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Supervisor Handbook

Table of Contents

Student Employment Program Purpose & Overview

The purpose of Macalester College’s Student Employment Program is to provide employment opportunities that offer students both financial assistance and professional development.

The Program affords students the opportunity to build skills for career readiness while focusing on coursework in addition to providing a talented workforce for the College.

Macalester employs nearly 1,400 students in over 200 different positions each academic year. Students are able to gain experience in a variety of areas, from facility management to tutoring to office work.

Student Eligibility

Need-Based Student Employment

Students who have a student employment award through Financial Aid, are considered need-based. These students are given priority for all on-campus positions. Generally, awards vary depending upon eligibility and year in school.

Award amounts by class year, US and International for academic year 2024-2025:

Class YearUS StudentsInternational Students
1st Year$3,900$4,200
2nd Year$4,000$4,290
3rd Year$4,200$4,480
4th Year$4,400$4,800

No-Need Student Employment

The Student Employment Program is designed for students who need employment to assist in financing college costs. Therefore, students with student employment awards are given the priority on all on-campus positions. Supervisors may request to hire no-need students through JobX. If necessary, hiring of no-need students may be delayed or denied in order to allow for open positions to be filled by students with a work-study award.

When no-need students are approved for on-campus employment, they are given an earning cap corresponding to the table above. No-need students may not work beyond these amounts.

Managing Hours

When hired, a student’s full award is assigned to the first department that hires the student. The student and supervisor must monitor the hours worked to ensure the award is not over-worked. The chart below shows the average number of hours per week a student should work in order to earn their entire work award over the course of the academic year. This excludes the days of mid-term, Thanksgiving, January and Spring Breaks. Students who choose to work during Winter Break will need to reduce the number of hours they work during Fall and/or Spring semester in order not to exceed their total work-study award.

Students should plan to earn half of their work award during Fall semester and the other half during Spring semester. Any unearned award from Fall semester may be earned during January or Spring semester. Students may not overwork their award for the year.

International students are not permitted to work more than 20 hours in any given week while classes are in session. See International Student Employment Regulations for more information.

Note: All student positions during the academic year, regardless of funding source, are connected to the student’s award.


 Award Increases

Increases to work-study awards are granted on a limited basis. There are situations that may warrant an increase to an award, such as, financial hardship for a student or special circumstances in a department. When these cases arise, supervisors may submit a Request for Award Increase Form to Student Employment for consideration.

Hiring Student Employees

Job Postings

To provide equal opportunity for all Macalester students, open positions are posted online through JobX. Postings include the following information and should be descriptive:

  • Job Description: Provide a detailed overview of the position and job activities. The description should give students an accurate portrayal of the position.
  • Job Requirements: List all qualifications required for the position. This may include physical requirements (must be able to stand for 3 hours at a time), academic requirements (must have received an A in a particular course), availability, etc.
  • Hours & Dates
  • Contact Information

Supervisors can request access to JobX through the site, or by emailing the Student Employment office.


Each posting has a standard application which asks for basic information about the student (name, phone, award info, resume, etc.). Supervisors may add their own position-specific questions to the application.

Application questions must be skill-based to determine the applicant’s suitability for the position. Create questions that are directly connected to the skills necessary to successfully carry out the position. Applications may not include questions pertaining to age, gender, religious affiliation, ethnicity, sexual orientation, marital status, transportation, GPA, class status or extracurricular activities.

Please contact the Student Employment Program Manager with any questions related to appropriate application questions.


Many supervisors conduct interviews to determine if an applicant is a good fit for an open position. This provides a great opportunity for the supervisor to learn more information about the applicant’s experience.

Supervisors should craft thoughtful interview questions. Questions must be directly connected to the skills necessary to successfully carry out the position and based on the job description. Interviews may not include questions pertaining to age, gender, religious affiliation, ethnicity, sexual orientation, marital status, transportation, GPA, class status or extracurricular activities.

Hiring & Releases

Once students have been screened and offered a position, the supervisor will request to hire the student through JobX. Hire requests are approved by the Student Employment Program Manager. Upon approval, both the student and supervisor receive email confirmation.

Release Policy

Any changes (job changes or secondary positions) to a student’s work assignment after the initial hire must be done via an Award Release Form found under Forms on the Student Employment Website. Students may do a full or partial award release. A full release moves all remaining funds to a new position. A partial release moves a specified portion of funds to a new position, allowing a student to work in more than one position simultaneously.

