Program Coordinator

San Jose, CA

Job Description

The Peninsula College Fund makes college graduation a reality for low-income, first-generation college students from the mid-Peninsula.  Our comprehensive program includes four-year college scholarships, one-to-one adult mentors, college and career success training, and summer internship support.  We are now seeking a dynamic and committed Program Coordinator to help implement our programs, working directly with our scholars and mentors.


To assist low-income, underserved and often overlooked first-generation college students from the Mid-Peninsula in their quest to graduate, and to help them achieve their education and career goals.

Who We Are and What We Do

Starting as a grassroots effort to support three scholars in 2005, PCF has steadily grown and today has served a total of 157 students and awarded over $1.5 million in scholarships.  PCF operated as a completely volunteer-run agency until late 2010, and currently employs three full-time staff and two part-time staff.  The Program Coordinator will report to the CEO. This position will be based out of our San Jose annex office. More than 90% of our scholars have graduated from college or attend college on the path to completion.

We support our scholars through four key programs:

Scholarships: Each student receives a scholarship of $3,000/year for all four years of college. Our goal is to provide scholars with the necessary funds to allow them to attend the college that is the best fit for them academically, financially, and socially.

One-to-One Mentoring: We carefully match each scholar with one caring adult who provides support, counsel, friendship, networking, and positive role modeling to help each student complete college. We provide our mentors with on-going training and continuously evaluate and improve our mentoring program. Our graduates credit Peninsula College Fund mentors with providing the support that helped them reach graduation. Our goals are to help fill the gaps in knowledge about how best to succeed in college that first-generation college students often experience, and to provide the support and role modeling that enable our scholars to overcome challenges on the path to graduation.

Summer Internships: We identify and develop paid and volunteer summer internships for our scholars. Our goals are to expose our students to different career opportunities, help them network for post-graduation careers, and earn money to assist in financing their education.

College and Career Success Workshops: We provide all students with targeted, in-depth workshops to give them the tools for college completion and career readiness. Our goal is to build knowledge and peer support to prepare scholars in each year of college for the academic, social, financial, and employment challenges awaiting them, so that they can successfully complete college and enter the workforce.

Key Responsibilities

The Program Coordinator serves as the primary liaison to students and mentors. He/she provides information and support to students and mentors, helps plan and execute training and social events for students and mentors, administers the scholarship program, and provides general program support to other staff members and contractors. 

  • Administer scholarship selection (meeting with school representatives and students, recruiting scholars, reviewing applications, organizing scholarship application review and interviewing process, and recruiting scholarship readers from the community)
  • Administer scholarship disbursement (processing scholarship requests from admitted students, reviewing grades and other requirements, etc.)
  • Plan and Coordinate
  • Collect, review, and track students’ grades
  • Recruit mentors and provide them with on-going support through regular contact
  • Trouble-shoot student academic, financial, and college adjustment issues and challenges among mentors and their mentees
  • Ensure positive communication among scholars’ families, mentors, and the organization
  • Communicate with students and supporters using social media
  • Assist senior staff and/or contractors with planning and executing mentor and student orientation and training workshops
  • Organize student social events (Awards Ceremony, Holiday Party, etc.); organize and plan College and Career Success Weekend
  • Provide information to be used in reports to board and funders on student progress and program activities
  • Perform various administrative tasks to support programs
  • Track student and mentor activities in database, and provide reports on trends and findings from data

Required Qualifications

The Program Coordinator must be adaptive and entrepreneurial, with a problem-solving and positive approach to his/her work.  This is a highly relation-based role, so the Program Coordinator must have excellent interpersonal skills and an ability to relate effectively to low-income, first-generation students of color.  Given the small size of our staff, the ability to plan and multitask is critical.  We have limited resources, so creativity, resilience, willingness to work hard, and ability to do more with less are key.  Specific qualifications include:

  • Passion for educational opportunity and equity
  • Demonstrated capacity to work effectively in a multicultural context, and experience working with low-income communities and communities of color
  • First-generation college graduate preferred
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Superlative multi-tasking ability and organizational skills
  • Consistent ability to observe and enforce deadlines among students, and to model effective time management
  • Ability to work as a trusted leader among students
  • Ability to adapt to the needs and circumstances of adult mentors
  • Comfort with public speaking
  • Ability to model self-advocacy and networking among students
  • Experience using databases or ability to learn quickly how to use databases effectively
  • Comfort with using social media to communicate
  • Team player
  • Creative and adaptable
  • Highly motivated, responsible and able to work independently
  • Proactive and independent problem-solver
  • Positive attitude and sense of humor
  • Ability to work in a resource-constrained environment
  • Bachelor’s degree and one to two years of employment or comparable experience

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by the incumbent in this position. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills.

Work Environment and Location

This position will be based in San Jose annex office. 

Headquarters Location
Sobrato Center for Nonprofits – Redwood Shores
330 Twin Dolphin Drive, Suite 131
Redwood City, CA 94065


Compensation $45,000 - $50,000. Salary commensurate with experience. We offer a generous leave policy, health and dental insurance. This is a full-time, 40 hrs. /week exempt position.

How to Apply

The Peninsula College Fund is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to C. Phillip Powell, CEO at, with the subject line “Program Coordinator: [Your name].” Include where you learned of this opportunity. No phone calls, please. Application deadline open until filled.

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