The First-Year Outdoor Program (FOP) is Harvard’s oldest and largest pre-orientation program. Approximately 425 first-year students participate in outdoor programming in groups of 8-12 first-years. Trips are led by 2-3 older students. The program’s mission is to provide group, adventure-based programming that promotes the development of social support and self-awareness for first-year student and leadership development for members of the Harvard community. Program governance is provided by the Steering Committee comprised of the Director and 6-8 undergraduate. The Steering Committee uses a consensus-based approach to leadership, where all members of the committee have equal voice in program decisions. FOP is situated within the Experiential Learning Center, a new department within the Student Engagement Office.
Duties and Responsibilities
Reporting to the Director of the Experiential Learning Center, the position includes the following responsibilities:
· Director works collaboratively with a student Steering Committee to oversee all aspects of a pre-orientation wilderness program. The committee operates on consensus-based approach to leadership.
· Oversees selection and training of the steering committee, program leaders and professional basecamp staff. Provides comprehensive training to students including emergency plans and procedures that minimize the potential for harm.
· Ensures that all aspects of FOP conform to College policies and to best-practice safety standards. Oversees the program's ongoing accreditation review process with the Association of Experiential Education (AEE) and develops new program policies. Responsible for risk management and preparing for accident response. Responds to program emergencies.
· Oversees program evaluation and ensures the quality of programming.
· Manages the FOP office (computers, website, database, mailings, telephone contact, etc.) and hires and supervises para-professional staff. Administers the program budget, creates long term financial plans, and manages the distribution of financial aid, under direction of the Dean of Students Office. Works with outside contractors for a variety of reservations and services; negotiates contracts and evaluates services.
· Develops alumni and parent relationships and leads the FOP fundraising efforts.
· Serves as the DSO’s representative to parents, students, vendors and outside agencies for all issues related to the FOP program.
· In concert with other program directors and other orientation staff members, ensures development of high-impact practices within pre-orientation at Harvard College.
Basic requirements, experience, and skills
Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. At least 5 years’ experience of substantial, documented experience and participation in outdoor program organization, oversight and direction. Knowledge of common peer practices in adventure education. Interest in working with diverse, highly-motivated undergraduates. Current Wilderness First Responder certification. Ability to teach and assess wilderness medicine, interpersonal, and technical outdoor skills. Demonstrated sound judgment in responding to sensitive situations and communicating with parents, students, and other constituencies. Experience facilitating reflection activities, preferably with college student populations.
Master’s degree in related field. Knowledge of current Association of Experiential Education accreditation standards. Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician certification or higher. Experience with consensus decision making. Knowledge of New England trails/wilderness areas.
This is a 0.75 FTE, benefits-eligible position. Workload will occasionally include nights, weekends, and travel.