Both supervisors (new and old) and the student must agree to the release. Supervisors are not required to release the student’s award. First year students are not able to release funds from their initial position until Spring semester.

Resident Assistant & Language House Program Assistant Policy

Resident Assistants (RA) and Language House Program Assistants (PA) receive a student employment award to cover their room fees. In addition to this award, RA’s and PA’s are able to hold a concurrent student employment position. In these cases, RA’s and PA’s can earn up to $2,200 for the academic year, which equates to roughly 5 hours per week. Because of the degree of leadership and responsibility afforded by this role, the RA and PA position takes precedence over other student employment positions. RA’s and PA’s must consult with their supervisor regarding expectations and balance navigating an additional employment position.

Student employment is designed for students who need employment to assist in financing college costs. Therefore, students with work-study awards are given priority on all on-campus positions. Because RA’s and PA’s already receive financial assistance from the college, hiring of RA’s and PA’s may be delayed or denied in order to allow available positions to be filled by students with a work-study award.


Student employees who earn their award are not able, by law, to continue working in the position on a volunteer basis. There are a few scenarios in which a student (non-employee) may volunteer on-campus. Please consult with Student Employment regarding the volunteer status classification.

International Student Employment Regulations

Federal regulations allow international students attending Macalester on F-1 visas to work on-campus. However, institutional policy does not always allow students to work (e.g. exchange students).

F-1 regulations stipulate that international students are not permitted to work more than 20 hours per week while school is in session. If a student has more than one job (including off-campus work), the total hours for all jobs combined cannot equal more than 20 hours in any given week. This regulation applies to each individual week of the semester, not an average of several weeks. Therefore, an international student cannot work more than 20 hours one week and then work less the next week to balance it. Any week in which the student exceeds a total of 20 hours of work is a violation of their visa regulations.

Any violation of an employment regulation puts an international student’s F-1 student status in jeopardy. Violations could result in future issues with admissibility into the United States. In extreme cases, it could be cause for removal of students. It is very important that both supervisors and international students pay attention to and comply with these regulations. International Student Programs (ISP) can answer any F-1 visa questions for students and supervisors.

When the College is not in session, such as summer break, F-1 regulations do not limit hours international students can work. However, Macalester does limit hours for all students to 40 hours per week.

Paying Students & Budget Management

Required Forms

All students working on-campus for the first time must report to the Student Employment Office in 77 Mac and complete hiring paperwork, including an I-9 before the end of their first day of work. Supervisors may not allow students to begin working without a valid I-9 on file.

Background Checks & Fingerprinting

Students who work in a capacity which grants them access to individual residencies must complete a fingerprint background check per the Kari Koskinen Manager Background Check Act (MN Statutes, sections 299C.67 to 299C.71). For further information, see the Background Check Policy and Procedure.

Approving Time Worked

Students are paid biweekly. Students clock in/out as they work either via a physical TimeClock or a WebClock available on 1600grand. Supervisors must approve student time worked by 12:00pm, on the Tuesday following the pay period end date. See Macalester College Bi-Weekly Payroll Calendar for specific dates. Visit the Payroll website for more information on the timekeeping system.

Department Budgets

Each department that hires student employees has a budget allocated by Student Employment. Departments have both a summer and academic year budget for student earnings. This budget is requested each spring for the coming fiscal year. It is the responsibility of each supervisor to monitor their budget.

At the end of each payroll cycle (Friday following the payroll end date), supervisors will receive a report with each student employee’s earnings in relation to their award. The report also includes the department budget and current expenditures.

Supervisor & Student Expectations

What To Expect From Student Employees:

  • Attendance
    • Students should contact their supervisor prior to the first day of classes each semester to arrange a work schedule.
    • Report to work on time.
    • Personally contact the supervisor by phone, email or in-person, according to the supervisor’s instructions, in the event of a late arrival or absence from work for any reason.
    • Ask the supervisor ahead of time to revise work schedules or to take time off from work.
  • Professionalism
    • Be courteous to supervisors and co-workers.
    • Dress appropriately. Supervisors will communicate what type of attire is appropriate for the position.
    • Avoid socializing and cell phone use while on the job.
  • Job Requirements
    • Perform the job according to the job description provided by the supervisor.
    • Ask questions when uncertainties arise about what is expected at the job, or how a task should be done.
    • Discuss any work-related problems or questions with the supervisor. If the supervisor cannot resolve a problem, contact Student Employment.

