Work for THEI

Current Openings:

THEI is not currently hiring, but more career opportunities will be added soon! Please stay tuned for updates on new roles as we continue to expand our team.

Alumni Success Coordinator

Full Time

The Tennessee Higher Education Initiative (THEI) is a non-profit organization working to disrupt systems of harm and create opportunities for autonomy and success by providing college access to people inside Tennessee prisons, preparing students for skillful re-entry, and reducing barriers to continued education and achievement. THEI is grassroots, community organization committed to principles of harm reduction, healing, and centering the lived experiences of the people we serve. We engage in reimagining and building towards the world we want to see through systems work and direct service.

THEI seeks an Alumni Success Coordinator. This position is full-time, exempt, and primarily located at THEI’s Nashville office, with some occasional travel to other parts of Tennessee. THEI’s Transitional Programs (TP) portfolio provides reentry support on both sides of their incarceration, but the Alumni Success Coordinator is primarily responsible for providing support to THEI students after they have left prison, including supporting those in the immediate first days of reentry, as well as those with much longer reentry experiences. The Alumni Success Coordinator will act in a case management capacity, providing direct support as well as referrals and warm handoffs to other critical resources and services, including job training programs, educational opportunities, housing assistance, healthcare providers, mental health services, substance treatment programs, family services, and other opportunities for self- actualization. 

This position requires some flexibility with work hours, including the ability to work some nights and occasional weekends for special events or special circumstances. The ideal candidate must have a reliable car, and be comfortable collaborating with formerly incarcerated individuals. We encourage individuals who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system to apply. 

Priority will be given to applicants who demonstrate a strong commitment to providing service to at-risk populations and understand the mission of THEI to be located within a larger social justice movement. Further, we seek applicants who have experience with case management, career counseling, navigating college admissions and financial aid, or other relevant one-on-one advising or success coaching experience. Knowledge of the Tennessee public higher education ecosystem or the landscape of reentry service providers in Tennessee would be a benefit. 

The starting salary is $50,000 per year, plus travel reimbursements, full medical/dental insurance, a monthly wellness stipend, Simple IRA with employer match, and generous paid leave and holidays. The review of applications will begin immediately.

THEI is an equal opportunity employer; all applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status. 

Qualifications: 

Core Requirements

  • Associate or Bachelor’s degree with 1-3 years experience in case management, social work, public health, college counseling, or a related field 
  • Demonstrated experience with motivational interviewing, one-on-one success coaching, or action-planning and advising 
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and Google Drive 
  • The ability to collect, organize and manage data
  • Flexible schedule, including the ability to work occasionally in the evenings and some Saturdays 
  • Willingness to utilize communication tools such as Zoom, Slack, and email to proactively keep in constant touch with colleagues who may be working remotely or traveling. 
  • Must be eligible to be a badged TDOC contractor.
  • A proactive approach to outreach and correspondence, and timeliness with email 
  • Investment in relationship-building and passion for creating partnerships ○ Energy for creative problem-solving.
  • Commitment to self-care

Social Justice Requirements

  • A strong commitment to providing service to at-risk populations and understanding the mission of THEI to be located within a larger social-justice movement
  • A strong commitment to breaking cycles of poverty and incarceration
  • A commitment to use Person First and humanizing language 

Key Responsibilities: 

Case Management

  • Position yourself as an accessible source of support to students in their initial days of reentry by collaborating closely with colleagues who worked with the student pre-release, leading efforts to establish and maintain contact with the transitioning student, investing in building trust, meeting students where they are, and responding proactively to the student’s emerging reentry needs. 
  • Connect students and alumni with community resources and services, including but not limited to: job training programs, educational opportunities, housing assistance, healthcare providers, mental health services, substance abuse treatment programs, and legal aid services. 
  • Facilitate access to public benefits such as SNAP (EBT). 
  • Advocate for alumni to ensure they receive the necessary support and services to address their needs. 
  • Provide ongoing case management support to alumni, monitoring progress towards goals and addressing barriers as they arise. 
  • Offer workshops and individual coaching sessions to develop essential life skills, such as budgeting, time management, communication, conflict 
  • resolution, and decision-making. 
  • Provide guidance on navigating daily challenges and making positive choices. ○ Providing job search assistance, resume writing, interview preparation, and vocational training referrals. 
  • Match clients with mentors who have successfully navigated reentry themselves, providing guidance and support based on shared experiences. ○ Encourage engagement in pro-social activities as appropriate, promoting a sense of belonging and social connectedness. 
  • Maintain accurate and up-to-date records, documenting interactions, progress, and referrals. 
  • Make warm handoffs to college partners to ensure the seamless transition of
  • Support for students leaving prison, and helping students proactively and soundly pursue post-secondary education opportunities. 
  • Guide students through the college application process with the goal of helping students have ample access to information and autonomy.

Partnership

  • Build and maintain rapport with prison administration and staff, particularly re-entry staff (including Re-Entry Counselors, IPOs, and re-entry Navigators)
  • Serve as liaison between students and college partners in preparation for transition. 
  • Build and nurture relationships with reentry organizations, state agency partners, and service providers across the state. 
  • Build relationships with corporate partners to create a network of employment opportunities for THEI students returning to their communities. 
  • Maintain updated contacts and resource lists for referrals and warm handoffs.

