The AjA Project: Photography Programs for San Diego Youth

Education Specialist

Structure: Full-Time, Exempt

Application Deadline: August 3rd, 2017

Salary: Determined based on Experience and Qualifications



The Education Specialist (ES) supports the design and oversight of AjA programs from a quality assurance and program impact standpoint, working closely with instructors to ensure programs are carried out in the most impactful manner. The ES works to develop a culture among teaching artists that fosters innovation, accountability, wellbeing and supports staff retention. The ES provides classroom instruction in various AjA programs (50% workload).



Program Training and Implementation

  • Lead training of new instructors on AjA methodology, programs, and responsibilities.
  • Work with program instructors to ensure their understanding of program aims, goals, objectives, and deliverables.
  • Support program instructor in the translation of themes set forth in the program curriculum to daily activities and lesson plans.
  • Complete onsite rotation among programs to observe and provide critical feedback about classroom activities.
  • Work with and support instructors and creative team to complete and publish a final product and/or an end-of-semester event for each program.
  • Manages in-class program support volunteers


Ongoing Program and Instructor Oversight and Support

  • Meet regularly with instructors to provide ongoing guidance, feedback, and support to ensure programs are meeting aims, goals, objectives, and deliverables.
  • Attend weekly meetings with Program and Artistic Manager to relay pertinent classroom and site partner information and to discuss curriculum, lesson plans, and program deliverables.
  • Review all instructor lesson plans on a weekly basis and provide timely feedback and guidance.
  • Provide leadership and support instructors with classroom management and facilitation needs.
  • Build a culture of engagement, innovation and peer-to-peer learning among AjA teaching artists
  • Oversee the procurement, delivery, storage, inventory, and maintenance of program related images and equipment.
  • Fill in for instructors in the event they cannot instruct any given program session.


Program Design

  • Conceptualize and build out new programs and to improve existing programs.
  • Identify and implement best practices for program design, management and delivery, with an emphasis on program innovation and quality.
  • Transform general program concepts into in-depth program curricula.
  • Maintain and update all curriculum-related material, handbooks, and resources.
  • Work with Executive Director to design metrics, key indicators, and benchmarks to build outcomes-focused programs.
  • Embed qualitative and quantitative measurements and reporting into every program.


Partner Relations

  • In partnership with Program and Artistic Manager, identify, cultivate, and secure new partnerships for AjA programming
  • Attend partner meetings, when appropriate, to provide education and insight into the impact of AjA programs
  • Support in compiling program reports to partners and funders
  • Represent AjA, when appropriate, at conferences and workshops


Program Instruction

  • Provide instruction during the scheduled time at the designated sites.
  • Provide a professional and supportive classroom environment for students by following AjA’s protocols for a safe and respectful participatory photography learning environment.
  • Participate in curriculum development and deliver AjA approved curriculum to displaced/underserved youth.
  • Complete Program Objectives and Outcomes as determined by AjA and the grant and/or funder deliverables.
  • Ensure adequate planning, lesson plan development, and evaluation time for all activities including providing AjA with curriculum and lesson plans prior to each session
  • Provide punctual attendance and active participation at all classes, as well as, artist trainings and meetings as scheduled by AjA.
  • Offer timely communication about positive and challenging issues that arise at the site, in the community or with AjA staff to ensure appropriate and timely responses or actions.
  • Participate in program activities including program planning and expansion, evaluation design and implementation, community meetings and workshops, and other related activities.
  • Work directly with Program and Artistic Manager to ensure the proper uploading, storage, organization, and maintenance of program related images, forms, and information.
  • Attend weekly meetings with Education Specialist or AjA Staff to relay pertinent classroom and site partner information and to discuss curriculum, lesson plans, and program deliverables.
  • Submit end-of-program report to the Executive Director and AjA Staff detailing classroom activities
  • Facilitate briefing and debriefing meetings with assistant instructors.



  • Bachelor degree required; Graduate-level education preferred (education, social science, arts, nonprofit management)
  • Minimum of 3 years of experience in instruction and/or program design and implementation for: youth arts programming; youth development; education services; or participatory methods
  • Demonstrated experience leading a team of staff and/or volunteers
  • Entrepreneurial spirit and strategic big picture thinker that can align programs to achieving the organizational mission and one who values growth and self-development
  • Strong writing skills with experience in effectively communicating the achieved outcomes of programs and initiatives back to funders and/or partners.
  • Articulate and persuasive communicator, adept at building consensus and fostering sound relationships with a range of internal and external stakeholders
  • Demonstrated experience working with diverse and at-risk populations
  • Bilingual or Multilingual strongly preferred
  • Experience with creating and facilitating trainings for program staff preferred
  • Excellent computers skills including MS Word, Excel, Outlook;
  • Successful completion of fingerprint/background check, Valid CA Driver’s License and reliable transportation



To apply, email your cover letter, resume and a list of 3 professional references that can verify your program development and program management skills. Your cover letter should include answers to the following questions:

  1. Propose your creative vision for using participatory photography for individual development and social change.
  2. Describe your experience in program leadership
  3. Discuss your accomplishments in designing art-based education programs


Send application packet to Dave Mathisen at no later than August 3rd, 2017.

Dave Mathisen