Program/Project Specialist

University of Minnesota, Onsite Sewage Treatment Program

About the Job

This position is the primary administrative specialist for the University of Minnesota’s Onsite Sewage Treatment Program (OSTP), housed in the University’s Water Resources Center. The OSTP holds a range of training classes across Minnesota for individuals who work on decentralized wastewater management systems (often known as septic systems). This position supports the work of the OSTP by managing scheduling, site logistics, coordination with instructors and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), and many other aspects of the program’s administrative needs. The position works closely with individuals who attend our classes, the OSTP trainers, staff at the MPCA, other WRC administrative staff and leadership, and class site contacts.

In the job, the successful candidate will:

  • Coordinate administrative aspects of the OSTP training program;
  • Schedule and manage administrative tasks for individual in-person, online, and hybrid workshops;
  • Provide administrative leadership for the OSTP; and
  • Travel within Minnesota.

OSTP Training Program Coordination (40%)

    • Serve as first point of contact for OSTP participants and partners to answer questions related to course registration, process (e.g., Canvas log-on), and OSTP certifications. For more complex questions, determine and forward to best individual or office to answer the question.
    • Create and coordinate program communications, including email announcements, individual learner correspondence, and OSTP publications.
    • Research and recommend solutions for administrative problems, including incompatibility between electronic databases, registration systems (DORS), and online learning management systems (e.g., Canvas).
    • Lead the development of the OSTP yearly brochure, including:
      • Scheduling meetings with OSTP staff to coordinate and organize yearly workshops;
      • Coordinating with class locations to set workshop location around the state; and
      • Producing the brochure for publication.
    • Manage administrative tasks for contracted activities (e.g., technical assistance projects, contract workshops, and relator trainings).
    • Work cooperatively with other OSTP staff and the MPCA to submit accreditation applications for courses.
    • In coordination with CFANS IT, manage all aspects of the OSTP participant database.

Individual Workshop Coordination (30%)

    • Manage online and paper registration for OSTP workshops, including credit card management, preparing checks for deposit, and coordination with the trainers.
    • Manage Canvas administrative tasks for online portions of OSTP workshops, including:
      • Requesting Canvas sites for OSTP hybrid and online classes;
      • Verification and monitoring of learners in Canvas; and
      • Coordinating interaction of online learning management system (e.g., Canvas) and other administrative databases (e.g., DORS, OSTP database, etc.).
    • Provide administrative assistance prior to and at in-person OSTP workshops and events, including:
      • Coordinate with classroom facilities for scheduling, catering, and room rentals;
      • Review and update online participant enrollment;
      • Prepare and ensure materials are available when needed for workshop; and
      • Communicate with trainers and staff attending workshop.
    • Wrap-up virtual, hybrid, and in-person OSTP workshops:
      • Verify participants attended, enter late participants, enter other fees, fix errors, and other wrap-up duties, and
      • Prepare final list of participants and attendance certificates and send to the MPCA.

General Office Administration (30%)

    • Provide input to evaluation of SSTS Professional workshops in cooperation with OSTP team.
    • Recommend revisions to the OSTP missions and goals.
    • Supply and records management:
      • Maintain supply/inventory of OSTP publications;
      • Keep track of and order office and training supplies as needed; and
      • File and organize all OSTP enrollments and materials.
    • Work cooperatively with others to edit and update program publications.
    • Schedule and take notes at OSTP staff meetings.
    • Communicate regularly with OSTP staff, trainers, managers, and partners.
    • Coordinate billing, contracts, and other financial information with WRC accounting and administrative staff.


The person in this position will travel overnight to locations across Minnesota approximately 1-3 nights per month and day trips approximately 1-3 times per month. Successful candidates must have a valid driver’s license or have a demonstrated ability for timely travel across all parts of Minnesota.


Required Qualifications


  • High School Diploma/GED and five years of related experience coordinating the administrative aspects of training and/or education programs.

Computer and software skills

  • Demonstrated experience managing training participant databases (e.g., in Microsoft Access, online, or others) and working with other computer software and online programs.
  • Documented experience or training in online learning management systems (e.g., Canvas)
  • Documented experience with MS Office and web-based information retrieval.
  • Experiencing working with the Adobe In-design program for manuals and brochures.

Communication and customer service

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, writing clear, concise letters or e-mail messages with accurate spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
  • Demonstrated commitment to customer service and professional demeanor
  • A proven ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships and collaborations with colleagues, partners, and stakeholders, including those that may have diverse missions, goals, and backgrounds.
  • Experience serving as the first contact person of the department or office and using phones, email and face-to-face interactions.


  • Documented experience-coordinating meetings and small events (scheduling, invitee rosters, sending reminders, taking notes, etc.)
  • Experience prioritizing among competing deadlines, tasks and projects.
  • Documented experience assessing the needs of others and analyzing options, suggesting other steps, and experience contributing recommendations for process improvement.
  • Able to independently solve problems and answer questions from students, staff and outside agencies, workshop attendees and faculty.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently.
  • The duties will require some light to moderate lifting as well as walking and standing for long periods.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated experience managing and manipulating spread sheets including mail merges/data entry, ability to handle confidential material, event planning and project management.
  • Knowledge of and experience with the financial system and policies at the University of Minnesota.
  • Demonstrated ability to complete time-sensitive work with high attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain established work standards and procedures, as well as adapt easily to procedural changes.
  • Trained in the UMN EFS system for purchasing, travel and expense reimbursement desired.

*This position is represented by a bargaining unit; AFSCME Clerical. Dues or fair share deductions will be made.* 

About the Department

The Water Resources Center is an interdepartmental unit of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences and University of Minnesota Extension. It is also Minnesota’s member of the National Institutes for Water Resources, giving it a Congressional mandate to conduct and organize research relevant to water resource concerns in the state. The center is the administrative home of the interdisciplinary Water Resources Science graduate program, involving over 100 faculty members spanning over 20 departments at the Twin Cities and Duluth Campuses. The center also provides professional training programs and hosts numerous events including the annual Minnesota Water Resources Conference.

How To Apply

Applications must be submitted online. To be considered for this position, please click on the Apply button and follow the instructions. Complete the online application and upload: (1) a cover letter describing qualifications, experience, and motivation for applying.  Questions may be directed to Joel Larson, Associate Director, Water Resources Center 

Additional documents may be attached after application by accessing your “My Activities” page and uploading documents there.


The University recognizes and values the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission.  The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds. The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.  To learn more about diversity at the U:

Employment Requirements

Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.

Please note: All employees at the University of Minnesota are required to report complete vaccination against COVID-19 or submit documentation requesting a medical or religious exemption on their first day of employment. To learn more, please visit the University’s COVID-19 Response webpage.

About the U of M

The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (UMTC), is among the largest public research universities in the country, offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional students a multitude of opportunities for study and research. Located at the heart of one of the nation’s most vibrant, diverse metropolitan communities, students on the campuses in Minneapolis and St. Paul benefit from extensive partnerships with world-renowned health centers, international corporations, government agencies, and arts, nonprofit, and public service organizations. 

To apply, click the button below and select either “External Candidate” or “U of M Employees,” then search for job number: 346343