College administrators, also known as postsecondary administrators, are involved in developing, coordinating, managing and maintaining the numerous programs utilized by colleges. There are a variety of administrators. Many administrators specialize in one area such as financial aid.
The college president oversees the entire college operation and supervises all the administrators. Admissions directors oversee the student admissions processes and recruitment activities. Provosts, also called chief academic officers, assist presidents, prepare budgets, make faculty appointments and tenure decisions and establish academic programs and policies.
The dean of student affairs manages extracurricular activities, counseling services and student housing. Financial aid directors oversee the programs which provide students financial aid such as loan programs, grants and scholarships. They also manage the collection of tuition and fees and maintain student transcripts. Colleges and universities have other administrative positions such as director of alumni affairs, director of public relations and chief planning officer.
- Prepare and administer budgets
- Establish operational policies and procedures and make modifications when necessary
- Recruit, hire and train personnel
- Produce and maintain financial reports
- Assist with formulating admission requirements
- Provide assistance to staff and faculty
- Appoint individuals to faculty positions
- Assist with developing course credit policies
College administrators need strong managerial, interpersonal, communications and organizational skills. A solid foundation in computer science and data processing is helpful for the occupation.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a 14 percent growth in the employment of postsecondary education administrators. The demand for postsecondary administrators is expected to grow due to the projected growth of college students. A substantial part of the growth will occur in the private segment of higher education. The growth of colleges that cater to working adults will increase the demand for college administrators.
In 2006 the median annual earnings for postsecondary school administrators was $73,990. Some of the highest paying positions in 2006 were chief academic officer, academic dean of business and chief development officer.
Education, Certification, and Licensing
Most college administrators have earned a master's degree in a subject such as higher education administration, business, education, information management, student personnel administration, finance or student counseling. Some colleges and universities require postsecondary administrators to have a Ph.D.
- American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
- NASPA, Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education
The top employees are public and private colleges and universities.
Schools for Postsecondary Administrators are listed in the Browse Schools Section.