Research & Policy Associate

About CARA:

CARA’s mission is to ensure that first-generation-to-college students, low-income students, and students of color have the knowledge and support necessary to enroll in and graduate from college. While these students need opportunities to learn about college and career pathways, most New York City public high schools and institutions of higher education are not structured to provide this assistance. Our programs, research, and policy work address these inequities. We work with high schools, community-based organizations, and higher education institutions to move access and success guidance from an ‘enrichment for some’ to an ‘entitlement for all’ model.

About CARA’s Research and Policy Work:

CARA uses its whole school and peer to peer programs as laboratories for research on critical issues in the field of higher education access and success. Our goals are to 1) model and share best practices in program creation, expansion and evaluation; 2) critically analyze and write about institutional barriers we observe in the schools in which we work in order to advocate for city, state, and federal policies that create more equitable pathways to and through college for underserved students in New York City and nationally. We draw on quantitative, qualitative, and participatory research approaches to elevate issues of educational justice in the communities where we work, and publish our findings in a range of arenas.

Job Description:

CARA’s Policy Associate will collaborate with co-directors, the director of research and evaluation, and program directors to conduct, analyze and write about qualitative and quantitative research with the young people and institutions (both secondary and higher education) that we serve. They will be responsible for both ongoing writing of policy briefs (see CARA’s website for examples) and shorter policy-related writing for relevant media outlets.

Job Responsibilities:

Conduct research and documentation for policy projects related to CARA’s whole school and peer-to-peer programming, in collaboration with CARA staff, including ongoing projects and the proposal of new projects based on CARA’s mission and work. This research includes but is not limited to school visits, interviews of school staff and students, and interviews with CARA peer leaders;

Collaborate with CARA’s director of research and evaluation to utilize CARA’s program evaluation data in research and writing;

Write long and short-form publications based on the research including research reports, issue briefs, fact sheets, policy proposals, and opinion articles;

Along with CARA staff, represent CARA externally on relevant research and policy issues;

Review relevant policy initiatives, policy reports and academic literature, providing briefings to staff members when appropriate;

Help CARA to build a long-term policy strategy that draws on CARA’s research and programs.

Job Qualifications:

B.A. or M.A. in related field;

Minimum of 5 years experience working on educational or social justice policy issues; experience with postsecondary educational issues a plus;

Familiarity with historical and current scholarship, and key policy debates, in American education

Outstanding analytical and writing skills, including experience executing research and writing projects from initial concept stage to final drafting of research reports, issue briefs, fact sheets and other materials for varied audiences including policymakers and educators;

Excellent communication skills, including interpersonal and teamwork skills;

Strong prioritization, time management, and project management skills;

Demonstrated ability to work both independently and collaboratively;

Ability to both work and think strategically and creatively and problem-solve, while maintaining strong attention to detail;

Familiarity working with qualitative and quantitative data; experience using data strategically to inform policy a plus.

Lived or work experience with first-generation to college, low-income, and BIPOC students; a clear understanding of common obstacles to and best practices for college access and success for those student populations is a plus.

Start date: Fall 2021

Salary range: $75-80,000

Benefits: Family friendly environment with full benefit plan including 4 weeks vacation, generous sick days, pension plan, and access to tuition credits.

College Access: Research & Action (CARA) is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and encourages qualified individuals of every race, creed, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, and gender identity to apply.

Apply now:

Please send a cover letter, resume and writing sample (approximately 5 -10 pages in length) to [email protected]. When doing so, please include “Research & Policy Associate” in the subject line of the email.

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