Excellence in Student Training Programs: Bowling Green State University

BGSU Employment CyclePrimary Contact:

Steven Domachowski
Assistant Director for Information Services
231 Bowen-Thompson Student Union
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, OH 43403

Program Description:

The student employment program at the Bowen-Thompson Student Union is essential to accomplishing its mission, which is to be the center of campus life at BGSU. The Student Union is home to a variety of departments, organizations, and students every day throughout the year, and events of every type take place in the Union all year long, and there is always a need for the union’s service to be operational. The student employment program for the Bowen-Thompson Student Union pays its staff of 125+ student employees roughly $324,000 per year or, in other terms, approximately $27,000 per month. These students are grouped by specialization, but work in teams to do room set-ups, equipment preparation, cleaning, and problem-solving as needed to satisfy customer requests. They work during all hours of the days, evenings, and weekends to keep the building’s events and operations running smoothly. The Student Union employs students in the following positions:

  • Building Manager
  • Audio-Visual
  • Office Assistants
  • Union Services
  • Information Center
  • Custodial
  • Maintenance

As the programs and services offered by the union continue to grow, it is imperative that the student employment program is intentional in its training and development efforts to meet the high demand that exists on campus. It is a continuous process of training, evaluation, and continuous improvement that has led to the evolution of one of the top student staffs on the Bowling Green State University campus. Components of the student employment program include:

Recruitment and Hiring

All hiring for student staff positions occurs in the middle of each spring semester for the following summer and fall semesters. Students must attend an information session in which the job descriptions, pay scales, and general employee expectations are covered in detail, as well as expectations for conduct, time commitments and the Student Union’s customer service philosophy. The hiring process is advertised across campus to departments and student organizations to attract a diverse work force. Our slogan is simply “IT PAYS,” and we focus on the developmental benefits of student employment.

Audio Visual Staff Job Description
Building Manager Job Description
Custodial Staff Job Description
Information Center Job Description
Information Session Agenda
Information Session Handouts
"IT PAYS" Advertisement
Maintenance Staff Job Description
Memorandum to Campus Departments
Office Assistant Job Description
Student Employee Application
Student Employee Expectations
Union Services Staff Job Descrption


Orientation is an important part of the overall student employment program because it lays the foundation for the student employee’s experience at the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. This session is held every August prior to the start of the academic year, and every employee is required to attend. Within the day-long program, there are two different morning sessions, one for brand new employees and one for returning employees that run separately, and then all come together for the second half of the day.

New Employee Orientation Evaluation
Philosophy of the Union
Position Descriptions Review
Returning Employee Orientation Evaluation
Student Employee Orientation Agenda
Student Employee Policy and Resource Manual
Student Employee Policy Highlights

Area Specific Training

Following orientation, employees then report to their direct supervisors for training that is specific to their job duties. In these training sessions, the student staff members learn the specific responsibilities and tasks necessary to do their jobs on a daily basis. Supervisors from each area have created area manuals that contain step-by-step information, references, and resources for learning outcomes associated with job duties on a daily basis.

Custodial Training Manual
Information Center Training Checklist
Information Center Training Manual
Office Assistant Training Manual
Union Services Training Manual

Shared Input and Recognition

Another key part of the continuous improvement process has been to obtain continuous feedback from all the participants in the student employment program, namely by convening meetings of the supervisory staff, and by creating a student Employee Advisory Committee.

  • Supervisor Staff Meetings: Supervisory staff meet on a bi-weekly basis to discuss all associated issues, concerns, and best practices related to the supervision of student crews. They review policies and procedures, develop and revise training initiatives, construct timelines, and continuously evaluate the effectiveness of the student employment program.
  • Employee Advisory Committee (EAC): The Student Employee Advisory Committee (EAC) is a student staff committee that is designed to give students a chance to make recommendations on policies, procedures, and the overall student employment program for the union. Each work area is represented to make sure that every crew has a chance to voice an opinion. The group also maintains the Student Employee Recognition (Employee of the Month and Year) program, and actively plans social events held exclusively for Student Union employees during each semester. Last, this position is valuable for our student staff because it is another position of student leadership among the student staff.

EAC Purpose
EAC Open House Agenda
EAC Orientation Presentation
Sample EAC Meeting Notes
Student Recognition Program Rationale and Forms


The professional staff of the Student Union places high value in making the employment experience valuable for student staff members. The program is evaluated continuously using several methodologies. A map that illustrates the evaluation process is included in Appendix E on the CD-ROM. Methods of evaluation include:

  • Pre/Post –Testing and Focus Groups: Currently all new employees are pre-tested on a set of learning outcomes, participate in focus groups throughout the course of a year, and then are post-tested at the end of year to see if their levels of knowledge increased.
  • Student Employee Evaluations: At the end of each semester, student employees evaluate themselves, and are then evaluated by their supervisors using a standardized form that is based upon a set of learning outcomes associated with each position. They meet 1-1 with their supervisor to have a discussion on areas of excellence, goal setting, and continuous improvement. Students are also assessed longitudinally across their employment using the Mid-Career Evaluation questions that stay the same each semester throughout the students’ careers.
  • Supervisor Evaluations: At the conclusion of each semester, student employees are given the opportunity to evaluate their supervisors using a standardized form. The process is anonymous and supervisors receive only the totals of their evaluative scores and the combined total of the written feedback they receive.

The results of the data obtained through the evaluation process are used to refine the student employment program, from job descriptions and policies, to training efforts, and ultimately to refine the recruitment and hiring process, thus completing the cycle.

Updated April 24, 2009