Education Program Associate 3

Penn State University

University Park Campus
Date Announced:
Date Closing:
Job Number:
Level/Salary Band:
03 – I – 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 University. 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. The job responsibilities for the SPEP™ Specialist involve 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™. This will include supporting the adoption and sustainment of SPEP™ for a region of counties in PA, conducting the SPEP™ across counties in that region in a timely and accurate fashion. The SPEP™ Specialist will work with a specified protocol to: Cultivate, develop, and maintain client relationships and partner with local juvenile probation offices and juvenile justice service providers to engage them in the process of having their practices assessed using the SPEP™; Interpret and communicate SPEP™ concepts, information, ideas and instructions clearly, accurately and persuasively both verbally and in writing; Proactively and collaboratively schedule SPEP™ meetings with county probation offices and service providers for each phase of the SPEP™ (i.e., orientation and readiness; service identification; service classification; quality of service assessment; data collection on service duration and dosage, and youth risk levels; performance improvement; reassessment); Guide, review and compile quantitative findings related to services which have been delivered to juveniles, collect detailed descriptive and administrative information from youth programs and services used by county juvenile probation departments; Rate those programs and services on their predicted effectiveness at reducing recidivism, based on qualitative and quantitative data gathered and comparison of that information to research findings; Compile succinct and accurate reports of SPEP™ findings; Facilitate meetings regarding those findings to ensure that all stakeholders understand how the data was used to establish the predicted recidivism, the evidence base behind the predicted recidivism, and the implications of those findings to improve the utilization and delivery of the services assessed; Address any questions or concerns about the findings and improvement implications; resolve or reconcile discrepancies in opinions or information; Facilitate and develop a collaborative, evidence-informed, performance improvement plan with juvenile probation offices and juvenile justice service providers; coordinate meetings, conference calls, and provide supportive and supplementary materials to inform the plan development; Conduct quarterly performance improvement plan “progress calls” with probation and provider staff to support implementation of the performance improvement plan; Facilitate a re-assessment of service delivery and usage, which will follow the implementation of the improvement plan. SPEP™ Specialists will be trained in all aspects of the SPEP™ assessment process and will field train 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: Frequent travel to sites across Pennsylvania where SPEP™ assessments are conducted and routine travel to North Eastern and Central Pennsylvania; Serve as region liaison for information, clarification and direction to achieve immediate and long-range projections derived from the data analysis of SPEP™. Coordinate, organize, and execute regional SPEP™ events, including Learning Community events and regional training opportunities; Maintain accurate, organized, and up to date internal files on each SPEP™ assessment conducted. Responsible for maintenance/updates to a repository of data analysis, statistical and data management in relation to SPEP™ process, score, and technical assistance data in Access and Excel data tracking systems; Participate in internal workgroups to develop training, policy, and implementation support material for internal and external use; develop and deliver 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. Collaborate with SPEP™ Manager and team members in the design and delivery of new trainings for "booster" trainings; Travel to the EPISCenter to attend quarterly staff meetings. Document and submit travel expense materials in a timely and accurate fashion. Typically requires a Bachelor's degree or higher plus four years of related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. A Master’s degree is preferred. Additional experience in juvenile justice probation or service provider organization is preferred (or equivalent combination of education and experience). Preferred qualifications include: 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. Required competencies include: 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). Competitive, commensurate with background and experience. An attractive benefits package is available. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until a suitable candidate is identified. 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). This is a fixed-term appointment funded for one year from date of hire with an 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