The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) is the coordinating body for the nation’s preeminent system of postsecondary education, which includes 15 four-year and 24 two-year public colleges, as well as more than 30 nonprofit and 300 for-profit private schools. SCHEV is responsible for: developing and promoting an educationally and economically sound, vigorous, progressive and coordinated system of higher education; facilitating collaboration among postsecondary institutions that enhances academic quality and operational efficiency; developing and submitting recommendations to the executive and legislative branches on budgetary and policy matters; and providing advisory and/or regulatory guidance to the institutions.
In 2014, SCHEV developed The Virginia Plan for Higher Education, a statewide strategic plan. Updated and approved in January 2021, Pathways to Opportunity: The Virginia Plan for Higher Education is designed to identify trends that the Commonwealth must address if it is to continue to prosper and succeed. The plan provides a roadmap for Virginia to be the “Best State for Education” by 2030. In order to do so, it will fulfill its mission of advancing equitable, affordable and transformative higher education.
While SCHEV is responsible for management of The Pathways plan, execution relies on collaboration among institutions, K-12, general assembly members and staff, Governor’s staff, and other key stakeholders. Ongoing communications, including progress on the measures and targets, as well as initiatives are critical to meeting the needs of the Commonwealth and its citizens.
SCHEV aspires to be a great place to work. It is an environment of public servants committed to developing an educationally and economically sound, vigorous, progressive and coordinated system of higher education in Virginia. We value honesty, quality, diversity, inclusion, growth-orientation, personal well-being, equity, transparency and accountability. And we seek team players who will advance these values through their work and engagement.
SCHEV’s offices are located in Virginia’s capitol city of Richmond. The City is the convergence point of college campuses, the state government seat, a strong entrepreneurial spirit and historical sites. This combination has resulted in a thriving eclectic culture and foodie destination. The growing city juncture is centrally located and less than two hours from the nation’s capital, beautiful beaches and scenic mountains.
About the Position
SCHEV seeks a Senior Associate for Communications & Outreach to lead and implement a strategy for all internal and external communications to articulate consistently the work of the organization and the goals and activities of Pathways to Opportunity: The Virginia Plan for Higher Education. The Senior Associate manages a team of three employees (full- and part-time) and reports to the Director of Board & Executive Operations. The position is an integral member the organization and works closely with executive and management staff at SCHEV, the colleges and universities, the Governor’s office, the General Assembly and other organizations working to support and improve higher education in Virginia.
Communications & Outreach
- Manage the development, distribution, and maintenance of all print and electronic collateral including, but not limited to: newsletters, websites, news feed, press releases, periodic and annual reports.
- Write, review, and proofread a variety of communication materials to ensure accuracy, consistency of message, quality and appropriate positioning.
- Develop and update visual and written content in support of SCHEV and Pathways to Opportunity: The Virginia Plan for Higher Education, to be used as talking points, speeches and presentation materials to support the agency director and executive staff.
- Build relationships with major daily newspapers, TV and radio stations.
- Manage all media contacts; respond to media and public inquiries.
- Prepare presentations and talking points for agency Director.
- Create and manage social media strategy, plan and content.
- Update and implement agency crisis communications plan.
- Research, develop and implement new and innovative communication mediums and tools to increase communication effectiveness.
- Create and update annually the Key Facts brochure.
- Create data visualization materials from SCHEV data and reports.
- Create legislative newsletters during General Assembly session.
- Serve as back-up staff for FOIA requests.
- Update and maintain SCHEV’s Style Guide and communicate/train staff.
- Oversee implementation of new Intranet.
Strategy, Vision and Leadership
- Develop and implement a communication plan that supports SCHEV’s mission, work, and Pathways to Opportunity: The Virginia Plan for Higher Education.
- Undertake research and regularly report to SCHEV and others on institutional strategies to address statewide goals for higher education.
- Identify and develop compelling stories and utilize the best medium to engage target audiences in SCHEV’s mission and the work from Pathways to Opportunity: The Virginia Plan for Higher Education.
- Integrate change management principals into communications planning.
- Develop and manage a process for ensuring accuracy and timeliness of all communications, as well as measuring success and impact of communications efforts.
- Work closely with executive and SCHEV staff to assist with communications messaging.
- Supervise a team of three: an information and outreach specialist responsible for website development and graphic design (full-time); a communications associate for college access initiatives (full-time); and a communications associate responsible for newsletters (part-time).
Special Events Planning
- Helps support the Boards of Visitors (BOV) orientation, Outstanding Faculty Awards (OFA) and Council meetings with logistics planning and on-site assistance, talking points and media relations.
- Helps support other agency events as assigned.
- Experience demonstrating exceptional writing and editing skills with high attention to detail and ability to adapt a message for all mediums and audiences: expository, technical, human interest writing capability.
- Experience demonstrating a record of success developing and executing communication programs to support organization goals.
- Skilled at planning, project management, time management, decision-making and organizational relationships.
- Experience planning and coordinating logistics for events.
- Proficiency in use of various communication mediums (print, video, electronic, online and social).
- Proficiency with MS Office and Adobe applications.
- Considerable experience developing and managing communications projects and staff.
- Bachelor’s degree in English, public relations, communications or related field.
- Must be able to work remotely and possess the ability to travel occasionally during the day, but some overnight travel will be required.
- Must possess a valid driver’s license and use personal vehicle to drive to job related activities or have reliable transportation to get to job related activities. This position is considered an exceptional position with a contractual agreement.
How To Apply
Special Instructions to Applicants
State employees who have been affected by Policy 1.3 Layoff and possess a valid Interagency Placement Screening Form (Yellow Card) or a Preferential Hiring Form (Blue Card) must submit the card BEFORE the closing date for this position. The card may be scanned and attached to the application or faxed to (804) 371-7401. Please include your name and the position number on the fax cover sheet. You may apply for this position at https://virginiajobs.peopleadmin.com/postings/326300. AMERICORPS, PEACE CORPS, AND OTHER NATIONAL SERVICE ALUMNI ARE ENCOURAGED TO APPLY.
State applications will only be accepted as submitted online by 11:59 pm on the closing date through the Recruitment Management System (RMS). Applications submitted via email, postal mail, fax, or in person will not be considered. Applicants are expected to fully represent qualifications and work history on the State applications and or in resumes. The decision to interview an applicant is based on the information provided in the application, resume, or other relevant documents provided; therefore, it is essential for applicants to supply detailed information. Applications should include complete work history and periods of unemployment if applicable.
Submitting an incomplete state application/resume, or a state application/resume lacking in detail, may impact your interview eligibility. This website will provide a confirmation of receipt when the application is submitted successfully. Please refer to “Your Application” in your RMS Account to check the status of your application for this position.
SCHEV values honesty, quality, diversity, inclusion, growth-orientation, personal well-being, equity, transparency, and accountability.
Commonwealth’s Alternate Hiring Process
In support of the Commonwealth’s commitment to inclusion, we are encouraging individuals with disabilities to apply through the Commonwealth Alternative Hiring Process. To be considered for this opportunity, applicants will need to provide their Certificate of Disability (COD) provided by a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor within the Department for Aging & Rehabilitative Services (DARS).
Veterans are encouraged to answer Veteran status questions and submit their disability documentation, if applicable, to DARS to get their Certificate of Disability. If you need to get a Certificate of Disability, use this link: https://www.vadars.org/drs/cpid/PWContact.aspx, or call DARS at 800-552-5019.