Graduate Program Coordinator

The Graduate Program Coordinator supervises and mentors graduate students during their 12-month residency at North Cascades Institute. The Coordinator partners with Institute staff and University faculty to advise and counsel graduate students throughout their program, assuring integration of the experiential and academic elements of their learning. A core function of the Coordinator is evaluation of the students’ progress in the various skills being developed through practice during the residency, and working with them on areas needing improvement. The Coordinator is the lead graduate student recruiter and is expected to matriculate 12-14 students annually. Direct instruction of graduate students in the areas of the Coordinator’s expertise is preferred.


The Graduate Coordinator is based at North Cascades Environmental Learning Center, located on Diablo Lake in the North Cascades National Park, WA. Some of the Coordinator’s time will be spent at the Institute’s administrative office in Sedro-Woolley, with occasional travel within the region.

Graduate Program Description
The graduate program is a partnership between North Cascades Institute and Western Washington University that blends leadership and nonprofit administration, curriculum development and instruction, natural and cultural history, and residential program operations. Students earn a Master of Education in Environmental Education from Western Washington University and Certificate in Leadership and Nonprofit Administration from North Cascades Institute. This unique seven-quarter experience integrates hands-on teaching experiences with all ages, nonprofit leadership and management, running a wilderness learning center, and outdoor explorations with rigorous academic studies. We equip future leaders with skills and experiences as environmental educators, naturalists, interpreters, administrators and nonprofit entrepreneurs.

• Master’s degree in education, conservation, natural history or related field
• At least two years demonstrated expertise in mentoring and advising adult students 
• Experience successfully teaching adult students (experiential, environmental and/or residential background preferred) and applying natural history and ecological field skills to Pacific Northwest landscapes
• Strong collaborator with demonstrated success uniting cross-functional teams with shared goals
• Ability to prioritize effectively and handle multiple projects and deadlines simultaneously; flexibility and excellent time management skills
• Excellent communication, interpersonal and organizational skills
• Good judgment and the ability to work independently and reliably
• Creative thinking and strategic planning skills, good sense of humor
• Knowledge of and commitment to the mission of North Cascades Institute
• Willingness to occasionally travel within the region, and work some evenings and weekends
• Wilderness First Responder certification
• Ability to participate in wilderness travel, walk over uneven terrain and lift/carry up to 50 lbs.
* Comfort working in a remote environment and traveling long distances as necessary. The Learning Center is located approximately 20 miles from the nearest gas station and post office, 60 miles from towns with full amenities.
* Current driver’s license with acceptable driving record
* A criminal history disclosure and background check is required

* Mentoring and Advisement: (40%) Serve as residency and academic adviser to graduate students. Provide constructive evaluative feedback on a consistent basis throughout the residency. Assist in developing individual plans of study. Monitor and maintain quality of student projects and residency requirements. Lead reflective sessions to assist students in recognizing and integrating their learning. Coordinate and assist students’ coursework, projects and opportunities to work with Institute staff. Help students balance their unique living situation as student, staff and community member. Seek additional learning opportunities for students through retreats, conferences and events at other environmental centers.
* Instruction: (20%) Teach within areas of expertise (natural and cultural history, education, leadership, conservation, etc.). Support graduate curricula with teaching, training and evaluation. Develop and implement additional educational experiences for graduate students.
* Recruitment: (20%) Develop and implement a recruitment plan to matriculate 12-14 qualified students annually. Work with Institute marketing staff to develop and produce recruitment materials, both in print and on the web, and serve as lead recruitment ambassador to prospective audiences. Develop scholarship criteria; work with admissions committee to maximize financial aid through scholarships and available financial aid with the objective of increasing quality, quantity or diversity in enrollment mix. Recommend acceptance or rejection of applicants. Analyze admissions and program demographics.
* Leadership: (5%) Oversee a high quality graduate program in partnership with University faculty and Institute staff. Coordinate integration of graduate students into all Institute programs and operations. Evaluate the graduate program and the students’ performance in it. Facilitate positive group dynamics among students and between students and staff.
* Partnerships: (5%) Work closely with Western Washington University’s graduate program adviser on all elements of the students’ experience. During the new cohort’s first summer provide some scheduling support for the summer backpack trip and visits to the Learning Center; during the cohort’s final two University-based quarters provide some support to achieve a seamless program between the Institute and the University. Strengthen the relationship between North Cascades Institute and its partners through graduate student involvement.
* Community: (5%) Serve as the Institute’s primary representative for the graduate program to the education, conservation and business communities. Maintain contact with alumni; collaborate on alumni newsletter.
* Budget and Fundraising: (5%) Develop an annual budget; approve and track expenditures. Provide support to Institute development staff in obtaining funds to sustain the graduate program.
* Other duties as assigned by supervisor.

Compensation: This is a full time, exempt position. We offer a competitive compensation package including generous paid time off, medical/dental benefits, disability insurance, tax-defined annuity and contribution retirement plan, a yearly stipend to participate in Institute programs and the opportunity to work in a spectacular location.

Application due: Open until filled.

Start date: Preferably October 2014.

How to Apply: Qualified candidates should email their resume, cover letter and salary history to:   
U.S. mail your application to:
North Cascades Institute
Graduate Coordinator Search
810 State Route 20
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284

Equal Opportunity Employer: Recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce is a high priority at North Cascades Institute. The Institute does not discriminate on the basis of age, gender identity, race, national origin, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, political affiliation, marital status, or any other basis prohibited by law in any of its policies or programs.