Student Employee Development Toolkit

The Student Employee Development Toolkit is intended to be a resource for campus employers who recruit, hire, and develop student employees with career competencies and other transferrable skills.

Please check back for updates.

Recruitment, Job Descriptions, Job Postings, and Interviewing with Student Employees


Coming Soon….

Job Descriptions

Job postings are often times your first impression with students. They are the first time a student may learn about your department and the opportunities you are recruiting for. As a result, make sure your first impression is a positive one, keeps their interest and results in applications. Here are some easy to implement tips to create the perfect job posting:

Gender Decoder – Online resource to help you identify if your job description is using male or female coded words.

Getting Started with Handshake

Handshake is the online portal used for posting jobs, internships, registering for Career Fair, and more!

All student campus jobs have to be posted in Handshake for at least 3 days in order to have hiring paperwork go through Oracle and be approved by OFA.

Step 1: Sign up for an employer user account in Handshake. Each user should have their own employer user account in Handshake.

Step 2: Then either join your department’s company account if one has already been created. Or ask your department’s HR liaison to create a company profile for your department using the following naming convention: Name your company account Colorado State University – Department Name (dept code), e.g., Colorado State University – Career Center (8008). 

Each company/department account can have multiple users attached to its account. Best practices is for each user to use their own user account (no sharing account logins and passwords) and to use their individual email address (no shared emails accounts).

A video tutorial of how to set up an employer user account and join a company (department) account can be viewed here.

Handshake’s Help Center is an excellent resource to find answers to all of your employer Handshake questions, including:

Contact if you have any questions or run into problems with this step.

Student Eligibility

Eligibility to work on Colorado State University’s campus is determined annually, based on a student meeting the requirements below.  If a student no longer meets eligibility requirements, that student must stop working immediately. 

 Students must be: 

  • Admitted to a degree-seeking program (cannot be GUEST or INTO) at CSU – Fort Collins. 
  • School of Public Health Graduate students are considered degree seeking at CSU and can work on student hourly assignments (not work-study as their financial aid is not awarded directly by CSU). 
  • Teacher Licensure are also considered degree seeking for student employment purposes, as they can have financial aid/work-study per Title IV regulation (they can be both student hourly and work-study). 
  • Authorized to work in the United States 
  • International Students – On-campus employment 
  • F-1 Student Visa: May be employed on a limited basis (not to exceed 20 hours per week during the academic year) provided that working does not have a negative effect on their academic work. 
  • J-1 Exchange Student Visa: May be employed on a limited basis provided they have the approval of their sponsor. 
  • International Students – Off-campus Employment 
  • International students at CSU with employment eligibility questions, should contact International Student Services, Laurel Hall, Fort Collins, CO 80523, Phone: (970) 491-5917 
  • Please note that CSU is not able to employ a non-US citizen working in their home country (please contact HR for additional information). 
  • Maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress if on work-study 
  • At least half-time for work-study (6 credits undergraduate and 5 credits graduate) and enrolled in at least one credit for student hourly positions. 
  • Students can be enrolled in Planned Leave and remain a student hourly. They must plan to attend again the following semester. 
  • Zero credit suspension is run after census in the fall and spring; students enrolled in zero credits will have their student assignments suspended. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid with any questions. 
  • Students can begin to work the semester before the semester they will be enrolled, if we can confirm they are registered for that semester. New students (first year and transfer) will be able to access Handshake by the first week of June prior to their first small semester. 
  • Example: Registered in classes for fall, can start working on student assignment in summer.  
  • Awarded a work-study award to work in a work-study job 

Remote Hires 

Student employees can work remotely.  However, the employer must still have a way of monitoring the student’s performance during remote work to make sure the student is working, and to make sure the student is still doing quality work.

