Available Position: 55K Student Success Coordinator

55K Student Success Coordinator

Position Description


Job Summary

55,000 Degrees seeks a Student Success Coordinator who will play a pivotal role in ensuring more Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) graduates pursue their dream of a college education. 55K is a partner of the Louisville Promise, a commitment that every child in Louisville is prepared for college, career, and a successful, productive life.

The Success Coordinator will work to promote successful high school to college transitions for JCPS graduates. With an emphasis on African American, Hispanic, and low income students from Zones of Hope neighborhoods, the coordinator will build relationships with students as well as high school and college support personnel to build trust and ease the transition between high school and college. The coordinator will work with students beginning in their senior year of high school to build “college knowledge” and to avoid predictable barriers to a successful transition to college. The coordinator will engage in holistic and proactive coaching in high schools with a high rate of “summer melt” and will target services toward students planning to attend Jefferson Community and Technical College, Simmons College of Kentucky, or University of Louisville with the ultimate goals of increasing the college-going rate of the targeted population.

Duties and Responsibilities will include but are not be limited to:

  • Establish a presence in selected JCPS high schools
  • Develop a knowledge base of college resources in conjunction with JCPS counselors/staff
  • Establish relationships with and strengthen connections between key high school and college student personnel
  • Proactively build a caseload from select JCPS high schools working with those from targeted student populations who are planning to attend local postsecondary institutions.
  • Provide proactive guidance for students in areas focused on, but not limited to:
    • Academic integration into postsecondary education
    • Social integration into postsecondary education
    • Financial literacy and preparedness for independence
    • Development of individual student plans through postsecondary degree/certificate completion.
  • Partner with postsecondary institutions and staff to ensure a seamless and productive transition for students
  • Build a network of campus-based student support personnel to promote student success


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

The Student Success Coordinator will have at minimum a BA or BS degree, and at least two years of work experience, in social work, counseling or other education fields. In addition, candidates must have:

  • Experience related to the provision of holistic student support services at the high school or 2- or 4- year postsecondary levels.
  • Commitment to inclusive excellence and the ability to develop mentoring relationships with a diverse student population.
  • Knowledge of postsecondary systems of support
  • Adaptability, flexibility, and an ability to learn quickly in order to serve the needs of students
  • Strong interpersonal skills, organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to build relationship and connections between individuals and systems that can help support students in need
  • Microsoft Office Suite skills
  • Bilingual candidates preferred (preference for English/Spanish speakers)



The Community Foundation of Louisville serves as the fiscal sponsor of 55,000 Degrees. The position is a professional, full-time, exempt staff assignment and will be eligible to participate in the Community Foundation of Louisville’s Employee Health and Benefits Plan as set forth in the Foundation’s personnel policies. Compensation will be commensurate with skill level and experience.


This is a grant-funded position, with an anticipated end date of December 31, 2020. Although the grant is expected to end on that date, we will seek to identify sustainable funding so that this position’s tenure might be extended.


About 55,000 Degrees:

55K, a cross-sector partnership committed to increasing education attainment in Greater Louisville, is a partner of the Louisville Promise. Louisville Promise is a community effort to remove persistent barriers to student success and college attainment. This work will take two forms.

  • A scholarship available to every JCPS graduate that makes at least a two-year college degree affordable and achievable.
  • An unprecedented coalition of community, government and education organizations who will work together in new and innovative ways to ensure every student gets the supports and opportunities they need to succeed, cradle to career.

Interested applicants should submit a resume and cover letter to info@55000degrees.org. Initial screenings will begin August 17 and interested applicants are encouraged to submit their resume by that date.

“Opportunity Costs: Is A College Education Affordable Today?” Media Coverage


Affordability Report Spotlights Key Obstacle to College
“Working your way” through school is not an option for many families

A college affordability study looking at Louisville and Kentucky higher education colleges found that “all too often, the numbers just won’t add up” when it comes to Louisville families wanting to send a student to college, without resorting to loans.
While “working your way” through college is often held up as an ideal for students, this report examined what that would realistically look like for ten hypothetical college students and found that it was unrealistic for many of them.
This illuminating approach was adapted from the Institute for Higher Education’s methodology from their recent “Limited Means, Limited Opportunity” report and uses the Lumina Foundation’s Rule of 10 to measure affordability, by comparing potential savings and part-time job earnings to net cost.
Key Findings:
• Only two of the ten hypothetical students could afford to go to any Louisville college using savings and “working their way” through school, without taking out loans.
• Only one of the 10 could afford any Kentucky four-year public college.
• Even the students from families making six figures could not afford every school in the state, without loans.
What’s affordable?

The Lumina “Rule of Ten” defined “affordable” in simple terms. It assumes that:
• Families save 10 percent of their discretionary income for each of the 10 years leading up to college.
• Students work 10 hours a week while going to college.

Those savings and earnings are then compared to the “net tuition” at Kentucky and regional public and private schools.

Bottomline: The report stresses that this is not a statistical look at Jefferson County families, but it nevertheless examines what “affordable” would look like for different families at different income levels. The result was clear. Many families, of all income levels, will struggle to pay for college without debt.

