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Procedure 512: Student Employment

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Section 1. Purpose

This procedure is issued to provide direction for the implementation of Policy 5120 by describing the processes and documentation necessary for hiring, establishing and changing the rate of pay or pay level for, and separating a student employee.

Section 2. Definitions

  1. Work Study: A type of financial aid which is primarily need-based and for which a student must be employed in a position identified for this purpose. Work study employment must conform to the applicable federal or state work study program regulations which address the source of funds for the position, placement on payroll, and other terms and conditions of employment.
  2. Students must meet the University’s satisfactory academic progress standards to be eligible for student employment.
  3. Student Help: A category of employment for students enrolled in any Minnesota State institution. Individual departments may set aside funds in their annual budget to employ students in this category, and the students must maintain their work eligibility through satisfactory academic progress and minimum enrollment requirements.
  4. Graduate Assistants: A form of employment for graduate students enrolled at a Minnesota State University. Positions are funded through institutional funds and available on a limited basis to students who are admitted to a graduate degree program at the University. For specific requirements and hiring procedures regarding these positions, please refer to University Procedure #513.
  5. SWAF: The Student Worker Authorization Form which the hiring department forwards to the Financial Aid Office, the cost center director, or the International Student Services Office (when hiring international students). The appropriate office uses the SWAF to approve a department’s offer of employment or to approve a change in the position duties or pay level.

Section 3. Procedure

  1. Eligibility and Work Hour Limitations

    Student employment is available for currently enrolled students making satisfactory academic progress. The student's enrollment status determines the maximum hours of work allowed. A minimum enrollment of six (6) undergraduate credits or four (4) graduate credits is required, unless, during a student's final semester, they need fewer than the minimum credits listed above to graduate. Audit classes do not count towards enrollment credits for work purposes.

    Minnesota State employees may be eligible to be both a student employee and a Minnesota State employee as long as the combined assignments do not exceed forty (40) hours during a work week, and the student work hour limitations shown below are not exceeded.

    If student is employed for two or more positions, the combined hours for all positions may not exceed the maximum allowable hours described below.

    For summer session student employment, enrollment in summer courses is not required if the student was enrolled in the required minimum credits for work eligibility in the spring semester prior and is registered for the upcoming fall semester.

    Work may not be scheduled or performed during class hours in accordance with the student's enrollment schedule.

    If a student adds, drops, or withdraws from classes, they are required to report this change in enrollment credits immediately to their supervisor and the Student Payroll Office, as this may change the maximum number of hours the student is allowed to work per week.

    Hours Eligible to Work Per Week:

    Student Enrollment Fall/Spring Semesters Summer/Semester Breaks

    6-1 1 undergraduate credits Up to 14 hours Up to 25 hours

    12+ undergraduate credits Up to 20 hours Up to 25 hours

    4-7 graduate credits Up to 14 hours Up to 25 hours

    8+ graduate credits Up to 20 hours Up to 25 hours

  2. Implementation

    All on-campus student positions will be posted on the Metropolitan State University Career Opportunities website. No student may be appointed or start employment until the appropriate documentation has been received in the student payroll office, and authorization has been sent to the student and supervisor.

  1. Hiring
    1. The supervisor determines the need for a student employee and the duties to be performed. The supervisor sends a job posting, including a short description of duties, to Human Resources at
    2. The Human Resource office approves the posting, posts the job, and notifies supervisor of approved level.
    3. In addition to posting the job, the supervisor may place a notice in University publications or otherwise recruit applicants. After the posting end date, the supervisor interviews applicants and makes a tentative offer pending approval from the Financial Aid Office, the International Student Services Office, or the cost center director. To obtain approval, the Student Worker Authorization Form (SWAF) form and other required documentation in hard copy is forwarded to the Financial Aid Office, the cost center director, or the International Student Services Office when hiring international students.
    4. The approved and signed documents are sent to the attention of the Student Payroll clerk in the Financial Management Department and are reviewed for completeness and appropriate budget authority prior to the student being authorized to start work. International students must obtain a Social Security card prior to beginning employment.
    5. Students may begin employment only after the student and supervisor have received the official authorization from the Student Payroll office.
  2. Change to Student Employee Pay Level
    1. Student employment positions may change, requiring added duties or different skill levels over time. If a currently filled student employment position changes, the supervisor sends written rationale for the change in the position duties and an updated posting form for review by Human Resources, at
    2. The Human Resource office reviews the duties and notifies supervisor of approval or disapproval.
    3. If approved, the supervisor completes a SWAF, indicating the new rate and level for the incumbent in the position, and obtains the necessary budgetary signatures and returns the SWAF to the Student Payroll Clerk in Financial Management.
  3. Student Employee Pay Level System
    1. The University's pay level system provides hiring supervisors with guidelines to use in establishing the rate of pay for specific types of work and assures student employees are paid fairly and consistently across the University. The tasks and skills delineated for each level are illustrative of various types of positions. Supervisors who are uncertain about the position level will contact the Human Resource office for assistance.
    2. The University annually establishes pay rates for each level. Pay rates for the upcoming fiscal year will be determined and posted by June 1st each year.