Job Posting Guidelines in Handshake

Job Postings 

The Career Center is committed to fair, legal and non-discriminatory employment set forth by applicable federal and state laws as well as CSU’s Human Resources and Office of Equal Opportunity policies and regulations.  Thus, Career Center requires that all open student employment positions be posted through the Handshake. Students who are enrolled in a degree-seeking program will be able to access Handshake through the Career Center website or through their RAMweb, the semester before their first semester of enrollment.  

*** In order to comply with all job posting requirements, be able to qualify for auto-job approval and enhance your posting, please use the On-Campus Student Employment – Handshake Job Posting Guide. ***

A video tutorial with step-by-step instructions on how to post an on-campus job can be found here.

Additional Job Posting Resources

CSU Career Competencies – At CSU, we have identified 10 career competencies for our students. Career competencies are talking points around important skills that employers look for when hiring students. While the language may vary somewhat depending on employers and industries, as student supervisors we hope you will help your student staff identify the career competencies that will be developed in their jobs. All jobs develop some of these essential skills, but student employees may not recognize this.  To help in the process, all job postings will now not only lists the job responsibilities but also the competency developed while doing that task.

Interactive Career Competencies Activity – This is an activity for students and supervisors to discuss career competencies that the job requires and that they want to develop for future goals, using a reflect, plan and dream model.

For additional information on reposting, editing, or duplicating job postings, please visit:

Handshake’s tutorial for posting a job as an on-campus employer can be found herePlease note that at CSU we have some specific requirements which are outlined in the Handshake job posting guide.

*** Handshake Quick Links ****

Types of Campus Employment

There are three types of student employment at Colorado State University that have different eligibility requirements. Regardless of the type of employment, all student employees are part-time employees that are hired and working under applicable federal and state labor laws and CSU policies.

Need-Based Work-Study

Need-based work-study is awarded to degree-seeking students, enrolled at least half-time, based upon documentation of financial need and the availability of funds.  Students must first have completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine their eligibility (additional documentation may be requested).  If eligible, students may receive need-based work-study as part of their financial aid awards package.

Request Work-Study

The request work-study program (formerly referred to as Merit work-study) provides degree-seeking students, enrolled at least half-time, without financial need, an opportunity to use work-study funds.  No-need work-study is applied for via the “Request Work-Study” application on a student’s RAMweb, beginning in early May for the following academic year. Funds are limited, and not all students will be eligible; thus, not all applications will result in an award.  

  • Additional Work-Study rules, renewing, requests and other information 
  • Please visit the Office of Financial Aid Work-study page for more information or contact them at

Campus Student Hourly

Campus student hourly positions are available to Colorado State University students throughout campus.  Any qualifying undergraduate or graduate student who is enrolled in at least one (1) credit and admitted to a degree-seeking program is eligible to work in a campus hourly employment position.

These positions are funded by the University, and the employers are in campus departments and administrative areas. The average wage for campus employment is $14.07/hour.  Position openings may be viewed on our electronic job board on RAMweb or employers may be contacted directly.  Positions are available year-round, with the majority being available at the beginning of the fall term.

Volunteer vs Employee

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), when an employer-employee relationship exists, and the employee is engaged in work that is subject to the FLSA, the employee must be paid at least the Federal minimum wage (in Colorado, the state minimum wage rate trumps the Federal minimum wage rate). Additionally, an individual shall not be considered a volunteer if the individual is otherwise employed by the same public agency to perform the same type of services as those for which the individual proposes to volunteer; the phrase “same type of services” means similar or identical services.



Retention Requirements for Personnel/HR –

Retention of Student Employees

Student Performance Evaluations

*****Make sure this aligns with language used in ELEVATE ******

Performance Evaluations: After the student is given an initial orientation and training, it is important to assess the student’s understanding and performance of the position.  This evaluation will also help determine whether the orientation and training provided were sufficient to clearly communicate and demonstrate the expectations. 

 Students should, at a minimum, receive a formal, written evaluation at least once per year; though at the end of each semester would be a best practice. 

