Posted Wednesday, September 5, 2012 by Katie Hippert
Despite the recent budget cuts to higher education in Nevada, ASUN continues to offer on-campus jobs to students. Fall 2012 marked the beginning of the new ASUN Student Employment and Engagement Grant.
The grant provides departments across campus student worker level III positions with which they can hire student employees. These positions are jobs that include consistent duties at work that are generally in the student’s field of interest.
Kathleen Hill, graduate research assistant, completed a mixed-method study on the program and says that the grant is very beneficial to students.
“When you have a tier-3 job you really gain a lot more meaningful experience that will help you when you graduate,” Hill said. “Pretty much all of the student workers were in their field of interest so they were actually doing something they want to do when they graduate.”
The program differs from government work-study programs in that students do not have to qualify financially. The departments offering the positions write the job description and decide necessary qualifications. Therefore, students know if they qualify before they apply.
“I think it’s important to give every student an equal opportunity,” said Huili Weinstock, President of ASUN. “However, I see the point of having different job levels.”
Since all of the jobs available are level III positions, they are geared toward placing the student in a position of interest where they can gain a semester or more of field-related experience.
Each position has specific learning outcomes that include professionalism, leadership development, time management and organizational skills, oral and written communication skills and fostering diversity within the community.
“If you align student interests with a tier-3 position the work experience will be more meaningful and the students will be more successful,” Hill said. “By placing students in these positions the university will graduate more students who are better prepared.”
Not only does the grant provide on campus jobs for students, it allows them to complete all necessary tasks throughout the year without having to chose one over the other.
“We are giving students the chance to work and keep up with their academics at the same time,” Weinstock said. “Many students struggle financially and are forced to choose a job over an internship in their field. This way they can have both.”
Because of the results of the study, ASUN approved funding for another year and the organization hopes to see similar results.
“From the data we gained last year, we know that the students who participated had a valuable experience,” Weinstock said. “But to evaluate it from a long-term standpoint we have to do it again with minimal changes so we can review the results from more than one group of students.”
The results of the mixed-method study showed that students working in their field of interest had a meaningful, valuable experience and gained knowledge they wouldn’t otherwise have gained.
The ASUN Student Employment and Engagement Grant is in full swing and this year 12 new positions for 12 different departments have been approved. If you are interested in applying for one, please visit the student job board here.