DEAN OF TEACHING AND LEARNING - UWC - USA
START DATE: AUGUST 2023
CLOSING DATE: UNTIL FILLED
Description of School:
UWC-USA is an international boarding school. It enrolls up to 240 students in grades 11 and 12. All students follow the IB Diploma Program. Roughly twenty percent of the students come from the U.S.; the remainder represent more than 90 different countries. Students are admitted on the basis of merit, potential, and promise.
What is the context?
Founded in 1982, the United World College-USA is one of 18 United World College (UWC) campuses worldwide and the only campus in the United States. The UWC movement seeks “to make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future.” As such, UWC-USA values and promotes all manner of inclusion,diversity, equity, and access as part of our fundamental mission to bring people together across differences in service of a more peaceful and sustainable world. With the IB at the center of our academic program, and a strong focus on experiential learning including in a multinational/multicultural boarding environment, UWC-USA stretches its students, faculty and staff to learn and grow in a multi-perspectival community dedicated to democratic processes as reflective of our country location and traditions.
What is the UWC-USA mission?
We embrace the UWC mission “to make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future” by preparing students to serve as catalysts for greater unity, peace, and sustainability in their personal lives, in their communities, and in their relationship to the environment. We accomplish this through intentional, place-based programming, an integral approach to our programming and our lives together, and ample opportunities for student autonomy and leadership under the guidance of caring staff and faculty.
How is UWC-USA unique?
Our participation in the UWC movement and our philanthropy-based educational model distinguish UWC-USA among international boarding schools. As a UWC two year school, we recruit students through more than 150 National Committees worldwide. Our philanthropy-based model makes our educational program widely accessible to students from families with modest financial resources, no matter where they live in the world, with 85% of UWC-USA students receiving a financial award to attend the school. Together, these two advantages allow us to bring together students whose identities, experiences, and ideas create a microcosm of the world on our campus, which is located in rural Northern New Mexico.
Why are we searching?
UWC-USA has been led internally and externally by the President for 6 years. During that time the work has been to develop a strategy in two phases. The first phase is to strengthen the foundation of our school. The second to innovate for impact. Now that we are well into implementation of the first phase of our strategy, we have identified a new Associate Head of School to provide daily leadership in support of integration and innovation across our educational programming. The new Dean of Teaching and Learning will support the Associate Head in this work through co-creation and focused management of curricular innovation, integration, and implementation; providing pedagogical resource development and coaching; recruiting, reviewing, growing and retaining mission- and values-aligned faculty; and stewarding the conditions for student achievement. The Dean of Teaching and Learning will be part of the Associate Head of School’s Program Team, which includes the new Dean of Teaching and Learning, the Dean of Students, and the Director of Residential Life. They will also be part of the Educational Leadership Team, which includes the Dean of Teaching and Learning, Dean of Students, Director of Admissions, Director of College Counseling, and the Registrar.
What is our point of view?
On challenges in the world
UWC’s mission began in response to the international tensions of the Cold War. Its mission to bring young people together before their prejudices are solidified, in service of peace and a sustainable future, is as important as ever. In the world our students know, the main obstacles to unity remain differences in identity that too often separate us from one another: nationality, culture, language, religion, ethnicity, race, gender, and sexual identity. The main obstacles to peace and sustainability today are not entirely new either, but the globalizing forces of our age have reshaped them. No matter where our students come from they increasingly see these challenges up close in local, national or international settings:
Economic, political, and social inequality between those at the center and those on the margins of societies worldwide;
Political polarization rooted in ideology, grievance, and uneven democratic practice/ institutions;
Climate change, ecosystem destruction, and biodiversity collapse resulting from destructive modes of production, consumption, and land use.
In this global context, our students face the more personal challenge of growing into healthy young adults and thoughtful leaders amid real cultural, social and educational tensions worldwide:
Just as they embrace the great diversity of people and cultures in the world, they feel the powerful forces of assimilation and homogenization that threaten local identities and the wisdom they contain.