Responsibilities as a Supervisor:

  • Exercise a fair and timely hiring process for interested students. See Hiring Student Employees for more information. Post and remove jobs from the student employment web site and respond to all applicants in a timely manner.
  • Ensure all paperwork is completed prior to a student’s position start date.
  • Provide appropriate training for each new student employee.
  • Work with students to create a work schedule and guidelines.
  • Provide a clear and detailed list of expectations for your student employees.
  • Monitor and approve student hours according to the Bi-Weekly Payroll Calendar.
  • Manage performance and professional development via regular feedback and a formal performance appraisal at least once a year.
  • Participate in student employee appreciation throughout the year and during Student Employee Appreciation Week.
  • Monitor overall student employment budget as well as individual student awards.

Performance Appraisals

Supervisors formally evaluate students at least once a year. Evaluations develop a better understanding of areas of strength and where improvement is needed for student employees. Increased skills enable students to become eligible for additional responsibilities or promotions and are transferable beyond the Macalester community to future employment opportunities. Performance appraisal forms are available on the Student Employment website.

When complete, send a copy of each appraisal to Student Employment.  Supervisors are encouraged to save a copy of each student’s appraisal for their own file, and to give the student a copy of the appraisal, as well.

Students will be evaluated using the following criteria:

Critical Thinking / Problem Solving
Problem solving skills are critical to success in any position. The same skills utilized in the classroom are also applicable to the work environment – analysis of the problem, identification of potential solutions and development of a plan for the best outcome. Critical thinking leads to creative and resourceful solutions to complex and difficult problems.

Appropriate written, oral and non-verbal communication skills are necessary when interacting with customers, supervisors and colleagues. Communication should not only be without error, but also accessible when working with a diverse population.

Professionalism / Work Ethic
Professionalism comprises many attributes: punctuality, dependability, communication, time management, attire, organization, etc. The ability to learn from mistakes and the ability to accept critical feedback are also essential components. A professional combines these traits with strong ethics to cultivate a more positive work experience for the broader community.

Working alongside others and building collaborative relationships leads to success in any project or area. Teamwork should be effective and efficient, valuing diversity in its many forms.

Intercultural Knowledge & Competence
Interacting successfully with people of other cultures or identities requires sensitivity and kindness. Intercultural knowledge and self-awareness should lead to respectful engagement with people and ideas that challenge learned cultural perspectives.

Career Management
Career management encompasses self and position awareness. The ability to identify and translate strengths, skills and experiences to new opportunities is necessary in moving toward goals within the workplace.

Student Employee Disciplinary Procedures

Managing performance includes providing both positive feedback when students meet expectations and constructive feedback when performance needs to improve. Effective performance management begins with appropriate expectations. Supervisors should provide student employees with a detailed job description and job expectations at the start of the position. In some cases, supervisors may need to engage in progressive disciplinary action with a student employee. Grounds for progressive disciplinary action include, but are not limited to:

  • Tardiness
  • Unexcused absenteeism
  • Noncompliance or insubordination
  • Inappropriate workplace appearance or clothing
  • Carelessness or lack of attention that results in injury to property, person, or public relations
  • Reluctance or failure to meet job requirements
  • Unsatisfactory completion of job assignments
  • Failure to work with the public or co-workers in a courteous, professional manner
  • Excessive personal distractions (e.g. cell phone usage, friends visiting, internet play, etc.)

When performance does not meet expectations, the below measures should be followed. Supervisors should consult with Student Employment regarding the following.

  1. Verbal Warning
    1. Have a conversation with the student. Explain the expectations and the specific behavior that needs to change in order to meet those expectations.
    2. Create a log to document the conversation, include the student employee’s name, position, date and summary of the conversation. Make note of any subsequent conversations or performance concerns.
  2. Written Warning
    1. If the unacceptable behavior is repeated, supervisors should meet with the student employee and issue a written warning. This can be done by completing a Student Employee Discipline Action Report.
      1. Include a clear description of the problematic behavior, and how the performance needs to improve.
      2. State that if performance does not improve in the needed ways, the student may be terminated from the position.
    2. Discuss the report and action plan with the student employee.
    3. Determine a date to follow-up with the student to provide feedback on progress.
    4. Both the supervisor and the employee should sign the form so that there is a mutual acknowledgment of the situation.
    5. Submit a copy of the form to Student Employment.
  3. Request for Termination
    1. If the student employee’s performance does not meet the requirements listed in the Discipline Action Report, the supervisor may request to terminate the employee.
    2. To request a termination, submit all performance documentation supporting the request to terminate the student to the Student Employment Program Manager.
    3. Together with the Student Employment Program Manager a decision will be made and plan formulated for next steps with the student.

