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Director, San Diego Science Project - Academic Coordinator

Application Window

Open date: March 29th, 2021

Last review date: Wednesday, Apr 28, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Wednesday, Mar 23, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

Director of San Diego Science Project & CREATE STEM Success Initiative Science Educator (Academic Coordinator I or II)

Program Overview:
The Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment and Teaching Excellence (CREATE) at the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego) houses several teacher professional development programs for prospective and practicing teachers, student educational outreach, and educational research and evaluation services programs.

The San Diego Science Project (SDSP) is one of CREATE’s teacher professional development programs. It is a network of K-16 educators, UC San Diego science and education faculty, and community members that come together to explore new ways of addressing the changing needs of classroom teachers in San Diego and Imperial Counties.

CREATE’s mission is to improve the K-20 pipeline to and through post-secondary education for low-income students and students of color as well as other underrepresented groups. CREATE does this by creating school-university partnerships with schools serving high-need populations of students, deploying teacher professional development services to schools and districts upon request and via contracts, providing state and federally funded college preparation and counseling services to individual and groups of students at various low-income secondary schools, and partnering with a variety of faculty and departments on campus to marshal a variety of campus resources towards meeting the needs of K-16 students in the larger San Diego and Imperial County region.

Approximately 50% of this position is responsible for directing the San Diego Science Project (SDSP), housed at CREATE and 50% of this position is responsible for working within the CREATE STEM Success Initiative (CSSI). Both positions oversee a network of K-16 educators, and coordinate with UC San Diego science and education faculty, and community members to address the needs of K16 educators in San Diego and Imperial Counties, within science and engineering.

Skills and Knowledge:
The Director of the San Diego Science Project will be the named leader of the SDSP and in that role must be able to cultivate short- and long-term visions of the role of the SDSP, its place within the Center (CREATE) and its role as a leader and support of science and engineering education in SD County. The purpose of the SDSP is, in part, to cultivate science and engineering education teacher leadership through the professional development of the region’s K16 educators, with a particular emphasis on K-12 teachers. To this end, the Director must possess a deep understanding of the Next Generation Science Standards and awareness of standards in other content areas including English Language Development, associated frameworks, and accountability systems, especially those concentrated upon science education in grades Kindergarten through 12th grade. The Director must also have knowledge and understanding of the instructional shifts of NGSS and how instructional materials are addressed in curricula often used in K-12 classrooms as well as instructional techniques that best enhance students’ learning of the science and engineering standards and practices.

The Director has instructional responsibilities, and, therefore, must be able to plan and conduct workshops, institutes, short instructional modules, and entire professional development programs/courses using best practices in quality professional learning. The audience for these events are sometimes. prospective teachers, but are more often practicing teachers. These instructional responsibilities may occur during the academic year, summer sessions, intersessions, after school, and on weekends and evenings.

The Director must also possess understanding of the context, policies, and structure of the K-20 educational system in California and, in particular, the San Diego and Imperial regions. Knowledge of the K-12 public school system, including non-traditional public schools such as charter schools, and their efforts and challenges in preparing students (particularly those who are low-income, English Learners, and in other minoritized subpopulations) for two- and four-year colleges is essential.

The Director must be able to professionally articulate and represent the California Science Project, the San Diego Science Project and CREATE at statewide meetings of the state-funded science projects and other California Subject Matter Projects that operate on the University of California, California State University, and other college/university campuses, as well as regional meetings with K-12 and post-secondary educators.
The Director must possess an understanding of budget management involving funding sources from state, federal and other agencies, institutions, and foundations.

The Director must also be able to assist CREATE colleagues increase the impact of the San Diego Science Project by seeking additional funds. This involves preparing/assisting with grant proposals submitted to state agencies and federal agencies such as National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), United States Department of Education (DOE), Department of Defense (DOD) or other similar state and federal agencies. It also requires the UC San Diego’s SDSP Director to assist in securing outside professional development contracts with non-profit organizations, community organizations, informal science and engineering organizations, institutions of higher education, and schools/districts/County Offices of Education. Finally, it requires that the SDSP Director actively participate in philanthropic fundraising via the university or through other non-profit entities.

Finally, as part of the larger CREATE STEM Success Initiative team, the SDSP Director should be able to partner effectively with UC San Diego faculty, staff and students as well as CREATE’s own research and evaluation staff to develop and implement science-related educational programming in ways that help improve understanding of implementation and impact.

SDSP Director Essential Functions:

Leadership: The Director represents the San Diego Science Project, CREATE, and the University administratively on-campus and off-campus. Internally, the Director represents the San Diego Science Project and CREATE within the Division of Social Sciences, during campus-wide meetings, and on campus-wide committees. Externally, the Director represents the Project and CREATE at meetings for directors of UC and CSU science projects (as well as those housed at other colleges) which are convened by the University of California Office of the President (UCOP).

The Director is expected to develop key contacts within UCOP, the California Department of Education, the San Diego and Imperial County Offices of Education, and local administrative partners within districts and schools. The Director represents the Program and CREATE with professional organizations for educational research and service (e.g. NSTA, CASE , NSF, NASA, College Board, etc.).

Program Administration: The Director is directly responsible for the oversight of the Program, including fiscal management, the quality of program offerings, recruitment and supervision of course and institute instructors, evaluation of program offerings, and preparing annual reports. The Director:

  • Works closely with CREATE’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to submit proposals to funding agencies and ensure UC San Diego fiscal policies are adhered to, funds are received and dispersed in a timely manner, and funds are expended as outlined in the budget(s) and in accordance with university and state/federal/agency requirements. This is for both funds received as part of federal and state allocations to SDSP and for new budgets received as part of the CSSI work.
  • Recruits teacher-leaders who are knowledgeable about science, engineering and computer science curriculum and instructional practices such as project-based learning, performance-based instruction/assessment, scientific experiments, culturally relevant pedagogy, and inquiry-based methods;
  • Creates scaffolded experiences/career ladder within the project for teachers-leaders to grow SDSP teacher leadership cadres over time;
  • Supervises professional development providers to ensure high quality instruction;
  • Conducts reasonable evaluation of participants’ experiences in Project course offerings;
  • Oversees the program data entry to the California Subject Matter Projects Online Data System
  • Prepares annual reports and submits them to the California Science Project and UCOP
  • Prepares quarterly updates and submits them to the CREATE Directors and CSSI administrative team

Instruction: When needed, the Director instructs in the Program’s signature Summer Institutes and academic-year courses. In the past, programs have included structures and topics such as:

  • Leadership Institutes: These summer institutes support professional communities for more experienced science teachers. Their focus is to develop teachers and administrators who may operate as school and system leaders committed to improving science instruction.
  • Summer Institutes for Practicing teachers: Institutes that provide opportunities for K-12 teachers to enhance their science content knowledge and pedagogical skills in disciplines such as Biology, Physics, Genetics, Oceanography and explore the intersection between informal and formal science learning
  • Lesson Studies: These ongoing sessions with smaller teams of mixed experience and background teachers at school sites and/or within districts often involve UC San Diego scientists and engineers (including computer scientists) along with teacher participants. The Lesson Studies can be between 5 and 25 hours in length over several months. The Director constitutes the Lesson Study teams, may facilitate and organize them, may train others to do so in his/her/their place, and often composes reports or documentation afterwards to funders or other constituents.

CREATE Stem Success Initiative Essential Functions:

The SDSP Director will also play a key role in the Create Stem Success Initiative (CSSI) which is a CREATE-embedded position that assists faculty, staff and students at UC San Diego as well as community-based organizations, non-profits, and other institutional entities create programs for STEM educators and students. Duties for the Director’s 50% CSSI role include, but are not limited to:

  • Consultations: Advising UC San Diego faculty, staff and students to help conceptualize new programming or iterate on existing programs for educators and/or students. Particularly, the Director will (as requested) help inform and guide the campus community on standards, curricula, assessments and the unique needs of the K12 STEM education community relative to the work of the university community.
  • Collaborations: Active collaboration with UC San Diego faculty, staff and students on new programs (as requested) particularly in regards to grant-writing, development of new and resubmitted proposals, and other projects that seek to secure funding to support STEM education programming on and off the campus. (e.g. NSF Career grants, NSF/NIH awards, Dept of Education, Foundations etc.)
  • Representation: Presentations of CSSI related work relative to the SDSP at UC San Diego and to outside interested parties as requested.
  • Guidance: To the entire CSSI and CREATE leadership and team as needed to help keep the CREATE community informed about changes in science education policies and practices relevant to the larger Center’s work.

Basic qualifications are:
-M.A., M.S., or doctoral degree is required.

-Extensive understanding of federal and California standards and accountability systems, especially those concentrated upon science education in grades K-12.

-Extensive knowledge of curriculum used in K-12 classrooms and instructional techniques that best enhance students’ learning of scientific material to include experiments, project-based learning, and inquiry approaches.

-Ability to conduct workshops, institutes, short instructional modules, and entire courses for prospective teachers and practicing teachers.
Salary is commensurate with qualifications and based on University of California pay scales.

Preferred qualifications are:
-K-12 teaching credential and K-12 teaching experience preferred.

-Candidates who are committed to the highest standards of scholarship and professional activity and who will make a strong and meaningful contribution to the development of a campus climate that supports equality and diversity.

To ensure full consideration, all application materials must be submitted electronically by 4/24/2021. Applications must be submitted to the UCSD on-line application collection system, AP-On-Line Recruit, at:

Please submit the following: cover letter, CV, three letters of recommendation, and a separate statement summarizing past or potential contributions to diversity. The statement of teaching is optional.

The Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment and Teaching Excellence (CREATE) within the Division of Social Sciences at the University of California San Diego ( is committed to academic excellence and diversity within the faculty, staff, and student body.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter

  • Statement of Teaching (Optional)

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity - Applicants should summarize their past or potential contributions to diversity. See our Faculty Equity site for more information.

Reference requirements
  • 3 letters of reference required

Job location

UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA