Saint Louis, MO
November 30, 2023

Saint Louis University: Executive Director, Prison Education Program

The Prison Education Program (PEP) at Saint Louis University (SLU) is a Jesuit-inspired initiative that provides high-quality higher education opportunities to people incarcerated and working in prisons and jails in Missouri. Under supervision of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the PEP Director leads the program in fulfilling its mission and goals.

PEP currently consists of three FT staff members and several PT staff and interns; faculty members serve as coordinators of the parts of the program, and in an advisory capacity. PEP fundraises for 75% of its annual operating expenses.

In 2022, Saint Louis University committed to an expansion of PEP from an Associate of Arts degree to a bachelor’s degree and to creating and supporting funded pathways to campus for degree completion for alumni to SLU’s St. Louis campus. In addition to overseeing the mission and implementation of PEP, the Director will guide curriculum development, business planning, and strategic planning for these initiatives, as outlined in the University’s Academic Strategic Plan.


  • Oversee the mission and strategic planning of PEP in collaboration with SLU Deans, PEP Programming Coordinators, and PEP Advisory Boards
  • Oversee curriculum development, implementation, and assessment in consultation with Academic Program Coordinator
  • Expand on the current Associate of Arts program and develop a Bachelor of Arts degree within the Prison Education Program
  • Supervise the work of full-time staff and faculty coordinators of academic programming
  • Oversee assessment of the Prison Education Program and work will staff and academic programming coordinators to develop practices that improve student outcomes
  • Oversee the PEP budget
  • Develop fundraising strategies and activities in collaboration with the Office of Development and Alumni Relations
  • Apply for externally funded grants to support the mission and activities of the Prison Education Program
  • Advance the national and regional profile of PEP via community engagement, community and/or scholarly research, and participation in relevant professional organizations/conferences
  • Direct or assist with other activities, provided the agreement of the deans of A&S

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Evidence of leaderships skills indicating an ability to create a shared vision and strategic plan
  • Familiarity with best practices and standards in prison education
  • Evidence of successful fund-raising and grant management
  • Experience with programmatic advocacy within and external to a university community
  • Experience serving non-traditional and underserved student populations

Critical Skills

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills for a variety of audiences
  • Ability to develop and maintain collaborative working relationships and to foster positive morale in program staff
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills
  • Cultural competencies, including awareness, appreciation, and respect for cultural differences
  • Ability to support and advocate for currently incarcerated students, prison staff students, and formerly incarcerated students on SLU’s St. Louis campus
  • Proficiency in grant writing

Minimum Qualifications

  • Doctoral degree or terminal master’s degree in the candidate’s field of expertise
  • Three to five (3-5) years experience in higher education required
  • 5-7 years experience in prison education preferred
How to ApplyMore InfoPDF