NASCO is hiring a Director of Education

North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO) is accepting applications for the position of Director of Education.

Established in 1968 by members of student housing cooperatives, NASCO is a bi-national membership association of non-profit cooperatives in the US and Canada. With nearly 60 member cooperatives representing 3,000 cooperators, NASCO is governed by three separate boards and is served by five staff focusing on distinct program areas: Education; Development; Property management; Community engagement; and Operations.

NASCO operates using a non-hierarchical management structure, and this position will be joining the consensus-based staff collective after a probationary period of three months. All staff collective members are expected to actively participate in the management of the organization.

Position Description

The Director of Education (DE) is responsible for developing, managing, and implementing NASCO’s educational programs.

The DE coordinates and develops the annual Cooperative Education & Training Institute, a 400 person conference that has provided foundational cooperative training, inter-co-op networking, and critical exposure to the broader cooperative movement for over forty years. Over the course of a one-year planning cycle, the DE shall: manage event planning timelines and task delegation; curate the conference schedule and programming; develop the conference theme; recruit high quality presenters and keynote speakers; work with presenters to develop workshops; coordinate the creation, design, and distribution of promotional materials and communications; space rental and food, presenter logistics and equipment needs; communicate with presenters and attendees; and support volunteers, board members, and other staff contributing to the program. 

The DE is responsible for organizing NASCO's annual Staff & Managers Conference, a highly participatory two-day forum for professional co-op staff to access critical information, develop skills, and build relationships with their peers. Primary duties include: gathering stakeholder input on desired programming to develop programming that best meets their needs; recruiting session presenters, as needed, from outside organizations or from conference attendees; managing site selection, food, and other logistics; publicizing the conference and recruiting attendees; preparing event materials; hosting event, facilitating sessions, and delegating support roles to other NASCO staff during conference. Additionally, the DE organizes a day-long session for Staff & Managers during NASCO Institute.

The DE is also responsible for: creating new educational programming for NASCO; building and maintaining relationships with current and potential program partners, including cooperative movement organizations and social justice organizations; providing support and resources to NASCO member cooperatives organizing their own regional conferences and events;  delegating education-specific work to other staff and overseeing contracted staff in order to implement NASCO's educational programs; acting as a representative and spokesperson for NASCO to other cooperative or community organizations, the public, government agencies, educational organizations, and foundations on local, national, and international levels; and ensuring that NASCO's educational programs carry out the mission and values of the organization.

General Duties

  • All NASCO staff are expected to travel on a regular basis, though will not be required to travel more than one weekend per month.
  • All NASCO staff are expected to conduct visits to member cooperatives (currently, each staff member is responsible for visiting 12-15 co-ops per year) and to attend various meetings of NASCO’s boards.
  • All NASCO staff are expected to participate in NASCO’s fundraising efforts.
  • All NASCO staff are expected to participate in preparation for NASCO Institute and attend NASCO Institute (Thursday to Tuesday) each year.
  • All NASCO staff are expected to serve as a liaison to one or more NASCO boards or committees, and to attend meetings of those boards/committees. All staff are also expected to report regularly to the boards and committees for which they serve as liaison.
  • The DE is expected to attend remote and in-person board and committee meetings, as needed, and report to the Board of Directors on NASCO's educational programs.

Management Duties

  • All NASCO staff are expected to play an active role in the management and operations of the staff collective, including attending staff meetings and retreats.
  • All NASCO staff are expected to behave professionally while representing NASCO, in accordance with NASCO's policies on professional conduct. This includes official representation to affiliated organizations, networking or conference attendance associated with NASCO, and visits or consultations with current or potential NASCO members.
  • All NASCO staff are expected to keep accurate records of the use of their time, and to report on this on a monthly basis using the agreed upon documents and procedures.
  • All NASCO staff are expected to respond in a timely manner to inquiries from directors, members, or stakeholders. Staff are expected to respond to communications through email, phone, or other channels that NASCO may decide to use for official business.
  • All NASCO staff are expected to participate in annual staff evaluation processes and probationary evaluations of new staff.
  • All NASCO staff are expected to follow all management policies decided by the staff collective and codified in the Staff Handbook, as well as all NASCO policies and decisions set by the board.

Required Experience & Skills

  • Clear commitment to the mission of NASCO, including a commitment to anti-oppression
  • Excellent interpersonal and written communication skills. Comfort speaking with small and large groups from a variety of backgrounds. Strong and professional email communication skills.
  • Tech savvy. Ability to learn new softwares and platforms. Comfort with website content management.
  • Willingness to travel in order to attend Board of Director meetings, site visits to NASCO member cooperatives, and conferences
  • Commitment to building a sustainable and socially just cooperative movement
  • Experience with planning conferences or other educational events
  • Passion for designing programs, trainings, and educational resources that are clear, accessible,  and tailored to meet the needs of various audiences. Experience with and understanding of popular and participatory education principles and techniques.

Preferred Experience & Skills

  • Knowledge of horizontal staff management structures and/or collectives.
  • Experience working with and reporting to volunteer boards
  • Familiarity with group equity and/or student and/or affordable housing cooperatives
  • Relationships with cooperative educators in the US and Canada

Location, Salary, & Benefits

The NASCO office is in Chicago, IL, and we have a strong preference for this position being Chicago-based.

Salary is $40,434 annually, paid on a monthly basis.

This position is not exempt from Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requirements.

Forty hours of work per week are expected, with some nights and weekends. This position includes travel responsibilities.

Benefits include paid time off (fifteen days of vacation in the first year, ten paid holidays plus the work days between Christmas and New Year's, and sick time), health insurance, reimbursement for public transit commuting and reimbursement for childcare)

NASCO is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, women, transgender/gender queer/non-binary people, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Hiring Process

We anticipate an early August start date for this position.

To apply, please fill out the form below and submit your resume by June 19, 2017. Applicants selected for interviews will be contacted by June 22, and telephone interviews will be held from June 26 – 30, 2017.

Questions may be directed to