Important Tips and Tools for Managing Students
Please review the following information for answers to commonly asked questions and resources for providing an optimal work experience for your student employee.
- Breaks/Lunch Period
Students working at least four consecutive hours must be allowed to take a paid break of at least ten minutes for each four hours they work; the break should fall approximately half-way through each four-hour shift.
Students working more than five consecutive hours must be given an unpaid lunch break of at least 30 minutes. This break is in addition to the paid break.
Breaks and lunch periods may not be accumulated and taken at the end of a shift (such as not taking a break & leaving early). Breaks are intended to provide a rest period during a shift in order to promote safety and productivity. Breaks and meal periods are regulated by Washington State rules: WAC 296-126-092
- Definitions and Codes
Speedkey (Budget Code in PeopleSoft FMS)
This is the budget code on the student hiring form that specifies what funding source the student will be paid from. The entire speedkey consists of 10 digits. Incorrect or incomplete codes will necessitate correction follow up and greatly slow processing.
Person authorized to approve hiring decisions for specified area/department and to authorize wage expenditures from the combo codes.
Special Note for CWU Centers: The CWU Center supervisors will complete the I-9 and PERS waiver with the student. The I-9 form should be completed online via MyCWU if possible. If completed online, the CWU Center will then scan the PERS waiver to the Student Employment Office at email@example.com. If a paper I-9 is completed, it must be scanned and sent to Student Employment as well. This allows us to review and correct the forms if necessary while the student is still in your office. You must then send us the original I-9 form and PERS waiver via interoffice mail to mailstop 7425.
Identifies the category of Student Employee earnings in the payroll system.
Job Code List (XLS)
Time frame defining the days covered by each pay check. CWU has two Pay Periods per month: 1st - 15th (paid on the 25th) and 16th - the end of the month (paid on the 10th of the following month). See the payroll schedule.
Project / Grant ID Number (PeopleSoft FMS)
The speedkey is required on the upload spreadsheet and other hiring documents. It identifies the specific "pot" of money the student will be paid from. The speedkey number is an 10 digit number.
Time and Attendance for Student Employees: Please refer to the Time and Attendance Guides.
Contact the Financial Aid Office (Barge Hall, Room 115 or 509-963-1611) with Work Study questions or concerns.
- Hiring Disabled Students
Supervisors must not discriminate against a student applicant or employee, that has a disability, who is otherwise qualified to perform the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodation must be made to employees, provided such accommodation does not create undue hardship on the conduct of the University's function. Contact Disability Services for guidance in determining reasonable accommodations for students with a disability.
- Hiring Students Under 18
If you are hiring a student under the age of 18, you must be aware of special conditions involved in hiring a minor. Full details on hiring a minor are available on the WA state L&I website.
- Restricted activities for minors
- Permitted working hours for minors
- Background check consent for minors (PDF)
How to hire a minor:
- Obtain a Parent/School Authorization Form (PDF). Before employing a minor, you must have the minor's legal guardian and school (during the school year) complete the Parent/School Authorization form and keep it in your files. Employers must keep the completed form on file. It must be renewed annually. When school is not in session, a school signature is not required.
- Obtain proof of minor's age. You must keep proof of age on file. Examples include a copy of a birth certificate or driver's license, or a witnessed statement of the parent or legal guardian.
- Keep employment records for 3 years after you hire a minor. You must keep information such as employee name, address, occupation, dates of employment, rate(s) of pay, amount paid each pay period and the hours worked. These records must be available to the employee on request at any reasonable time.
- How to Hire a Student
Please visit the How to Hire a Student page for full instructions and stipulations.
If your job offer in Recruiting Solutions or the upload spreadsheet (for rehires) is turned in late, it will delay the student's first pay check by one pay date.
(NOTE: Employers must notify students of this delay at the time of hire so they can plan their finances accordingly.)
Employers are responsible for knowing and correctly stating all information requested on the upload spreadsheet. Incomplete or inaccurate forms are returned to supervisors. This will delay when the student can be placed on the payroll.
- How to Pay a Student
Please read the university procedure on paying a student.
You are responsible for informing the student that their first pay check will be delayed if the hiring forms are received after the beginning of the payroll period. For example, if you start a student working on the 19th, you must have the completed the Upload Spreadsheet and send to HR Data by the end of the day on the 16th in order for the student to receive a check on the first payday, the 10th. (In addition, the student must have completed all of their paperwork, such as I-9, background check authorization form, PERS waiver, etc.) If the 16th falls on a weekend or a holiday, the deadline is the last working day BEFORE the 16th.
