state agencies in the region. The Systems Specialist acts as liaison to each states Head Start collaboration office, and works with federal, regional and state partners to identify community and program needs and to develop and implement initiatives to address identified gaps.


Essential Functions

  • Participate on a regional team to identify cross-system coordination opportunities between OCC and OHS in the region;
  • Participate on a regional team to provide subject matter expertise, consultation, and resources to Regional Office and TTA staff to improve coordination opportunities across state and federal early childhood care and education systems that impact Head Start service delivery.
  • Participate on a regional team to aggregate and analyze regional data related to Head Start collaboration with state and federal early childhood development and education systems, local education agencies, and other local, state, and regional partners to identify cross-system coordination and collaboration issues;
  • Coordinate with partners such as Head Start associations, Head Start State Collaboration Offices, and Departments of Education to improve state and local coordination efforts, promote collaboration with local education agencies, and address cross-cutting challenges affecting Head Start children and families.
  • Participate in regional- and national-level meetings with Head Start State Collaboration Office (HSSCO) Directors, state Child Care administrators and other state-level early childhood systems partners, as directed by OHS
  • Present at the state, regional and national levels on cross state systems work at the request of the TTA Coordinator and OHS
  • Co-facilitate the Region I state collaboration directors community of practice.
  • Provide direct TTA to Head Start/Early Head Start grantees as time permits and at the direction of the Regional Office; and
  • Incorporate other tasks reflective of evolving national priorities as presented by the Office of Head Start, National Centers, Regional Offices and/or aggregate regional assessment data.


Other Functions

  • Participate in business unit and UMDI-wide initiative as required.
  • Other special project-related work 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 in early childhood education, child development or related degree;
  • A minimum of five years of experience. At least 3 years with the provision of technical assistance and consultation to Head Start and/or federal early childhood development, education or human service systems;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and experience facilitating successful collaborations within state and federal early childhood development, education, and human services systems;
  • Experience providing technical assistance that includes working with management teams and program staff;
  • Demonstrated experience analyzing data and helping programs make data driven decisions;
  • Demonstrated experience facilitating group discussions and presenting to a range of audiences; and
  • Demonstrated ability and experience in communicating clearly, both orally and in writing to various audiences.
  • Ability to travel throughout New England at least 50% of the time.  Nationwide travel on occasion.
  • Ability 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)

  • Master’s Degree from an accredited university or college in early childhood education, child development or related degree.
  • Knowledge of state systems in the ACF region.


 Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  • Must maintain a home office, with high speed internet access, sufficiently free of distractions to allow work to be done.
  • The following will be supplied at no cost: laptop computer, printer/copier, LCD projector, computer speakers, cellphone. 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 above are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.


Additional Details

• 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.
• Along with your application, please submit a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three professional references.
• The successful candidate must live in the New England region.


Work Schedule

Standard full-time work schedule consisting of five, eight-hour days and 40 hours each week.  Work performed in addition to regular work hours may be necessary, and may require a change in availability at specific times, to accommodate for variations in work demands.


Salary Information

Salary commensurate with experience.


Special Instructions to Applicants

  Along with your application, please submit a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three professional references by June 18, 2021.


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.

Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: Eastern Daylight Time

Back to search results Apply now Refer a friend

Share this:

| More

Returning Applicant?

Login to complete your application and/or apply for more positions.


Job Alerts

We'll send you an email when a position becomes available that matches your search criteria


Human Resources

Visit Human Resources for more information on benefits, payroll, health insurance, retirement and general information about working at UMass Amherst.