Evaluation forms for this purpose are available on the Career Center website: Long version and short version

Departments may choose to use their own evaluation format, however we have created both a short and long version downloadable evaluation form.  Supervisors should complete a written evaluation of the student’s performance at the following time intervals: 

  • Within 30 days of hire (informal with documentation or formal evaluation form) 
  • At the time of any pay increases and/or promotions (written) 
  • After one year of employment (formal, written) 
  • At the time the position is terminated (written) 

All written evaluations (formal or informal) should be sent to the Office of Financial Aid to become part of the student’s employment file, which is covered under the Federal Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  Records should be kept for 7 years.  

 The supervisor should meet and discuss the evaluation with the student employee. Both the supervisor and student employee should verbally and/or in writing (email, for example) agree or acknowledge receipt of the evaluation. Ongoing, informal evaluations should be done at least once a semester to ensure that students are being appropriately mentored in their position and are abiding by the expectations of the position and department. 

1. Issues and Concerns 

Upon completion of an evaluation, whether formal or informal, a supervisor may identify issues or areas of concern.  These may be addressed by taking these steps: 

  1. Identify the concern or problem 
  2. Ask for and listen to the student employee’s perspective of the situation 
  3. Ask how you can help the student employee successfully correct the issue 
  4. Ask about any roadblocks preventing the student from achieving the expectation 
  5. Establish a time frame for review of the expected performance 
  6. Document in writing the conversation and plan 

2. Poor Performance 

When job performance does not meet job expectations, using the CEDAR method1 can help the student get back on track with job performance and the supervisor back on track with departmental needs.  

  1. C: clarify the performance the supervisor expects to see 
  2. E: explain to the student employee how they are actually performing 
  3. D: the difference between C and E 
  4. A: agree on steps to fix the problem 
  5. R: review the outcomes 

 Poor or unsatisfactory work performance may be grounds for discharging a student employee. Poor or unsatisfactory work performance may include, but not be limited to: 

  1. Failure to report to work without notifying supervisor 
  2. Continual absences from work 
  3. Tardiness without notifying supervisor 
  4. Failure to perform job duties or to follow reasonable request by supervisor 

 The supervisor should systematically address the poor performance or unsatisfactory work with the student employee in an effort to improve job performance in a supportive and educative manner. When the CEDAR method (previously stated above) has been unsuccessful, then it is time to contact your department’s HR Liaison or Central HR. 

Student Employment Week (SEW)

Each year Colorado State University celebrates National Student Employment Week during the second full week of April. This week enables us to thank Colorado State University students for the contributions they make as employees to the University and the surrounding community.
This year, National Student Employment Week will be held April 12 – April 16, 2021.

Here are ways to virtually recognize and celebrate your student staff:

  • Start a Kudoboard or send a thoughtful card or email
  • Mail department swag or schedule a socially distanced swag bag pick up
  • Feature your student staff on your social media platforms

Student Employee Of the Year (SEOTY)

Coming Soon….



Are you ready to elevate your student supervision skills to new heights? Whether you are a first-time supervisor or a seasoned supervisor of student staff, these courses will provide you with the necessary foundation, tools, and skills to effectively manage student staff. You will also gain the opportunity to build community with other student supervisors on our campus to take your learnings past the program and into your daily work life.

You are an integral part of student success and retention here at CSU. By elevating you, we elevate students.

Learners must complete all 6 Basecamp courses and attend at least two Ascent fast track conversations in order to satisfy all 8 credit requirements for Elevate Student Supervision Certificate Program.  Please see below for descriptions of all mandatory Basecamp courses and Ascent Electives.’

*** Please be sure you are on the On-campus Student Supervisors monthly newsletter to receive course schedule updates! ***

BASECAMP: Hiring basics and student supervision essentials (must take all six courses)

Hiring Basics – Recruitment, Job Descriptions, and Interviewing with Student Employees, 120 minutes
Interested in hiring student employee(s)? Are you curious about the next steps? Join us to learn and techniques on recruiting students, writing job descriptions, utilizing the job posting platform to maximize applicant exposure, understanding basic EO requirements and the interview process that will help you find the best applicant(s) for your role(s). 

