Student Supervisor Handbook: Supervising Student Workers

Responsibilities of supervisors and student workers

Supervisor responsibilities 

  • Ensuring that students do not begin working until they have completed hiring paperwork in the Payroll office and are officially hired in HireEm
  • Ensuring that student workers’ schedules do not conflict with their academic classes
  • Ensuring that required Meal and Rest Periods are given to student workers
  • Ensuring that student workers are aware of their Oregon Paid Sick Leave, and communicating to student workers how they should notify you when they are taking sick time
  • Communicating expectations for student workers, including those regarding department/office policies and procedures, schedules/shifts, and communication
  • Providing student workers with the necessary training for their role, including safety training and FERPA confidentiality training if they will have access to confidential information 
  • Meeting with students on a regular basis to discuss performance and goals 
  • Providing immediate feedback about performance or behavior that is not acceptable, and setting clear expectations for improvement
  • Approving student workers’ timesheets are approved by the approval deadline 

Student worker responsibilities

  • Completing all hiring paperwork in the Payroll office upon hire and before working
  • Informing supervisor of class schedule each semester so that work hours do not conflict with academic classes
  • Accurately filling out timesheet, electronic or paper, and submitting prior to the deadline
  • Ensuring that work does not total over 20 hours/week during academic semesters and 40 hours/week during breaks, in all on-campus positions combined
  • Notifying supervisors in the event that paid sick time will be used for a qualifying reason as soon as possible before the shift to be missed begins
  • Communicating with supervisor, per their instructions, regarding both planned and unplanned absences from work
  • Following all college and department/office policies while performing work duties 
  • Abiding by the Honor Code while working as a student worker
  • Adhering to FERPA confidentiality policies if job requires accessing confidential information
  • Communicating with supervisor if leaving student work position 

Student worker reviews 

One-on-one reviews are a great opportunity for students to get feedback and develop workplace skills and habits. These reviews should include student self-reflection, specific feedback, reiteration of expectations, and the mutual development of learning goals. They should also include an opportunity for students to self-evaluate and to provide feedback to their supervisor. 

Student worker reviews are not one-sided, but rather a conversation between a student worker and supervisor about what is going well and how the student can be supported to thrive in the work environment. These conversations should happen at least once a semester (or once per the student’s period of work, if it is shorter than one semester).

These meetings are not the only time that feedback should be provided to a student worker. Feedback on performance, both positive and constructive, should be given consistently throughout the student's employment. Do not wait for a review to address a performance or behavior issue. 

Supporting student workers

Supervisors of students are in a unique position to demonstrate compassion for students in distress. As a supervisor, you may notice when a student worker seems to be having a difficult time. Sometimes students cannot or will not turn to family or friends in times of distress. Your expression of concern may be a critical factor in supporting a student’s academic career and their emotional well-being. 

Reed Care Team

The Reed Care Team is an interdisciplinary team that proactively coordinates support for students experiencing personal or academic issues that interfere with their ability to be successful in the college setting. Anyone can refer a student to the Care Team via the online care referral form

For emergency or urgent situations involving risk of harm to self or others, please call Reed Community Safety at 503-788-6666 or 911.

If you are concerned for a student worker:

Members of the Reed community who are concerned for a student are welcome to consult with Assistant Dean for Student Support Britt Q. Hoover in the Student Life Office (Eliot 218, 503-777-7521, 

You can read about common signs of distress here and tips for how to talk to a student about your concerns here: Recognizing and Helping a Student in Distress. As their supervisor, recognize that a student might not want to disclose personal issues with you. If you choose to have a conversation with the student, be prepared to provide other resources for support. The website linked above provides some helpful suggestions.  

Disability-related accommodations for student workers

Student workers seeking an accommodation for student work related to a disability can begin the process by setting up a meeting with the Student Work Coordinator via by emailing or calling 503-517-4847. The student is not required to disclose disability related information to their supervisor before this meeting. If a student worker that you supervise has requested accommodations, you will be contacted by the Student Work Office.