This page provides answers to many of the most frequent questions that employers have about hiring and supervising a PEAK student. Scroll down the page for answers to the following questions:
- What are the goals of the PEAK Program?
- What are the basic characteristics of the program?
- How do I hire a PEAK student?
- How do I post a PEAK position?
- How do I extend an offer?
- What paperwork must be completed?
- When do PEAK employees work?
- How do I pay my PEAK employee?
- What should I do during my PEAK employee's first day on the job?
- How do I set Employment Expectations?
- How do I set Learning Outcomes?
- What else should I do to help orient a student to a new PEAK position?
- How do I supervise my PEAK employee?
- How do I evaluate my PEAK employee?
The PEAK Program – Professional Experience, Achievement, and Knowledge – will provide opportunities for student engagement and growth through campus jobs that:
- Encourage rich relationships with faculty and staff
- Foster professional and academic curiosity and competency
- Engender a sense of substantive contribution to the SOU community
While achieving these goals, PEAK employees will be more likely to succeed academically, complete their degrees at SOU, and achieve professional success.
- The 2016-17 academic year will be PEAK's fourth year on campus
- Approximately 90 PEAK jobs were created or maintained through the program in 2015-16
- Employer pays for only 25% of the student’s wages and the program pays for the rest
- Positions can range from 6-16 hours per week
- Pay can range from $10-$12 per hour
- New positions cannot replace existing positions
- PEAK Jobs are not eligible to utilize work-study funds
- PEAK employees must be enrolled in classes at least half time (6 credit hours)
- Positions must be deemed substantive
Requests for a PEAK Job must be approved by the Office of Career Connections and will only be considered periodically throughout the year. Once approved, all PEAK Jobs must be posted on CareerLink. PEAK applicants must submit both a resume AND cover letter in order to give them experience creating polished application materials. You must conduct at least one interview before offering a PEAK position. You can interview as many or as few candidates as you’d like.
- Once you are logged in (or once you have received an email stating that your account has been approved for those of you registering for the first time), hover over "My Jobs" in the row of tabs at the top of your home page and select "New Job" from the drop down list.
- In the Position Type section, select "On-Campus: Non Work-Study."
- In the Position Title section, use the phrase "PEAK Job:" as a prefix to the name of the actual position. For example, "PEAK Job: Marketing Assistant." This will allow students to more easily search for and identify these great opportunities.
- Select "Cover Letter" in the Document Categories Require section. Each PEAK job is required to request a cover letter, as we want students to have the experience of creating those.
- Fill out the remaining sections. The information that you submitted in your request should be sufficient to complete these questions. If you need a copy of that information, I would be happy to email it to you.
- If you would like CareerLink to accumulate applications online, simply leave "Yes" selected in the "Allow Applicants to Apply through CareerLink" section. You can leave the "How to Apply" section blank in this case.
- If you would like to collect applications some other way (for example, having students drop off their resume and cover letter in your office), select "No" in the "Allow Applicants to Apply through CareerLink" section. You can then include your application instructions in the "How to Apply" section.
- Once you have filled out all sections, click "Save." Once I approve the post, it will go live to students on the CareerLink site.
After interviewing at least one candidate, you can make an offer directly to the most qualified student. Once the student accepts, notify Max Brooks (firstname.lastname@example.org or 552-6131). Please close the position on CareerLink by logging into your account at https://www.myinterfase.com/sou/employer, clicking the red Jobs tab at the top of the page, and clicking the Deactivate button next to the position that has been filled. Direct the student to contact Max Brooks to start employment paperwork.
Immediately after a student accepts your offer, direct him or her to contact Max Brooks (email@example.com or 552-6131) to start employment paperwork. Please note: PAPERWORK MUST BE FILLED OUT BEFORE STUDENTS BEGIN WORKING OR THEY CANNOT BE PAID! The student will be given a Student Employment Referral form specific to the PEAK Jobs Program. After filling out some information with Max, the student will bring the form back to you. YOU MUST SIGN THE FORM, FILL OUT THE DEPARTMENT SECTION, AND SEND IT TO THE SERVICE CENTER BEFORE YOUR PEAK EMPLOYEE CAN BEGIN WORK! You can send students to http://sou.edu/careers/PEAK-Employees.shtml for specific instructions.
