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Join our mission as DCP's Chief Executive Officer


Downtown College Prep’s success with first-generation college students is at the forefront of a national movement for college access and educational equity.
The first charter high school in Silicon Valley, Downtown College Prep (DCP) was founded in San Jose in 2000 with the belief that all students, regardless of background and prior academic achievement, can and should be prepared for college success.  Through its singular commitment to college success, DCP ensures that largely low-income Latinx students and families are fully supported in the pursuit of a college degree.
DCP has graduated over 1300 alumni and currently serves 1700 students in grades 5-12 on four campuses and 500 college-aged alumni. In the fall of 2020, at the height of the global pandemic, 90% of graduates matriculated to college. 56% of DCP grads have completed college or are on track to complete college in six years compared to 14% of low-income students nationwide. DCP is deeply committed to supporting, measuring, and reporting college completion for graduates and serving as a replicable national model of college and career readiness for first-generation students.
DCP’s vision is to ensure that more first-generation students have the vision, confidence, persistence and academic skills to succeed in college and beyond, realizing their fullest potential and harnessing their power to become leaders in their field and community.


Downtown College Prep’s board of directors is seeking a proven, dynamic nonprofit leader to serve as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and build upon the success and legacy of the schools. The new CEO will be expected to embody and promote the mission, vision, and goals of DCP, with an emphasis on college success. The CEO will lead through a multiculturally competent lens to execute on a multi-year strategic plan.
The incoming CEO will be taking over an organization with a strong foundation. Some of the organization’s strengths include:
  • Stakeholders that are committed to and unified by the mission of DCP and getting first generation students to college;
  • A strong community of parents, students, alumni, and a focus on parent advocacy;
  • Track record of getting first generation Latinx students to college with scholarship opportunities;
  • A highly engaged and committed board which gives its time, talent, and treasure;
  • A talented team of senior leaders;
  • Support from the philanthropic community and donors;
  • A commitment to continuing and internalizing the diversity, equity, and inclusion work that is underway across the organization.
The CEO will lead the organization to accomplish the following:
  • Revisit and update a multi-year strategic plan in concert with senior leadership and the board to:
    • Achieve desired academic outcomes
    • Foster an inclusive, cohesive, and collaborative organizational culture across the schools and central office
    • Expand community/parent involvement and student enrollment
  • Invest in the systems and structures necessary for the organization to thrive;
  • Manage the relationship with the newly established teachers’ union;
  • Establish relationships with donors and the board to drive additional philanthropic support;
  • Ensure the right team is in place to carry out the short- and long-term priorities of the organization, with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The CEO will report to the board of directors and directly manage the leaders of the academics, operations, and financial teams. The CEO will prioritize organizational culture and ensure effective collaboration and communication across all teams and stakeholder groups.
The CEO will also manage the organizational budget of approximately $20M while investing time and energy in fundraising and external partnership building, in collaboration with the board.
This is an exciting opportunity for a relationship-driven leader who is a strong manager of people and has a track record of leading teams to achieve ambitious results. The ideal candidate has a passion for changing lives and enabling first generation students to achieve their college dreams.


Vision Setting and Strategic Planning
  • Review and update the organizational strategic plan in collaboration with the board, Senior Leadership Team, and other members of the DCP community;
  • Champion the vision of DCP and lead the organization to fulfill its mission;
  • Set organizational priorities and determine how the organization’s overall performance will be assessed;
  • Ensure accountability across the organization by setting clear academic, operational, and financial goals.
Team Management and Culture Building
  • Develop, coach, and retain a high-performing leadership team and manage them towards ambitious goals;
  • Foster an inclusive, collaborative, and accountable culture where everyone is focused on student success and growth;
  • Oversee and provide leadership to the academic, operations, and finance teams;
  • Preserve and promote the DCP mission while also codifying and communicating the core values (Desire, Community, and Pride) and philosophy.
External Partnership, Engagement and Sustainability
Externally champion the vision, mission, goals, and values of DCP, including speaking publicly, and communicating widely about the work and accomplishments of the organization;
  • Work effectively with the union to ensure success for both teachers and students;
  • Build a strong relationship with San Jose Unified School District and the Santa Clara Office of Education;
  • Continue to develop an engaged, and active board in close partnership with the board chair; 
  • In collaboration with the board, ensure that DCP has a strong long-term financial plan and a diversified and sustainable funding base.


The ideal candidate will bring the following experiences, skills, and mindset/values:
  • At least ten years of professional experience, including successfully leading a school or education nonprofit to meet ambitious student achievement goals in the education sector;
  • Experience successfully leading in a multicultural environment required; Spanish fluency a plus;
  • Demonstrated commitment to, and accountability for, a rigorous academic environment;
  • Experience setting vision and direction for an organization and defining strategies to operationalize a vision;
  • A track record of coaching, motivating, and empowering others and investing stakeholders in a vision;
  • Experience building, managing, developing, and supporting high-performing teams;
  • Successful change management experience;
  • Experience building and stewarding external partnerships and serving as the external face of an organization;
  • Experience managing a budget required, fundraising/development experience a plus;
  • Experience successfully working with boards highly preferred;
  • A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited, four-year university required, advanced degree or equivalent preferred.
  • Culturally competent leader with the ability to build an inclusive workplace where diversity, equity, and inclusion is valued and leveraged to achieve the vision and mission of the organization;
  • Superior relationship management skills, and the ability to engage and inspire a variety of stakeholders both inside and outside of the organization;
  • Strong people and team management skills;
  • Ability to drive change management with people and create/codify systems to support change.
  • Philosophical alignment with the mission and vision of DCP and an appreciation for DCP’s history and legacy;
  • A deep-seated commitment to leading with integrity and transparency;
  • Openness to innovation and ability to create the space for teams/individuals to take risks as well as focus on continuous improvement;
  • Collaborative, inclusive, and accessible leadership style; track record of being a present and engaged leader;
  • Evidence of well-developed emotional intelligence, growth mindset, humility, and receptiveness to feedback.
Job Specifications 
ORGANIZATION:    Downtown College Prep
POSITION:                Chief Executive Officer
LOCATION:              San Jose, CA
REPORTS TO:           Board of Directors

If you want to change lives of first-generation students and their families, this is a wonderful opportunity to have a great impact.

To apply, please email your resume to with a subject line of “Downtown College Prep CEO.”

Applications must be received by midnight on April 18, 2021.


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