      LEVEL A

      Incumbents perform general tasks such as: Routine typing, opening mail, entering data on prescribed forms, message and/or package delivery, word processing, general data entry, filing, photocopying , collating and assembling materials, answering phones; routine grounds-keeping activities, running errands, setting up rooms, routine custodial duties.

      Incumbents need skills such as: Knowledge of business English, spelling, grammar. Skill in typing or data entry. Ability to compute and tabulate using basic mathematics. Ability to understand and carry out oral and written instructions. Ability to file and retrieve records. Basic knowledge of tools and equipment used in audio-visual, custodial, or grounds-keeping work. Basic ability to use personal computers.

      Hourly rate:

      $9.86 starting wage
      $9.96 after 1000 hours worked at this level

      LEVEL B

      Incumbents perform general tasks which require independent thought, advanced clerical, laboratory, or communications such as: Advanced clerical or laboratory support work requiring knowledge sufficient to: conduct office or field research work of a complex nature; perform difficult tests on a variety of materials or substances in laboratories; set up or clean up laboratory experiments as directed. Academic computer center support including explaining and assisting users with software, maintaining printers, monitoring computer center user log-in process, inventorying equipment and supplies. One-on-one peer tutoring in remedial or entry-level subject matter. Completing maintenance activities requiring specialized skills and knowledge of unit operations.

      Incumbents need skills such as: Those listed under Level A plus paraprofessional-level knowledge of and ability to explain unit procedures. Considerable knowledge and experience using tools and equipment in performing required work. Knowledge of laboratory procedures sufficient to provide paraprofessional research support and to set up and clean up for lab classes with little or no supervision. Knowledge of principles and practices of office management to provide lead-worker direction to other students. Ability to assist faculty, staff, and students with research and other projects; to maintain computer files and documentation; and to perform equipment maintenance.

      Hourly rate:

      $10.06 starting wage
      $10.16 after 1000 hours worked at this level

      LEVEL C

      Incumbents perform general tasks such as: Advanced levels of technical or paraprofessional assistance and support; scheduling and providing direction to other student employees. Serving as a paid intern where the internship requires special expertise and knowledge in the discipline area. Providing advanced-level peer tutoring or conducting tutorial workshops requiring in-depth knowledge of a subject or discipline.

      Incumbents need skills such as: Comprehensive understanding and working knowledge of the computer center's software packages; ability to oversee laboratories or the student computer labs in the absence of staff; ability to provide leadership to others, ability to explain subject matter at advanced levels; ability to enforce standards and regulations, and to react quickly in emergency situations.

      Hourly rate:

      $10.71 starting wage
      $11.11 after 1000 hours worked at this level

      LEVEL D

      This level is only available for Graduate Assistants as defined by Procedure 513:

      Hourly rate:

      $14.00 starting wage
      $14.50 after 1000 hours worked at this level

      LEVEL E

      This level is only available for Graduate Student Workers.

      General Tasks: In addition to an advanced level of technical or paraprofessional assistance, this level may also assist a faculty member with classroom preparation or duties or provide assistance within the Center for Online Learning to assist faculty with course websites and development of learning objects and interactive media for online courses.

      Required Skills: Must have a Bachelor’s Degree and be enrolled in a Graduate Program at Metropolitan State University. Skill level must be in the area of the assigned duties.

      Hourly rate:

      $14.00 starting wage
      $14.50 after 1000 hours worked at this level

      LEVEL F

      General Tasks: Works for external clients through a special contract arrangement with the University on application development, web development, quality assurance, security testing, and other technical duties, as qualified. Duties typically include writing application code in one or more programming languages, developing database queries and reports, conducting automated and manual tests of application features and security, and interacting on a regular basis with client representatives under the supervision of an experienced IT project manager. Employer-provided training is often a component of these positions. The position may also be used for an academic internship at the option of the student and if approved by a supervising faculty member.

      Required Skills: Qualified students are most often pursuing a degree in computer science, computer forensics, information systems, information systems management, mathematics, business, or other related fields. Many positions have specific skill requirements. Students who are pursuing these majors and have acquired technical skills in other ways may also be considered. Students must be endorsed by the external client prior to hiring.

      Hourly Rate: Varies depending on client contract terms. Incremental increases may be included in those agreements and based on performance measures. Internships are paid as Level C

    Section 4. Authority

    This procedure is pursuant to the operating authority granted to the University’s President by the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State system (Proc. 1A.2.2, “Delegation of Authority”), and in accordance with MPELRA and Minnesota State Board of Trustees Policy 4.5, “Student Employees.”

    Section 5. Effective Date

    This procedure is effective January 1, 2019, and remains in effect until modified or revoked.

    Section 6. Responsibility

    The Chief Human Resource Officer is responsible for the implementation of this procedure, in consultation with the Vice President for Finance and Operations/C.F.O.

    Section 7. Review

    This procedure shall be subject to review on an annual basis, prior to December 31st of each year.

    Section 8. Signature

    Issued on this date: July 25, 2019

    Virginia “Ginny” Arthur, JD

    Date of Adoption:
    Date of Implementation: 07/25/19
    Date of Last Review: 01/08/18
    Date and Subject of Amendments:
    Additional History and/or Revision Dates: