Assistant Director for Student Engagement - Programming

Bennington, Vermont, United States | Full-time


This position will start on August 1, 2024

Bennington College invites applications for an Assistant Director for Student Engagement - Programming to join the Student Life team. The Assistant Director for Student Engagement - Programming serves as the primary point of contact for the Office of Student Life in all inquiries pertaining to large-scale college wide programming. Specifically, this role works with Student Life, Academic Services and faculty to develop, plan and implement co-curricular activities and events for students, including New Student Orientation/Family Orientation, Fall Weekend, Late NIght Breakfasts, and the student Program and Activity Council (PAC) to plan weekly programs and activities such as Moonfest/Sunfest.  

The position is critical in creating a vibrant and healthy campus community, and for the development of student capacities articulated as fundamental to the Bennington education. All members of the Student Life staff are responsible for demonstrating learning and improvement in building intercultural competency skills, promoting a campus environment that supports student development and growth, academic enrichment, and positive interactions among students, staff and faculty.

Reporting to the Vice President and Dean of Student Life, the Assistant Director for Student Engagement - Programming will communicate with and interact with all constituencies, including current students and families, staff (including all the Student Life units), faculty, offices and programs in the Provost’s Office, Buildings and Grounds, Dining Services, and Communications and Marketing.  External relationships include, but are not limited to prospective students, parents and families, vendors and visiting artists and community partners. This position also works in close partnership with the Assistant Director of Student Engagement - Clubs and Organizations.

This position regularly works different hours than the traditional 9am-5pm working schedule in order to accommodate student activities and programming initiatives. Schedules are determined in consultation with the supervisor, and will equal 35 hours per week. The position will require frequent weekend/evening hours in order to accommodate student activities and programming initiatives. 

Bennington serves a diverse student population inclusive of members of ethnically/racially minoritized, international, LGBTQIA+, and disability communities as well as diverse gender identities, socioeconomic backgrounds, religions, and political beliefs. Our staff and faculty also reflect diverse and intersecting backgrounds and identities. All employees are expected to be respectful and responsive to these differences in the service of building community that promotes student and employee success and community cohesiveness. Each individual (faculty, staff and students) will be accountable for upholding these values. The College’s approach to pluralism and inclusivity—both as fields of inquiry and practice—is to prioritize flexible thought, and to invite the examination of access, value, power, and privilege through its institutional policies and areas of study. We encourage applicants from diverse realms of interest, backgrounds, experience, and accomplishment to apply.

General Responsibilities

  • Plans and executes large-scale campus events including New Student Orientation, Plan Day, Fall Weekend, and Late Night Breakfast.

  • Works closely with the student Program & Activity Council (PAC) to plan and organize a myriad of other student-driven concerts, showcases and social events, and MoonFest/SunFest (annual weekend concert event in spring)

    • Oversees Student Life programming schedule and promotes programming to other campus offices.

    • Monitors and manages Campus Activities budget, overseeing accounts administered by Program & Activity Council (PAC).  

  • Develops community engagement programming initiatives: 

    • Serves as community engagement programming resource and main contact for programming inquiries on the Bennington campus

    • Coordinates student outreach through a variety of tools including posters and social media posting.

    • Coordinates campus visits for community partners. 

    • Meets with students to discuss engagement programming opportunities based on interest/availability and desired outcomes. 

    • Organizes engagement beyond the school via partnering with the community. 

    • Manages and updates online database for community engagement programming opportunities

  • Oversees the management of the Student Center (excluding the community kitchen), UpCafe, and DownCafe. 

    • Works with the Student Employment Coordinator to recruit and supervise student workers.

    • Works with Buildings and Grounds and Office of Information Technology regarding equipment. 

  • Maintains collegial and collaborative working relationships with key administrative offices, including the Buildings and Grounds, Business Office, Communications, Dining Services, Registrar’s Office, and Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. 

  • Incorporates the campus well-being model, intercultural competency skills, diversity and social justice principles into student engagement.

  • Collaborate with other Student Life staff to plan large scale community service events throughout the year.

  • Performs other special projects or duties as assigned.

The position will require work to be performed in an office environment with substantial activities completed using a computer. Some standing, bending, reaching, stooping, walking, lifting (up to 50 lbs), pushing, pulling and climbing stairs may be required.  


  • Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of one year related experience required. Master's degree in related fields preferred.

  • Minimum of two years experience in event planning and management with student populations required; preferably in a higher education setting.

  • Current/valid driver’s license.

  • Ability to apply budgetary and fiscal planning techniques within financial constraints.

  • Must have a high attention to detail and demonstrated ability to successfully coordinate and facilitate projects independently and/or with limited supervision. Must be able to establish priorities and meet deadlines.

  • Knowledge of higher education student life trends and best practices preferred. Complimentary understanding of postsecondary education administration and governance.

  • Excellent planning, interpersonal, team-building, collaboration, and communication skills.

  • A strong commitment to and appreciation of diversity, equity and inclusion.  Demonstrated commitment to continued learning of issues, and practices of diversity and inclusion.

  • Capacity to multitask and prioritize tasks to accommodate the immediate needs of the office.

  • Knowledge of or familiarity with risk management policies and procedures.

  • Excellent oral and written communication and interpersonal skills. Experience presenting to groups.

  • Strong interpersonal skills necessary to maintain good relations and open communication with students and colleagues.  

  • Strong computer proficiency  (Word, Google, Excel, email) and experience with social media as avenues for promoting and encouraging engagement.

  • Ability to work a flexible schedule including evenings and weekends as needed.

  • The position requires successful completion of a background check.

The College is not able to sponsor an employment visa for this position. 

The College

Bennington College offers a comprehensive benefits program that includes medical, dental, vision, life and long-term disability insurance, retirement, and tuition benefits including Tuition Exchange scholarships. The College also offers an on-site fitness center as well as generous time off benefits.

Bennington College is a laboratory for innovation in higher education. At Bennington, learning and making—on campus and in the field—are inseparable, and its graduates are noted for their outsized impact on the world’s stage. This campus celebrates the ongoing making of work—shared on walls, in shows and performances, in lectures and readings, and in conversations—and believes that equity, diversity, and inclusivity are vital to a collaborative community. This position captures, contributes to, and reflects the ethos of this creative community.

Nestled at the foot of the Green Mountains in Vermont, the campus consists of approximately 370 acres. The College was named one of ten with the best architecture by Architectural Digest.  From campus, it is a short drive to the cultural offerings of the northern Berkshires in Massachusetts, Albany, New York, and many of Vermont’s top recreational centers. New York City, Boston, and Burlington, Vermont are all within three and a half hours by car.