If the form is received after the first day or the pay period, the 19th in this example, you MUST notify the student that they will miss the payday on the 10th, and their first check will be on the 25th of the next month and will include hours worked from the 19th of the first month through the 15th of the next. Assure the student that all hours worked will be paid. Students are usually okay with waiting a pay period for their first check, IF they know about it and can plan their finances. But, as you can imagine, it would be very difficult to budget if they did NOT know about the delay.
If the student's job does not show up in Time and Attendance, contact the Payroll Department (firstname.lastname@example.org or ext. 2221) to find out why the student's name did not appear. DO NOT send the student to find out why they did not appear on the payroll; the department must inquire. In most cases the reason is that the upload spreadsheet was submitted late (or not at all) to Student Employment for the student, or there was a problem with it or a system glitch. Remember that a new upload spreadsheet must be done for each summer and academic year.
Student jobs cannot be set up to automatically split payments between two or more budget codes. If a student has more than one payroll assignment, the supervisor must ensure that hours are placed on the correct line. To have more job lines the supervisor will have to submit an upload spreadsheet with the other position numbers that reflect the additional budgets. Pay particular attention to Earn Code. Hours intended to be paid on Work Study must be paid on the correct line. Student Employment will not correct earnings if Work Study hours are placed on the wrong line. However, we will correct earnings if the problem was caused by Student Employment data entry error or a system or similar type error. Contact the Payroll office if you need to request that wage expense be moved from one Project ID to another Project ID. If the student has reached their maximum earnings on Work Study, excess hours will automatically switch over to regular student employment at the Work Study wage rate.
- How to Request a Student
All on-campus student jobs (Ellensburg and the Centers) are posted in Recruiting Solutions in MyCWU.
All student jobs must have a position number and a job description number. Below are the instructions to find your position number and to request a new job code/position number:
The first step is to find the position number that goes with your posting. To view the actual position numbers for your current staff, in MyCWU > navigate to Main Menu > Human Resources > Manager Self Service > CW HR Transactions > View Employee Personal Information.
The position numbers are set up by using 6 criteria that need to match. They are:
- Job Code
- Reports To
- Location Code
- Union (not used for students employees)
If any one criteria is different, the position number must be different.
Below are the steps to take if you need a new position number:
First check to see if there’s a job code already set up that you can use: Job Code List (XLS)
If you do not find a job code number you can use, please contact the Student Employment Office at (509) 963-1202 for further assistance. You will need to email to the Student Employment Office a word document with the information you prepared to create the job code (job summary, required qualifications, preferred qualifications, job duties, educational benefits, hourly pay, schedule, hours per week, and working conditions).
The next step is to request a new position number:
In MyCWU > click on Manager Tab > Manager Self Service > Request a New Position > Click Add
You will be emailed the new position number after it has been created. When you receive your position number, sign into Recruiting Solutions and “create a job opening”: MyCWU > Main Menu > Human Resources > Recruiting > Create Job Opening
We have a comprehensive Recruiting Solutions Guide (PDF) to assist you with navigating the system. This guide has information on how to create and modify student job postings, how to move applicants through the workflow, how to hire your finalist, and more.
Contact Human Resources at x1202 if you need immediate assistance.
- Monitoring Student Hours/Earnings
It is the employer's and the student's responsibility to ensure students do not exceed the number of hours they are allowed to work. Do not schedule (or allow) students to work beyond these limits.
Employers must ensure that Work-Study students do not exceed their per term award amount. Once the student earns their full term award, they can continue working if a regular student job was submitted on an unload spreadsheet PRIOR to scheduling additional hours.
Per federal law, employers must pay students for all hours worked - no exceptions.
- Number of Max Hours Students Can Work
Students may begin working their increased hours during breaks immediately after they complete their last final exam.
Visit the Student Eligibility/Max Hours page for information on hour caps by student type and number of credits enrolled.
If a student will not be enrolling in the next quarter, their job should be termed after their last final.
Special Note: All students EXCEPT international students may average their hours over a calendar month. So, for example, they could work 21 hours one week, 19 the next, etc. as long as they do not exceed the 20 hour per week average. International students have an absolute per week limit due to their special visa status.
