How to Become a Student Activities Programming Board Director


Working as a student activities programming board director can be an excellent career choice if you have a keen interest in work that involves helping to promote individual student involvement and leadership skill development, and you’re skilled at tracking budgets, requesting funds and allocating funding appropriately.


This occupation offers a decent level of pay, a structured work environment within the field of post-secondary education administration, and the chance to work closely with a wide range of professionals, including school administrators, students, volunteers and others.


Below, we’ve outlined everything you need to know to become a student activities programming board director. We’ll show you what employers will be looking for in terms of your education and experience, as well as what skills, knowledge, abilities and personal traits you’ll need to bring to the table in order to be effective. 


We've also included helpful supplementary information, such as a job description, an overview of the job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employer types and much more!



Skills, Knowledge, Traits & Abilities Needed

To be effective as a student activities programming board director (and to find personal and professional fulfillment from the work), you’ll need to have certain skills, knowledge, traits and abilities, including:


• Willingness to work irregular hours, nights and weekends, when needed

• Ability to interact with people from a variety of backgrounds and to be respectful and responsive to diverse populations

• A desire to learn more about various cultures and acquire skills to work effectively across difference

• Skilled at tracking budgets, requesting funds and allocating funding appropriately

• Competent in using relevant technologies and software for efficient work and easy access for students

• Knowledgeable of contemporary issues of higher education and student affairs

• Ability to work well with multiple constituents (students, families, parents, colleagues)

• Ability to perform administrative tasks in timely and efficient manner

• A keen interest in helping to create an inviting atmosphere for students

• A keen interest in helping to promote individual student involvement and leadership skill development



Educational Needed to Become a Student Activities Programming Board Director

There are no standard educational requirements for this profession, as employers are free to set their own. However, most employers will require that you have at least a bachelor’s degree related to student personnel services, higher education administration, or a similar field. 


Please Note: Some employers will require that you have a master’s degree in one of these fields, whereas others will accept a bachelor’s degree, combined with a few years of work experience in student services. 





Relevant Work Experience 

In place of a master’s degree, or in addition to it, employers will want to see that you have experience in roles that involve similar skills and competencies, for the sake of being sure they’re hiring someone who will be effective as a student activities programming director. 


Relevant work experience that employers would be looking for, would often include experience working in any number of roles within a student services and activities capacity. It could also include outside work that involves the performance of at least some of the following tasks, if combined with relevant education:


• Contract negotiation

• Budget management

• Personnel management

• Event planning

• Program coordination or direction



What is a Student Activities Programming Board Director?

Student activities programming board directors are college and university staff who facilitate co-curricular education and development of college and university students through management of student activities, events, and organizations. 



General Job Description

The primary responsibility of a student activities programming board director is to represent their student activities programming team in a variety of meetings and outreach activities. They must ensure that all program assistants (employees and volunteers) have the necessary information and resources to work effectively and efficiently. This involves advising, coordinating, and supervising the activities of the activities board, and serving as the primary coordinator of student organization management.



Typical Job Duties & Responsibilities 

Although their job duties can vary from position to position (much like their salary, and other details), student activities programming board directors are generally responsible for the following:


• Working with various other departments, the Dean of Students, and programming assistants and staff to ensure that the objectives and goals of the student activities programming board are achieved

• Ensuring that a diverse selection of leadership and intercultural programs and activities offered for the campus community

• Acting as the central campus resource, or overseeing the staff that acts as such

• Developing and managing the annual operating budget (which can often be hundreds of thousands of dollars)

• Assisting with general office management

• Assisting with general inter-office communications on behalf of the student activities office

• Supporting program assistants with the planning and implementation of campus-wide events

• Identifying development opportunities for program assistants, including participation in regional and national professional associations





Work Environment Common to This Occupation

Student activities programming board directors work in an office setting. Their work is largely sedentary, and can involve a lot of time spent sitting in front of a computer, although it can also involve moving around campus a great deal some days.


They usually work standard weekday working hours, although they may have to work the occasional evening, weekend or holiday, in order to attend meetings, supervise events, or to finish important tasks.


