Program Administrator Family

Program Administrator Family


This family encompasses all positions involved in some aspect of administration or oversight of program elements of varying degrees, size and significance. Scope varies from assisting in coordination of various project elements with limited responsibility and impact, to handling all aspects of an entire project or program including responsibility for planning, budgeting, directing and evaluating.

Click here for a PDF printable version.


Typically minimum qualifications range from a baccalaureate degree and limited professional experience at entry level to a master’s degree and/or extensive experience.


Level 1

Level 2

*May be in addition to level 1 duties 

Level 3

*May be in addition to level 1 & 2 duties 

Education and Experience

Education and experience at start BA/BS with 1-3 years of related experience.

BA/BS with 3+ years of related experience or

Masters with 1+ year of related experience.

Masters or advanced professional degree with 3+ years of experience.


(Standardized vs. Interpretation)

Provides support/maintenance to established programs and projects.

Works from existing guidelines and information.

May involve program or policy development. Establishes and defines programs, program guidelines and/or projects.

May be responsible for large programs.

Develops, operates and maintains a large program or significant elements of several programs including planning, budgeting, evaluation, and strategic direction.


Budgetary Authority

No budgetary authority.

Smaller discretionary funds must be routed and approved through proper channels and follow departmental guidelines.

May develop budgetary proposals for programs or projects.

May manage approved budgets. Some discretionary control over expenditures.

Develops and manages complex multiple program budgets, or complex single program budget that is significant in scope to overall unit budget. 

Ability to adjust budget(s) or expenditures with proper approval, as opportunities arise.

Contacts and Communications

Primary contacts are with individual students and peers in own unit or other departments within the university.  Other contacts may include outside agencies and occasional groups.  Follows standardized information and procedures.

Interacts and communicates with a broad range of people in individual and group meetings within and outside of the university.  Initiates and develops relations with outside groups and agencies.

May cultivate sponsors/partners for program or program activities

Interacts and communicates with a broad range of higher-level contacts in individual and group meetings within and outside of the university. 

Highly refined communications skills play critical role in ultimate outcomes.  These outcomes can be critical to the well being of the program(s), project(s), department, or university.

Cultivates, and recruits major donors for unit or school budgets.

Program Coordination

Assists in coordination of program or project elements.  Could be responsible for a smaller program and/or project(s).

Assists with providing programmatic support.

Coordinates parts of, or manages various elements of programs or projects.

Guides, manages, and expedites responsibilities and sets priorities.

May have responsibility for overall project/program management.

Administers entire large program(s).

Develops external relationships, creates markets, arranges, or oversees logistical activities at a macro level.

Decision Making

Makes decisions and takes action using standardized guidelines. May seek supervisory support.

Makes decisions and takes action, using guidelines with the ability to interpret and make decisions based on professional judgment.

High degree of independence and discretion in determining how to accomplish goals.


General nature of work involves standardized procedures, processes and knowledge base.

Work involves situation requiring adaptive responses due to changing priorities and unusual circumstances. Frequent requirement to make decisions and balance priorities.

Consistently requires in-depth analysis involving issues of highest complexity and variety.

Heavy demands due to changing priorities, and challenging situations; risk and adverse impact on the agency exist in decisions. 

Supervision of Others

May direct activities of student workers.

May involve the direction and/or lead of student workers (includes undergraduate and graduate students) and/or one classified/unclassified staff member.

May involve the direction and/or supervision of student workers (includes undergraduate and graduate students) and/or one classified/unclassified staff member.

Supervision Received Close to moderate supervision is received. Work is reviewed more frequently. Little or no supervision received. Minimal daily supervision. Self directed with supervision as needed.



May suggest changes to existing policies and procedures within standardized program guidelines.

Some requirement to innovate or create new policies, procedures or new programs.

Substantial and consistent responsibility for creation, development and design of new programs, methods, systems, procedures, and policies; creating new ideas and/or original work are primary function.