Less than Full-Time Students (6 - 11 credits, 5-9 if a graduate student):
Are limited to 69 hours per month during ALL months, including breaks.
If a student drops below full time credits within a term, the 69 hrs/month limit applies, beginning with the month they drop.
Dropping below full time credits during any term of the academic year may affect the number of hours a student can work during Summer quarter.
Holidays that fall in the middle of the quarter: Students must still work only the 20 or 15 hours/week. Student employees are still enrolled in classes during those holidays, so they cannot work extra hours.
See the Washington State Code for additional information.
If a student works in excess of 40 hours in one week (Sunday - Saturday), they must be paid the standard overtime rate. Overtime is not allowed for student employees except during breaks. If a student is employed in two or more departments, the department that works the student beyond 40 hours in the week is the department that is responsible for paying the overtime.
Students cannot be paid overtime through the Work-Study Program. Overtime must be paid as Regular Student Employment.
- Pay Dates
Students are paid twice per month, on the 10th and 25th (same as staff and faculty). Hiring in PeopleAdmin needs to be done by the first day of the pay period in order to be included on Time and Labor for that pay period. Students whose forms arrive after the deadline will have a delay in the first pay check by one pay date. Students who do not have sufficient enrollment or a current I-9 form on file will not be placed on payroll even if the hiring form is received by the deadline. Employers are responsible for ensuring that students are aware of this delay. See the payroll schedule for specific dates.
Pay Period Pay Date
1st - 15th of each month pay date is the 25th of the same month
16th - 31st of each month pay date is the 10th of the following month
If the 10th or 25th falls on Saturday, payday is the day before (Friday); if on Sunday, payday is the next day (Monday).
Students will have direct deposited funds available ON payday, NOT BEFORE! Students who elect to have paychecks mailed will receive their check through US Mail. Special pay checks may be picked up at the Cashier's Office with picture ID in the Cashier area in Barge Hall, Room 104. Students must show a photo ID.
Direct deposit can be set up under self service.
- Pay Rates
All student employees must be paid on an hourly basis except for certain established salaried positions. Employers may set the hourly wage for all students except State Work-Study student employees. Per program rules, State Work-Study wages are set by Student Employment, and are comparable to civil service rates.
Wages should be based on skills and qualifications required for the job. It is not appropriate to set an hourly wage based solely on student status or Work-Study eligibility. The minimum wage in Washington state is established each year on January 1. Please check for the current minimum wage in Washington State.
- Reporting On-the-Job Injuries
If a student employee is injured on their on-campus job, the injury should be reported to you immediately. Please have the student fill out the CWU Online Employee Accident Report Form.
As an employee of CWU, students are covered by Worker's Compensation Industrial Insurance. This insurance will cover all medical expenses associated with work-related injuries and may cover lost wages if the student can't work because of injuries.
Contact Human Resources at 509-963-1286 if you have questions about Worker's Compensation. For safety concerns, please contact EHS at (509) 963-2252.
- Student Employee Conduct Guidance
- Student Employee Defined
Student Employee: A student employee is a person hired in a temporary role position on campus who is also enrolled at least half time (6 credits for undergraduate students, 5 for graduate students).
There are 3 main types of Student Employee:
Regular Student Employee - Students who work on-campus and are not awarded Work-Study. Employers pay 100% of the student's hourly wage. The vast majority of campus jobs are regular jobs.
Federal Work-Study (FWS) - Students are awarded FWS by the Financial Aid Office. FWS is a federally funded financial aid program that usually pays 65-75% of a student's hourly wage. The wage rate must be based on job duties and the current rate for similar positions. Non Washington State residents will be awarded FWS unless there is a compelling reason to award SWS instead (see below).
State Work-Study (SWS) - Students are awarded SWS by the Financial Aid Office. SWS is a state funded financial aid program that pays 60% of a student's hourly wage. Per program rules, SWS wages must be comparable to on-campus civil service wage rates. These wage rates are set by Student Employment and are determined by comparison of the Job Description to the WA Dept. of Personnel position classification tables. Typically SWS is awarded to Washington State residents, and priority consideration will be given to those who find jobs related to their major/minor or career goals, high demand or high skill level jobs. SWS may also be awarded if FWS funds are exhausted. A very small number of non WA residents may be awarded SWS for SWS special projects under very limited circumstances.
