In 2012, Sal Khan wrote The One World Schoolhouse, in which he outlines how modern education developed and how Khan Academy came to be. But, most importantly, the book outlines a vision for the future of both in-person and online education given the tools we have and the need for many more people to participate in the knowledge economy. In 2014, He founded Khan Lab School to test and refine these ideas in an actual school setting.
Today, Khan Lab School has grown to be a K-12 independent school on two campuses serving over 260 students in Silicon Valley. The Lower School (K-6) program is located in Palo Alto. California. The Upper School (7-12) is located in Mountain View, California. We are seeking a full-time College Counselor to deliver a personal, comprehensive college counseling program.
WHO WE’RE LOOKING FOR
The College Counselor will work closely with Khan Lab School students and families, supporting them through the college search, application, and decision experience. The full-time Counselor will collaborate with school administrators, faculty, and staff to help students identify their unique strengths, interest, and goals and match those to postsecondary opportunities.
We are looking for a team player who has experience in college admission and counseling and is enthusiastic about working with young people and their supporters. Our lab school model requires flexibility, humor and innovation.
Implement a dynamic college counseling program for students and families.
Provide guidance to all high school students and their families throughout their transition to post-secondary education.
Support students to navigate their interests and passions through the pursuit of summer programs, internships, and extra-curricular opportunities.
Continue to build a developmental and comprehensive college counseling program.
Work with a Data Manager to maintain the integrity of the school’s record-keeping system and collaborate with faculty to ensure records and transcripts best capture mastery-based learning without the use of grades.
A design thinking approach to creating the school’s mastery-based transcript.
Maintain a personalized approach to counseling and working with students and families to reinforce the philosophy that "match" in the college process is different for every student
Continue to develop the curriculum for and teach a weekly college counseling course and a summer intensive program that include essay writing and application-related workshops
Educate students and families about colleges, the admissions process, trends, procedures, and standardized testing
Advise students and families on testing (SAT, ACT, and AP)
Write official counselor letters of recommendations for approximately 15-20 seniors
Meet with students to discuss course selection and sequence in order to meet graduation requirements and be well prepared for their college admissions and career goals
Complete administrative tasks, including sending application documents, scheduling college representative visits, reserving testing rooms, and preparing transcripts for students applying to college and transferring
Assist the Upper School Director in advising students on dual enrollment courses
Meet with college representatives who visit KLS (in-person or virtually) and serve as a liaison with college admissions offices throughout the academic year
Engagement and involvement in professional organizations (NACAC, WACAC, ACCIS, BAYSCC) for personal development
Use SCOIR (or other application management programs) to manage college applications and onboard students and families each year as an additional resource
Serve as a faculty advisor
WHO WE ARE About Khan Lab School
From its founding, the core ideas of the school have been:
Learner centered - students need to have the space and encouragement to take control of their learning.
Teacher-guides focus on student motivation, unblocking academic or social-emotional hurdles and guiding students through student-driven experiential learning.
Teacher-guides create the context and conditions for student independence.
Teacher-guides may question, prompt or provide short explanations, but they do not lecture.
Mastery learning - Students should always have the opportunity and incentive to fill in any gaps in learning and prove mastery. This is in contrast to traditional models where a student may receive an 80% on a test (showing a 20% gap on what happened to be on the exam) and then be forced to move to the next topic that builds on those gaps. This results in a majority of American students entering college needing to remediate at the middle school level. Through mastery learning, we believe that all students can learn more, faster over time.
Personalization of pace with high expectations - Students’ academic progress should not be tied to age. In support of mastery learning, students need to be able to gap fill, refresh or move ahead at a pace appropriate for their individual needs. But with personalization, we believe that most students should be able to master 1.3x+ per year relative to traditional expectations due to our extended calendar, mastery learning, and targeted use of technology.
Everyone’s a student; everyone’s a teacher - Students are given the opportunity to learn from and teach each other. Students can and should aspire to become peer teachers themselves. Adult teacher-guides should always be looking for ways for them to step back so students can step in. Adult teacher-guides should also feel comfortable learning and teaching new domains.
Using online tools to unlock experiential learning - By leveraging online tools for core skill development/mastery (especially Khan Academy for STEM), students not only learn standards faster (1.3x traditional expectations), but it also frees time in the school day for more experiential learning. Through the experiential learning (including teaching), students can supplement their evidence of mastery with a portfolio of meaningful work and experiences.