New social identities, relationships and networks are welcome at this age, but the bonds of affection and solidarity are weakened by the intrusion of markets and the media in their personal and interpersonal spheres.
Twenty-first century technologies – increasingly available to schools – are changing exponentially, yet they need connections with adults and one another to ground them.
The global marketplace and new technologies will continue to transform our students’ relationships with others, learning and work, presenting both new opportunities and new obstacles for their personal well-being in the world.
On opportunities in international, boarding school education
The UWC boarding school was founded primarily to facilitate international and intercultural understanding by bringing young people from all over the world to live and learn together. Its early partnership in the creation of the International Baccalaureate made it a pioneer in inquiry based learning. Its focus on experiential learning and the importance of diversity also established it as a pioneer. Today, there is a greater variety of educational models in the international boarding school sector than ever before. This development encourages all international boarding schools, including UWC-USA, to think creatively within and beyond the predominant models we have inherited. UWC-USA is a full participant in an ongoing dialogue across UWC International and the International Baccalaureate Office (IBO) about new educational directions that best meet the opportunities and challenges of our age.
On UWC-USA at this moment
Two time-bound factors are also shaping the context for the search for a Dean of Teaching and Learning:
Strategy Implementation: We are currently well into the implementation of the first phase of our strategic plan – to strengthen the foundation – while at the same time beginning the second phase of our plan, to innovate for impact.
○ Strengthening the Foundation: The Dean of Teaching and Learning will support the Associate Head of School in completing implementation of foundational initiatives to ensure an excellent student experience across our academic, experiential, and residential programming. Key foundational initiatives include refining our use of a relatively new student information system and learning management system; consolidating a new timetable and improved annual calendar; developing an effective faculty recruitment, review, growth and retention program; and integrating our commitment to peace and sustainability in our academic and experiential curricula.
○ Innovating for Impact: The Dean of Teaching and Learning will work closely with the Associate Head of School to inform the ongoing development of a number of impact initiatives related to the educational program. Key impact initiatives include: designing a summer preparatory and ongoing support program for selected students in each entering class; defining the leadership competencies which our students will need to contend with the challenges of the 21st century; designing a model for learning expeditions that will foster these leadership competencies with a view toward leveraging place-based opportunities; and building cross-curricular teams to address these challenges.
A new role
The Dean of Teaching and Learning role is new. Establishing the role in light of the vision, strategy, mission and values of UWC-USA will be vital to continue the school on a deliberate path.
What is the role?
The next Dean of Teaching and Learning will need strengths in three categories:
Creative and collaborative ability to leverage the IB innovatively while bringing faculty and students along
Acting as a Bridge across constituencies through strong relationship building skills.
Strategy Implementation: Dean of Teaching and Learning will need to…
Manage intersection between UWC-USA's mission and the school's vision, strategic plan, educational programming (including, but not exclusively, the IB), staffing and development, and student experience
Engage in innovation while recognizing UWC-USA's time-honored DNA as an intentional, demanding, adventurous, and outward-facing learning community ● Articulate and advocate for the ways in which learning is evolving in our rapidly changing world, shaping the implementation of our strategy along the way
Measure progress against strategic aspirations and annual goals in collaboration with the Associate Head of School
Distributed Leadership Execution: Dean of Teaching and Learning will need to…
Work closely with the Associate Head of School as a strategic thought partner ● Lead collaboratively in an environment that invites all members of the community to “lead from where they are”
Coach faculty and students for growth and development
Communicate effectively and inspirationally with all stakeholders
Acting as a Bridge: Dean of Teaching and Learning will need to…
Work closely with the Associate Head of School in order to inform the President’s vision and strategy for the school
Manage, coordinate, and build relationships among the faculty, students, staff, and Associate Head of School
Manage and coordinate educational programming, focusing on the intersection of programming with faculty capacity and the two-year student experience
Engage and communicate across constituencies, from faculty and staff to students ● Serve as part of the Program Team and the Educational Leadership Team as well as co-lead it when the Associate Head is away
Seek dialogue in leadership decisions to develop leadership across the school ● Care for and celebrate students, staff, faculty, leadership team members and volunteers
What are the key details?