Student activities programming board directors must work closely with a variety of stakeholders and constituents, including program assistants (paid and volunteer), students, senior-level school administrators, board members, maintenance contractors, and a variety of others.



Typical Salary Level

The salary and wage levels of student activities programming board directors can vary, typically depending on the following factors:


• Their level of education and experience

• The region in which they work

• The size, type and budget of the school in which they work

• Their wage and salary negotiating abilities 

• The specific responsibilities of their job


Please Note: It’s hard to determine the amount that student activities programming board directors earn, as there is no salary information available for this specific occupation from reputable sources. We can however, get a rough idea of what their earnings are like by looking at the average and median salary levels of those working in the same general occupational group.


Salary - United States: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary level of Americans working in the ‘Postsecondary Education Administrators’ (which can include ‘student activity programming board directors’) occupational group is $94,340 per year (May, 2018 figures). The lowest 10% of salaries in the group were at or below $54,680, and the highest 10% were at or above $190,600 per year.


Salary - Canada (Alberta): According to the Government of Alberta, the average salary of Albertans working as “Administrators - post-secondary education and vocational training” (the most closely related profession reliable statistics were available for) is $89,321 per year.


Salary - Canada (British Columbia): According to the Province of British Columbia, the average salary of British Columbians working in the “Administrators - post-secondary education and vocational training” occupational group is $86,008 per year.



Who Employs Them?

Student activities programming board directors are employed primarily by colleges, universities, and other post-secondary institutions.



Current Job Opportunities

Our job board below has “student activities programming board director” job postings in your area, when available. If you don't see what you're looking for, try using alternate terms to describe the profession, such as “student services”, and related terms:




Career Advancement Possibilities 

If you display skill, competence and a strong work ethic as a student activities programming board director, you should have many opportunities to advance into positions of greater pay and responsibility within the field of education administration, such as becoming a dean of students.


You could also move laterally within education, and become a student recruiter (or head of student recruitment), or find a management position within another area of student services.


Alternatively, you could choose to advance your career by applying your skills, knowledge and experience to roles that are outside of education administration. For example, you could become an event planner, a non-profit organization manager, or a management professional within a business. 


Please Note: Your career advancement options aren’t limited to those mentioned above, they are simply listed for illustrative purposes, and your actual options can be much more varied. 



Similar Occupations in Our Database

Listed below are occupational guides in our system that are similar in nature to this one. We've chosen these because they require many of the same skills, interests and competencies, and involve many of the same responsibilities:


Education programs administrator

• Non-profit foundation manager 

• Principal 

• Recreation & leisure supervisor 

• Student recruiter

• Student services coordinator

• University or college administrator 



References for This Career Guide

The following sources were referenced in the preparation of this career guide. Please visit them to learn more about the various aspects of this profession:


Wages & Salaries in Alberta:Administrators - post-secondary education and vocational training.” (n.d.). Government of Alberta - Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS). Retrieved July 22, 2019.

Explore Careers:Administrators - post-secondary education and vocational training (NOC 0421).” (n.d.). Province of British Columbia - WorkBC. Retrieved July 22, 2019.

Dean of Students:Student Activities Office: College Programming Board (CPB).” (n.d.). Claremont McKenna College. Retrieved July 22, 2019.

Occupational Outlook Handbook:Postsecondary Education Administrators.” (May 20, 2019). United States Department of Labor - Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved July 22, 2019.


Please Note: Some actual job postings were used in the preparation of this career guide. Due to the brief nature of their online presence, they are not listed here as cited references.



Scholarships for Becoming a Student Activities Programming Board Director

All of the scholarships found on our Education Scholarships, Social Work Scholarships and Sociology Scholarships pages are relevant for becoming a student activities programming board director. Just be sure to apply to as many as you can, as there are literally millions of dollars in scholarship money that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants.



Relevant Areas of Study

Studying one of the university majors listed below can serve as an excellent educational foundation for this career. 


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Student Activities Programming Board Director