Director of Curriculum

Chicago, IL

Urban Initiatives is seeking a Curriculum Director who is responsible for the design, development, curation, and implementation of all curricular assets across UI’s adult services and youth programs. This leader aligns all curricula across the organization grounded in UI’s sport- and play-based Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) methodology, with heavy emphasis on highly practical application in youth programs. They collaborate closely with a team of learning leaders to support the design and development of the organization’s learning programs with a myriad of audiences, including UI staff, sports coaches, youth service providers, parents, and more. They will lead through three core areas of responsibility, including:

  • Curricula Development + Implementation

  • Support Learning Strategy Design + Development

  • Organizational + Team Leadership

REPORTS TO: Lead Director of Learning


Design, develop, curate, and implement highly effective curricula across a variety of audiences, through three core areas:

Curricula Development + Implementation

  • Lead the design, development, and implementation of curricula for all adult services, youth programs, and UI employee learning programs:

    • Adult services may include but not be limited to: workshops, professional learning communities, coaching, curriculum development, and consulting for adults implementing sport- and play-based social and emotional learning with young people in a myriad of contexts

    • Youth programs include all UI-led programs which include but may not limited to: OST Soccer, OST Play, Take the Lead, Coach for Success, Community Schools Initiative, and Summer of Play

    • UI employee learning may include but not be limited to: onboarding, ongoing development toward core competencies and targeted growth areas, etc.

  • Lead curriculum implementation and adaptation for effectiveness with a variety of audiences, including but not limited to:

    • UI staff that work directly with young people across all programs (e.g. coaches, coordinators, program managers, etc.)

    • UI staff that support young people through indirect means (e.g. managers, impact evaluation, fund development, etc.)

    • Partner audiences that work with young people (e.g. sports coaches, PE teachers, youth service providers, parents, etc.)

    • UI volunteers

  • Ensure alignment of all curricular assets with UI’s sport- and play-based SEL methodology (e.g. Program Activities embedded throughout), with heavy emphasis on highly practical application in youth programs and engagement, including but not limited to:

    • Program scopes + sequences

    • Digital toolkits

    • Videos

    • Facilitation guides

  • Develop and curate deep repository of curricular resources and assets that are versatile, dynamic, and place utmost value on practical usefulness and accessibility for coach/program leader/facilitator/etc. to drive target outcomes for young people

    • Liaise with graphic designer to support aesthetic quality and ease of use of assets

  • Partner with the Learning Team (Lead Director of Learning and Director of Learning)  and other key stakeholders (e.g. program leaders, partners, etc.) to identify priorities for the development of new curricular resources, tools, and content and adaptation (as necessary) of existing curricular assets to support learning experience of target audiences

  • Support assessment of each learning program to ensure consistent loops of feedback with participants and partners to drive continuous user-centered improvement and to utilize data gathered to inform how to iterate program to achieve impact goals

  • Ensure consistent, accurate tracking of curricular engagement across all audiences to support curriculum assessment, reporting, and strategic planning

  • Codify organizational learning to support ongoing organizational development

  • Alongside Learning Team, oversee Learning Management System to curate fresh and relevant content to meet on-demand learning needs

  • In collaboration with the Learning Team, develop and deliver training on curricular resources. 

Support Learning Strategy Design + Development

  • Support the development of new learning services, adaptation of existing learning strategies, and perpetual refinement to deliver highly effective learning experiences in collaboration with UI’s Innovation and Learning teams and external learning partners

  • Co-design curricula with other leaders and through inclusive design practices (with students, parents, staff, partners, etc.)

  • Support the development of learning team planning and priorities on annual, quarterly, and ongoing bases to assess needs, establish priorities, and map learning projects and programs to support achievement of organizational vision, goals, and strategic plan

  • Cultivate organizational culture of perpetual growth and development through demonstrated design and iterative processes

  • Keep abreast of best practices in sports-based youth development, sport- and play-based social and emotional learning, and workforce development to inform UI’s learning strategies

Organizational + Team Leadership

  • Represent UI with various stakeholder audiences, such as partners, prospective partners, and advisers.

  • Manage consistent communication with UI team members.

  • Collaborate closely with UI’s Innovation and Learning teams around design, partnerships, and learning.

  • Perform other duties as needed to support UI’s mission and vision.


  • Passion for sport and play to drive social-emotional learning across Chicago

  • Expertise in curriculum design and development

  • Experience curating and implementing highly effective curricula spanning multiple audiences, modalities, and varying levels of complexity

  • Commitment to interrupting all forms of oppression in the workplace

  • Commitment to supporting a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for young people

  • Experience living and/or working deeply with historically marginalized communities

  • Spanish fluency or capacity is a plus


  • $70,000 base salary

  • Health, dental, and vision insurance premiums paid 100% by Urban Initiatives (for employees and for their children)

  • Life, short term disability, and long term disability insurance paid 100% by Urban Initiatives

  • Option to contribute to a 401K with up to a 3% match of your salary after one full year of employment

  • Flexible schedule and work from home environment

  • 120 hours of paid time off (PTO), accrued monthly (PTO may be prorated based on start date.)

  • Paid holidays (Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, the Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day)

  • Comp time


Apply by clicking below no later than September 15, 2022. 

Target Start Date is October 5, 2022


Urban Initiatives is dedicated to intentionally fostering a climate of purposeful inclusion in our workplace, and candidates of diverse backgrounds and identities are strongly encouraged to apply. Urban Initiatives is an Equal Opportunity employer. Personnel are chosen on the basis of ability without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. This is in accordance with federal and state law.

Urban Initiatives Overview

Founded in 2003, Urban Initiatives is a nonprofit organization that runs youth development programs in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Urban Initiatives’ mission is to use the power of sport and play to empower Chicago’s youth to achieve academic success, develop social-emotional skills, and build social capital. Currently, Urban Initiatives serves an estimated 60 schools throughout the City of Chicago.

Urban Initiatives is preparing to scale program operations to have a significantly greater impact across Chicago. Our programs support social-emotional learning (SEL) and demand for these services is greater than ever. Maturing the administrative capacity of our fundraising team is critical to raise the funds necessary to accelerate our impact.