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Director Resources: Job Description

Director of an off-campus semester program

As the director an off-campus program, you will have the following responsibilities:

Prior to the program

  1. Assisting in the revision of the program brochure and catalogue copy concerning your specialized course and any other content changes you wish to recommend.
  2. Assisting in the recruitment of applicants through participation in the Off-Campus Programs Expo, visiting classes where appropriate, and by holding information meetings for interested students.
  3. Making the preliminary selection of participants after reviewing the applications and interviewing each candidate.  (The final acceptance of the applicants is made in consultation with the Director of Off-Campus Programs.)
  4. Holding one or more orientation sessions prior to the end of the semester; the session(s) will include completion of various required paperwork.
  5. Working with the travel agent as needed to coordinate student travel arrange-ments.
  6. Gathering passport photocopies, waivers, etc., for submission to the Off-Campus Programs Office. (The list of documents is provided, along with a timeline, on a director’s checklist that OCP will provide.)
  7. Working with partner institution(s) to ensure that arrangements are in place for courses to be taught by their staff, classrooms for Calvin courses, student housing, etc. 
  8. Preparing to teach your two courses (see below).

Reduced course load:  In recognition of the non-academic duties the program director performs while on-site, he/she teaches two courses, as opposed to the normal three. 

Program directors are expected to arrive on-site 1-2 weeks prior to the students to be sure all arrangements are in place before they arrive.  In recognition of both this early departure and the work done during the recruitment/orientation period, program directors receive an Interim course release or (fall programs only) a summer stipend. 

During the program

  1. Teaching two courses—one in your particular discipline but related as much as possible to the program site, and another on the local culture.  The “culture course” is the framework for trips to various cultural sites.  Guest speakers are also a highlight of this course. 
  2. Assisting with CCE fulfillment.  This is usually included in the culture course and will require some orientation, writing assignments, and evaluation on your part for students wishing to meet that requirement through the culture course.
  3. Acting as the Dean of Student Life, the Chaplain, the Registrar, the Academic Advisor, general “troubleshooter,” and even a substitute parent at times.  Various on-campus offices are available to help you whenever you need them. 
  4. Paying bills and keeping the financial records.  The Financial Services Office requires monthly reports. 

After the conclusion of the program

1. Submission of (within 1 month of the program’s end)
—a narrative report (reviewing the major events of the semester, suggesting changes to program structure, excursions, finances, etc.);
—a financial report (including recommendations re adjustments for future budgets).
2. Attendance at the next OCP Expo, to assist the incoming program director.

Throughout the year after your return, the director for the coming year will want to ask questions as he/she prepares to direct the program.  Your assistance to that person will be greatly appreciated! 

No job description or set of policy statements can cover all circumstances.  If you have a situation not covered in this document, please confer with the Director of Off-Campus Programs.


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