Program Specialist (Engage Dallas) - Residence Life and Student Housing - (RES00000068)

  • Southern Methodist University
  • Dallas, TX, USA
  • May 09, 2023
Full time Education

Job Description

Salary Range: 

Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications

About SMU

SMU’s more than 12,000 diverse, high-achieving students come from all 50 states and over 80 countries to take advantage of the University’s small classes, meaningful research opportunities, leadership development, community service, international study and innovative programs.

SMU serves approximately 7,000 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate students through eight degree-granting schools: Dedman College of Humanities and SciencesCox School of BusinessLyle School of EngineeringMeadows School of the ArtsSimmons School of Education and Human DevelopmentDedman School of LawPerkins School of Theology and Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies.

SMU is data driven, and its powerful supercomputing ecosystem – paired with entrepreneurial drive – creates an unrivaled environment for the University to deliver research excellence.

Now in its second century of achievement, SMU is recognized for the ways it supports students, faculty and alumni as they become ethical, enterprising leaders in their professions and communities. SMU’s relationship with Dallas – the dynamic center of one of the nation’s fastest-growing regions – offers unique learning, research, social and career opportunities that provide a launch pad for global impact.

SMU is nonsectarian in its teaching and committed to academic freedom and open inquiry.

About the Department:

Residence Life & Student Housing fosters the foundational SMU experience where every student belongs, learns, and connects through their residential community. This role provides leadership and oversight to Engage Dallas. Engage Dallas is a place-based community engagement initiative via SMU’s Residential Commons to address community needs focusing on South and West Dallas. The initiative is a long-term, university-wide commitment led by students to partner with local residents, organizations, and other leaders to positively impact the community. 

About the Position:

This role is an on-campus, in-person position.

This role provides leadership and oversight to the place-based community engagement initiative, Engage Dallas. As a member of the Academic Initiatives team, the Engage Dallas Program Specialist leads and supports campus-wide community engagement opportunities via the Engage Dallas initiative, including but not limited to large days of service, on campus and virtual education sessions, as well as provides supervision to a minimum of 13 student directors and a graduate assistant. Position reports to the Associate Director for High-Impact Practices. 

Essential Functions:

  • Recruits, hires, trains, and supervises thirteen or more student directors leading community engagement efforts and requirements in their respective Residential Commons, including monthly service events. Ensures programs comply with risk management and legal affairs. Conducts regularly scheduled individual and group staff meeting. Promotes and trains student staff on topics related to community engagement.

  • Supports the development and execution of major Engage Dallas programs, including but not limited to, #1Day4Dallas, the Place-Based Community Engagement Symposium, Alternative Breaks in collaboration with the Office of Social Change and Intercultural Engagement, and other programmatic partnerships.

  • Participates in Peer Leader supervisor meetings. Supports the RLSH Peer Leader program through participation in trainings and special programs such as peer leader recruitment and Certified Peer Educator training.

  • Supports strategic planning efforts that aid in the growth and sustainability of the Engage Dallas initiative, collaborates with community and campus partners to align with strategic plan and initiative goals, and serves on the Engage Dallas Steering Committee, core team, and special project teams.

  • Assists with updates and maintenance of the Engage Dallas Canvas course and resource libraries. Oversees marketing and advertisement for Engage Dallas, including but not limited to monthly newsletters, blog posts, and social media posts.

  • Performs related duties as assigned or required to meet RLSH, Student Affairs and University goals, including budget and financial management and purchasing and expense reports, as well as time approval.

  • ·    Occasional evening/weekend hours may be required for student events.


Education and Experience:

A Bachelor’s degree is required. A degree in Higher Education Administration, College Student Personnel, Human Rights, Social Justice or Community Leadership is preferred. 

A minimum of two years of experience is required. Experience working in Residence Life or Community Engagement (professional or graduate level) is required. 

Experience working in Student Affairs is preferred. Experience working in a residential college setting or experience working with academic and faculty partners is a plus. Supervisory experience of student employees is also a plus. 

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: 

Candidate must demonstrate strong interpersonal and verbal communication skills, with the ability to communicate broadly across the University and develop and maintain effective collegial working relationships with a wide range of constituencies. Must also demonstrate strong written communication skills. 

Candidate must possess strong problem-solving skills with the ability to identify and analyze problems, as well as devise solutions. Must also have strong organizational, planning and time management skills.  

Physical and Environmental Demands:

  • ·       Sit for long periods of time

  •      Carry/lift 25 lbs. 

Deadline to Apply:

This position is open until filled.

EEO Statement:

SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,


SMU offers staff a broad, competitive array of health and related benefits. In addition to traditional benefits such as health, dental, and vision plans, SMU offers a wide range of wellness programs to help attract, support, and retain our employees whose work continues to make SMU an outstanding education and research institution.

SMU is committed to providing an array of retirement programs that benefit and protect you and your family throughout your working years at SMU and, if you meet SMU's retirement eligibility criteria, during your retirement years after you leave SMU.

The value of learning at SMU isn't just about preparing our students for the future. Employees have access to a wide variety of professional and personal development opportunities, including tuition benefits.