Located in the beautiful and historic Morningside Heights neighborhood of New York City, The School at Columbia University, a K–8 independent school, seeks a dynamic Director of Enrollment whose relational leadership and strategic planning will lead a team charged with helping students and their families through all facets of the admission and enrollment processes.

Founded in 2003, The School at Columbia University (The School) is an innovative and inclusive school, with an inquiry-based and progressive pedagogy, intentionally designed to meet the diverse and progressive needs of Columbia University employees and local community members. Guided by its Mission, The School engages its university, local, and national partnerships to expand their unique learning experience to a co-ed community through neighborhood lottery and open admissions.

The School seeks a mission-driven, compassionate, and forward-thinking Director of Enrollment who is devoted to the education of young people, comfortable working in a family-centered environment, and committed to collaborative working relationships with the teachers, other administrators, and The School community. Reporting directly to the Head of School, and serving as a liaison to the Office of the Provost regarding admissions and enrollment, the Director is a member of the Senior Administrative Team; the Director works in partnership with other key administrators, including the Director of Finance and Budget, and is responsible for managing all facets of admissions and enrollment processes in The School’s effort to attract, enroll, and retain a diverse and dynamic student population.

The Position

Essential Functions and strategic priorities

The Office of Enrollment contributes to the mission and standards of the school by first recruiting and retaining students who will benefit from the school’s unique culture and programmatic offerings and contribute to the school community. The Office also supports students and their families in identifying the next school opportunities to continue their education. Therefore, the essential functions and priorities of the Director include the need to:

  • formulate forward-thinking, strategic application, admission, exmissions, and enrollment policies;

  • coordinate four essential elements to ensure a competitive enrollment process and the long-term health of the student body and broader alumni base:

    • enrollment management (the tracking of students from applicant to enrollment to exmissions)

    • student retention

    • research (analyzing data that affect enrollment)

    • marketing;

  • develop a strategic communication plan to reach targeted audiences, including identifying and implementing best-practice web-based technologies;

  • create and maintain sophisticated data models and statistical information regarding The School’s enrollment trends and utilize them in decision-making around enrollment strategy;

  • supervise enrollment office staff;

  • work closely with the Director of Finance and Budget to communicate with families about the financial process;

  • oversee enrollment management budgets;

  • partner with the Directors group and teachers to have a firm understanding of the evolving integrated curriculum;

  • communicate clearly and enthusiastically with all staff and prospective students;

  • understand the culture and climate of The School and the broader educational environment;

  • be the primary liaison with our vendors who maintain Admissions, High School Placement and enrollment data;

  • foster high ethical standards, integrity, and respect for colleagues, alumni, parents and guardians, and students throughout the admissions process;

  • be sensitive to economic, cultural, and other issues present in the enrollment of a diverse student body;

  • partner effectively with the Head of School and The Office of the Provost to support Columbia University’s recruitment and retention strategy.

The Director of Enrollment will lead a team that serves as the first and last point of contact for families during the admissions, enrollment, and High School Placement processes. Therefore, in this capacity, the Director will need to maintain congruency between The School’s mission and all activities of the Enrollment process. In addition, this person will need to be a visible presence in the day-to-day life of the school. Lastly, the Director will manage year-long professional development for the Enrollment team based on the four school pillars—

  • Collaboration: Work with community members and the Office of the Provost to ensure there is an understanding of The School and its program within the larger community.

  • Community: Support diversity, team building and cohesiveness among key stakeholders at The School. Work with Columbia University and local community organizations to inform eligible families about The School.

  • Diversity: Provide strategic leadership in the area of diversity and inclusion. Demonstrate best practice in all components of the admissions process.

  • Innovation: Help maintain a current Admission process that represents the unique needs of TSC.

Qualifications & requirements

The Director of Enrollment is a highly visible position that requires accessibility, creativity, strategic planning, organization, patience, and joy. The next Director will be a passionate, empathic, and welcoming leader, eager to engage in collaborative relationships with all stakeholders. Lastly, the ideal candidate will be someone who is both a thought-leader and partner, understands adolescent development and curriculum, and is a clear and competent communicator who exudes confidence, warmth, and cultural competence.