Insider Louisville: https://insiderlouisville.com/metro/education-community/report-college-education-becoming-more-important-less-affordable/

Insider Louisville (Newcomers Academy): https://insiderlouisville.com/metro/after-horrors-of-syria-and-yemen-esl-newcomer-teens-try-to-find-peace-in-louisville/

WFPL: https://wfpl.org/this-friday-summit-focuses-on-college-affordability-and-jobs/

Wave: http://www.wave3.com/story/37029121/study-8-out-of-10-families-in-louisville-cant-afford-college

The Paducah Sun: http://www.paducahsun.com/opinion/stretched-college-cost-study-truly-an-eye-opener/article_d8539138-3174-526b-8034-4ee62ed24c33.html

Talent Hubs Across the United States

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Lead Partner Organization: United Way of Central New Mexico (Graduate! ABQ)

Austin, Texas

Lead Partner Organization: Quality of Life Foundation of Austin (Austin Chamber of Commerce)

Boston, Massachusetts

Lead Partner Organization: The Boston Foundation

Cincinnati, Ohio

Lead Partner Organization: Strive Partnership (Intergenerational Success Project)

Columbus, Indiana & Northern Kentucky (Covington, KY; Newport, KY)

Lead Partner Organization: Community Education Coalition / EcO Network

Columbus and Southeast Indiana

Lead Partner Organization: Community Education Coalition / EcO Network

Dayton, Ohio

Lead Partner Organization: Learn to Earn Dayton

Denver, Colorado

Lead Partner Organization: Denver Education Attainment Network (DEAN)

Fresno, California

Lead Partner Organization: Central Valley Higher Education Consortium / Fresno Compact

Los Angeles (San Fernando Valley), California

Lead Partner Organization: UNITE-LA

Louisville, Kentucky

Lead Partner Organization: 55,000 Degrees

Nashville, Tennessee

Lead Partner Organization: Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce

New York City, New York

Lead Partner Organization: City University of New York Academic Affairs

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Lead Partner Organization: Graduate! Philadelphia

Racine, Wisconsin

Lead Partner Organization: Higher Expectations for Racine County

Richmond, Virginia

Lead Partner Organization: Bridging Richmond

Shasta County, California

Lead Partner Organization: North State Together

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Lead Partner Organization: Tulsa Regional Chamber



Kentucky Work Ready Scholarship Application Now Open

Originally posted on the KHEAA Work Ready webpage.

The Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship helps Kentuckians who have not yet earned an associate’s degree afford an industry-recognized certificate.

  • Student must:
    • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
    • Be a Kentucky resident
    • Be a high school or GED graduate
    • Have not earned an associate’s or higher degree
    • Be enrolled, or accepted for enrollment, at an eligible postsecondary institution in an approved program of study that leads to an industry recognized certificate in a high-demand workforce sector.
      • Qualifying areas for the 2017-2018 year are health care, advanced manufacturing, transportation/logistics, business services/IT, and construction
    • Not be in default on any obligation to KHEAA
  • Application:
  • Award:
    • Amount equals tuition amount minus federal and state grants and scholarships, up to the maximum amount.
    • Maximum amount shall not exceed the in-state tuition and fees rate for full-time enrollment at the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. Estimated near $3,900 for the 2017-2018 year.
  • Eligibility:
    • Expires when the first of the following conditions is met:
      • Receipt of scholarship funding for the equivalent of four academic terms;
      • Receipt of the scholarship for 32 credit hours of enrollment; or
      • Receipt of a first associate’s degree
    • Recipients must earn a grade point average of 2.0 or higher each semester the scholarship is received in order to be eligible the following semester.

Looking Back at the Power Forward Summit

On December 9, 2016, KentuckianaWorks, 55K and GLI, sponsored Power Forward, the Louisville Region Education and Workforce Summit. The summit, which was attended by over 250 people, picked up on last year’s call to accelerate progress with two main themes:

  • Making stronger connections between education and employers. Keynote speakers included Peter Cappelli, professor of Management at The Wharton School (Penn) and Director of Wharton’s Center for Human Resources, and Dr. Kate Ziemer, Associate Vice Provost of Curriculum and Professor of Chemical engineering at Northeastern University. Cappelli is also the author of Will College Pay Off?: A Guide to the Most Important Financial Decision You’ll Ever Make, and his presentation called for a “shorter supply chain” between employers and higher education. Ziemer’s presentation explored Northeastern University’s Co-op Program for cooperative education and career development which integrates rigorous classroom study with real-world experiences to create a self-directed learning pathway for students.  KentuckianaWorks’ Career Calculator and SummerWorks programs were also highlighted.
  • Tackling policies and practices to improve equity in student outcomes. Presentations on the Tennessee Promise, Redlining Louisville, and concentrated poverty in Louisville explored the historic policies and current realities of inequity, and potential solutions.

View the presentations from our speakers below. (In chronological order)

Peter Cappelli – Meeting the human capital challenges of the business community

Mary Gwen Wheeler – Fast Forward to Power Forward

Michael Gritton – KentuckianaWorks Career Calculator

Haley Glover – What the data says about employer investments in their employees’ education

Rob Lauber – Changing lives through employee education

Paul Diaz – The importance and opportunity of youth employment

Kate Derrick – The Tennessee Promise and what it could mean for Kentucky

John Marshall – How JCPS is helping every student to succeed

Kate Ziemer – How universal co-ops have transformed Northeastern University

Andrew Melin – Career Readiness in Clark County Schools

Lilly Massa-McKinley – Bellarmine’s promise to get an internship for every student who wants one


Please check back in as we add more presentations from our speakers.