Position Overview

Each cohort (Class) of participating youth (Dreamers) is managed by a Program Director (PD), who is responsible for every aspect of their respective Dreamer Class.  From individual case management and building relationships, to the day-to-day operations of programming (Dreamer and Parent), to managing resources (staffing, program partners, donations, volunteers, etc.), and to the myriad of connections and facilitations necessary to the success of the Dreamers and the organization, the PD is the critical “cog in the wheel.”

“I Have A Dream” Orientation for New PDs

In general, a PD’s orientation will include:

  • Orientation with the ED (or VP of Programs) (person who supervises program staff)
  • Orientation with other Central Staff, including AmeriCorps Supervisor training
  • Introduction to Employee Handbook and Organization Calendars, Policies and Practices
  • Meetings with other PDs and Shadowing at Sites
  • Introduction to Core Program Components and Best Practice Models

In this section, find copies of:

  • PD position description
  • PD Performance Standards
  • PD Performance Evaluation Template
  • Staff Administrative forms (timesheets, vacation leave request, etc.)

Additional References to Consult: 

  • Employee Handbook 
  • Board Governance Policy  
  • Emergency Policies and Procedures 
  • Transportation Policies and Procedures  
  • Dreamer Enrollment Policies 
  • Client and Donor Grievance Process 
  • Volunteer Management Policies  (See Director of Volunteers)
  • Holistic Screening Policy (See Director of Volunteers)
  • AmeriCorps Supervisor’s Handbook  (See AmeriCorps Site Director)
  • Intern and Workstudy Policies and Procedures  (See Director of Volunteers)

Program Director (PD) Performance Standards

  1. Individual Case Management
  • Provide individual case management for each Dreamer:
  1. a)  Create individual case files, and a success plan for each individual Dreamer.  Success plans will include goal-setting that is driven by the Dreamer in at least three areas: grades, school attendance, and personal goals.  In addition, goals for behaviors or other  should be set individually to reflect the most appropriate next level for each Dreamer.
  2. b)  Meet one-on-one with each Dreamer at least once each school semester.
  3. c)  Develop a plan for each Dreamer to address challenges and develop strengths and interests.  Implement strategies for academic progress for each Dreamer.
  4. d)  Collaborate with Dreamer, parents, teachers, appropriate school administrators / staff, mentors, tutors and other supporters to advocate and form a team for Dreamer success.
  5. e)  Conduct at least one home visit per Dreamer household each year.
  1. Educational Support
  • Provide educational support to Dreamers:
  1. Create individual academic case files, and an academic case management plan for each individual Dreamer.  Gather and assess all available information regarding academic strengths and challenges; involving the Dreamer, parents, teachers, and any other expert resource to develop and implement strategies for the Dreamer’s academic success.  
  2. Create, implement, and routinely adjust academic programs that best leverage resources, and provide the most effective support for Dreamer achievement.
  1. Operate programs that support academic progress for each Dreamer. Structures include after-school programs, acting as classroom aids, and conduct study skills/study hall classes within the school day, evening study sessions, one-on-one tutoring and counseling, or other approaches as developed by the Program Director and support staff to support academic achievement.  
  2. Study and homework help sessions outside of school hours will be mandatory for students with Ds and Fs.
  3. Out of area Dreamers, who are not able to regularly attend program, should be referred to other after-school programs (other Dreamer Classes, at Dreamer’s school, YMCA, teen center etc.)
  4. Serve as school liaison 
  1. For Dreamers who do not attend a school where programs are based, visit Dreamer in their school at least once each semester
  2. Attend school staffings, contact counselors, teachers, ESL & Special Education teachers each year
  3. Maintain communication with teachers, counselors and school administrators
  1. Monitor major assignment and exam dates and finals through school systems
  2. Design after-school program to complement student learning at school 
  1. Attend Back to School Nights, and Parent/Teacher Conferences as scheduled
  2. Stay up to date on alternative ways for graduation in the district, such as GED, alternative schools, vocational education, correspondence classes, etc.
  1. g) Establish Academic Goal Sheets on an annual basis with each Dreamer (and parent), that includes an individual incentive plan and updated parent agreement.
  1. Relationship with Dreamers
  • Contact each Dreamer at least monthly (phone calls, lunch, after-school program, etc.)
  • Meet in person with each Dreamer at least quarterly
  • Report significant issues to the VP of Programs, and together determine appropriate action (mandatory reporter for any suspicion of abuse or neglect)
  • Provide or refer any resources to meet the needs of individual Dreamers
  1. Relationships with Parents
  • Contact each parent at least quarterly (phone calls, programs, etc) 
  • Through collaboration with parents, identify and implement parent programming and structure. 
  • Establish, support, and facilitate  monthly meetings with all Dreamer parents
  • Parent Committees elect executive council, determine parent fees for specific activities, organize events, provide input to Dreamer programming, request parent education topics of interest, etc. 
  • Program Director is a strong continuing resource; social services are referred.
  • Workshops will be arranged in collaboration with parents and will include topics such as: parenting, supporting academic achievement at home, and at least one workshop each on college admissions, financial aid and COF, and FAFSA beginning in 9th grade.  Collaborate with College and Career Dept.
  • Conduct home visits at least once/year; renew Dreamer Contract as needed
  • Strongly encourage and facilitate active parent involvement and participation in Dreamer and school programs.
  1. Enrichment Program
  • Provide at least one incentive field trip each semester
  • For Dreamers 9th grade and under, offer a weekly Enrichment Program 
  • Provide Service Learning activities to recognize MLK and two other National Service Days each year
  • Dreamers must participate in service learning each year, and  complete a minimum of  80 service hours while in high school (5 hours/year before the 9th grade and 20 hours/year beginning in 9th grade)
  1. Summer Program
  • Program Director will develop an array of age-appropriate programs for at least 6 weeks during the summer (academic, art, literacy, computer labs, sports, community service, experiential educational activities, etc.)
  • Participate in All Dreamer days as coordinated and set at the annual Summer Planning Retreat, including the annual Boulder County Dreamer Conference
  • Nominate four Dreamers, rising 7-12th grade, to attend National Dreamer Conference
  • Provide summer work program or internship for eligible Dreamers (CU or other internship for Dreamers 14 years old and above) – set up interviewing workshops, resume writing class, and other related workshops, to ensure that Dreamers have completed a personal statement and resume.
  1. Career & College Preparation Program