In addition to the qualities and skills noted above, the ideal candidate will possess and have demonstrated:

  • A bachelor’s degree; master’s degree preferred

  • Seven to nine years of experience in enrollment (preferably in an independent school)

  • An ability to think critically and creatively

  • Proven success in a senior administrative role

  • An ability to work collaboratively with other school community members

  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills

  • An ability to travel as needed

  • Commitment to teamwork and facilitating collaborative decision making

  • An understanding of adolescent development and curriculum

  • An abundance of creativity, intelligence, warmth, accessibility, flexibility, energy, humor, and organization

  • Excellent organization and presentation skills

  • Strategic thinking and empathetic problem solving

  • Technological savviness

  • A commitment to cultural competence as well as equity and justice in their learning and leadership

  • A deep understanding and knowledge of social and emotional development with an understanding of student assessment, from early childhood to adolescence

  • The ability to foster high ethical standards, integrity, and respect for colleagues, alumni, parents and guardians, and students throughout the admissions and enrollment process

  • Knowledge of the culture and climate of an independent school and the broader educational landscape

The School at Columbia University is an independent K–8 school founded in 2003 with the goal of providing an excellent education to a diverse student body. The School respectfully acknowledges that they are situated on the ancestral Lenape island of Manaháhtaan, “the place for gathering the wood to make bows,” in Lenapehoking. The School community pays respect to and recognizes its continuing connection to Lenape land, language, arts, culture, ancestors, and their descendants.

The Lenape land acknowledgment and school mission shape The School’s pedagogical and curricular philosophies, which embrace multicultural perspectives that challenge educators and learners to examine their preconceived notions of race, gender, ethnicity, class, ability, religion, and sexual orientation.

Its intentional school culture embraces shared beliefs across disciplines and grades, which underlie important values expressed through everyday behaviors and visible symbols throughout the community:

  • Collaboration
    Encouraging creative problem-solving in dynamic groups where outcomes are not always predictable, but ultimately greater than any individual perspective could envision.

  • Community
    Promoting inclusivity, facilitating open communication, and providing clear expectations to all members of the community to ensure a healthy, productive environment, inside and outside the school.

  • Diversity
    Reveling in an environment of myriad learning experiences that address important aspects of diversity, including identity development, anti-bias skills, and the idea that difference is better.

  • Innovation
    Taking thoughtful risks grounded in current research, putting new technologies to work in classrooms, and always seeking new approaches to learning to provide a meaningful 21st-century education to all students.

Columbia University Partnership

The School at Columbia University is unique and is among a small group of schools in the world positioned to combine a close school community that meets the needs of each individual student, with the astounding resources of a leading university.

The School’s teachers, in collaboration with Columbia University faculty and graduate students, have created a wide variety of learning opportunities for students. Projects range from field trips and class visits, to ongoing collaborations that shape The School’s curriculum. For example, faculty from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health are pivotal members of The School’s Gender and Sexuality Education committee. Columbia-affiliated personnel have served as primary instructors or coaches for the school’s athletics and Model United Nations teams, among other groups. The University has also provided significant support to The School’s After School Program language courses.

University faculty and staff partner with The School on key Parents Association events, including its biennial Science Expo and Annual Fall Festival, which is free and open to the neighborhood and community. All performing arts concerts (also free and open to the community) and the Grade 8 graduation ceremony are held on the University’s campus. Now in its second decade as a school, The School continues to seek opportunities for greater and stronger relationships with Columbia University.

Faculty and Staff

Nearly 100 full-time and 50 part-time educators comprise The School’s global community. The School’s teachers and staff are accomplished professionals, with a majority holding MA, MSEd, PhD and PsyD degrees. Faculty have authored education articles in publications and journals including Teaching Tolerance, Edutopia, Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, Learning Languages, and more. Collaboration is critical to the work of the faculty, who work within and across grades and divisions to expand learning opportunities for students. The Faculty and Staff are also dedicated community members within the school and locally, and partner with the University and neighborhood organizations on service projects, community initiatives, and public events. Faculty and Staff members and leaders are expected to pursue continual growth and development, as they are expected to innovate and pursue cutting-edge methods, new techniques, and technology driven projects for their students.

Procedure to apply


Priority Application Due Date
May 9, 2022

Semi-finalist Interviews
Mid-May, 2022

Finalist Interviews
Late-May, 2022

Early-June, 2022

*Approximate dates subject to change


Interested candidates should submit the following materials confidentially in one PDF attachment:

  • Cover letter expressing interest in the position

  • Current resume

  • Statement of educational philosophy and practice

  • List of three references including name, title, phone number, email address and professional relationship (references are contacted only with the candidate’s permission)

Please direct any questions via email to jobs@strategenius.org or by phone at 415-881-7105.

The School at Columbia is a special interrelational ecosystem that supports students as they develop into socially responsible, confident and curious learners.