Supervising a Student Employee

A Bennington student's academic experience revolves around the concept of work—whether it is a project they are completing for their Plan, or heading off for their next Field Work Term (FWT). On-campus employment is yet another opportunity for students to gain experience in and get feedback about what it means to think and act as a professional. As an on-campus student employment supervisor, you play a key role in educating and mentoring students in workplace readiness, something students will benefit from well beyond their time at Bennington. Thank you for your interest and help in preparing Bennington students for the world of work.

To assist you, this page will provide you with all the logistical information you'll need to recruit, hire, pay, and evaluate a student employee. If you still have questions, see below for whom to contact for additional support:

  • I-9 and W-4 forms: Business Office, 802-440-4359
  • Ray Stevens, Coordinator of Work Learning Opportunities, 802-440-4321
  • Student performance issues: Ray Stevens, 802-440-4321
  • Payroll and Authorization: Noel Volpi, Payroll Office, 802-440-4362
  • For a list of detailed instructions on how to fill out Payroll Authorization Forms and weekly timesheets, please contact Noel Volpi, 802-440-4362

Payroll/Timesheet schedule

  • Student employees will be paid according to this schedule. Timesheets must be approved online by 9:30 am on timesheet due dates.

Budgeting a position

  • When budgeting for a student worker, here are the important considerations to keep in mind. Funds for student employment positions are paid through approved departmental budgets. Student workers fall into one of two categories—Federal Work Study (FWS) or Regular Pay—each of which have a different effect on a department’s bottom line. Students who receive a FWS award as part of their financial aid package are eligible to have 50% of their earnings paid for by federal funds up to the amount of their FWS award (usually $1,150 per term across all jobs the student holds). As such, positions for FWS students should generally be budgeted at 50% the cost of the position’s hourly rate of pay. Positions for Regular Pay students (international students with work awards and all students without work awards) should be budgeted for at the full hourly rate of pay as federal dollars do not subsidize their earnings. The hourly rate of pay is the same for all campus student positions and is currently set at $10.50. This rate will increase in the future to reflect any further changes in the minimum wage standard set by the federal government and/or the State of Vermont.
  • When budgeting and assessing departmental hiring needs, it is important to keep in mind that students may not work more than 20 hours in a single week (across one or more jobs) during the academic term. Additionally, students (with and without FWS) will hit a threshold when they reach $1,150 earning in a single term. When a hiring coordinator approves a student's weekly hours, the timesheet will signal at the top when a student is approaching this $1,150 threshold. When it is reached, the students' timesheets will lock and prevent submission of further hours until a few steps are completed. The supervisor should contact Amy Kuzmicki, Director for Budget and Administration, x4873, to verify that they have the budget to continue employing the student, and to switch the student to Regular pay (and the full hourly rate) if they were being paid through FWS. Once this is done, the supervisor can contact Ray Stevens, Coordinator of Work Learning Opportunities, x4874, to have the timesheets unlocked so the student can continue working.
  • Supervisors should keep in mind that FWS students’ federal awards may be less than $1,150, and once they earn their individual FWS award amounts, additional earnings will be charged to the department at the full regular pay rate. Supervisors should check the Financial Aid Office to verify a student’s FWS award to ensure they do not go over their departmental budgets.
  • Departments can also hire students to work over FWT and the summer. Since both periods are not federally recognized terms and are ineligible for FWS, all student workers hired during this time should be budgeted at the position’s full hourly rate, and earnings do not count against their FWS allotments. Students can work up to 40 hours/week during these periods.

Creating a new position

  • All new student positions need to be approved by the department head. The department should complete the New Position Form. After submission it will be delivered to the Business Office for budget approval verification and processing.

Advertising a position

  • Supervisors should advertise all available student employment positions for fall, FWT, spring, or summer on Handshake, by contacting Ray Stevens or posting it directly with your Handshake account. Handshake allows students to view open listings and apply directly to the department’s supervisor. Positions must remain open for at least a week before hiring can take place or they can be taken down.
  • Hiring for student positions on campus cannot take place outside of the Handshake system.
  • Once an advertised position has been filled, contact Ray Stevens to remove the posting from Handshake or visit the listing and hit "Expire Posting" to remove it from student view.

First-year student positions

  • Because student employment positions are in high demand and first-year students are new to the process, first-year and new transfer students with work allotments in their financial aid are given the opportunity to request and be assigned a campus job prior to arriving on campus. All campus departments and offices are expected to provide at least one entry-level position for first-year students, and will be contacted by Ray Stevens over the summer to establish what those are and how many are available.

