Policy Analyst/ Senior Policy Analyst, Higher Education Program

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New America

Policy Analyst/ Senior Policy Analyst, Higher Education Program 2

Position description

New America’s Higher Education Program seeks a policy analyst/senior policy analyst with a strong interest and background in supporting student parents and other marginalized populations through their higher education journeys. New America is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute that is dedicated to realizing the promise of America in an era of rapid technological and social change. The vision of the Higher Education Program is a higher education system that is accessible, affordable, equitable, and accountable for helping students lead fulfilling and economically secure lives. As part of this commitment, the higher education team is dedicated to improving the college experience of student parents—college students caring for children (see our work on that topic here). We are hiring for an analyst who will primarily focus on our student parent related projects, and generally focus on supporting marginalized students.

The analyst will:

• Focus on advancing equity in higher education, particularly for student parents through ensuring effective use of federal, state, and institutional resources and policies.
• Research and evaluate student support programs at colleges, analyze existing education data, track and analyze legislation, and support existing or new research projects to identify and/or develop promising reform strategies that improve the outcomes of marginalized students.
• Help support and expand a coalition of external partners to be an incubator for policy ideas and strategy for the student parent space.
• Communicate ideas to policymakers, educators, the media, and other key audiences, including through writing compelling policy papers, briefs, blogs, providing technical assistance, talking to media, and hosting or participating in public events.

The ideal candidate is intellectually curious, entrepreneurial, relational, a good project manager, and committed to creating more equitable higher education outcomes.

Primary Responsibilities:

• Manage and support projects and tasks.

1. Play a key role in supporting the management of two large projects: a child care research project with a cohort of community colleges and a project focused on student parent coalition-building. This may require tracking timelines, planning webinars and events, managing relationships with college administrators and other advocates, reviewing grant applications, managing contracts, tracking budgets, and developing plans to coordinate the team’s research and writing. 

• Work within existing coalitions and develop new coalitions.

1. Support the coordination and management of existing coalitions that New America works with to develop and advocate for improved policies to help marginalized students and student parents succeed in higher education (i.e., basic needs, housing, mental health, care).
2. Provide management support and coordination support for a student parent policy working group.
3. Be a public representative for New America at external events, including panels, conferences, and symposia.

• Conduct policy research and analysis, develop new policy proposals and recommendations.

1. Support current projects aligned with the student parent team’s goals, and help develop new project ideas over time. Some of this work will be individual, and some will be collaborative with other team members and external partners.
2. Conduct community college site visits about campus child care that include interviews and focus groups with college partners and current students.
3. Develop research and policy questions to grow and advance the team’s work.
4. Analyze different kinds of quantitative, qualitative, and/or secondary data and information (i.e., through descriptive statistics, in-depth interviews, focus groups, surveys, site visits, literature reviews, and legislative histories).
5. Track and analyze federal legislative, regulatory, and administrative policy, including helping the team stay up to date and interpreting, summarizing, and looking for trends.

• Share information, convey new ideas, and promote policy reform.

1. Author and assist with blogs, op-eds, policy briefs, reports, and other documents and deliverables for the general public, policymakers, the media, and other stakeholders.

• Collaborate and work with internal partners.

1. Support advocacy efforts to advance federal legislative and regulatory change that support student parent success.
2. Productively and constructively work independently but also as part of a larger team.
3. Collaborate across multiple teams within New America.


• At least 3 years of federal, state, and/or institutional policy experience required for the policy analyst position. We will also consider related non-policy experience working on parenting student issues, for example: working as a parenting student liaison or a similar role on a college campus.

• At least 5 years of policy experience required for the senior policy analyst position.
• Particular expertise in the following areas is a plus, but not a requirement:

1. Childcare policy, including the Child Care Development Block Grant program (CCDBG), the Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program (CCAMPIS) or state level child care support programs
2. Federal or state financial aid policy
3. Public benefits and basic needs support programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Plan (SNAP), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
4. Evidence-based student success strategies

• Demonstrated project management and organizational skills working on deadline driven projects. Candidates should have a keen attention to detail, the ability to prioritize work and manage time on multiple projects and tasks to meet deadlines.

• Candidates for senior policy analyst should be able to manage a project team and to independently work within external coalitions. In addition, senior policy analyst candidates should have experience supporting grant reporting for funders.

• Previous experience with, knowledge of, and/or a strong interest in supporting student parents through their higher education journeys. This includes a desire to improve childcare opportunities for student parents.

• We consider lived experience as a student parent going through higher education to count as experience under this criterion.

• Demonstrated ability to form relationships and work with external partners across various issues. Candidates should have good listening, problem-solving, and conflict resolution skills. Prior experience working and collaborating with broad, diverse coalitions is a plus.
• Strong writing, editing, and verbal communication skills. Candidates should be able to communicate complex ideas clearly and concisely for public audiences.

• Candidates for the senior policy analyst should have experience translating and disseminating complex information to the public and policymakers.

• Strong research and analysis skills, which could include conducting literature reviews, legislative histories, program evaluations, and qualitative research (i.e., in-depth interviews, site visits, and focus groups). Candidates should also understand how to interpret quantitative data, particularly descriptive statistics.

• Candidates for senior policy analyst should have experience creating and managing research protocols for a team.

• Some travel required (less than 10%).

Location: This is a hybrid position requiring presence in our DC office on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

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