Manager, Science Career Continuum

Requisition Number: 
Job Status: 
Reports to: 
Youth Education Director
Seasonal instructors, program assistants, students
The manager of the Science Career Continuum oversees all aspects of this STEM enrichment program for CPS students in grades 7-12, including setting schedules, recruiting students, hiring instructors, and hosting monthly meetings to keep students engaged during the school year. They arrange guest speakers and college visits for students, assist with fundraising, and participate in national networks of youth STEM programs. The manager builds and maintains supportive relationships with participants and their families. They introduce and implement changes to the program in response to opportunities or changes in best practice for youth programs.

A program known as the Chicago Botanic Garden Science Career Continuum allows the Garden to connect its own programs for middle- and high-school students with those offering internships and mentoring for college and graduate students. The goal is to prepare a new generation of scientists who have the education and training needed to address the environmental and conservation challenges of our time. For more information about the program go to:


Duties and Responsibilities: 

In this role you will be responsible for the following: 

  • Set schedules for summer and school-year activities; follow all Garden procedures for reserving rooms, gaining permissions, and other related administrative tasks.
  • Work with contacts at CPS schools and community partners to identify, recruit, and select students for the summer program; use these partners to find educational and career development resources for students.
  • Hire and manage summer instructors; establish program policies, supervise curriculum development.
  • Work with research department staff and other departments to place College First students in mentorships; train mentors and monitor mentorship relationships during the summer.
  • Administer student assessments and program evaluations from students and their families; send an annual questionnaire to alumni to track them over time; maintain database of past and present student information.
  • Manage program budget and work with development department to provide information for reports and assist with fundraising efforts.
  • Collaborate with staff from Wright Community College to secure dual enrollment college credits for qualified College First students.
  • Participate in local and national youth education program networks; represent the Garden at conferences and professional meetings; use these contacts and resources to improve the program.
  • Participate in department meetings as an active team-member supporting all youth education programs at the Garden.


Key Garden competencies/behaviors desired:

  • Communicates in a manner that gains the trust and support of others at all levels.
  • Works effectively with others despite differences of opinion and style; builds alliances.
  • Has a tolerance for opposing points of view.
  • Strives for collaboration. Works cooperatively, as a positive contributor to the team.
  • Demonstrates a positive attitude and shows kindness in all workplace interactions.
  • Makes decisions appropriate for level of responsibility.
  • Can effectively adapt to change; can shift gears comfortably; is flexible, and embraces change with a “can-do” attitude.
  • Is self-aware; knows personal strengths and weaknesses; seeks feedback and is open to negative feedback as an opportunity for improvement.
  • Is cool under pressure; can reliably manage a situation calmly during difficult times; can manage stress and unexpected situations; helps others remain calm during a crisis.
  • Recognizes problems, constructively identifies and articulates solutions.
  • Picks up stray pieces of garbage from the ground when found, regardless of position.
  • Follows safety guidelines to ensure a safe working environment and consistently demonstrates safe work behaviors.
  • Is welcoming of new hires.




Our ideal candidate will have the following:

  • Demonstrated interest in working with students from marginalized backgrounds historically excluded from STEM fields, and cultivating their interest in STEM
  • Bachelor’s degree in science, education, museum education, or related field required; master’s degree preferred
  • Minimum three years of experience teaching middle or high school science in school or other educational setting
  • Knowledge of culturally responsive teaching practices, Common Core, and NGSS
  • Basic knowledge of plants and/or environmental science content
  • Experience supervising instructors, interns, volunteers, and/or other staff
  • Conversational Spanish required
  • Experience working with Chicago Public Schools is a plus


Physical Demands: 
Regular work hours are 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. weekdays, with adjustments when programs demand earlier start, staying later, or monthly weekend meetings during school year. Indoor (office and classroom) and outdoor (teaching/presentations) work. May require activities on the grounds for extended periods of time, standing or moving on different kinds of terrain in different weather conditions; ability to lift up to 25 pounds. Use of two-way radio and standard office equipment.
Why Apply?: 

Come work in a setting that is like no other as you support our mission: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. Take the first step toward being one of the employees who make the Garden one of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Apply today. Please note that applicants who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.

Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and qualifications required of personnel so classified.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is a M/F, Disabled, and Vet EEO/AA Employer.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, or basis of disability, or any other federal, state, or local protected class.

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, the Chicago Botanic Garden does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its programs or activities, including in employment or admissions. Please call (847) 835-8264 to contact our Title IX coordinator should you have questions or concerns.