The PEAK Program will be funded for the Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters of the 2016-17 academic year. The amount of PEAK funding that you will receive is based upon 10 weeks of student employment during each quarter. If you want your PEAK employee to work a) more than 10 weeks, b) during the summer, and/or c) for more than the approved number of hours, you will be required to pay for 100% of the costs incurred by the additional wages.
The PEAK Program covers 75% of your new employee’s wages, but the Payroll Office will be charging your office or department directly for your employee. Before your student begins to work, PEAK will request an Index Code for the account from which you pay your students. If possible, please use a General Fund account. PEAK will then make a one-time transfer into that account to cover the program’s share of your expenses for the year. You are responsible for tracking your employee’s hours. You will not be awarded additional PEAK funds if the student works more than the approved number of hours. If your PEAK employee works on campus, he or she must use the Web Time Entry system to clock in and out each time they work. Instructions on using the TK Talk/Kronos system can be found at https://inside.sou.edu/sc/wte.html.
One of the most important things that you can do with your new student employee also happens to be a requirement of the PEAK Program… establish Learning Outcomes and Set Expectations on the first day of work. These can be revisited and revised as needed, but it is critical to discuss goals immediately. Create a written list of outcomes and expectations. The employer signs the list as a commitment to providing the agreed upon opportunities, and the employee signs the list as a commitment to accomplishing the job duties to the best of his or her abilities.
You are more likely to have your needs met and your employee is more likely to have a satisfying experience if you clearly establish your needs from the first day. Begin by discussing the duties listed in the job description. Mention additional responsibilities that might be associated with the job. Explain consequences associated with poor performance or inappropriate behavior. Other helpful topics might include:
- Dress code
- Appropriate communication in the office
- Personal use of office equipment
- Tracking hours, calling in sick, and requesting time off
- Who to ask when questions arise
- Departmental and university policies
- Appropriate customer service
Again, create a clear, written list that can be reviewed and signed by both employer and employee. Revisit the list regularly to ensure that it continues to meet everyone's needs.
The PEAK Job Program was designed to assist with the professional and/or academic development of SOU students, so each PEAK position should have associated learning outcomes. As a supervisor, it is your responsibility to ensure that PEAK employees are gaining the experiences that you agree upon. Commit to providing some of the following outcomes:
- Work that requires specialized training or knowledge
- Tasks that result in quantifiable accomplishments
- Direct connection to professional field or academic major
- Opportunity to participate in project from creation through implementation
- Opportunities for professional collaboration with faculty, staff, and students
- Emphasis on tasks that build leadership, problem-solving abilities, strong communication skills, thoughtful customer service, team work, effective time management, and computer aptitude.
Additional information about learning outcomes can be found at http://www.sou.edu/studentemployment/departments/ocselearnout.shtml.
- Tour the office/department
- Introduce PEAK student to other employees
- Provide job-specific training (Determine what skills need to be taught, teach those skills, and explain what to do when questions arise in the future)
- Remind student that the PEAK Program will provide a mandatory Student Employee Orientation
As a PEAK employer, you are expected to provide consistent, thoughtful supervision to your PEAK employee. A regular date and time for supervision should be established early on. Supervision sessions should:
- Provide ongoing feedback on the student’s performance
- Identify what is going well and what must be improved
- Discuss upcoming goals
- Assist students with professional development
- Answer questions
- Provide opportunity for student feedback
Thoughtful feedback can:
- Help workers set goals
- Inform employees how they are progressing to those goals
- Act as a positive reinforcer
- Result in increased effort
- Engage employee in suggesting ways to improve performance
- Address concerns immediately
- Focus on specific behaviors and examples
- Be impersonal by keeping comments descriptive rather than judgemental
- Be goal-oriented
- Focus on behaviors the employee can control
- Ensure understanding
Quarterly evaluations are a requirement of the PEAK Program. You can design your own evaluation form or use the standard version at http://www.sou.edu/studentemployment/forms/studentevalform.doc. Ask students to complete a simple self-evaluation as well, such as the one found at http://www.sou.edu/studentemployment/forms/selfassessment.doc. Keep your initial learning outcomes and performance expectations in mind as you fill out your evaluations. Discuss both evaluations in person with your PEAK employee.