Coordinate roles and activities with the College and Career Dept for the following:

  • Set up a job tour and/or job shadow for each Dreamer – at least once each year
  • Elementary- Career Day, draw maps of the future, exposure to 4-yr campus, etc.
  • Provide 3-6 college activities a year to Dreamers in the 9th – 12th grades to prepare for college. Should include, but not be limited to:  financial aid, scholarships, completion of college applications, pre-collegiate program, test preparation, study skills, at least three in-depth campus tours, and the “I Have a Dream” Scholarship policies and procedures.
  • In the 6th grade, ensure that each Dreamer creates an account with College in Colorado and begins to use this resource to explore careers, interests, post-secondary options, and the requirements for each, as appropriate.  
  • In 8th grade, create a High School Transition Plan, and discuss best secondary school for each Dreamer.
  • Ensure that each high school Dreamer, is using and building on the College in Colorado delivered ICAP (Individual Career and Academic Plan).  In 9th grade, enroll Dreamers in pre-collegiate, leadership, extracurricular as applicable.
  • In the 10th grade, ensure Dreamers take PSAT, coordinate college tours, and offer volunteer/internship opportunities.
  • In the 11th grade, ensure that all Dreamers have taken the ACT, have completed three in-depth campus tours, and completed a personal statement (essay for college application), and compiled a list of schools to apply.
  • In the 12th grade, use a Senior Plan Notebook (created by program staff/Dreamer)  and ensure that each Dreamer edits their college essay, requests 3 references from teachers and counselors, submits 6 scholarship applications, submits the FAFSA and COF, submits applications to at least one (but ideally 6: 2 reach, 2 middle, and 2 fall-back) post-secondary schools, and/or has created a workforce readiness plan.
  1. Mentor Program
  • Determine Dreamers who may benefit from a mentor relationship and have five Dreamers on a waiting list at all times
  • Interview and supervise Mentors (with Volunteer Dept assistance)
  • Pair all interested Dreamers with a mentor within two weeks of approval
  • Supervise mentors – contact Mentor/Dreamer/Parent once a month the first year and once a quarter the second
  • Participate in regular meetings for mentors/tutors (with Volunteer Dept assistance)
  • Provide career mentors through job shadows & internships for high school Dreamers
  1. Management/Supervision
  • Supervise AmeriCorps and other staff members, lead weekly site team meetings, and oversee all programs
  • Manage and provide on-site supervision of all work-study and volunteer tutors assigned to Dreamer Class
  • Attend monthly program meetings with Vice President of Programs, and monthly staff & management meetings
  • Attend three Sponsor meetings each year, with Vice President of Programs and Chief Executive Officer
  • Attend all team meetings and all required “I Have a Dream” events
  • Participate in setting Dreamer milestones and evaluating progress toward achieving them.  
  1. Record Keeping/Evaluation/Administrative
  • Record all activities / contacts with Dreamers on the “I Have a Dream” Database through Program Attendance entries
  • Maintain an updated directory of Dreamers on Database  (contact info for Dreamer/parents, school data, mentor, etc)
  • Enter case notes in Salesforce, for each Dreamer, at least once each semester.
  • Maintain Dreamer file folders and update student development profiles, which record all significant information (not limited to those listed below) in the life of each Dreamer:
  • Initial application forms
  • Current information updates (basic contact information, computer logins name and passwords, etc.)
  • Case notes or new school related records and information (monthly)
  • Intervention Strategies/Goal Sheets and renewed contracts with parents, behavior contracts, etc.
  • Provide report of annual PD assessment of Dreamer goals met, and other achievement data
  • HS credit tracking, and any other forms used to set and track goals for Dreamer
  • Contribute articles and photos to “I Have A Dream” newsletter as requested 
  • Provide Class Update for inclusion in report to the board, three times each year
  • Implement annual Dreamer and Parent surveys (online surveys, and PD led focus groups for each)
  • Accurately balance and keep an account of any petty cash, and carefully manage your program budget
  1. PD Development
  • Set personal goals.  Discuss with VP of Programs and pursue personal training and development
  • Attend National Staff Conference or other seminars that would develop skills and performance 
  • Attend other educational training programs as provided through “I Have A