Be a School Activities Director: Career Guide
Learn how to become a school activities director. Research the education requirements, training and licensure information and experience required for starting a career in school activities directing.
Requirements to Become a School Activities Director
School activities directors plan programs, instruction and curriculum for private or public schools. Directors are generally former teachers who have held other administrative posts.
These professionals have at least a bachelor's degree, as well as a teaching or educational administrator's license, depending on the state. The following table outlines common requirements to become a school activities director:
|Degree Level||Master's degree*|
|Degree Field||Education, curriculum and instruction or related field*|
|Experience||5+ years of experience in the field*|
|Licensure and Certification||A teaching or education administration license is required in most states*|
|Key Skills||Analytical skills, communication skills, decision-making skills, instruction skills, people skills*|
|Computer Skills||Computer-based training software, desktop publishing software, graphics and imaging software, word processing software**|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **O Net OnLine.
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree
Bachelor's degree programs in education typically last four years and cover instruction methods, effective teaching strategies and human development. Programs may be divided into concentrations such as elementary, middle or high school education.
- Participate in an internship. Programs typically offer internship or teacher training opportunities in which students can plan instruction and teach in a classroom under the supervision of a certified teacher. Such opportunities can provide aspiring school activities directors with first-hand experience working in schools with students.
Step 2: Obtain a Teacher's License
Most prospective directors become teachers in order to facilitate entry into education. Although specific requirements vary, in general prospective candidates must hold a bachelor's degree. Other requirements might include completing an approved training program, supervised teaching experience and successfully passing competency exams in basic skills, such as reading and writing. Teachers are typically required to complete continuing education to renew their license.
Candidates who hold a bachelor's degree in their subject yet have not completed the necessary education courses to become teachers may participate in alternative licensure programs. These programs may include teaching with a provisional license, under close supervision, while taking courses to fulfill state requirements. Other programs offer 1-2 semesters of advanced full-time study for college graduates to meet licensing requirements.
Step 3: Find an Entry-Level Position
Depending on their education, candidates may begin as kindergarten, elementary, middle or secondary school teachers. While elementary school teachers instruct one class in several subjects, middle and high school teachers typically specialize in various grade levels of a subject, such as math, English or history. Other duties might include attending professional meetings, educational conferences, training workshops and seminars.
Step 4: Earn an Advanced Degree
Administrative positions at public schools, including principals, vice principals and directors, need a master's degree in education administration or educational leadership. Admissions requirements may include a minimum number of documented years of teaching, several recommendations from principals or school leaders, a personal essay, previous transcripts and completion of the GRE (Graduate Record Exam).
Programs typically last 1-2 years and include courses in school law administration, research design and curriculum development for talented students. Some institutions offer principal internships, which include a set number of hours of performing administrative duties. Graduates may choose to become certified as principals.
Step 5: Earn an Administrator's License and Advance
Requirements for an education administrator's license typically include a master's degree, passing a state exam and on-the-job training with a mentor. Upon earning an education administrator's license, candidates can advance to positions within schools as activity directors.
Step 6: Continue Education
To keep their skills current, school activities directors are generally required to participate in continuing education courses in evaluation methods, curriculum training and teacher observation. Most states' departments of education have a list of approved institutions from which continuing education credits may be obtained.
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