Director of Social and Emotional Learning

Boulder, CO

Access Opportunity’s vision is equity in opportunity for all students. Our mission is to create opportunities for high-potential, low-income students to define their individual paths through high school, college, and career, ultimately benefiting the lives of others.

Our student-focused, community-centered model is the cornerstone of our program. Our program begins in 10th grade with a selective admissions process, to draw students who are academically talented and community-minded, and supports students through college graduation with:

  • College, financial aid, and scholarship counseling and workshops

  • Test prep tutoring

  • Social and emotional support, individually and as a community

  • Career development

  • Scholarships


As the first Director of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), you will report to the Executive Director and be primarily responsible for creating a curriculum and setting the direction of our nascent SEL program, maintaining a focus on how to best support the young adults that we serve. You will also be tasked with providing direct service to students via one-on-one counseling and check-ins, as well as facilitating group sessions; referring students out to external resources as needed; and eventually supervising social work interns

to deliver professional support services to all Access Opportunity students.


To be successful in this role, you must be an experienced and confident social work professional with strong leadership and relationship-building skills. You must be skilled in clinical crisis intervention but also comfortable with contributing to strategic conversations about program growth and support. You must have a track record of creating and fostering positive relationships with a diverse set of counseling and community resources. Ideally, you have experience working with diverse youth and are committed to diversity, equity, and

inclusion within your practice.

Key Responsibilities:

Program Development

  • Create and implement a SEL curriculum that is developmentally appropriate for each phase of the program with the support of the Program team

  • Develop standardized metrics for SEL and a process for tracking these metrics throughout the program lifecycle

  • Run reports and attend weekly meetings with Program team to discuss the progress of students along those metrics, and to develop interventions and direction as appropriate

  • Oversee the implementation and evaluation of our pilot peer mentorship program (created in collaboration with CU-Boulder’s Psychology and Neuroscience department), rolling out during the upcoming (2020-2021) academic year for first- and second-year college students

  • Determine a process for providing one-on-one support and group training to all staff as they work with students who need social work support, including facilitating weekly role plays and professional development for navigating recurring student challenges

  • Eventually oversee, supervise, and train social work interns (MSW) including identifying and creating meaningful projects and facilitating intern/student direct contact and support

Direct Student Services

  • Conduct assessments of prospective students to determine initial service needs and provide referrals and recommendations for additional resources upon students’ enrollment into the program

  • Facilitate monthly group sessions for high school students on topics such as identity development, stress management, emotional regulation, coping with rejection, etc.

  • Identify additional student needs that can be addressed through group work; run supportive or psychoeducational groups as needed, potentially through remote conferencing

  • Train, supervise, and oversee a group of peer mentors through regular check-ins; support peer mentors in guiding and advising their mentees, including conducting referrals as needed

  • Build supportive and trusting relationships with students through individual meetings and group work

  • Provide one-on-one counseling and support as needed for students throughout the different phases in the program

  • Identify recurring student needs surrounding social and emotional learning

  • Connect students to appropriate available resources and help them apply for assistance programs

  • Develop and maintain a “service plan” and records for students who need case management services

  • Document interactions, social work/case management work, and referrals with students/interns into the organization’s database

Partnership Development

  • Build new and enhance existing partner relationships with colleges/universities, community-based organizations, and social service agencies around mental health, housing, pregnancy/parenting, financial services, family issues, immigration, substance abuse, etc. so that they are available to students as needed

  • Build internal systems/processes to assess, maintain, and further develop partnerships

  • Document any new or existing partnerships with relevant contacts and linkage/referral agreements in the organization’s database

  • Communicate available resources to all students


  • Master of Social Work degree or a degree in a related field from an accredited program along with a license, LCSW strongly preferred

  • 5+ years of professional experience preferred

  • 3+ years of experience as a counselor/therapist for at-risk individuals, particularly young adults

  • History of cultivating relationships and building alliances with community-based organizations and schools

  • Effective communication skills and the ability to connect with people from diverse backgrounds

  • A collaborative leadership style with experience coaching, motivating, and developing other team members

  • Proven ability to make strategic decisions, strengthen processes, and manage a large volume of work with a high level of accuracy and integrity

  • Highly organized with attention to detail and time management

  • Positive, “can-do” attitude

  • A passion for working with low-income young adults and families and a dedication to the mission of Access Opportunity

  • Ability to drive own car for travel within the Denver Metro area to meet students as needed

  • Bilingual language skills are a big plus, particularly Spanish

  • We find lived experience so very valuable in our counseling work. If you were the first in your family to attend college and/or had high financial need, we would love to hear about how you might bring these experiences to the role.

This role is full-time and will include some regularly scheduled evenings and weekends (such as one Saturday group session per month). All staff members who work directly with students are given a Google Voice number that students can use to contact them, which requires a willingness to communicate with students beyond the 9-5 hours (to some extent).


The role includes benefits such as paid time off, expense and mileage reimbursement, and professional development. The position will remain open until filled.


Please send your resume, cover letter, and 3 professional references to Yuri Shane ( Note that we are prepared to hold virtual interviews as we navigate COVID-19. Thank you for your interest!

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Access Opportunity is a 501(c)(3) organization. / EIN: 46-5399558            Access Opportunity | 1871 Folsom St | Suite 110 | Boulder, CO 80302