Because Work-Study Funds are limited, many qualifying students do not receive an award. Awards are made to students on a first-come, first-served basis. Please see details. Most students are hired through the Regular Student Employment Program using departmental funding.
- Termination of Employment
Student Employees are hired on a temporary basis. However, in support of the mission of CWU to prepare students for enlightened, responsible and productive lives, supervisors of student employees should use the Corrective Action Plan for disciplinary action. This plan can be a part of a positive experience on campus that will help with the student employee’s development. As supervisors of student employees you have an obligation and an opportunity to ensure that the student employee’s experiences working on campus is meaningful, intentional, promotes growth and complements their academic pursuits. This Corrective Action Plan will aid student employees in developing a strong work ethic and gain life skills that are needed to market themselves.
The Corrective Action Plan will ensure student employees will have every opportunity to succeed. This program will give the student employees the tools and training necessary to enhance their job performance and skills. Everyone suffers when there are mixed message concerning misconduct. With this plan there will be clear communication which will leave little room for misunderstanding. When this plan is properly carried out, challenges are often resolved before they get out of hand. Much of the responsibility for improvement is placed, as it should be, back on the employee.
In the spirit of the campus wide coaching process, the supervisor should work with the student employee first to identify if the issues at hand are due to a lack of aptitude/performance, attitude/behavior, or available resources (more training). Before any corrective action takes place the supervisors should make sure the student has the skills and abilities to do the job. The supervisor needs to make sure that the student understands the expectations; they have received the proper training and have the knowledge and skills to be successful in their job.
This Corrective Action Plan paired with positive reinforcement will give managers the tools they need to make fair, consistent, and legal disciplinary decision. Because the corrective action is based on communication and collaboration, this process will also help the employees improve which is the ultimate goal.
Performance Evaluations: It is recommended that supervisors give students quarterly or yearly performance evaluations. This gives the opportunity to provide positive feedback to a student employee to reinforce appropriate work ethic and promote appropriate behavior. If the employee is performing in a manner that is less than satisfactory, the supervisor should speak to the student and provide clear expectation of what is considered acceptable performance.
Reminder 1 (Oral Warning) When a problem arises supervisors should clarify what the problem is with the student employee. They need to explain what needs to change and coach the employee so they are successful in implementing the change. This could be helping them determine steps, actions or processes that promote the more appropriate behavior. The student must be given enough time and opportunity to improve. The supervisor should notify the employee any further problem will lead to the next step of disciplinary action. On the other hand, the employee is also advised that this action will be deactivated and their slate will be wiped clean is if he/she cleans up their act with no further incidents.
Reminder 2 (Written Notice) The second reminder lets the student employee know that the situation has become more serious. They should be told they will be receiving a memo, after the meeting, documenting the outcome of the meeting. The problem should be explicitly discussed with the student. They should be notified of the possibility of termination if corrective action is not immediately taken. The student can earn the right to have the memo deactivated and removed if they go a certain period of time with no further problems. This allows the student a chance to wipe the slate clean. The memo should specify the area needing improvement, as well as a timeframe for improvement of the issues. Both the student and the supervisor should sign and date the memo. The supervisor should keep the original for their files, making a copy for the student.
Notice of Termination: If no improvement is shown within the time frame given in the Reminder 2 (Written Notice) termination would be the next step. The misconduct must be fully documented and discussed with the student at the time they are notified of their termination.
In terminating a student’s employment, supervisor’s must ensure they do not violate the University’s Affirmative Action Policy, and that the termination is handled in a manner that respects the student’s dignity.
Supervisors are responsible to verify that student employees return keys or other University equipment/supplies when employment ends. In addition supervisors are responsible to end computer access and verity that electronic key access has been terminated when student employment has ended.
Appeals: The employee should attempt to resolve any issues related to their job performance, working relationship, working condition, and hours worked with their supervisor first. If the issues are not resolved the employee can take their appeal to the head of their department. The final say should rest with the department head. The department head should consider all the facts, conduct any necessary investigation and may also review the matter with the Student Employment office if needed.
- Updating a Student Job
Manager Self-Service allows you to view information and process changes for those students who report to you.
How to Access Manager Self-Service:
Go to MyCWU > Click Sign In at the top right of the page > Enter your username and password
Click the Manager Tab > Manager Self Service > Pick the appropriate transaction
Questions? Call (509) 963-2277
Late changes will not appear until the following Pay Period.
