Job Details

Pennsylvania State University
  • Position Number: 2633961
  • Location: University Park, PA
  • Position Type: Agriculture - Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness

Education Program Specialist 3: Urban Leadership & Community Vitality

Penn State Extension - Energy, Business, and Community Vitality Unit is seeking an innovative, problem-solving individual, with a passion for and experience with urban community engagement, the drive to make a positive difference, and values the integration of science and education into leadership and community vitality work in urban and peri-urban communities, organizations, and businesses. Positions available in the Allegheny, Harrisburg, and Philadelphia areas.

Overview: On behalf of the Unit, the individual will facilitate Extension-community collaboration, needs-based program development, and applied research projects around local and regional issues and opportunities. Focused education and research efforts will be driven by stakeholder needs and likely align with the broad areas of community engagement, education, leadership development, food systems and local foods, social entrepreneurship, volunteer development, community organizational development, government engagement, and non-profit development. All programs, partnerships, and collaborations should result in measurable improvements in economic and social well-being for recipients. Topical areas of focus include urban community vitality; youth development; community health; urban community food systems and local foods; food equity, justice, and access; and/or entrepreneurship activities related to food, agriculture, and natural resources. Success will be measured in terms of partnerships and collaborations resulting in positive practice changes through both key action and impact indicators.

Program Responsibilities: The individual will enhance stakeholder relationships through building networks and partnerships, co-creation of programs and projects, program relevancy, demonstrated program impact, and ultimately program growth. In support of program planning and development, the individual will work individually, collaboratively, and transdisciplinary to conduct holistic urban community analysis, needs assessment, establish learning objectives, develop educational materials, host and co-host educational events, utilize evaluation to measure program success, and develop appropriate impact documentation to illustrate the value and relevancy of quality programming. The person will need to embrace the best aspects of visionary, coaching, and servant leaderships to develop and deliver non-credit educational programs designed specifically for individuals, public agencies, nonprofit organizations, co-ops, local governments, community businesses, and other related stakeholders. The individual will be responsible for growing partnerships, program offerings, stakeholder impacts, and the overall program team in urban communities. Team members are expected to work collaboratively across internal teams and closely with university faculty to develop educational programs and products and conduct applied research relevant to stakeholder needs.

Specialized Skills & Educational Requirements:
  • Requirements: Typically requires a Bachelor's degree plus four years related experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Preferences: a degree in economic and community development, public health, geography, sociology, demography, social work, human development and family studies, leadership, business administration, public administration OR related work experience.
  • Required Skills: effective communication (verbal and written) and interpersonal skills; ability to network and build working relationships with diverse audiences; building organizational capacity (grow programming) and urban educational program development opportunities; professional organization, project management.
  • Desired experiences: teaching, facilitation, curriculum development, evaluation, community outreach and collaboration, grant management, applied research, project management, business or non-profit management, or involvement in food, agriculture, and/or natural resources. Supervisory experience will be a plus. Spanish language ability will be a plus.
  • The successful candidate must be proficient in the use of modern computer software packages, such as Microsoft Office.

Relational & Pedagogical Responsibilities: The successful individual will work effectively either independently, or as a member of one or more program teams. They must engage effectively with diverse and underserved audiences. The successful candidate will demonstrate the highest-level cultural competency, sensitivity, and respect. The candidate must be able to effectively work with a cross-section of urban communities, building relationships and communicating within diverse communities.

To develop and conduct educational programs and applied research, the candidate should be comfortable with innovative and/or entrepreneurial team collaborations and partnerships. Programs and project partnerships will reach across multiple stakeholders, disciplines, departments, colleges, institutions, non-governmental organizations, independent businesses, and possibly state and local governments. To accomplish team and individual goals, the candidate must utilize educational tools such as online courses, videos, mobile apps, and electronic publications, in addition to traditional publications and in-person presentations.

Travel and Clearances: Travel across the Commonwealth (including some overnight trips) may be required. The candidate is required to possess a valid driver's license and have use of a private vehicle. This position requires that you operate a motor vehicle as a part of your job duties. A valid driver's license and successful completion of a motor vehicle records check will be required in addition to standard background checks. The University may also require a check of publicly available clearances for those individuals who may be working with children. The diverse program locations and materials needed for program delivery and potential research require the candidate to be able to carry equipment and educational materials and supplies, with or without accommodation.

Penn State Extension is an organization on the move and a leader in research and engaged learning innovation. We welcome all applicants interested in working together to create new and innovative programs capable of making a lasting and positive difference for the residents of Pennsylvania and beyond.

Apply online at

CAMPUS SECURITY CRIME STATISTICS: For more about safety at Penn State, and to review the Annual Security Report which contains information about crime statistics and other safety and security matters, please go to, which will also provide you with detail on how to request a hard copy of the Annual Security Report.

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.

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