Hiring and supervising a student

  • Hiring and supervising a student requires the same best practices as overseeing any other campus staff member.
  • Department supervisors are encouraged to hold phone or in-person interviews before they extend an offer of employment to a student. Certain positions may require an interview prior to hiring a student. Additionally, supervisors can conduct a reference check on students who’ve worked in prior on-campus positions by contacting Ray Stevens for access to digital student work evaluations.
  • After hiring a student and completing the online Payroll Authorization form (see “Pay a Student” below) the department should provide an orientation to the hired students. At orientation, the supervisor should be sure to review important information such as: the position responsibilities, terms and conditions of employment, attendance procedures, shift schedule, and any related employment expectations.
  • Supervisors should monitor student performance throughout the term and counsel the student regarding performance on a regular basis. Student employment offers a wonderful opportunity for professional growth and learning when mentorship is proactively provided. Additionally, addressing any concerns promptly and clearly will help to minimize future issues of concern and maximize student performance. In the event that there is a need to issue a disciplinary warning, performance concerns should first be discussed with the student and followed up in writing. If performance issues persist, the supervisor may wish to consult with Human Resources, especially if a situation seems to warrant a student’s termination from employment. Please remember that a student should not be terminated from employment without first consulting with Human Resources. Students can appeal a termination decision. Depending on the nature of the reason for termination, either the Director of Human Resources or the Field Work Term and Career Development Office will review a student’s appeal, follow-up with the supervisor and student, and make a final decision.

Paying a student

  • After hiring a student and in advance of a student’s first scheduled shift, an online Payroll Authorization form must be submitted. A student should not begin work until this has been completed.
  • Students who have worked on campus previously will have completed I9s and W4s on file with the College. However, supervisors must still indicate an approved hire by submitting the online Payroll Authorization form. If students have not worked on campus previously, they will need to complete the federally required I-9 and W-4 payroll paperwork before being eligible to work or receive payment. Both the I-9 and W-4 forms should be completed by the student and turned in to the Business Office for processing—after which the student's name will appear in the online Payroll Authorization Form as an "eligible" student.
  • An online Payroll Authorization form must be submitted for each position a student holds on campus.
  • Once the Payroll Authorization form is submitted, that student's name will appear in drop-down menu on the online timesheet approval for that specific department supervisor. The payroll schedule is available online, emailed to supervisors and sent to all student campus mailboxes at the beginning of each term.
  • Timesheets need to be submitted for each student working in a department and all hired students should be informed of the department’s timesheet due dates and procedures. For each pay period, supervisors review electronic timesheets, verify hours, and approve forms in accordance with the payroll schedule. Late student timesheets will be processed through the next scheduled payroll period. The online timesheet tool keeps track of hours worked for each student in each position to ensure that the student payroll does not exceed the department budget. When students approach their earning threshold, an email will be sent to the student and supervisor. Student paychecks, or pay stubs if using direct deposit, are sent directly to their campus mailbox.

Evaluating a student

  • Evaluations are an important tool for students to obtain feedback on their work and to professionally grow. Whether a student was a star employee or needed performance coaching, evaluations help students understand their strengths and areas where they can/should develop. Supervisors are invited to fill out student evaluations each academic year towards the completion of a student’s time with the department. The Field Work Term and Career Development Office provides all student supervisors with access to an online evaluation form. When filled out, this form becomes viewable to all future campus supervisors considering that student and can be printed and given directly to a student for his/her review. Prompt completion of student evaluation forms insures future campus supervisors can review comments prior to making final hiring decisions. Supervisors wishing to view student evaluations prior to Fall 2013 can access them here. If you do not have access to this system, email helpdesk@bennington.edu for assistance. Supervisors wishing to view evaluations for Spring 2014 forward, can request access to a shared Google spreadsheet by contacting the Coordinator for Work Learning Opportunities.

Nondiscrimination Statement

Bennington College is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination as defined under applicable state and federal laws, including but not limited to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities. The College does not discriminate in its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, HIV test, or any other legally protected status. Complaints of any type of unlawful discrimination that do not fall within the Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Policies and Procedures should be directed Heather Faley, the director of Human Resources, whose office is located at Barn 102, whose telephone number is 802-440-4423, and whose email address is hfaley@bennington.edu. The director of Human Resources shall adjudicate any complaint of unlawful discrimination in a prompt and equitable manner, which will permit the complainant to make a written submission, to respond to any submission by the person complained against, to be given a written decision by the director of Human Resources, and to take a written appeal to the vice president for finance and administration, whose decision, which will be rendered in writing, will be final. Except in extraordinary circumstances, such grievance shall be determined by the director of Human Resources within 60 days of the filing of the complaint.

Please note: Any complaint determined by the Title IX Coordinator to fall within the jurisdiction of the Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Policies and Procedures must be brought pursuant to that policy.

Forms and useful information