What is a Dean of Students?
Also known as a Dean of Student Affairs, a Dean of Students assists college students in various areas, from admissions to social program development. He or she will help new students get acclimated to campus life, assist with financial aid and housing processes, and overlook programs for international and transfer students. A Dean of Students essentially acts a liaison between a student and the institution the student attends.
Deans of Students are employed in public and private colleges and universities across the U.S. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides statistics about postsecondary education administrators, which includes Deans of Students. The BLS reports that this group can expect to see a 9 percent job growth rate through 2024. Though largely impacted by budgets at individual schools, this job growth is expected due to a continuing increase in admissions that will lead to a need for more administrators focusing on many areas, such as student affairs.
Dean of Students Duties and Responsibilities
Create and Oversee Student Services Programs
Act as a Student Advocate
Participate in School Policy Development
Dean of Students Skills
A Dean of Students should possess advanced verbal and written communication skills in addition to strong leadership skills. They should be able to work with people of diverse backgrounds and to work collaboratively with administrators, teachers, parents and students. Strong organizational, problem-solving and team building skills are essential. A successful Dean of Students is also a detail-oriented strategic thinker with above-average time management skills. In addition to these specific professional attributes, potential employers might seek Deans of Students who display the following skills.
Core skills Based on job listings and other sources we analyzed, employers want Deans of Students with these core skills. If you want to work in this position, focus on the following.
- Creating effective academic and social programs for a diverse student body
- Collaborating with administration, instructors and other staff to support students’ personal and academic success
- Designing and submitting budgets for various programs
- Reviewing student conduct cases and determining discipline as necessary
- Assisting in the development of school policies and procedures
Advanced skills While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Dean of Students toolbox and broaden your career options.
- Strong financial management skills
- Ability to react quickly and effectively to crises
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Dean of Students Q & A
What are some of the core duties performed by a Dean of Students?
What challenges does a Dean of Students face?
What skills do Deans of Students use most?
What should someone consider before becoming a Dean of Students?
What type of person is successful in this job?
What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect about being a Dean of Students?
Dean of Students Salary
Dean of Students Resources
The following additional resources have been assembled to help you research various aspects of being a Dean of Students as you contemplate this career. You will get more details about career requirements, networking opportunities and more.
On the WebUniversity Business
An online publication providing articles covering all aspects of college administration and other topics, many which would be of interest to Deans of Students. Relevant articles cover admissions, college life, student services and more.The Dean’s List
Presented by the Dean of Students Affairs of Trinity University, this blog offers a personal look at one who currently works in this profession. You can get an idea of how a Dean of Students works with students and staff to create a safe and enjoyable college experience.
Industry GroupsNASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education
Providing professional development and advocacy to Deans of Students through webinars, workshops, conferences and various publications, NASPA was established in 1918 and has members in every U.S. state and 25 countries.American College Personnel Association (ACPA)
Focusing on students who are enrolled in educational administration programs and who wish to pursue a career in student affairs, ACPA, which was established in 1924, offers publications, professional development and leadership and management programs.
BooksAssessment in Student Affairs 2nd Edition
A book that relays the use and importance of assessment for Deans of Students. Discusses how to design and implement assessments to create better programs for students.The Small College Dean: New Directions for Student Services, Number 116 1st Edition
A comprehensive review of the roles of deans in colleges, with extensive information about the rewards and responsibilities of managing a student affairs department.Managing Students (Managing Universities and Colleges: Guides to Good Practice) 1st Edition
A book providing an indepth look at methods and techniques for how to successfully work with diverse students.