MSU Tollgate Educational Program Leader

Application Deadline: Open until filled / Two available positions

Position Type: Part-time / On-call

How to Apply:

Email cover letter, resume, and three professional references to tollgateprograms@anr.msu.edu with the email subject line LastName_Educational Leader Application. Application materials can also be submitted by mail to 28115 Meadowbrook Rd. Novi, MI 48377 attention Ellen Koehler. 


Michigan State University (MSU) Extension helps people improve their lives by bringing the vast knowledge resources of MSU directly to individuals, communities and businesses. Tollgate Farm and Education Center promotes food system awareness through exploring the sustainable, nutritional, and cultural aspects of agriculture. During the school year, MSU Tollgate Farm offers enrichment programs that include experiential, educational programs for youth and adults from community groups and public and private schools. We are seeking staff with a background in one or more of the following activities: education, agricultural science, and science & nature knowledge.

 General Statement of Educational Program Leader Duties:

This is a part time on call position with duties primarily during seasonal program months of October, March, and May. This position assists with select large community events. This position involves training to facilitate inquiry-based experiential learning for school and community groups.

Essential Duties:

The list below is intended to describe the general nature of duties only. Employees shall perform other duties as assigned.

  • Promote public interest and participation in farm-based interpretive programs using inquiry learning methods on a part time, on call, and seasonal basis
  • Develop and facilitate interactive programs promoting Tollgate Farm
  • Build and sustain working relationships with fellow staff and community members
  • Prepare supplies, set up, and clean-up program areas
  • Oversee volunteers as they assist with interpretive activities and office support
  • Assist with special events

The lists above is intended to describe the general nature of duties only.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent of 3 years of experience in a teaching capacity
  • An equivalent combination of education and experience sufficient to demonstrate the ability to perform the job may be substituted for the degree requirement
  • Progressively responsible experience in interpretation, education or a related field
  • Nature interpretation, environmental education, biology or natural resources background
  • Ability to promote and maintain cooperative working relationships with educational groups, site visitors, and other employees
  • Ability to communicate verbally to give tours, lead programs, and provide presentations
  • Will be required to work assigned special events, weekends, evenings and holidays
  • Will be required to adjust schedule to meet organizational needs
  • Ability to work well under the direction of supervisor
  • Ability to work independently, exercise sound judgement, act with discretion
  • Ability to solve problems as they arise in a program setting
  • Ability to perform essential duties

General Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of the principles and practices used in developing and carrying out a diversified interpretive program
  • Knowledge of and ability to deliver science education programs that support the specific grade level content expectations
  • Ability to speak effectively before large groups
  • Ability to operate listed tools and equipment
  • Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing
  • Ability to establish and maintain positive working relationships with the supervisors, the public, outside agencies, and coworkers
  • Ability to demonstrate creativity and the flexibility to handle change
  • Ability and willingness to work closely with and care for livestock and wildlife on the farm

Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to walk, sit, talk and hear. The employee is frequently required to use hands to handle and care for livestock, manage and operate objects, tools, or controls; and reach and lift with hands and arms. The employee is required to drive a tractor and gators. The employee is occasionally required to climb or balance, stoop, kneel, or crouch. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 40 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, color vision and the ability to adjust focus.

Work Environment:

 The work environment characteristics described are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Employee generally performs work in an outdoor environment where weather conditions include heat, rain, and snow. The employee will be required to work in an indoor environment and with large groups.

Selection Guidelines:

Selection process may include, but is not limited to, any or all of the following: formal application, rating of education and experience, oral interviews, and reference check. The duties listed above are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed.   The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related or a logical assignment to the position. The job description does not constitute an employment agreement between the employee and Tollgate Farm and Education Center and is subject to change by Tollgate based on the needs and requirements of the organization.   


MSU is an affirmative-action equal-opportunity employer. Michigan State University Extension programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran status. 


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