opportunities for student employees to build relations and basic skills that
enhance current employment, as well as future career pathways, through
participation in personal and professional development and encourage retention
and completion of degrees through a comprehensive student experience.
continual feedback to student employees for personal and professional
development through annual face-to-face performance-based evaluations conducted
by immediate supervisors.
student employees with the opportunity for advancement in pay which assists
with the affordability of a post-secondary education, as well as increased
responsibility through completion of program criteria.
student employee overall satisfaction of the student employment experience
reflected in annual student employment satisfaction survey results.
decision to implement the Career Pathing Program for student employees involved
reengineering the entire Student Employment Program. The first step implemented in the process was
the administration of a Student Employee Satisfaction Survey in the fall 2003. The Student Employee Satisfaction Survey was
created by the Office of Human Resources along with the assistance of
undergraduate students and student employment supervisors. The survey was implemented to enhance student
employment by acquiring insight into the attitudes and opinions of current
on-campus student employees. The
instrument was initially distributed by mail and incurred photocopy expense and
envelope purchase for 1,200 surveys.
Participants were encouraged to participate by being entered into a
drawing to receive one of five $20.00 gift certificates from Barnes and
Noble. The survey is now distributed by
email to all student employees on campus who have an active assignment defined
on the electronic hiring system (Banner). The electronic distribution of the
survey is done at no expense. Remark Web
Survey Software 5.0 is used to administer the survey and its results. The software is historically used by the
Office of Institutional Research at Northwest to administer over 50 surveys a
year and was not required as a new purchase for this event. Student employees
are compensated for their time to complete the survey. Supervisors are encouraged to allow students
to complete the survey while at work in hopes of increasing participation in
was then conducted in spring 2004 by undergraduate students, in a Marketing Research
class, in an effort to examine other college and university student employment
practices in relation to training and compensation. This survey was conducted by telephone, or if
the institution requested, by electronic format through email. The expense for this research included photocopies,
long distance telephone fees and postage which incurred a total expense of
all of the data was collected from both surveys, a Student Employment Advisory Board
was formed consisting of hand-selected exemplary student employment supervisors
and student employees. The Advisory
Board consisted of ten student employment supervisors, the Coordinator of
Student Employment, Director of Human Resources and three student
employees. The Advisory Board analyzed
the research results from both surveys to determine a plan for reengineering
the student employment program. Research
from the first satisfaction survey indicated that student employees were
dissatisfied with opportunities for advancement in pay; increased
responsibility and challenges; and to build relations that would enhance future
careers. The marketing research survey indicated that most colleges and
universities did not have training and development or pay advancement
opportunities for their student employees.
A plan was initiated to create a structured student employee development
program that provided opportunities for advancement, training and development
and performance based evaluations. The
criteria and process for advancement in the program was determined by the
Student Employment Advisory Board. The
Board met on an as-needed-basis and created the foundation of the program along
with the student employee performance evaluation tool (see “Additional
Resources” link for performance evaluation tool). There was no expense for the planning process
of the program.
Career Pathing Program Criteria
Ø A student employee must work within the
same department for both a fall and spring trimester (credit is granted for
a full trimester if a student begins employment later in the trimester but
still completes three training and development sessions for that trimester)
Ø A student employee must attend at least 3
of 8 personal and professional development opportunities offered per
trimester (students are paid for their time in attendance). Each session may last approximately 45 to
90 minutes based on the topic and/or presenter.
Ø A student employee must have an annual
satisfactory performance evaluation completed by their supervisor.
the criteria were determined, meetings were conducted with the Financial
Assistance Office, Payroll Office, VP of Finance Office and the Information
Technology Programming Department to discuss any changes, concerns or
ramifications in implementing the program, such as: financial assistance packages being affected
based on the opportunity for increased wage rates; special software and/or
programming that would need to take place to electronically implement the wage
increase and record advancements; payroll issues and finances that could be
the Coordinator of Student Employment and Director of Human Resources met with
all student employment supervisors to present the design and implementation of
the program and discuss concerns and address questions from the group. Subsequently,
ten departments, with an approximate total of 100 student employees, were
selected to be in the pilot stages of the program. It was crucial to select departments and
supervisors that enforced student employment policies and completed supervisor
requirements in a timely manner. Student
employees within the ten departments were invited to attend an introductory
meeting to become familiar with the program.
The program was emphasized as strictly voluntary and continues as such.
Office of Human Resources researched and selected eight presenters for the
first trimester of training and development (spring 2005). Each training session is offered three times within
the same day to allow student employees to attend between scheduled
classes. Training sessions are offered
on both personal and professional development issues. Presenters consist of a combination of
university faculty and staff, as well as professional speakers. Generally four off-campus professional
speakers and four on-campus speakers are scheduled each trimester. Most on-campus presenters have no fee and
incur no expense for their presentation.
Occasionally there may be photocopies made for participant handouts or a
meal expense for the presenter.
Off-campus professional speakers have various fees. Speaker fees have ranged from as little as
$150 to as much as $3,000 depending on the speaker, travel expenses and other
fees. A trimester of eight training
sessions has cost anywhere from $6,600 to $12,990. We have now established an annual budget of
$14,000.00 and plan accordingly. The university recently piloted a “community
learning” component to the program.
Community members are invited to attend the training and development
sessions for a fee of $25.00 per person.
Inviting community members allows students the opportunity to attend
sessions alongside experienced business leaders, while also providing training
and development opportunities for local businesses at a minimal fee. Funds generated from the community member
fees help support program expenses. It is difficult to ascertain the cost of
the program per person. The training and
development sessions, which involve the majority of the expense of the program,
are not only available to student employees but also to staff members and
students who may not be employed.
However, if the cost per person was based on those students who take
full advantage of the program (attended a minimum of three sessions per
trimester) the cost would be equivalent to approximately $70.00 per person. The
development and the administration of this program require no additional
full-time personnel. The entire program
is administered by the Office of Human Resources staff, which includes a
dedicated Student Employment Coordinator.
employees are compensated for their attendance at each of the training
sessions. Sessions may be anywhere from
45 to 90 minutes in length depending on the presenter and topic presented. Some students attend these sessions during
regular scheduled work hours which incurs no additional time or cost to the
University. Attendance of the participants
is recorded and distributed to each supervisor to verify documented time on
student employees provide a year of service to their department and complete
three training sessions each trimester they then participate in a face-to-face
performance evaluation with their supervisor.
The supervisor reviews their work performance and indicates to the
Office of Human Resources satisfactory or dissatisfactory performance. If satisfactory performance is indicated, the
student is eligible for a $.25 per hour wage increase the next trimester and
can repeat the same requirements to be eligible for an additional $.25 increase
each year of service.
with the wage increase is a new position level title for the student
Career Pathing Program results in many benefits to the University, the
students, individual departments and the community. Some of the known benefits are: promotes increased student employee
responsibility; creates opportunities for pay advancement; encourages continual
feedback for personal and professional development; promotes long-term
employment relationships with departments; encourages retention; aides in the
affordability of post-secondary education; allows for community learning
opportunities and aides in future career relations.