Students @ Work

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Students @ Work Program

The Students @ Work program is designed to support supervisors in facilitating student employees' reflection on their experiences in order to help students integrate and apply what they are learning in their positions and in the classroom to their future career.

While supervisors routinely converse with students on daily work assignments, they can be key contributors toward helping students connect the dots between not only "work and school" but work and future career aspirations.

The Students @ Work program utilizes a conversation format to guide dialogue between student employees and supervisors in order to help students:

  • See connections between work, school, and future career
  • Build self-awareness of skills, abilities, and areas for improvement
  • Reflect on college experiences in a more integrated manner
  • Connect with the institution and services available

On-Campus Employment Pays Off for Students

On average, 75% of all college students are employed while taking classes.  Studies show that students who work on campus 20 hours or less each week actually do better academically than those students who work off campus or do not work at all.

Other benefits for students include:

  • Working in a supportive environment with supervisors who take an interest in students' well being
  • Obtaining valuable work experience and professional references for resume development
  • Making friends with fellow staff and increasing engagement with campus life
  • Working close to class locations and benefiting from flexible hours
  • Developing critical skills employers seek
  • Clarifying academic and career goals

The Benefits of Investing in Student Employees

As a supervisor, the satisfaction of being a role model and sharing one's expertise, insight and passion with young professionals can be very rewarding.  Supervisors help to empower students to be the best they can be, and in return, supervisors benefit from improved morale and appreciative student staff who will flourish at the university.

Other benefits for departments include:

  • Gaining fresh perspectives from students' diverse experiences, academic knowledge, and enthusiasm for learning.  Often students can provide new insights into work processes and suggest ways of improving services.
  • Developing more meaningful relationships with your student workers and a stronger sense of community within the department can increase student employee retention and enhance the department's reputation and visibility among students for being a great place to work.
  • Accomplishing short-term, special projects that existing staff may not have the time or specialized skills to complete (i.e. help with marketing efforts requiring graphic design or computer software skills, student outreach activities, etc.).


Inspiration for the Students @ Work program is attributed to Dr. George Kuh, Founding Director of the Center for Postsecondary Research and the National Survey of Student Engagement, and the IOWA GROW initiative.