30 faculty and 60 staff
240 students in grades 11 and 12, admitted on the basis of merit, promise and potential through over 150 National Committees worldwide and a Global Selection Process run as a partnership between schools and UWC International
1:8 faculty to student ratio, with class sizes ranging from 8-20 students ● Roughly twenty percent of the students come from the U.S.; the remainder represent more than 80 countries
85% of UWC-USA students receive a financial award to attend the school; the average award is $33,000 per year
Diversity and the value placed on it is paramount, with national diversity only scratching the surface; racial, ethnic, cultural, linguistic, religious, sexual, gender, and socio-economic diversity all figure large in the opportunity and challenge to work, learn, and live within our diverse community; cultural competency and sensitivity, combined with a willingness to learn and to grow, is a must at UWC-USA.
UWC-USA Community Narrative
UWC-USA Educational Objectives
UWC-USA 2021-22 School Profile
UWC-USA Strategic Plan
Strong identification with the vision, mission and values of UWC-USA and ability to articulate and translate them in strategic and day to day implementation of programs ● Knowledge of best practices in diversity, equity, inclusion and access and the requisite skillfulness to support student and staff growth in this area and to facilitate critical conversations in the design of inclusive curriculum and programs; demonstrated commitment to such practices
Three or more years of administrative experience in secondary education ● Three or more years of successful teaching in a multicultural school and in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme
Knowledge of curricular practices, research and methodologies for secondary prep or independent school environments
Knowledge of instructional strategies used in the enhancement of curricular programs ● Knowledge of standardized and performance-based assessment practices ● A proven track record of supporting student and faculty performance and retention ● Commitment to learning and modeling constructive engagement of conflict among colleagues and students
Commitment to learning and modeling personal, communal, and environmental sustainability
General familiarity with relevant laws and regulations that govern educational institutions ● Ability to use good judgment in establishing priorities and assessing and engaging difficult situations
Exemplary discretion and confidentiality
Ability to collaborate with colleagues within the profession, including within the larger UWC movement
Empathetic leadership style; open, accessible, and collaborative
Outstanding organization and communication skills
Excellent written and verbal communication skills
Required Education/ Experience
Master’s in Education, International Education, Experiential Education, Independent School Leadership/Administration, or related field.
10+ years of experience in a minimum of two schools, in a position of leadership or significant involvement in educational leadership and supervision in an international, boarding, or diverse context.
Valid NM Driver’s License, and must be insurable by the school’s insurance carrier.
Experience implementing curricular innovations
Experience as an IB examiner, site visitor or workshop leader
Theoretical and practical background in experiential education
Independent, international and/or boarding school experience
Application review for the Dean of Teaching and Learning will begin June 2, 2023. Please send the following materials by June 1, 2023:
Cover letter, CV, and three professional references (note: we will not be contacting any references unless you are selected as a semi-finalist).
A one to two page response to each of the following two prompts: 1) What are the opportunities for innovation within the IB, especially with a focus on experiential learning to complement inquiry-based learning? Is innovation within the IB important? Why or why not? How would you go about innovating, especially knowing that UWC-USA is part of a larger UWC movement, and knowing that no innovation can work without bringing along faculty? How would you leverage student input given that our students are only with us for 2 years? 2) How would you develop faculty capacity to work with a highly diverse, motivated, vocal, mission-driven student body? What practical steps would you take to build, develop, and retain such a faculty? Given the demands for innovation across the curriculum, how would you support faculty through a period of innovation and change?
We will keep all inquiries and applications strictly confidential until the semi-finalist phase, at which point it may be necessary for us to make limited outreach to references.
Please send questions to email@example.com.