Associate Vice President & Executive Director for

Career & Professional Development


The Associate Vice President and Executive Director for Career and Professional Development (AVP/ED) will serve as the College’s senior leader in designing and implementing a vision to integrate career and professional development more fully into the student experience. The College has already received a $15 million gift to support this endeavor and plans to raise additional resources in the future. Working in collaboration with leaders across the College as well as alumni, benefactors, and employers, the AVP/ED will create strategies for innovative career development for students from all backgrounds, majors, and disciplines, cultivate dynamic relationships with prospective and current employers, and oversee operation of a new, centralized, and world-class career center. 

The AVP/ED will provide oversight of current and future career development activities and will work to integrate experiential learning opportunities such as internships, study abroad, service learning, undergraduate student research, leadership programs, and entrepreneurial experiences into the student experience. To accomplish this goal, the AVP/ED will work closely with many areas across campus such as Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Institutional Advancement, and Enrollment Management, and will engage frequently and closely with diverse constituencies, including faculty, staff, and students. The AVP/ED will help ensure that Carthage graduates are well equipped to find success and meaning throughout their careers.

The AVP/ED reports directly to the President, directly supervises career center staff, and will serve on the President’s Executive Staff.


The AVP/ED will be a founder and a visionary committed to the development, initiation, and direction of programs that deliver exceptional services to students and prepare them for life after Carthage. The AVP/ED will:

  • Establish a compelling mission and vision for the career center that embraces Carthage’s tradition in the liberal arts and its commitment to vocational discernment.

  • Establish a strategic plan for the new center; incorporate experiential learning, career and professional development, entrepreneurship, and leadership development into one central and visible location; develop and cultivate deep relationships with faculty and staff to ensure integration with areas across campus.

  • Provide leadership and mentoring to the career center staff and deliver outstanding career and professional development programs that meet the evolving needs of 21st century communities; areas of responsibility include career development, employer development and recruiting services, internship development and placement, experiential education, marketing and communications, and web-based information management technologies.

  • Develop and implement signature programs that reach a large number of students and/or have a large impact on the College; increase participation in programming that focuses on career education, networking, corporate relations, alumni relations, and integration with academic programs.

  • Develop and implement comprehensive marketing and communication strategies that increase awareness of and engagement with the new career center.

  • Establish mutually beneficial partnerships with local businesses, government, and community organizations; leverage relationships for internship and engagement opportunities.

  • Develop protocols to manage the collection, assessment, and reporting of career center data; ensure the compilation, analysis, and distribution of annual first destination reports on recent graduates and communicate this information to internal and external audiences.

  • Evaluate the fiscal needs of the career center; prepare, manage, and administer the operational budget, as well as the special program budgets; identify needs and work across the College to fund important career-related initiatives.

  • Evaluate and fully implement technologies that provide state-of-the art software programs for students, employers, and alumni to increase employment opportunities.


  • Master’s Degree 

  • Evidence of exceptional ability to lead and manage diverse teams, especially in terms of establishing and implementing a shared, innovative vision and strategies for achievement

  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills, including a demonstrated ability to establish and nurture relationships with external and internal constituents at the most senior level

  • Proven project management and change management skills with record of achieving results across a broad portfolio

  • A consummate collaborator, with a results orientation 

  • Strong analytical and conceptual problem-solving skills, with experience in using analysis to develop strategies and drive change within an organization

  • Experience in hiring staff and creating effective teams

  • Well-developed fiscal and budget management skills

  • Demonstrated commitment to fostering an inclusive climate for students, faculty, and staff



  • Doctoral degree

  • 10+ years of progressive experience in career-related field both within and outside the academic realm

  • Experience in complex career services or related experience, with knowledge of and appreciation for NACE professional standards and career development theory

  • Excellent working knowledge of online career management systems or similar software

  • Experience in directing a unit within a higher education context (ideally in a liberal arts institution); good working knowledge of higher education administration and education policies.

  • Capacity to articulate the breadth and value of the liberal arts experience

  • Demonstrated ability to raise funds and work with donors


Competitive and Commensurate with Experience



Founded in 1847 by Lutheran pioneers in education, Carthage College is a private four-year college of the liberal arts and sciences in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Carthage combines an environment of reflection and self-discovery with a culture of high expectation so our students uncover and ignite their true potential. The beautiful campus is an 80-acre arboretum on the shore of Lake Michigan, 35 minutes from Milwaukee and 55 minutes from Chicago. The vibrant Carthage community includes 2,600 full-time students, 400 part-time students, and more than 350 full-time faculty and staff.

