Position Overview & Responsibilities

Merrimack College is offering an exciting non-tenure-track faculty opportunity for the right candidate(s). The Compass Program is a non-traditional, year-long, credit-bearing academic and socio-emotional immersion program designed to raise the skills of underprepared college students to levels that allow them to thrive academically at college and succeed in life beyond college. Founded upon a developmental guided-mastery model of teaching and learning, Compass seeks to foster long-term self-cultivation in its students.

Compass focuses on the development of both academic (i.e., reading, writing, active listening, integrative note-taking) and non-academic (e.g., fostering a growth mindset; work ethic, academic motivation, emotional regulation, cultivating identity) skills. After instruction in any given skill, students perform, receive hands-on feedback, and revise their assignments gradually over time. For each target skill (i.e., reading, writing, note taking), students are assessed on their movement through a series of developmental “levels of mastery” over time. Grades are based on projects that reflect the full development of the student’s knowledge and skill over time, and not on average performance.

Over the course of the year, the successful candidate will teach approximately 40 students. Each semester, the professor will teach one section of a Critical Inquiry Seminar (Tools for Self­ Cultivation; Self, Conflict and Social Relations) and two sections of a workshop course devoted to the development of reading, writing, listening, and note-taking skills.

Learning how to teach in the Compass programs requires an investment of time and the development of a range of very specific skills. To assist new faculty in teaching the “Compass Approach” to teach academic and non-academic skills, the incoming faculty will engage in the first year of shadowing and assisting the lead professor during seminars and workshops. Fully independent teaching will begin during the professor’s second year.


The successful candidate should have the skills of an exceptional high school teacher with the flexibility and capacity to address the unique challenges and special needs of underprepared college students. The successful candidate should bring some significant combination of the following qualities:

  • A Master’s degree (or Ph.D.) in an academic and/or interdisciplinary areas that are compatible with the needs of the Compass program;
  • Willingness to learn accompanied by a scrappy, problem-solving attitude.
  • Expertise or a willingness to learn to teach underprepared students;
  • Expertise or a willingness to learn how to teach students with learning disabilities;
  • The capacity to teach or to learn to teach reading and writing;
  • The ability to engage students emotionally using a counseling mindset as needed;
  • A willingness to contribute to a culture of cultivating sensitive, caring relationships with students, coupled with high expectations and accountability;
  • An youth development approach to teaching, leveraging students’ strengths in order to address their weaknesses;
  • A willingness and ability to collaborate as part of a team to develop the Compass program.

Disciplinary expertise is open. However, the successful candidate will take an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and scholarship. A typical year involves teaching from Carol Dweck’s Mindset, Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, Aristotle’s Ethics, Fischer, Ury & Patton’s Getting to Yes. The position is an opportunity for pedagogues who would relish working with a dynamic, collaborative, innovative group of faculty and academic counselors who value the guided development of the whole student over more traditional approaches to education.

Our students grow because we care about them and their development. They do the work because they know we will support them and hold them accountable for getting it done.

Statement on Our Mission

Merrimack College is a Catholic Augustinian institution of higher education committed to building a culturally and racially diverse community. Our mission is to enlighten minds, engage hearts and empower lives and is inspired by our Catholic faith and the Augustinian tradition of seeking truth through inquiry and dialogue.

Merrimack College seeks candidates who understand, respect, and can contribute to Merrimack’s Augustinian mission and values and advance our work in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion. We strongly encourage applications from members of underrepresented groups. All candidates should describe in their application previous experience related to equity, diversity, and inclusion, as well as how they will engage in fostering a culture that supports our Augustinian mission, our Catholic faith, and our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Required Vaccinations & Remote Work:

Unless otherwise stated above, this is an on-campus position. This opportunity is not a remote or hybrid position as employees are essential in order to provide a fully on-campus, residential college experience for our students and the community. Merrimack College currently has a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy. Students, faculty, and staff are required to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

About Merrimack College

The only Catholic, Augustinian institution of higher education in New England, Merrimack College is a private, independent, coeducational institution with more than 5,000 undergraduates and graduate students from 32 states and 37 countries, and comprises schools of liberal arts, science and engineering, health sciences, education and social policy, and business. The college’s 260- acre campus is approximately 25 miles north of Boston in North Andover and Andover, Massachusetts. Merrimack is a Master’s Colleges & Universities/Medium Programs institution in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Merrimack is one of the fastest growing educational institutions in the country and has steadily climbed up U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of Best Colleges, coming in 46th out of 170 schools ranked in the Regional Universities North category in 2020. Merrimack is also listed as one of the top 10 most innovative schools and placed 35th for best undergraduate teaching programs among schools in the U.S. News category.

Merrimack College is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Posted: 07/25/22

Position Code: 994