While it is preferred that an individual be subject to a disciplinary process of coaching and feedback, there may be cases where Student Employment implements a different process than list above. There may be times when the employee’s conduct results in immediate termination. Examples of such situations include, but are not limited to:

  • Using or being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol during your work shift
  • Dishonesty or theft
  • Breaching confidentiality agreements
  • Willful and unauthorized destruction or abuse of property
  • Improper use of a timecard, falsifying hours worked
  • Any act of physical violence
  • Violations of the law

If a termination occurs, the student may not work on campus again until the following semester, nor may they work additional hours at a second job they might hold in order to compensate for hours lost at the job from which they were terminated. The student is eligible to apply for any vacant positions for the following semester. Supervisors and student employees alike are encouraged to consult with the Student Employment Office about serious performance problems

Working During Breaks

January Employment

Students may work between the day after Fall semester ends in December and the first day of classes in January on an as-needed basis. Any earnings during the winter break go towards a student’s work-study award for the year. Students and supervisors should work together to determine what amount a student is able to work during the break based on the funds available in the student’s award. Student employees (including international students) are able to work up to, but not over, 40 hours per week during breaks.

May Employment

Academic year student employment ends on the last day of final exams for Spring semester and summer employment begins June 1. In order to have students work during this time period, departments must have unused funds remaining in their current fiscal year’s summer budget. If a department’s summer break budget has been expended, then they will need to wait until June 1 to employ students.

Summer Employment

Summer jobs are available to Macalester students and can be posted on JobX beginning in Spring semester. Students are eligible to work on-campus during the summers following each academic year, including the summer after the student graduates. Student employees (including international students) are able to work up to, but not over, 40 hours per week during the summer. Student employees must monitor their work schedules to ensure they do not exceed 40 hours of work during any given week between all on-campus positions. See the Work Break section for information on breaks during summer employment.

Leaves of Absence

Students may not work while on a Leave of Absence from Macalester. If a student employee is approved for a Leave of Absence through Student Affairs, the position will be closed as of the leave begin date. Students must re-apply for positions upon returning to Macalester. Work-study awards will be half of the full year amount for students who are on leave for a semester during the academic year.

Study Away Student Employment Policy

Students who study away will receive half of the standard award amount. See the above chart for standard yearly award amounts. Contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.

College Policies

Breaks and Lunch Hours

As required by Minnesota law, in each four hours of work employees are allowed adequate time to utilize the nearest convenient restroom. During the academic year, students generally work shorter shifts and should schedule their lunch around the shift whenever possible. Students should contact their supervisor with any concerns.

During the summer, many students work a standard shift of 8:00am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday. Within this 8.5 hour work day, student employees are paid for 7.75 hours. Unpaid lunch periods are 45 minutes in length. Supervisors are also encouraged to provide a 15 minute paid work break in either the morning or afternoon.

Offices that adhere to a summer work schedule may adjust the hours worked in a day accordingly. Student employees may not exceed 40 hours of work a week.

Holidays and School Closings

Macalester College is closed for 9 official holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Day.  Students may only be paid for hours actually worked. Students are not eligible for paid holiday breaks or holiday pay rates. Students will not be paid for any work done on closed days unless they have received prior approval from their supervisors.  Likewise, if the College officially closes early and employees are sent home for any reason, students will not receive pay for the work missed but do have the option of making up those hours at a later time with the supervisor’s prior approval.

Remote Work Student Employment Policy

Occasional remote work does not require a prior written agreement and can be managed ad-hoc with the permission of the supervisor. The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for regular remote work to ensure successful work arrangements across campus.


It is an arrangement whereby some or all work is performed from a remote location. Remote working is based on the responsibilities of the position and the department as well as the employee’s past and present levels of performance. This policy applies to all student employees of the College whose positions meet the eligibility requirements as stated below.


Eligibility of a position for remote work is determined by the position supervisor. Considerations for remote work include:

  • The remote work arrangement does not negatively impact the operations of the department or the workload of other department employees.
  • Workload can be performed away from campus without diminishing the quality of work or service to constituents.
  • Employee has acceptable access to computer equipment, VPN (when needed) and adequate internet speed.
  • Employee has a designated workspace that is conducive to accomplishing work.
  • Employee, while at their remote location, will be in compliance with all organizational policies.