Named a Best Midwestern College by Princeton Review (2017), Carthage has grown steadily in enrollment and financial strength in each of the past 25 years. More than 7,000 high school students applied for the 735 openings in the Fall 2017 freshman class. The College has had operating surpluses for more than 30 years.


Since 1999, Carthage has invested more than $200 million in campus facilities, including a new $43 million Science Center, the Campbell Student Union, the A. W. Clausen Center for World Business, Hedberg Library, the Oaks Residential Village, and the N. E. Tarble Athletic and Recreation Center. In May 2017, Carthage broke ground on a new eight-story residence hall.

These accomplishments, coupled with an increasing academic profile of incoming students, are signs of a maturing institution that is elevating its prominence in the marketplace through a strong and
unwavering vision of academic and co-curricular excellence.


Carthage awards the Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in more than 40 subject areas, the new Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, a Master of Education degree, and the new Master of Science degree in Business Design and Innovation. Carthage also hosts the Loyola University Chicago Master of Social Work graduate degree program. Our average class size is just 17 students. Carthage’s student-to-faculty ratio is 12-to-1.

Student life at Carthage is a monumental part of the Carthage experience; 70% of students live on campus. Carthage has an award-winning arts division; more than 120 student organizations; and
24 NCAA Division III teams, in which one-third of the student body participate.


Carthage is ranked No. 5 in the nation among baccalaureate institutions for student participation in short-term student abroad. Many students who wouldn’t otherwise study abroad during college have an opportunity to spend up to a month in a different country during Carthage’s January Term, when faculty lead study tours to such destinations as Germany, Sweden, Cuba, China, and Nicaragua.


John R. Swallow became the 23rd president of Carthage College on July 1, 2017.

President Swallow is a scholar of mathematics and English literature, with more than two decades of teaching and leadership experience at small, private liberal arts colleges. He has a deep commitment to innovative, interdisciplinary education.


He comes to Carthage from The University of the South, where he served as provost and executive vice president, managing the institution’s strategic planning and execution, day-to-day operations, and operating budget. During his tenure, he oversaw notable strides in the university’s curriculum, fundraising, equity and inclusion, enrollment, student life, faculty and staff development, and strategic planning.

Enrolling at age 15, President Swallow graduated from The University of the South in 1989 with honors in both mathematics and English literature. He went on to earn two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. in mathematics, all from Yale University.


In May 2017, a presidential task force was formed to think expansively about how best to maximize every student’s experience at Carthage and position each student for a successful and meaningful life after graduation.  Relatedly, the College also secured a generous $15 million gift to support the cause for career preparation.

Through its work, and with these resources, the task force recommended that Carthage College develop a comprehensive and integrated career preparation program for all students, preliminarily called the Excel Plan.


By uniting Carthage's general education program, programs in academic majors, and this novel career preparation program, Carthage undergraduates will be equipped with a special range of abilities, capacities, and habits of mind and action, all consistent with Carthage’s historic approach to education. Through this combination, all Carthage students will graduate fully capable of pursuing employment and meeting the needs of the world. At the same time, Carthage will distinguish itself among peers, taking a leadership position that should shore up, if not expand, traditional undergraduate enrollment, amidst demographic challenges. This means: 
• The new AVP/ED will lead this integrated effort and need to thoughtfully consider scale, history, quality, personalization, and future economic and work trends.  

• New career structures, systems, and mindset will need to be illuminated to lead this charge.

• There is a need to balance vision oversight as a member of the President's Executive Team, while simultaneously operationalizing a growing career team with new competencies and positions. 

• An internal and external presence will be paramount to bring thought-leadership into Carthage, out to the employment and alumni community, and toward the broader career services field.



We encourage nominations.  Applications should include a cover letter that addresses the leadership agenda outlined in this prospectus; résumé; and the names, telephone numbers, and email addresses of three professional references.

  • To apply, interested candidates should email applications to

    • Subject line: “Application for Carthage AVP/ED”

    • Cover Letter, Resume, and References should be in one document file.  

  • To ensure full consideration, complete applications must be received by midnight pacific time on June 6, 2018.


Contact with our search consultants, Nick Cattin and Jeremy Podany, is encouraged. Initial contact may be made via:


All nominations, inquiries, and applications will be confidential.  Once a limited number of finalists are identified for campus interviews, names and résumés of finalists only may become public. References will not be called until after the first screening of applications and then only after the applicant has given explicit permission. 

This job description and prospectus has been designed to indicate the general nature, working conditions and level of work performed by employees within this job. It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, working conditions and qualifications required of employees assigned to this job.