About Breakthrough Silicon Valley

Breakthrough Silicon Valley launches talented but underserved middle school students on the path to college, while at the same time inspiring high school and college students to become educators. While ambitious in our goals, BTSV works: a stunning 99% of BTSV graduates are accepted into four-year colleges and 89% of BTSV 2017-2018 Teaching Fellows are inspired to pursue a career in education as a result of their summer experience.

Breakthrough Silicon Valley’s tuition-free program provides year-round out of school time academic support, counseling, and advocacy for a diverse group of talented students, most of whom come from under-resourced communities and are first in their family to go to college. Through our students-teaching-students model, Breakthrough also provides a consummate professional development experience in education by providing talented high school and college students the opportunity to design and teach classes under the direction of seasoned education professionals.

Located in San Jose, California, Breakthrough Silicon Valley is an affiliate of The Breakthrough Collaborative, a leading national service organization that acts as the national voice for 24 Breakthrough sites across the country.

Position Overview

Breakthrough Silicon Valley prepares academically motivated students with limited educational opportunities for success in four-year universities. Because the majority of the students we serve are of the first generation in their families to attend college, the guidance and resources we provide are critically important.

As the College Advisor, you have the privilege of working closely with our students and their families as they navigate their final high school years and launch their college journeys. As a trusted adviser and source of critical information, you play a pivotal role in guiding each family through the college application and enrollment processes. The highly individualized nature of our program enables you to focus on each student’s path to college, ensuring they maintain the highest academic and social standards, and work toward becoming a competitive applicant for four-year universities. You inspire and motivate students to work incredibly hard in pursuit of their college dreams.

Reporting to the Associate Director of College Access Programs, the College Advisor is part of a dynamic, committed staff that continually seeks ways to strengthen the organization in order to best serve our students and their families.

Key Responsibilities:

Support BTSV’s College Access Program:

  • Under guidance of the Associate Director, support the college access team in delivering a highly effective college access program that combines college counseling, academic support and family education for all eleventh and twelfth-grade students.
  • Work collaboratively with the Associate Director to develop and oversee delivery of quality programming for students including summer college camps, college exploration tours, and evening and weekend workshops.
  • Manage relationships with outside partner organizations and college admissions representatives to amplify the impact of our work, increase Breakthrough’s visibility, and support students to get to and through college.
  • Regularly measure success of the College Access program. When necessary, select and/or develop tools to evaluate program effectiveness.
  • Ensure up-to-date and accurate student data collection regarding college admissions, financial aid awards, and application completion, ensuring integration with organization’s Salesforce database.
  • Assist the Development Director and Executive Director with fundraising and marketing activities as needed. Occasionally present at board meetings or work with board committees, community volunteers and/or members of the Breakthrough Collaborative.
  • Regularly attend conferences and other professional development events to keep up with the latest college admissions guidelines and practices.

Advise Students:

  • Serve as primary college counselor and advisor for approximately 80-90 of Breakthrough Silicon Valley’s high school juniors and seniors.
  • Track students' academic progress to ensure students are on-track with UC, CSU, and private college admissions requirements, as well as CalGrant eligibility.


  • Understands the unique challenges facing first-generation college students. Demonstrated ability to developing engaging and results-oriented programming to support our students and families to navigate those challenges.
  • Embraces “Breakthrough Spirit.” Is committed to excellence, open-minded, demonstrates a growth-mindset, thinks creatively to solve problems, and works with integrity and a sense of humor.
  • Excellent communicator, able to write and speak persuasively. Comfortable with public speaking and engaging with diverse audiences.
  • Demonstrated ability to create and develop strong and meaningful relationships with students, parents, and other professionals. Ability to work in environments and communities with people from diverse backgrounds (ethnic, socio-economic, educational, etc.)
  • Dynamic, entrepreneurial leader able to focus on overall program mission and strategy while paying close attention to the details of program administration and operations. Strong organizational and time management skills.
  • Committed to data collection and evaluation of programming. Comfortable with basic data analysis.
  • Competency with Microsoft Office, Dropbox, and Google Apps, and Salesforce are a plus
  • Experience as admissions representative in a four-year college or university is a plus
  • Candidates with Vietnamese language skills are strongly encouraged to apply.


  • A commitment to Breakthrough Silicon Valley’s mission and an unwavering belief in the potential of Breakthrough students to succeed in rigorous, 4-year universities
  • 2+ years of academic advising and/or college counseling in an educational setting
  • Knowledge of public school districts, course sequencing, and college admissions requirements
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Ability to deliver workshops and engage with families in Spanish is a must-have.

Compensation and Benefits

  • This is a full-time, exempt position, available immediately.
  • As Breakthrough is an “out of school time program” candidates should anticipate frequent evening and occasional weekend commitments.
  • Competitive compensation commensurate with experience.
  • Generous Health Benefits: Medical, dental, and vision health coverage and life insurance.
  • Retirement Benefits: 401(k) plan with immediate company match.
  • Generous paid time-off: 15 days plus 11 holidays and two "shut-down" weeks.
  • Professional development fund for professional growth and learning opportunities.

How to join our team:

To apply, please apply online today. Incomplete applications without a cover letter will not be considered. We will review applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Breakthrough engages with individuals of all backgrounds and we are committed to embracing diversity within our organization, including developing a team who represents the communities we serve.

As an Equal Opportunity Employer Breakthrough is committed to providing employment opportunities to all individuals and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, veteran status, pregnancy, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

Learn more at www.breakthroughsv.org.

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