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume to work@thei.org with “Alumni Coordinator” in the subject line.

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Transitions Coordinator

Full Time

The Tennessee Higher Education Initiative (THEI) is a non-profit organization working to disrupt systems of harm and create opportunities for autonomy and success by providing college access to people inside Tennessee prisons, preparing students for skillful re-entry, and reducing barriers to continued education and achievement. THEI is a grassroots, community based organization committed to principles of harm reduction, healing, and centering the lived experiences of the people we serve. We engage in reimagining and building towards the world we want to see through systems work and direct service.

THEI seeks a full-time Transitions Coordinator. The position is primarily remote, supported by our Nashville Office.  Under the direction of the Transitions Manager, the Transitions Coordinator will work closely with the other members of the THEI Programs team and the administration and staff at our partner prisons to support our students as they prepare to return to their home communities and, in some cases, to continue college post-release. The Transitions Coordinator will provide high quality reentry advising and planning support to a caseload of incarcerated students through monthly meetings at the prison facilities across Tennessee. They will establish warm handoffs to members of the THEI Alumni Team when each student is released.

The ideal candidate can start immediately, but candidates will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Priority will be given to applicants who demonstrate a strong commitment to providing service to at-risk populations and understand the mission of THEI to be located within a larger social-justice movement. Candidates must have a reliable car, be willing to travel across Tennessee, be comfortable working in a prison and collaborating with incarcerated individuals, and must be eligible to be badged by TDOC.  We encourage people who have been impacted by the criminal justice system to consider applying. 

THEI is seeking applicants who have transferable experience with case management, career counseling, college access and success, or other relevant one-on-one advising or coaching. Experience working with non-traditional students or disenfranchised or marginalized populations is a benefit. For additional requirements and job duties, please see lists below.  

The position is a full-time, exempt position. The salary is $50,000 per year, plus travel reimbursements, full medical/dental insurance, a monthly wellness stipend, and generous paid leave and holidays. The review of applications will begin immediately.

THEI is an equal opportunity employer; all applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.

Qualifications: 

Core Requirements

  • Must be eligible to be a badged TDOC contractor
  • Associate or Bachelor’s degree with 1-3 years experience in case management, social work, public health, college counseling, or a related field
  • Demonstrated experience, whether professionally or in an informal capacity, with motivational interviewing, one-on-one success coaching, or action-planning and advising
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and Google Drive 
  • The ability to collect, organize and manage data
  • Valid driver’s license and the ability to travel to and from prison on a regular basis, and to THEI’s Nashville offices monthly for team collaboration 
  • Flexible schedule, including the ability to work some evenings (with advanced notice)
  • Ability to work remotely with consistent internet access, and willingness to utilize communication tools such as Zoom, Slack, and email to keep in constant touch with colleagues

Relational Requirements 

  • A collaborative and communicative approach to working across teams, and a proactive approach to outreach and correspondence with students and partners
  • Ability to navigate challenging professional partnership relationships with respect and resourcefulness
  • Openness to creative problem solving
  • Commitment to utilize communication tools such as Zoom, Slack, and email to keep in constant touch with colleagues who may be working remotely
  • Commitment to self-care and healthy boundary setting
  • Willingness to co-create an “uncommon work culture” through a shared commitment to uphold community agreements 

Social Justice Requirements

  • A strong commitment to providing service to at-risk populations and understanding the mission of THEI to be located within a larger social-justice movement
  • A strong commitment to breaking cycles of poverty and incarceration
  • A commitment to use Person First and humanizing language 

Key Responsibilities: 

Stakeholder Group #1: Incarcerated Students

  • Build relationships and rapport with THEI students, graduates and alumni
  • Travel to prison facilities on a regular basis to provide high quality reentry advising and comprehensive reentry planning support to incarcerated THEI students and graduates.
  • Advocate on behalf of students using strategic discernment, and elevate facility-level concerns to appropriate THEI teammates.
  • Maintain THEI Release Calendar with strong attention to detail and advanced planning
  • Provide well-researched re-entry advising and help students create strong, viable transition plans
  • Provide parole preparation support to incarcerated students, including motivational interviewing and self-advocacy skillbuilding
  • Maintain thorough checklists to ensure students have access to all materials necessary to succeed in their transitions
  • Make warm handoffs to college partners and referral partners to ensure the seamless transition of support for students leaving prison 

Stakeholder Group #2: Partners

  • Build and maintain rapport with prison administration and staff, particularly re-entry staff (including Re-Entry Counselors, IPOs, and re-entry Navigators)
  • Facilitate effective communication between incarcerated students and college partners in preparation for transition
  • Explore and build relationships with transitional housing providers and other reentry resource providers to contribute to the shared constellation of support services that THEI can offer
  • Participate in collectives and coalitions to share, advocate for, and evolve best practices for re-entry services in higher education in prison across the state and region, and to identify opportunities for incarcerated students

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume to work@thei.org with the subject line “Transitions Coordinator.”

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