Job Details


Semester Program Director

Post Date:

May 30, 2017


University of Massachusetts Amherst


Amherst, MA


Semester Program Director
Reports to: President
Classification: Seasonal, August - December

Semester Program Summary: The Yestermorrow/UMASS Sustainable Design/Build Semester Program is a 15-credit, semester-long program for up to 15 undergraduates and recent graduates. Based on the Yestermorrow campus in Waitsfield, VT and operating from August 19 to December 8, 2017, the program is focused on the collaborative design and construction of a single, high-performance, year-round structure for a real client. The curriculum includes four credit-bearing courses, listed below. These multidisciplinary courses are taught as integrated whole, consisting of lectures, seminars, discussions, studio time, and jobsite work. In addition, the Semester Program begins with an outdoor orientation trip in Central Vermont.

This full-immersion, credit-bearing semester complements programs in architecture, building science, engineering, and environmental design majors and has wide application in liberal arts curricula. Course descriptions and syllabi are available at

Job Summary: The Semester Program Director is the lead instructor and supervisor for the Semester Program. The Director is responsible for delivering the academic curriculum, leading and guiding the design/build process, supervising the faculty team (a co-instructor and teaching assistant), and teaching the students how to develop and structure the design/build process collaboratively and constructively for themselves. The Director is also responsible for the academic evaluation of students and administering credits through UMass Amherst. The Director position is seasonal, from early August through mid-late December (dates negotiable), and is cross-listed as faculty in the Department of Architecture, UMass Amherst. 

Essential Duties & Responsibilities:

  •  Serve as the lead faculty to teach the Semester Program curriculum in studio, classroom, field, and jobsite settings.
  •  Supervise the faculty team: a co-instructor and teaching assistant.
  •  Plan, develop, and refine the Semester Program curriculum, including:
  •                   Developing lectures and presentations.
  •                   Leading group discussions and decision processes.
  •                   Developing and executing engaging and multi-dimensional coursework.
  •                   Fostering independent and student-directed work.
  •  Align curriculum with existing syllabi for courses:
  •                  Building Science for Cold Climates (3 credits)
  •                  Defining Metrics for Sustainability (3 credits)
  •                  Design & Visual Communications Studio (6 credits)
  •                  History and Theory of Design Build (3 credits)
  •   Provide mentorship and academic evaluation for students.
  •   Market and grow the program as appropriate, in cooperation with Yestermorrow staff.  These efforts may be on a contract basis outside the timeframe of the Semester Program or this appointment.
  •   Work with client’s Project Manager to coordinate site and infrastructure preparation under appropriate schedule.


  •   Master’s of Architecture (MArch) or Bachelor’s of Architecture (BArch) required.
  •   At least 5 years experience in sustainable design/build preferred, as an instructor and/or practitioner.
  •   Proficiency with computers required, including computer-aided design software, Microsoft Office applications, and Adobe Suite of graphic design applications.
  •   Experience in sustainable design, methods, and construction (high performance envelopes, ethical material selection, reduced mechanical loads, renewable infrastructure, low-waste construction, etc.) and familiarity with standards such as LEED, Living Building Challenge, Passive House, etc.
  •   Excellent written and oral communication; demonstrated technical competencies related to the integrated design/build process (schematic design, drafting construction documents, facilitating group charrettes, developing mockups, etc.) and various types and all stages of construction (including site work, foundations, wall systems, HVAC, finishes, etc.).  

How to Apply:

  •   Please send resume and cover letter to Eric Cook,
  •   Preference will be given to applications received by Friday, June 16.
  •   Position is open until filled.
  •   Any questions about this job description should be directed to Eric Cook,

Yestermorrow Design/Build School and The University of Massachusetts Amherst seek to increase the diversity of their faculty, staff, and student populations because broad diversity is critical to achieving the institutions’ missions of excellence in education, research, educational access and service in an increasingly diverse globalized society. Therefore, in holistically assessing many qualifications of each applicant of any race or gender we would factor favorably an individual’s record of conduct that includes students and colleagues with broadly diverse perspectives, experiences and backgrounds in educational, research or other work activities. Among other qualifications, we would also factor favorably experience overcoming or helping others overcome barriers to an academic career or degree.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst and Yestermorrow Design/Build School are Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employers of women, minorities, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities and encourages applications from these and other protected group members.