Guidelines & Agreement:

The remote work agreement between supervisor and employee must be documented and a copy placed on file within the department. An employee must maintain the same or an improved level of productivity and work quality while working remotely. If productivity and/or work quality decline, the Agreement will be reevaluated by the employee’s supervisor to determine whether changes should be made or if the Agreement should be terminated. Follow this link to the Remote Student Employment Agreement. 

Study Days

At the end of each semester, students have two or three study days during which no classes are scheduled. While student employees may choose to work during these days, it is not required. Students should contact their supervisor to discuss expectations regarding work on these days.

Students with Disabilities

The reasonable accommodation process for student employees is interactive and mirrors the process for all employees at Macalester College. Accommodation requests due to disability, either temporary or long term, requires communication between the student employee, Employee Services, appropriate supervisors, and in some cases, administrators with a limited “need to know” to make reasonable accommodation determinations.

Steps for accommodations are outlined as follows:

  1. The student employee should notify Employee Services or their supervisor of the need for a reasonable accommodation. Supervisors will inform Employee Services of any requests as well. Supervisors may also ask a student employee if a reasonable accommodation is required to complete essential parts of a job.
  2. The student employee provides current disability-related information/documentation related to the diagnosis of disability and any functional limitations that impact assigned job responsibilities. Students who are registered with Disability Services may have appropriate documentation to assist in informing accommodation decisions. However, it is the student employee’s responsibility to provide information to Employee Services. Due to confidentiality, documentation is not automatically shared with Employee Services without a release.
  3. Employee Services will evaluate the request, documentation provided and determine if additional information is needed. In some cases, additional documentation may be required to determine both disability status or functional limitations.
  4. Employee Services and the Supervisor will follow up with the student employee if the accommodation request can be provided or any reasonable alternatives.

Any documentation received by Employee Services will be maintained confidentially. Student employees are not required to disclose the specific nature of disability to their direct supervisor.

If modified tasks or another position cannot be secured within the department, every attempt will be made to help the student find a more conducive place to work.

Earned Sick & Safe Time

Student employees are eligible for sick time at an accrual rate of one hour for each 30 hours paid (.0334 hours per compensated hour). Earned, unused sick time carries over year to year. A maximum of 48 hours of sick time may be accrued per calendar year. Up to 80 hours of sick time may be carried over from year to year. Student employees will not be paid for any unused sick and safe leave that the employee had at the time of separation from their position.

Sick time can be used to recover from physical/mental illness or injury; to seek medical diagnosis, treatment, or preventative care; to care for a family member who is ill or needs medical diagnosis, treatment, or preventative care; to address needs that may arise if the work or a family member is a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking (for the full list see Sick Time – Staff). Supervisors may request a physician’s statement from the employee if they have been out for more than three days or if the supervisor suspects misuse of earned sick and safe time.

Student employees have access to their sick time accruals via TimeClock Plus.

Worker’s Compensation

Macalester College complies with federal and state OSHA regulations. Students who have an accident or are injured while on the job are covered by Worker’s Compensation. Student employees are expected to comply with all safety laws, rules and regulations. Any unsafe working conditions, equipment or practices should be reported immediately to one’s supervisor. Students are expected to wear any and all required safety gear while on the job. Fire protection and prevention practices must be complied with at all times.

All on-the-job accidents or injuries, no matter how small, must be reported to the student’s supervisor and to Employment Services (X6280) within 24 hours of their occurrence in order for Worker’s Compensation coverage to take effect.  Please fill out an Injury/Accident Report Form.

Sexual Violence Prevention and Support

Macalester College prohibits and will not tolerate sexual misconduct of any kind. Please review Macalester’s sexual violence prevention resources and Macalester’s sexual misconduct policy. The sexual misconduct policy outlines Macalester College’s community expectations to ensure a campus free from sexual violence, the steps for recourse for those individuals whose rights may have been violated, and the procedures for determining a violation of College policy. The policy discusses “sexual misconduct,” which refers to all forms of sex discrimination, including sexual and gender-based harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, stalking, dating/intimate-partner violence, and domestic violence.

All College employees who are not confidential resources are required to report information they receive about sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinators. For more guidance on the role of staff and faculty in responding to student victims, visit Macalester’s sexual violence prevention website.