Hiring Basics – Onboarding and Retention with Student Employees, 90 minutes
Onboarding new employees is a multifaceted process. Onboarding is not only a time to train someone on the day-to-day of their role but is also an opportunity to share the values and culture of your organization with new staff. Tangible takeaways from this session include understanding the importance of onboarding, involving multiple team members in the onboarding experience, and creating a structured onboarding process. 

Hiring Basics – Navigating Tough Conversations and Off-Boarding with Student Employees, 90 minutes
Students, like us, have busy and rich lives outside their place of employment. How can you, as an employer, respond to your students when outside factors start to impact their work? How do you off-board a student when their term of employment comes to an end, either because of graduation or other reasons for leaving? This session will walk you through some strategies and tactics to put in your toolbox for those tough conversations as well as provide insight on creating a comprehensive off-boarding process for your employees. Come ready to share your thoughts in this interactive session!  

Student Core Growth: What Students Have and How They Can Develop, 120 minutes
Student Supervisors have the large task of helping develop student staff while also making sure the work is completed. Using CSU’s core competencies, supervisors will learn how to both recruit individuals with certain skill sets as well as understanding a theoretical framework for assisting their student staff to grow. The core competencies used by a large variety of employers will be shared, as well as techniques to encourage student’s development in these areas. 

Supervising Gen Z in a Multi-generational Workplace, 120 minutes
Learn what makes Gen Z (1995-2010) tick. Ever wonder how this current generation of student employees views workplace motivation, priorities, evaluation, and communication? This interactive session will give attendees the chance to learn more about the generational norms of all the generations in the workplace with a deep dive on Gen Z. Learn how to turn generational sticking points into productivity strong points and how to create a workplace that welcomes and affirms employees from all generations.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with Student Employees
New course curriculum coming soon! 

ASCENT: Electives (must choose two electives)
Coming soon!

For program and course schedules, please go to log into My Learning. Questions? Contact:

Resources for Your Student Staff

Coming Soon….

Tough Conversations

What Generation Z Wants From Leaders

  • Frequent Feedback
    • Face-to-face
    • Frequent (informal check-ins during the week)
    • Regular (scheduled, planned observations of work and feedback time after the fact)


  • Reinforce specific behavior
  • A 2009 Gallup poll found that employees receiving positive feedback were 30 times more likely to feel engaged than those receiving no feedback at all.


  • Redirect employee behavior into more effective patterns
  • Clarify expectations
  • Provide information
  • Focus on the behavior, not the person
  • A 2009 Gallup poll found that employees receiving constructive feedback were 20 times more likely to feel engaged than those who received no feedback at all.

SBI Model of Feedback

Situation Behavior Impact
Describe the situation as  specifically as possible without making judgements


Describe the behavior observed


Describe what you thought or felt as a reaction to their behavior



DOA Model of Feedback

Discuss Options Agree
Discuss the situation, seeking to understand and using open-ended questions


Generate some options or ways for learning or improving behavior


Agree upon next steps to follow up on or to resolve the situation, reset employer expectations


  • Innovative Projects
  • Skill Development
  • Competitive Structure
  • High-Tech Environments

Example of a Semester Feedback Cycle

  • On-boarding/Initial training
    • Week before semester begins or Week 1 of semester
  • Check-Ins
    • Scheduled or informal
  • Informal and formal observations of work
    • On-going
  • Mid-semester check-in
    • Week 7 and 8
    • Discuss performance observations and student self-evaluation, set goals for rest of semester
    • Discuss intent to return for next semester
  • End-of-semester Formal Evaluations
  • Celebration/End of Semester Wrap up with entire staff
    • Recognition of students graduating or otherwise not returning next semester

