Associate Dean of Career Development and Field Work Term - Bennington College

  • Spelman Johnson
  • Bennington College, Bennington, VT, USA
  • Feb 18, 2022
Full time Careers Services & Placement Other Administrative Positions Other Executive

Job Description


Bennington College invites inquiries, nominations, and applications for the position of associate dean of career development and field work term. The anticipated start date for the position is July 2022.

Bennington is an innovative and distinguished residential liberal arts college that has, since its founding in 1932, been a laboratory for new ideas and an intellectual home to countless artists, activists, and thinkers who have shaped contemporary culture. The college was the first to include the visual and performing arts in a liberal arts education, and it is the only college to require that its students spend a term—every year—at work in the world. Bennington’s 800 students work intensively with faculty and staff to forge individualized and hands-on educational paths around their driving questions and interests and also devote themselves to several community outreach efforts, often tied to the endeavors they are pursuing in their coursework.

Bennington is in the midst of an immensely exciting and transformative period in its history. In advance of the college’s upcoming strategic planning process, President Laura Walker has constituted and empowered two critical campus working groups: the President’s Working Group, which is charged with envisioning a future for Bennington College that is more diverse, more inclusive, and actively fighting against racism, and the Shared Governance Task Force, whose charge is to explore and agree on a shared governance statement of principles, responsibility matrix, and shared governance design.

Situated on 440 breathtaking acres in Bennington, Vermont, the campus is a convergence of creative minds, distinctive buildings, and expansive spaces. Bennington has been named one of ten college campuses with the best architecture by Architectural Digest. It is a short drive from campus to MASS MoCA, Clark Art Institute, and other cultural offerings of the northern Berkshires in Massachusetts; Albany, New York; and many of Vermont's top recreational centers. New York City, Boston, and Burlington, Vermont are all within three and a half hours by car.

Reporting to the dean of the college, the associate dean of career development and field work term (associate dean) will be responsible for successfully administering an annually required experiential work term and overseeing a developmental model for progressive career education.

The associate dean will join Bennington College at a critical moment to engage the campus in dialogue and planning on elevating the strategic position of the field work term (FWT) experience within the college’s academic program and the overall arc of the Bennington student lifecycle. They will work closely with the dean of the college to ensure cohesion between Bennington’s two brand-builders, the Plan and FWT, and further integrate the FWT into the college’s academic fabric. The associate dean will help grow internship sites for students; build creative and sustainable relationships with site supervisors; uphold an experientially rich and rigorous field work term; expand academic connections and collaborations with faculty; improve student assessment and learning objectives; and collaborate with the offices of admissions, communications, institutional research, and institutional advancement to showcase successes of the FWT program.

The associate dean will provide leadership for the Career Development and Field Work Term Office and ensure that the office’s programs and services align with departmental vision and mission, including operations, staffing, and allocation of FWT stipends and grants budgets, including a $1 million+ student employment budget. This senior leader will collaborate with faculty, administrators, and campus departments to identify and define student goals, resources for meeting those goals and industry/field expectations of students. They will serve on the Education and Community Life Committee of the Board of Trustees and will utilize the work of the office to envision new ways for new and existing donors to engage with the college, setting the groundwork for potential alternative funding models. A critical priority for the associate dean is to work with students in leadership roles (house chairs, orientation leaders, and the student educational programs committee) to support positive campus dialogue about the role of work-integrated learning on campus.



Preferred and Required Qualifications

Bennington seeks candidates with a master’s degree or higher; five to seven years of experience in career development, student/academic advising, higher education management, or equivalent; and sophisticated knowledge of current career services and experiential learning trends and best practices.

The successful candidate will be deeply collaborative, creative, and highly attuned to issues of equity in the context of career services and experiential learning. They will have excellent interpersonal and advising skills, the ability to develop a natural rapport with college-aged students from a wide range of backgrounds, strong organizational skills, and the ability and flexibility to work with limited direction while also meeting competing deadlines.

Bennington particularly invites applications from individuals who have a passion for working with creative minds; a deep commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism; and an affinity for the distinctive mission and character of Bennington College. Applicants from diverse realms of interest, backgrounds, experience, and accomplishment are encouraged to apply.

Application Details

Bennington College has retained Spelman Johnson to assist with this search. Review of applications will continue until the position is filled; complete applications received by Monday, March 21, 2022, will be assured full consideration. A resume or curriculum vitae with a cover letter that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described above must be submitted via the Spelman Johnson website at

Confidential inquiries and nominations should be directed to Michel R. Frendian, Search Consultant, at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Bennington College website at and the Bennington Career Development and Field Work Term website here.

Bennington College is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination as defined under applicable state and federal laws, including but not limited to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities. The College does not discriminate in its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, HIV test, or any other legally protected status.

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