Learning not bound by time or space - The educational experience should not be bound by the walls of a classroom or the traditional academic calendar. When learning can happen outside the classroom, it should. For younger students, this could be just spending as much time as possible outdoors (ideally by having outdoor classrooms), as well as field trips. We should also have an extended academic calendar to avoid long-gaps in learning. At the same time, by having an extended school day that coincides with parent schedules (9am-6pm) , students should have a chance to complete all their work during the school day to get proper time for family and rest at home. For older students this could also include internships, travel or specialized off-campus academic/sports programs. Through use of video conferencing (and other asynchronous mechanisms), students and teachers are not constrained to only working with people in the same physical space.
Blurring the arbitrary boundaries between high school and college (or between middle and high school). There is no reason that students with a strong mastery-learning foundation can’t master college-level content well before graduating high school. Even more, when this is done in a supported, mastery learning environment, the high school-aged students can actually learn and retain the material better than most college students. When this happens, students should get dual high school and college credit that allows them to enter college at a far more advanced level (in many cases skipping 2+ years of college).
Content knowledge matters - We believe that both skill development and content knowledge are crucial. Students who have a solid base of knowledge along the lines of E.D. Hirsch’s Core Knowledge Sequence will be more culturally literate and have a fact base from which to draw connections and develop higher order insights.
Less is more - We need to be hyper focused on the essential content and skills that prepare students for their future journeys. By not overloading students with content or seat-time requirements, it:
Increases the chances that the focus areas will be mastered.
Creates time, space and flexibility for students to go deeper in areas and experiences that matter to them.
An affordable, replicable model - Too many independent schools make up for inefficiencies/complexity/lack-of-focus with more and more staff which drive up costs and squeeze out space for students. We believe that a truly great school that embodies all of the above can be implemented (once at scale) to be cost comparable with local public schools.
Whole child - As important as academic mastery is, mental and emotional well-being and resilience is even more important. KLS has an explicit emphasis on student mindfulness and social-emotional learning.
WHAT WE OFFER
Khan Lab School is a community of learners and partners that have a deep commitment to their work. We get things done and believe that in our highly collaborative environment that anything is possible. All of our decisions are made through the lens of what is best for our students. We tackle tough questions without ego, are results oriented, and have high expectations for school and our students.
Competitive compensation commensurate with experience. Manager level: 80K to 95K Director level: 95K-130K
Start Date: August 2023
Location: In-person at our Mountain View campus
Number of Positions to be Filled: 1
To qualify, please provide a resume and a letter of interest using the job link on our school’s Careers webpage. Successful candidates will have a demonstrated familiarity with the Sal Khan’s school model outlined in his book The One World Schoolhouse.
Khan Lab School is an EOE and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, place of national origin, sex, age, veteran status, sexual orientation or physical handicap in its employment practice.
WHAT YOU’LL BRING
The ideal candidate will have:
Bachelor’s degree in related field; advanced degree in counseling, education, or related field preferred
A strong background in college admission counseling (at least three years of related work experience)
Experience running educational programs and presenting on admission related topics
Excellent writing and communication skills
Attention to detail and strong organizational skills
A commitment to an inclusive learning environment and workplace
A track record of innovation
A willingness to try, test and refine
Experience with college planning software (Scoir, Naviance, etc.)
ABOUT KHAN LAB SCHOOL
Located in Mountain View, California, Khan Lab School (KLS) is a non-profit, mastery-based school founded by Salman Khan in 2014 to extend Khan Academy’s student-centered philosophy into a physical school environment. Furthering his vision for Khan Academy, Khan wrote and published The One World Schoolhouse, in which he argues for mastery-based, blended, and mixed-age learning coupled with a departure from traditional letter grades. Today the KLS community is bringing that vision to life on its own campus and also sharing knowledge within education more broadly.
We currently serve 174 students ages 5-18. In each academic area at KLS, progress is decoupled from age; the time it takes a student to finish a course will vary but the depth of mastery is constant. We believe that students cannot “master” a course by performing well on one assessment. Instead, students are expected to demonstrate mastery of all skills and content before they can obtain foundational credit, thereby reducing the number of “gaps” in their education.
Every student is assigned to a mixed-age cohort, which they can expect to be part of for two to three years. There are currently... six cohorts across the school. Students also partner with faculty to explore their passions and deepen their learning. The quality of learning remains high but as a lab school, instructional methods are constantly being reimagined and tested. Learning is supported through weekly 1:1 advising, real-world application, and a culture that fosters student agency. Faculty and students do not simply adhere to the status quo in education. As a lab school, KLS is a model for innovation in education.
To learn more about us, please visit our website: www.khanlabschool.org.