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Tennessee Higher Education in Prison Initiative

Academic Coordinator

Tennessee Higher Education in Prison Initiative


Job Summary

Tennessee Higher Education in Prison Initiative (THEI) seeks a full-time Academic Coordinator. The position will be split between the THEI office in Nashville and the prison facilities that house THEI programs.  Under the direction of the THEI Director of Academic Programs, the Academic Coordinator will work closely with the THEI Programs Team, the administration and staff at our partner prisons,  and the points of contact at our partner colleges to facilitate the operation and administration of the THEI college program. The Academic Coordinator will assist with all aspects of the administration, scheduling and logistics of the program on the ground. The Academic Coordinator will also meet regularly with students.
The ideal candidate can start before October 1, 2020. Priority will be given to applicants who demonstrate a strong commitment to providing educational opportunities to at-risk populations and understand the mission of THEI to be located within a larger social-justice movement. Further, we seek applicants who have experience working in secondary education and/or working in a prison environment; flexibility with work hours including the ability to work some nights and weekends; excellent organizational and time management skills; and a strong commitment to breaking cycles of poverty and incarceration.  Familiarity with the TDOC practices and/or knowledge of the public higher education system in Tennessee are a benefit. Finally, the ideal candidate must have a reliable car, and be comfortable working in a prison and collaborating with prisoners.  We encourage folks who have been impacted by the criminal-justice system to consider applying. 


Job Responsibilities

Key Responsibilities (organized by stakeholder group):

  • Stakeholder Group #1: Students
    • Build relationships and rapport with all THEI students. 
    • Meet with students on a regular basis; advocate on behalf of students.
    • Provide academic advising: help students map degree plans and choose classes best suiting these plans.
    • Facilitate College Prep program and oversee annual admissions process.
    • Ensure students have access to educational materials necessary to succeed in their courses, as well as ensure professors have the technology and materials needed to successfully teach their courses.
    • Manage student records and instructional materials; work with Program Clerk on inventory and upkeep. 
    • Log contact notes.
  • Stakeholder Group #2: Prison Sites 
    • Build and maintain rapport with prison administration and staff.
    • Oversee on-site implementation of college program. 
    • Manage volunteer relationships with prison facilities, including scheduling all faculty orientations and training sessions.
  • Stakeholder Group #3: College Partners
    • Work with college administration to create course schedules and complete student registration.
    • Carry out ongoing faculty recruitment efforts; facilitate the hiring of adjunct professors for THEI classes.
    • Serve as liaison between faculty members and students.
    • Process all administrative paperwork such as student rostering, roster changes, course adds and withdrawals.


Required Qualifications: 

  • Bachelor’s degree with 1-3 years’ experience in program coordination or secondary education. 
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, especially Word and Excel.
  • Fluency in social-media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.
  • The ability to organize and manage data.
  • Exceptional administrative, as well as superb written and verbal communication skills.
  • Valid driver’s license and the ability to travel to and from prison on a regular basis.
  • Flexible schedule including the ability to work in the evenings and some Saturdays. 
  • Must be eligible to be a badged TDOC contractor.
  • Timeliness around email correspondence.
  • Investment in relationship-building and passion for creating partnerships.
  • Energy for creative problem solving.
  • Commitment to self-care.


Additional Information


The position is a full-time exempt position. The starting salary is $50,000 per year, plus full medical/dental/vision insurance, a monthly wellness stipend, and generous paid leave and holidays. The review of applications will begin immediately.

How to Apply

THEI is an equal-opportunity employer; all applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status. Interested applicants should submit cover letter and resume to with “Academic Coordinator Position” in the subject line.


  • Date Posted: August 7, 2020
  • Type: Full-Time
  • Job Function: Other
  • Service Area: Education