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?

The PEAK Program – Professional Experience, Achievement, and Knowledge – will provide opportunities for student engagement and growth through campus jobs that:

  1. Encourage rich relationships with faculty and staff
  2. Foster professional and academic curiosity and competency
  3. 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.

What are the basic characteristics of the program?

  • The 2017-18 academic year will be PEAK's fifth year on campus
  • Approximately 90 PEAK jobs were created or maintained through the program in 2016-17
  • Employer pays for only 25% of the student’s wages and the program pays for the rest
  • Positions can range from 6-12 hours per week
  • Pay can range from $10.50-$12.50 per hour
  • New positions cannot replace existing positions
  • PEAK employees must be enrolled in classes at least half time (6 credit hours)
  • Positions must be deemed professionally or academically substantive, much like an internship

How do I hire a PEAK student?

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 Hanshake. 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. 

How do I post a PEAK position?

  1. Once you are logged into Handshake (visit https://app.joinhandshake.com/employer_registrations/new if you need to register for an account), click on the +Post a Job button. 
  2. 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.
  3. Choose your office, department, or division from the Division drop down menu. If you don't see an appropriate choice, you can add one by clicking on your name in the upper right hand corner, selecting company settings, clicking on Divisions on the left side of the screen, and scrolling down. You can type in your campus program (no need to add a Division Code) and click Add.
  4. Select On Campus Student Employment as the Job Type.
  5. Select No for the Work Study Job option.
  6. Complete the Description, Job Functions, and Salary sections.
  7. Ensure that both Resume and Cover Letter are both selected.
  8. It is recommended that you leave the options on the Preferences page blank to ensure that as many types of students as possible see your job posting.
  9. On the last page, click the + button next to Southern Oregon University to post your position to all SOU students. You can adjust the start and expiration dates if needed. 
  10. You do not need to select the Interview on Campus button.

How do I extend an offer?

After interviewing at least one candidate, you can make an offer directly to the most qualified student. Once the student accepts, notify Max Brooks (brooksm@sou.edu). Please close the position in Handshake by logging into your account, clicking the Jobs tab on the left side of the page, clicking on your job title in the list of all campus jobs, and clicking the blue Expire Job button near the top of the page. Direct the student to contact Max Brooks to start employment paperwork.

What paperwork must be completed?

Immediately after a student accepts your offer, direct him or her to contact Max Brooks (brooksm@sou.edu) 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.

When do PEAK employees work?

The PEAK Program will be funded for the Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters of the 2017-18 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. 

How do I pay my PEAK employee?

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. Information about the WTE system can be found at https://inside.sou.edu/sc/wte.html.

What should I do during my employee's first day on the job?

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.

How do I set Employment Expectations?

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.

How do I set Learning Outcomes?

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

What else should I do to help orient a student to a new position?

  • 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

How do I supervise my PEAK employee?

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

Feedback tips:

  • 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

How do I evaluate my PEAK employee?

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.

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