View and print the current Payroll Schedule on the Payroll website.
- Volunteer Hours
Employers are prohibited from accepting volunteer hours from their paid Student Employees, per the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
Volunteer hours cannot be requested/suggested, or otherwise solicited by employers. Students cannot be pressured or coerced in any form to volunteer. Students cannot receive any real/implied, present or future reward/penalty for volunteering or not volunteering hours.
Employers may accept volunteer hours when: They are offered of the student's free will, AND the student is not otherwise employed by the department doing similar work, AND the student is not employed anywhere on-campus doing similar work, AND the student does not have a Work-Study position in that department.
The federal FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT does not permit volunteer hours except under very limited conditions. Please contact Student Employment or your assigned HR Consultant if you have questions.
- Work Study
Please contact Financial Aid for Work-Study questions or concerns.
- Your Role as a Student Employee Supervisor
- Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Policies
Employers must adhere to all applicable policies when recruiting, interviewing, and hiring student employees. Students who believe they have experienced employment discrimination based on any of the above mentioned circumstances should be referred to the Human Resources Investigator. All employment grievances based on discrimination are processed through that office & utilize the Affirmative Action Grievance Procedures.
- Appointing Authorities
- Giving Feedback
Giving feedback to your student employees (PDF). A tool on how to talk with them.
- Inspiring and Motivating
- Interviewing Student Employees
Supervisors must avoid any Prohibited Pre-Employment Inquiries as outlined in WAC 162-12. Interview questions should be based on job duties and necessary qualifications, and the same questions should be asked of all applicants. Be sure to avoid any questions regarding gender or age bias or other inappropriate inquiries.
Interview Questions (PDF)
Reference Check Questions (PDF)
Employers must ensure that students have a clear understanding of their duties & responsibilities prior to beginning work. Hiring a student is a responsibility which requires planning by the employer. It is imperative that you inform the student of office procedures such as, safety rules, what to do in an emergency situation; how to respond to a fire alarm; where the first aid kit, fire extinguisher, and other safety equipment is located; make sure they are aware of evacuation routes and procedures; etc.
Students should understand the hours they are expected to work, how requests for time off are handled, how/when to call in sick, departmental dress code, etc. Employers must also provide basic information, such as the location of restroom, where coats & personal belongings should be kept, departmental policy regarding beverages/food at the work station, etc.
In many cases, this may be a student's first work experience. A clear understanding of expectations set forth at the beginning helps prevent misunderstandings, and the necessity for taking corrective action. Communicating regularly with your students greatly helps both of you.
Praise your students often when they do a good job. This will encourage them to do their best, and when you need to correct them, they are less likely to resent it. They won't be inclined to feel like the only time they hear from you is when you have complaints about their work.
Dealing honestly and promptly with inappropriate behavior problems can often stop bigger problems from developing later. Don't assume they somehow "know" you are happy or unhappy with their work - tell them. They cannot know how you judge their work unless you tell them. When correcting an employee, do so privately and in a civil manner that respects their human dignity. Do not humiliate them by reprimanding them in front of other employees or the public. In short, treat them the way you would like to be treated if you were in their place.
Confidentiality Statement (DOCX)
Dress Code (DOCX)
Ethics Principles for Student Employees (PDF)
FERPA Statement (DOCX)
How to Hire a Student
Required Student Training
Sample Workplace Expectations Contract (DOCX)
Technology Agreement (DOCX)
University Policies (See: Student Forms)
Customer Service (PDF)
Performing Our Best (PDF)
Student Employee Success (PDF)
- Performance Evaluations
Supervisors should offer on-going verbal feedback about a student's job performance (so they can assess their strengths & weaknesses). If unsatisfactory work or behavior is identified, supervisors should speak to the student immediately, offering suggestions and an opportunity to improve. They won't just somehow "know" unless you tell them! Written performance evaluations (PDF) are not required for Student Employees. However, they are recommended as good practice.
- Supervisor Checklist
Supervisor Checklist (PDF) - tool for supervisors to use the first week of employment.
- Training for Supervisors of Student Staff
- If you log into CLA Online (Percipio) and browse the Library (left of Search function at the top).
- Choose CWU Library and then Supervisors of Student Employees,
- You will be taken to that Channel, which has resources specifically selected for supervisors of student employees.
- You'll see resources you can Watch, Read, or Listen to.
Return to the Student Employment Page
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