Education Program Associate 2 (SPEP Specialist)

Penn State University

University Park Campus
Date Announced:
Date Closing:
open until filled
Job Number:
Level/Salary Band:
02 – H – Exempt
Work Unit:
College of Health and Human Development
Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center
Full/Part Time:


The position of SPEP Specialist is part of the Evidence-based Prevention and Intervention Support Center (EPISCenter) in the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center (PRC) at Penn State. This position is part of a team responsible for the statewide rollout of the Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol (SPEP), an initiative to apply evidence from meta-analysis to strengthen and improve programs and services for juvenile offenders in Pennsylvania. Responsibilities: the job responsibilities for the SPEP Specialist involve reaching out to and partnering with local juvenile probation offices and juvenile justice service providers to engage them in the process of having their practices assessed using the SPEP (50% of job responsibilities). This involves scheduling and coordinating trainings designed to “launch” the SPEP in a county or region, and addressing probation and provider questions and concerns about the SPEP process in public and private settings. The SPEP Specialist will be working with a specified protocol to: collect detailed descriptive and administrative information from youth programs and services used by county juvenile probation departments; rate those programs and services based on their predicted effectiveness at preventing recidivism; develop a program improvement plan to strengthen the service. Successful completion of a SPEP assessment includes: scheduling multiple meetings with the probation offices and service providers; conducting qualitative interviews with these stakeholders; documenting the findings of these interviews; guiding, reviewing and compiling quantitative findings related to services which have been delivered to juveniles; producing a clear, concise, and accurate report on the compiled findings of the SPEP assessment; reviewing these findings with probation and service provider staff, and answering any questions or concerns they may have; facilitating a collaborative performance improvement process between probation and service provider staff; coordinating and facilitating follow up calls with probation and provider staff to support implementation of the performance improvement plan; facilitating a re-assessment of service delivery and usage following implementation of the improvement plan; providing proactive and responsive assistance to juvenile probation and service providers as needed throughout this process. SPEP Specialists will be trained in all aspects of the SPEP assessment process and will do field training with EPISCenter and PA SPEP trainers across the state. Successful completion of all training requirements leads to certification by Vanderbilt University as a SPEP Specialist. Specialist certification is followed by training and coaching to become a certified SPEP Trainer. Additional responsibilities include: coordinating, organizing, and executing regional SPEP events, including learning community events and regional training opportunities (15%); maintaining accurate, organized, and up to date internal files on each SPEP assessment conducted. Ensuring SPEP process, score, and technical assistance data are accurately recorded in Access and Excel data tracking systems (10%); participating in internal workgroups to develop training, policy, and implementation support material for internal and external use; developing and delivering presentations on the SPEP for PA conferences, such as the James E. Anderson Pennsylvania Conference on Juvenile Justice, the PA Council of Children, Youth, and Family Services Conference (15%); traveling to EPISCenter to attend quarterly staff meetings. Documenting and submitting travel expense materials in a timely and accurate fashion (10%). Qualifications Required: Bachelor’s degree (in social sciences, education, criminal or juvenile justice, public health, or other related fields; Master’s preferred); Two years’ experience in juvenile justice probation or service provider organization; solution-focused, problem-solving skills, can-do attitude; strong diplomacy, relationship building, and collaboration skills; well organized; able to identify and execute on priorities among competing demands; strong project management background/skills; excellent meeting organization and facilitation skills (meetings, learning communities, phone calls, interviews, developing agendas); ability to work well in teams and maintain high-levels of motivation and self-direction in independent work; strong written and verbal communication skills; must be comfortable presenting in front of small and large audiences about complex content; proficient in Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, web-conference software (Adobe Connect, Zoom, others); Qualifications Preferred: knowledge of and experience with Office of Children Youth and Families Needs-Based Budget process and language; active on PA Council of Chief Juvenile Probation Officers or Juvenile Justice System Enhancement Strategy Committees; experience/involvement with Chiefs-Provider meetings; strong level of comfort with understanding research, basic statistics, and communicating about these to varied audiences; interest and willingness to navigate ambiguity of supporting the development of an emerging statewide reform effort; champion for evidence-based practices, and/or juvenile justice system reform; ability to develop others into champions/foster a culture of champions; ability to create change through a strengths-based approach. Salary: competitive, commensurate with background and experience. An attractive benefits package is available. Application: review of applications will begin immediately, and continue until a suitable candidate is identified. About EPISCenter: EPISCenter is a nationally recognized model for prevention of youth violence, delinquency, and substance use through support of effective practice and inter-system collaboration. Established in 2008, the EPISCenter is the result of a long-standing partnership between the PRC and PCCD to achieve PA’s violence prevention mission. EPISCenter focuses on the translation of prevention science to policy and practice, and is essential to the dissemination, sustainability, and quality implementation of evidence-based programs and practice across the Commonwealth. EPISCenter is a project within the Prevention Research Center (PRC) that is funded by the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), the PA Department of Human Services, Office of Children, Youth, and Families, and the PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP). Typically requires a Bachelor's degree or higher plus two years of related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. This is a fixed-term appointment funded for one year from date of hire with excellent possibility of re-funding.

These salary bands have been established to provide salary guidelines for staff positions.

Salary Band Minimum Midpoint Maximum
A $16,584 $24,456 $32,328
B $18,240 $26,904 $35,556
C $19,728 $29,592 $39,456
D $21,708 $32,568 $43,416
E $24,312 $36,468 $48,612
F $27,228 $40,848 $54,456
G $30,012 $45,744 $61,500
H $34,188 $52,140 $70,080
I $38,988 $59,424 $79,908
J $43,716 $67,740 $91,812
K $50,712 $78,600 $106,488
L $58,836 $91,176 $123,528
M $68,232 $105,756 $143,292
N $80,508 $124,788 $169,068
O $93,492 $147,252 $201,024
P $110,340 $173,760 $237,192
Q $126,396 $199,056 $271,728
R $151,668 $238,872 $326,088