Posted: May 4, 2021

Learning Specialist

Mt. Tamalpais College - San Quentin, CA
Salary: $80,000.00 - $110,000.00 Annually
Application Deadline: N/A

Learning Specialist 

Permanent, salaried, full-time position.  

Start Date:  ASAP (flexible)

Salary:  $80,000-$110,000, depending on experience

Start Date:  ASAP (flexible)

Location: Currently remote; ordinarily at San Rafael office and at San Quentin Prison

The mission of Mount Tamalpais College is to provide an intellectually rigorous, inclusive Associate of Arts degree program and college preparatory program, free of charge, to people at San Quentin State Prison; to expand access to quality higher education for incarcerated people; and to foster the values of equity, civic engagement, independence of thought, and freedom of expression. Mount Tamalpais College is a national leader in providing quality higher education opportunities to incarcerated people and in expanding access to higher education within California’s prison system and nationwide. In recognition of our work the organization was awarded the 2015 National Humanities Medal by President Obama.

Reporting to the Academic Program Director, the Learning Specialist is responsible for all learning support services at Mount Tamalpais College, including relevant faculty recruitment, training, and supervision, and student advising. This individual continually assesses and addresses any barriers to student persistence and success, including learning differences.

The Learning Specialist ordinarily spends approximately half of their time inside the prison and half at the Mount Tamalpais College office in San Rafael. This job involves up to two miles of walking a day on uneven terrain and some lifting. Duties are currently being performed primarily remotely, with some time at the office. It is unclear when normal programs will resume.

The ideal candidate for this position is an experienced educator; has experience training faculty; is highly organized, detail-oriented, and self-motivated. This person possesses a strong commitment to providing rigorous educational opportunities to students with diverse academic backgrounds and learning styles, and is capable of managing programmatic and administrative responsibilities independently and efficiently, and enjoys working as a team.

Responsibilities and Duties 

  • Recruitment, Training, and Supervision
    • Recruit and screen student support tutors
    • Provide faculty trainings, including on universal design, trauma-informed education, and supporting students with learning differences and disabilities
    • Observe instructors and tutors regularly and provide feedback
    • Support regular faculty and student survey research, compile and analyze data, and help design and implement programmatic improvements
  • Student Advising, Tracking, and Support
    • Design, implement, and manage improved services for students with learning disabilities, a history of trauma, and related challenges and barriers to learning
    • Develop and oversee systems for student tracking and advising 
    • Provide direct student advising and support
    • Support ongoing  assessment of student learning and program effectiveness
    • Design and deliver workshops for students at San Quentin on learning styles, study skills, etc.
  • Administrative and other Key Duties
    • Escort faculty into San Quentin several afternoons and evenings per week, and provide support on-site for faculty and students during those times
    • Communicate regularly with fellow Mount Tamalpais College staff and faculty about student needs and institutional issues, with meticulous attention to detail
    • Remain actively engaged with broader professional community of learning specialists, and on other relevant topics and developments in the field
    • Participate actively in professional development activities hosted by Mount Tamalpais College for external practitioners and other stakeholders
    • Provide support in assessment cycles for accreditation, including compiling data and continually devising programmatic improvements
    • Support various event planning and execution as needed 
    • Build and maintain course websites
    • Carry out other administrative duties (e.g., copying) as assigned


  • A Master's degree or higher in special education, learning disabilities, or a related field
  • At least five years of relevant job experience
  • At least two years of experience directly supporting students with learning disabilities and/or psychological challenges to learning
  • Exceptional professionalism, including strong written and verbal communication skills, personal maturity, and clear interpersonal boundaries
  • Deep familiarity with college preparatory writing and math education 
  • Excellent faculty training and development skills 
  • Strong commitment to academic rigor and inclusive educational practices in adult education
  • Outstanding level of organization and attention to detail, capacity for multi-tasking, and ability to prioritize
  • Commitment to fostering a collegial and collaborative work environment
  • Ability to communicate effectively with diverse constituents, including students, faculty, staff colleagues, prison staff and administrators, donors, and others
  • Strong sense of personal responsibility and exceptionally self-motivated
  • Proficiency with, or willingness to be trained in: MS Office Suite including Excel, Google Documents and Groups, Outlook, Microsoft Access, and Salesforce
  • Availability to work evenings and weekends regularly

Compensation and Benefits

Mount Tamalpais College offers competitive compensation, flexible work policies, and a collaborative work environment. Our benefits package includes medical, dental, and vision insurance, and the full cost of each plan is covered by Mount Tamalpais College. We also offer vacation and holiday pay, as well as opportunities for professional development.

How To Apply:

How to Apply

Please submit your cover letter and resume to [email protected] with “Learning Specialist” in the subject line. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

We seek candidates who share a commitment to Mount Tamalpais College’s mission. We especially encourage applications from candidates of diverse socio-economic backgrounds; and/or who reflect the cultural, ethnic and racial diversity of our student body; as well as people directly impacted by incarceration. We welcome applicants who are LGBTQ and/or gender diverse. 

Statement of Non-Discrimination

Mount Tamalpais College provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.