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Saint Mary’s adheres to the principle that all persons have equal opportunity and access to admissions, employment, facilities, and all programs and activities of the university regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, or status with regard to public assistance.

Program Director, Special Education
Date Posted 07/15/2021
Hiring Status Accepting Applications
Location Twin Cities Campus
Position Responsibilities

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is seeking a Program Director for Special Education (SPED) to work within a community of professionals dedicated to providing relevant, rigorous, and relational academic experiences for adult learners. This role is accountable for overall SPED program administration, faculty and curricular leadership, student advising, professional development of faculty and university service activities. This position ensures program vitality and academic quality by balancing administrative and academic functions that support a rigorous approach to teaching and practice that meets student learning goals. The person in this role must support, respect, and advance the mission of Saint Mary's University as a Lasallian Catholic institution.

Special Education Program-specific Responsibilities

  • Effectively supervise all SPED adjuncts instructors and staff
  • Remain up-to-date on all Minnesota SPED licensure, pathway, and tier requirements
  • Ensure all SPED students receive efficient, accurate, and timely advising, regardless of track, tier, or pathway
  • Recruit and hire talented new SPED adjunct instructors as needed
  • Review student evaluations for all SPED adjunct instructors
  • Ensure SPED program rigor and compliance
  • Meet regularly with the School of Education dean
  • Inform the SoE dean about potential program administration issues in a timely manner
  • Ensure fiscal transparency and efficient stewardship of all SPED-designated funds
  • Develop reports on SPED program health, status, and future as needed
  • Perform other SPED-related duties as assigned.

Program Administration - Works with the professionals in the departments supporting marketing, student services, budgeting and fiscal accountability, and the School Dean to: 

  • Collaborate with University administrative units to facilitate the development of a multi-year marketing and visibility campaign, ensuring alignment of messaging tied to program outcomes 
  • Establish and monitor annual enrollment goals 
  • Ensure prompt registration of accepted students 
  • Ensure that all students have an orientation to the program 
  • Monitor academic status of students (probation, leaves, retention, degree completion)
  • Ensure a course schedule that accounts for student progression and appropriate class sizes 
  • Administer the summative activities for student completion of the program 
  • Administer academic policies as documented in the Catalog and Student Handbook 
  • Represent the value of the program to others both inside and outside the university 
  • Maintain relationships in the community for the purpose of recruiting students and faculty, marketing the program, and cultivating practicum placement sites.  
  • Maintain updated knowledge of and compliance with specialty accreditation, licensing regulations, and/or professional authorizations, leading programmatic development and maintenance that ensures alignment to accreditation requirements and standards of the discipline’s governing councils and accrediting bodies.
  • Forecast income and expenses, create multi-year budgets, and monitor program fiscal performance and reporting
  • Ensure that all expenses are processed in an accurate, timely, and prudent manner 
  • Hire, supervise, and develop program staff, including program coordinators, assistant/associate program directors, practicum supervisors, and/or faculty.  

Faculty Leadership - Works with the School Dean, Academic Dean, and Director of Faculty Development to: 

  • Recruit, hire, and maintain a roster of exceptionally qualified faculty using a variety of sources 
  • Orient faculty to the program and University processes and mission 
  • Ensure that faculty are teaching from approved syllabi and using updated technology 
  • Conduct regular faculty meetings to promote coherence in curriculum implementation and sharing of best practices 
  • Provide ongoing support to faculty 
  • Evaluate faculty performance by reviewing student evaluations, observing classes, and monitoring professional and scholarly productivity.  

Curriculum Leadership - Works with the Associate Dean of Curriculum and Assessment and School Dean to: 

  • Monitor the development and approval of all syllabi for all courses 
  • Conduct program reviews at least every three years 
  • Maintain curricular relevance through ongoing connections within the discipline/industry including formal advisory committees and various environmental scanning approaches 
  • Maintain a state of readiness to implement program specialty accreditation and licensure processes 
  • Implement assessment of student learning initiatives 
  • Develop new programs and/or instructional approaches 

Professional Development and University Service - Works with School Dean to: 

  • Maintain and enhance disciplinary expertise and scholarship 
  • Support and advance the University’s Lasallian Catholic mission, heritage and charism 
  • Contribute to the governance structure of the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs by committee involvement 
  • Serve periodically as evening administrator on the Twin Cities Campus  
  • Participate in School and University celebrations (commencements, convocations, campus events) 
  • Participate in University initiatives and taskforces.
Essential Skills and Abilities

The selected candidate will have the following skills and abilities:

  • Excellent communication, organizational, and multi-tasking skills with proven ability to work collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with adult learners, faculty and other professionals in academic settings and with community partners.
  • Demonstrated commitment to the profession through service to professional associations, governing boards, or accrediting bodies.  
  • Understanding of online education and how to effectively engage students to maximize their online learning experience.  
  • Professional decorum and ethical decision-making.
  • Creation/maintenance of a collegial spirit among students, faculty, and colleagues.  
  • Effective interpersonal and supervisory skills in recruitment, performance management, and coaching/counseling.
  The successful candidate must support, respect, and advance the mission of Saint Mary's University as a Lasallian Catholic institution.
Education and Experience
  • Master’s degree required; doctoral degree preferred.
  • Special Education licensure from an accredited agency.
  • At least two years of experience in a special education setting.
  • At least two years of leadership experience in the discipline’s profession.  
  • Experience in higher education is preferred which includes teaching, program development, and/or administration; experience with governing body requirements and accreditation standards is preferred.

All offers of employment are contingent upon the successful completion of a criminal background check.

Additional Required Materials Cover letter, CV/resume, and contact information for three professional references.
Application Review Date 07/30/2021
Starting Date
Contact Michael Lovorn, Ph.D.
Contact Email mlovorn@smumn.edu
Position Full-time
Contract Length 12 Month
Other Details / Information
Benefits Full
Work Sponsorship This position is not eligible for work sponsorship
  We encourage members of the protected classes as defined by the federal, state, and municipal law and those persons attracted to a university with a Lasallian Catholic identity to apply.
EEO M/W/D/V
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