Off-Boarding and Exit Interviewing


  • Students leave for a variety of reasons
    • Graduation
    • Other opportunities more aligned with major/career aspirations
    • Mutual decision that job is not the right fit
  • A strong off-boarding process can improve the overall transition for both sides
  • Property
    • Collect keys, any equipment issued to student (including gathering log-on information to any department specific social media accounts they may have set up!)
  • Paperwork
    • Remind them to keep their address current on RAMweb so they receive mail from HR (W-2s, etc)
    • Make sure to remove their access to AriesWeb or other secure data information systems
  • Perspective
    • An excellent chance to get insight on what your organization is doing right and ideas of ways to improve

Exit Interviewing

Exit Interviews

  • Should be voluntary
  • Should be done by supervisor or other departmental representative as an in-person discussion, if possible
  • Any notes should be kept in an “exit interview” file separate from employee personnel file

ELEVATE- Offboarding – Sample Exit Questions –

Exit Interview Questions for Student Employees –

Sample Exit Interview Questions


Job Posting Questions

If my student employee leaves for a formal university break or study abroad, do I need to re-post the positions?
No. You do not need to re-post a position if you and the student employee have agreed that they will resume employment upon return. This can also include students who leave for internships, student teaching, or other planned leave opportunities.
The student assignment has been terminated but I just want to re-hire a former student employee. Can I skip re-posting the position?
No, you will need to open the role to all students. Oracle student employee assignments are automatically terminated 12 months after the last payroll run. This means that your former student employee has not actively been in the role for at least 12 months and the position must be posted in Handshake for a minimum of three days. We recommend posting for two weeks to allow adequate time for students to see the opening and apply.
What if my student employee graduates and is accepted into a new degree-seeking program and is wanting to keep their position? Do I have to re-post the role?
It depends. If they graduate, are accepted into a new degree-seeking program, and continue to work, the assignment can be manually reactivated without needing to post.
If a student works as a student employee, graduates, and has a break in service, then works in the office again, the position would need to be posted in Handshake for a minimum of three days. We recommend posting for two weeks to allow adequate time for students to see the opening and apply.
What if the student moves to a Non-student hourly (NSH) role but is still performing the same duties from when they were a student employee?
If the student graduates and moves from a student assignment to a NSH assignment the role will need to be posted in TMS for a minimum of three days.
I am updating the job role significantly and it no longer resembles the original role the student employee was hired into? Do I need to post the position?
Yes, you will need to re-post the position. Following Central HR’s guidelines, a change of role (but still in the same department) and/or anything that can be deemed a promotion for anyone still needs to be posted for a minimum of three days in Handshake. We recommend posting for two weeks to allow adequate time for students to see the opening and apply.
Are we required to interview a certain number of applicants?
Departments can handle the student employee hiring process as appropriate for their area. We don’t require departments to interview any applicant, or they can interview all of them – it’s an internal determination.
Are most people interviewing over Zoom currently?
I’m assuming so, but – as stated above – departments can come up with the interviewing and hiring process that is appropriate for their area. Here are some additional resources that you might find helpful:  Please note that they are not specific to on-campus employers.
Once we make a final decision, do we contact you or HR to proceed with the hiring?
Neither.  Once a department makes the hiring decision, they start the hiring process in Oracle. These steps are outlined in the Student Employee Hiring Checklist.
Questions around work-study awards or the student workflow approval process are answered by
Technical questions on submitting the background check, submitting the Direct Deposit/W-4 in EES,  or entering the assignment in Oracle go to HR-IS. There are a lot of Oracle User guides and Quick Help Guides on their website or specific questions can be sent to
Why does it take 3 days to get my job approved? –  
Handshake is used for all employers, not just campus partners. Each day we have 1,000+ jobs that get posted and reviewed. One way to get your job approved much faster is by using the job posting template. Departments that consistently use this template and get their jobs approved without any edits needed will be considered for auto-approval job status. Every 6 months we audit department postings to see who may qualify. If you qualify, your department will be notified.

Who to Contact

Human Resources (HR)

Office of Financial Aid (OFA)

Career Center