Communications Specialist


Communications Specialist


Location: Silicon Valley
Job ID: 15304

Initial Review Date (IRD)
UC Santa Cruz staff jobs are posted until filled. Application materials submitted by 11:59 pm on the IRD will be routed to the hiring unit for consideration. NOTE: Materials submitted after the IRD will be forwarded only at the request of the hiring unit. Submit your materials before the IRD to ensure consideration by the hiring unit. 

Initial Review Date (IRD):  02-24-2021

Dept Marketing Statement
The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium is a public agency supported by 15 members (13 states, one territory and the Bureau of Indian Education). Through the work of thousands of educators, Smarter Balanced created an online assessment system aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), as well as tools for educators to improve teaching and learning. Smarter Balanced is housed at the University of California Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Extension.

Our work is guided by the belief that a high-quality assessment system can provide information and tools for teachers and schools to improve instruction and help students succeed — regardless of disability, language, or subgroup. We involve experienced educators, researchers, state and local policymakers, and community groups working together in a transparent and consensus-driven process.

UCSC Extension provides professional training that reflects the academic rigor of the University of California and the hands-on, roll-up-your-shirtsleeves practicality of Silicon Valley culture. Developed with guidance from key industry leaders and academic experts, our certificate programs match the economic demand of your industry, from engineering to business, education to bioscience.

UCSC Extension is accredited through the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Colleges and Universities (WASC). The University of California reviews and approves UCSC Extension courses and programs for academic content, merit and instructor qualifications. Many of our courses may be applied toward degree programs, or may be eligible for professional certificates and licenses.

Position Summary

The Communications Specialist, reporting to the Senior Director of Communications, is responsible for managing and implementing select communications programs and activities for Smarter Balanced, including written, visual, digital and electronic communications for a diversity of audiences. The central role is to support development and execution of the organizations' external and internal communications efforts. The Communications Specialist utilizes written and visual communication skills to communicate with diverse audiences in an inclusive manner working with a variety of productivity tools, including Microsoft Office, Adobe Suite, MailChimp, HootSuite, website CMS systems and social media.

Pay, Benefits, & Work Schedule
Salary Information: $60,000 - $74,000 / Annually. Salary commensurate with skills, qualifications and experience. 

No. of Positions:

Benefits Level Eligibility: Full

Schedule Information: 
100% weekly
40 hours weekly
Day Shift 
Employee Classification: Career Appointment 

Job End Date: None 

Work Location: Remote   

Union Representation: None 

Job Duties
50% - Operations    

Works with management, staff members and clients to implement long and short term strategic communications plans and / or projects.

Supports comprehensive communications programs, including written, visual, multimedia, and electronic communications for a diversity of audiences.

Advises and consults with departmental leadership and staff members regarding all aspects of communications, including developing strong communications products and plans that effectively deliver the desired message, policy interpretation, and problem resolution.

Ensures all materials and publications meet specific electronic and accessibility requirements.

Establishes and maintains schedules and records for the production of publications.

Routes jobs and consortium messaging through scheduling, editing, writing, design, review, and publication.

50% - Publishing    

Under limited supervision, researches, writes and / or edits material for a variety of publications for internal and external audiences that effectively deliver the desired message to a diversity of audiences.

Produces, edits and ensures accuracy of content and messaging for a variety of communications pieces, including written, visual, digital, and electronic communications.

Identifies specific communications  needs and develops the content and  process for organizational improvements.

Designs a broad range of publication materials as well as Web pages on the public and internal member websites.

Creates and identifies images and graphics that represent and appeal to a diversity of audiences.

Required Qualifications



  • Bachelor's degree in related area and / or equivalent experience / training.
  • Knowledge of all aspects of communications, including strategic planning for various media venues, technical aspects and requirements of various venues, and most appropriate and effective applications.
  • Knowledge and understanding of technical applications to effectively direct technical staff, or personally perform technical work, including design concepts, various media, and applications.
  • Solid skills to create, develop, and implement comprehensive long and short term strategic communications plans.
  • Knowledge and skills to advise and consult with management to ensure delivery of the desired message to the target and / or broad general audiences.
  • Solid verbal, interpersonal communications, active listening and political acumen skills.
  • Strong writing skills.
  • Knowledge of communications channels for communication internally and externally.



View full job description and access on-line application:

To ensure review of application materials by the hiring unit, they must be submitted on or before the initial review date (IRD) via the Staff Employment Opportunities web site; A computer is available at the UC Santa Cruz Staff Human Resources Office located at Scotts Valley Center. The Scotts Valley Center is located at 100 Enterprise Way, Suite E100, Scotts Valley, CA 95066. To learn more or to request disability accommodations, call 831-459-2009. Hearing impaired are encouraged to use the California Relay Service at 800-735-2922. UC Santa Cruz is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees.

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