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Public Education Specialist (Distance Learning Mentor)

Department: Division of Education, Early Childhood Education Program
Position: Full-time, 12 month position with complete benefit package
Wage: $18.50-$20.00/hour
Union Affiliation: MFPE
Posting Date: March 2021


The Education Division, established in 1897, is Montana Western’s largest program, serving 700 students on-campus in X1 format and online via innovative, experiential course delivery.  The UMW Early Childhood Program was established in 1988 and was developed to serve the needs of nontraditional, place-based students living across the state of Montana. The Montana Western ECE Program, the premier ECE teacher education program in the southwestern United States, continues to have a strong outreach mission and serves 200 students.

The Division of Education, Early Childhood Education (ECE) Program at The University of Montana Western (UMW) is seeking a Distance Learning Mentor to support Indigenous teacher candidates in earning a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education.  This position is funded by an Office of Head Start grant that supports tribal, degree-seeking, Head Start and Early Head Start teachers and teacher assistants.  Specifically, this project supports degree-seeking individuals from the Blackfeet, Rocky Boy, Fort Belknap, and Fort Peck reservations in Montana. The position reports to and works closely with the Grant Program Leader, a UMW Professor in ECE.


The position is customer-service-based, and entails: serving approximately 20 baccalaureate distance students; recruiting and interacting with prospective students; mentoring/tutoring distance students utilizing distance technology; coordinating students’ plans of study with tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) and the Grant Program Leader; traveling periodically to Montana reservations to coordinate with Head Start and TCU partners and to support UMW ECE bachelor’s degree students; developing and implementing individualized student support plans; teaching online college classes to the cohort of grant program participants as assigned; assisting with data collection that supports grant outcomes, including grant participants’ success in the program; and working closely with the UMW Grant Project Leader in day-to-day management of the grant program, development of students’ plans of study, and advising.  There are frequent interactions with UMW and TCU offices, distance instructors, and Head Start staff members.  Positive affect and professional dispositions are a must.  Advanced technology skills are required.   

  • Bachelor’s degree in ECE or related field; Master’s degree preferred.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Advanced technology skills.
  • Independent, self-starter.
  • Professional dispositions and positive affect.
  • Experience building and maintaining relationships in professional settings and with a variety of professional agencies and institutions.
  • Experience collaborating with professionals, colleges, and ECE programs.
  • Experience supporting or mentoring college students preferred.
  • Experience in college-level teaching preferred.


Applications must include a cover letter addressing the candidate’s qualifications in relation to the above listed requirements, a resume, and the names and contact information of five current professional references.  Submit application materials via email to:

Patti Lake
Personnel Officer
The University of Montana Western
710 South Atlantic St.
Dillon, MT. 59725-3598

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.  Questions about this position may be directed to Jen Gilliard at  

The University & Dillon Area

The University of Montana Western is a dynamic, innovative, undergraduate university with over 65 full-time faculty and 1,300 students. It is located in Dillon, Montana in the scenic Rocky Mountains and has been awarded numerous top national rankings for delivering high quality, affordable education.

Montana Western is the only public four-year college in the nation offering Experience One (X1), experiential learning delivered on the block schedule. Class sizes are small and students take a single course at a time, three hours each day for 18 days, before moving on to the next course. Each course is four credits and four blocks are offered each semester. The block schedule facilitates field and lab work, undergraduate research, study travel, and interdisciplinary teaching. Montana Western’s faculty strongly believe in mentoring and inspiring students, and assisting them in the transition from university life to professional careers.

The University of Montana Western is an integral part of the Dillon Community. With a population of 5,000 people, Dillon is known for outstanding public schools, safe environments, recreational opportunities, and an excellent quality of life.

The University of Montana Western is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages applications from qualified women, minorities, veterans and people with disabilities. Qualified candidates may request veterans‚ or disabilities preference in accordance with state law. Reasonable accommodations are provided in the hiring process for persons with disabilities. Finalists for any position will be subject to a criminal background investigation.

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