Chief Academic Officer

Generation Rwanda/ Kepler - New York, NY - Full time


Generation Rwanda/Kepler

Chief Academic Officer

About Generation Rwanda/Kepler

Kepler is a nonprofit university program designed to deliver the skills that emerging economies need. Kepler combines the best of online learning and an American competency-based degree program with in-person seminars and intensive education-to-employment support.

Kepler grew out of Generation Rwanda which started in 2004 and has supported young people in Rwanda in achieving their higher education goals through scholarships for universities throughout the country. In 2013, GR expanded its reach when it started Kepler.

Africa has the fastest-growing youth population in the world, but its education systems are not ready to unleash what could be a transformative generation of talent that changes the face of the continent. Studies show that more earning potential is unlocked with each year of higher education than through any other period of study. Kepler aspires to help unleash a generation of African students who otherwise would lack the opportunity to achieve their potential.

Kepler’s educational model is working:

  • Kepler students are graduating. 98% of Kepler’s inaugural class earned their Associate of Arts degrees in under two years, and our students are significantly outperforming their peers at local Rwandan universities across the board, as measured by an independent research firm.
  • Kepler students are getting jobs. 81% of the students seeking employment from the inaugural class have already received full time job offers, despite not having yet completed their B.A. degrees. Kepler students stand out in the Rwandan job market.
  • Kepler employees are local. Nearly all of our employees are local hires. Kepler invests in the professional development of our outstanding staff and it shows in learning and employment outcomes for our students.

We are building a results-focused, student-centered work culture that values excellence and energy. We are looking for the very best to join our team.

About the Position

Kepler is looking for a global academic leader to lead our effort to reinvent higher education. This is an opportunity to be the academic lead of the initiative that aims to make high-quality higher education affordable and accessible across Africa and beyond.

The Chief Academic Officer (CAO) will lead the design and implementation of Kepler’s learning experiences and will focus on refining and scaling the model in a lean environment. Kepler is predicated upon the question, “If we shift our focus from lectures, credits, and expensive facilities to what really drives learning and personal growth, what can we build?” We have pioneered a model that in just its first few years is already outperforming existing universities in Rwanda. We need a bold thinker to push our model to the next level and make it scalable across the African continent and beyond.

Imagine a world in which every young person in Africa can attend a university that builds leaders who are set up for 21st century career success. Imagine a university that leverages technology and the latest in learning science to enable high potential students across Africa—no matter their family background—to earn a quality, U.S. accredited degree, all without leaving their home countries. This is what Kepler is creating in Rwanda. The Chief Academic Officer will help make it happen everywhere.

The ideal candidate combines both strategic thinking and strong execution skills across various forms of education methodologies. The CAO will build the team as it grows to keep pace with the expansion of the Kepler network into new markets.

The role is based in Kigali, Rwanda.

Job Responsibilities

Key responsibilities for the role include:

  • Articulate and execute a vision for the future of our learning model
  • Continue to build upon an outstanding team of academic team leaders, course facilitators, and curriculum developers drawing on both local and international talent
  • Research new degree partnerships and grow Kepler’s degree offerings
  • Oversee the development of curricula for all academic subjects, incorporating the best of digital resources and in-person seminars
  • Liaise with the Board of directors and appropriate committees; report out at meetings
  • Oversee the professional development of all academic staff
  • Oversee educational activities both strategic and operational, including metrics to track and evaluate progress
  • Grow Kepler’s relationship with the Ministry of Education in Rwanda and future locations
  • Lead Kepler’s academic research agenda, overseeing external and internal academic monitoring and evaluation; pitch research for publication
  • Participate in the process to identify, evaluate, choose and develop the next opportunities for Kepler expansion, in partnership with the academic and operational teams,. This will include framing an academic vision for indirect impact and a Kepler “playbook” for expansion. Collaborate with the academic management, curriculum development, and operations team to identify key products, processes, and systems that can be documented and adapted for use in different contexts.
  • Stay up to date on technology trends in education and help evaluate innovations for the organization in partnership with operations.
  • Support Kepler fundraising and communications through funder visits, reports, proposals, collecting student stories, etc.
  • Represent Kepler at conferences and events

Qualifications

  • 8+ years of experience in a rigorous, high-expectations academic setting including at least one supervisory, curriculum development or instructional leadership role
  • You embrace the latest in learning science and are excited to push the envelope with blended learning, incorporating both digital resources and in-person instruction
  • You have a track record of improving other people’s performance through coaching
  • You have an exceptional ability to think strategically and yet you sweat the small stuff—people see you as conscientious and strong with follow up
  • You are driven by data and know how to use data from student assessments to strengthen and differentiate student learning
  • You crave feedback to improve your performance and have an infectious growth mindset that rubs off on others around you.
  • You have a strong orientation toward results and customer focus
  • You consistently exhibit the highest levels of integrity
  • You are willing (eager!) to live and work on the African continent (living outside the continent may be considered for exceptionally qualified candidates)
  • You have a passion to further develop your skills and apply them to transform the lives of African youth

Reports to:

The CAO reports directly to the CEO.

Apply Now

Experience Level

3 or more years

Generation Rwanda/ Kepler

About Generation Rwanda/Kepler

Kepler is a nonprofit university program designed to deliver the skills that emerging economies need. Kepler combines the best of online learning and an American competency-based degree program with in-person seminars and intensive education-to-employment support.

Kepler grew out of Generation Rwanda which started in 2004 and has supported young people in Rwanda in achieving their higher education goals through scholarships for universities throughout the country. In 2013, GR expanded its reach when it started Kepler.

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