Off-Campus Community Service Program


Student Employment Off-Campus Guide for Supervisors



"I believe that serving and being served are reciprocal and that one cannot really be one without the other"

- Robert Greenleaf, educator and writer




Students who have been awarded Federal Work Study are eligible to work in community service projects at local non-profit and governmental agencies. Students may work with employers who help people meet their need for food, shelter, and health, educate people about their legal and civil rights, protect the environment or wildlife, or support social issues affecting the general welfare.  The organizations may not involve sectarian instruction or other religious activities of a church, nor may involve the construction, operation or maintenance of any portion of a facility used for sectarian instruction or religious worship.



In order for the Off Campus Community Service program to be a valuable experience for both students and employers we ask that you consider the following guidelines:








Although your role is primarily as a supervisor, you should make an effort to actively mentor your student employees in order to make the most of your relationship with them.

Communicate regularly with your student employees and strive to motivate them in their professional pursuits, acting as an advisor. Be open to discussion beyond the work situation and encourage students to achieve their full potential. Student Employees do not seek employment just for the spending money; this experience is often just as educational as the classes in which they are enrolled. For many students, their college job is the first employment opportunity in their lives. Supervisors should understand that this mutually beneficial relationship with their students will be more worthwhile if they serve as mentors and allow the student employees to achieve their maximum potential.




12 Strategies for Effective Mentoring

1. Positive Attitude: Encourage the student to approach life and goals with enthusiasm and to be accepting of self and others.

2. Valuing: Encourage the student to examine beliefs and ideals in an effort to establish personal values and goals.

3. Open-Mindedness: Encourage the student to keep an open mind to ideas.

4. Interrelations: Make the interactions between mentor and student situations of sharing, caring and empathizing.

5. Creative Problem-Solving: Encourage the student to use a creative problem-solving process.

6. Effective Communication: Encourage the student to be an attentive listener and an assertive questioner.

7. Discovery: Encourage the student to be an independent thinker.

8. Strengths and Uniqueness: Encourage the student to recognize individual strengths and uniqueness and to build on them.

9. Confidence: Assist the student in developing self-confidence.

10. Awareness: Stress that an individual be aware of the environment, be intuitive, be problem sensitive, and be ready to make the most of opportunities.

11. Risk-Taking: Encourage the student to be a risk-taker and to be an active participant, not a spectator.

12. Flexibility: Share with student employees the importance of being flexible and adaptable in attitudes and action, looking for alternatives, and seeing situations/persons from different perspectives.

Adapted from Noller (1982) Mentoring: A renaissance of Apprenticeship. The Journal of Creative Behavior.






Interviewing students is an important step in ensuring a good fit between the student employee and the organization. While interviewing is an invaluable opportunity to get to know job candidates, it is important to remember that many students have never been employed and this may be the first interview they ever have. The following questions were compiled by Hollins University and may be useful for your interviewing process. These questions will help you to know and understand the job candidate without overwhelming them.


Traditional Interview Questions

Key Questions: The following questions are very important to the success of an interview. Remember as a supervisor, you are looking for competence, commitment and compatibility.

 Tell me about yourself.

 What do you know about our department at _________________?

 What special skills do you have that qualify you for this job?

 What experiences have you had that you feel would be an asset to this position?

 What do you see yourself doing five years from now?

 Why did you choose the career for which you are preparing?

 What attracted you to this position?

 How has your university experience prepared you for a position/career in _________?

 In what ways do you think you can contribute to our department?

 If you were hiring for this position, what qualities would you seek?

 How would others describe you?

 Why should I hire you?


Other traditional questions asked by employers:

 What are your greatest strengths? Your greatest weaknesses?

 How would you describe yourself?

 What motivates you to put forth your greatest efforts?

 Which people have influenced your life? How?

 Describe your relationships with others in a work setting.

 What 2-3 accomplishments have given you the greatest satisfaction? Why?

 Describe your most rewarding university experience.

 Why did you select this department?

 What led you to choose your field or major?

 What university subjects do you like best? Least? Why?

 Do you have plans for continued study? An advanced degree?

 What have you learned from participation in extra-curricular activities?

 In what kind of work environment are you most comfortable?

 How do you work under pressure?

 What major problems have you encountered (work or academically related) and how did you deal with it?

 What have you learned from your mistakes?

 Tell me what you learned from your volunteer, employment or internship experiences.



Behavior Based Questions

These questions are developed on the assumption that past behavior is the best predictor of future performance. Interviewers design questions around the traits and skills deemed necessary for succeeding in the position. These questions traditionally begin with "Tell me about a time when…", "Describe a time when you...", or "Give me an example of a time when..." Following is a list of popular behavior-based interview questions.


Tell me about a time when you...


Describe a time when you…


Give me an example of a time when you…


Worked effectively under pressure.


Were unable to complete a project on time.



Were disappointed in your behavior.


Handled a difficult situation with a co-worker.


Persuaded team members to do things your way.



Used your skills to push through a program in which you really believed.


Were creative in solving a problem.


Wrote a report that was well received.



Had to deal with an irate customer.


Missed an obvious solution to a problem.


Anticipated potential problems and developed preventive measures.



Delegated a project effectively.



Were forced to make an unpopular decision.



Had to make an important decision with limited facts.



Surmounted a major obstacle.


Had to adapt to a difficult situation.


Were tolerant of an opinion that was different from yours.



Set your sights too high or too low



Prioritized the elements of a complicated project.


Made a bad decision.



Hired or fired the wrong person



Got bogged down in the details of a project.



Had to fire a friend.



Turned down a good job.



From: HSEP Advisory Board, Career Center and the Office of Scholarships and Financial Assistance. (2010). Student Employment Program Guide for Supervisors. Roanoke, Virginia: Hollins University.





The following steps will be completed at the Office of Student Employment at the University of Miami.



Afterwards, you (the employer) will complete a Student Employee Assignment Form (SEAF) that is specifically for off-campus student employees.


The student must also sign the University of Miami Off-Campus Student Employee Agreement and is then responsible for submitting both this form and the Student Employment Assignment form to the Office of Student Employment.








Student employees work 10-25 hours per week and are paid twice monthly. Pay periods cover two weeks at a time. A copy of the payroll schedule is available online (see "Payroll Schedule" on the right under "More Resources") or at the Office of Student Employment.


Pay Schedule



Student employees attending the University of Miami should turn in signed Kronos Time Sheets (also called Time Punches) at the Office of Student Employment and pick up paychecks according to the payroll schedule. Paychecks correspond NOT to the pay period just ending but to the prior pay period. Students are encouraged to sign up for direct deposit to ensure quicker access to their earnings. If students do not sign up for direct deposit, their checks will be available at Check Distribution (Ashe Building.) 


Falsification of hours and/or signatures will result in termination of employment, as well as possible suspension and/or expulsion from school, so we ask that you cooperate with us in ensuring that this process is conducted correctly in a timely fashion.


To better understand how students will clock in and out using the Kronos software, click here.







As part of the Federal Work Study Program, as an employer, you are responsible for 25% of a student employee's salary. Federal funds will cover the other 75%. To streamline the process, UM pays student employees directly and then the Office of Student Employment bills participating employers.













If you have any remaining questions, do not hesitate to contact Maria Pavon at the Office of Student Employment.



Maria Pavon, Director of Off-Campus Programs

email.jpg paste_image14.gif  

Office of Student Employment

Rhodes House 37-K

Main Number: (305) 284-6641

Fax Number: (305) 284-6724