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Student Employment Supervisor Handbook

On & Off Campus Positions and Graduate Assistantships


Title 133 Procedural Rule of the Higher Education Policy Commission Series 8, Personal Administration Section 2.1.5 and the University define a “Student Employee” as an employee who is enrolled at the institution as a student and whose primary purpose for being at the institution is to obtain an education.  A Student Employee is not eligible for benefits and is not covered by the University’s classification program in Board of Governors Rule 3.3 – Classification and Compensation.

Many students use student employment to offset institutional costs associated with their financial need while in college. According to research compiled by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), the right amount of work while pursuing an education shows a positive impact on student academic success and performance. The same research showed a negative impact of student success when part-time student employment exceeded 20 hours per week. Overall, it has been shown that working as a student has an overall positive impact on college experience and success for many students.

West Virginia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. The University does not discriminate based on race, sex, age, disability, veteran status, religion, sexual orientation, color, or national origin in the administration of any of its educational programs, activities, or with respect to admission or employment. Faculty, staff, students and applicants are protected from retaliation for filing complaints or assisting in an investigation under the University’s Equal Opportunity Policy/Affirmative Action Plan. Inquiries regarding the University’s non-discrimination statement may be directed to the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at West Virginia University.

Download the Student Employment Supervisor Handbook

How to Post a Student Employee Position

  • Supervisors are encouraged to advertise their student employment opportunity in Handshake but DO NOT need an employer account to do so.
    • Simply, fill out the Student Employee Job Posting Request Form. This form is for hiring managers who wish to post On & Off Campus positions and Graduate Assistantships to Handshake. This excludes Federal Work Study (FWS). Career Services will review your submission and add it to Handshake within 24-48 hours.
    •  Before advertising a Graduate Services Assistants (GSA) position, supervisors must submit a GSA Request Form to Graduate Education and Life and obtain approval before advertising the position. 
  • Once your job is posted to Handshake, the recipient of applications will receive an email each time a student applies with the required documents attached and/or the supervisor can receive an email summary of all applicants once the job expires. Typically, On & Off-Campus positions require a resume, and the student’s work availability or class schedule. Graduate Assistantship (GA) positions often require a resume, cover letter, references, and work availability or class schedule.

How to Hire a Student Employee

  • As the supervisor, you will review prospective applicants and reach out to candidates directly to set up an in-person, phone or virtual interview.
  • To hire a student employee, you will need to submit a Student and Other NBE New Hire Form which goes to Shared Services.  On each page of the form, scroll down to click next.
    • For more information on the process to onboard a student employee, please read the Shared Services article, Processing Students for Payroll.
    •  For all Graduate Assistantship positions, supervisors also need to upload the GA’s signed contract or letter of agreement before submission.

  • Shared Services will then instruct the student to process for payroll if they're not already an employee.  For more information, go to:
  • Once the student has processed for payroll, the supervisor will receive an onboarding email from Shared Services that includes the earliest potential date that the student can start working.
  • You MUST receive the onboarding email before the student can begin working. Once you have received the official onboarding email, work with the student to determine their first day of work and their schedule for the semester. Remember, their first day of work must be on or after the official “Start Date” from the onboarding email.

How to Manage a Student Employee

As a supervisor of a Student Employee, it is important to understand that ultimately the Student Employee should determine how many hours per week they feel comfortable working and report that to you. Student Employees are students first, and it is important they consider how much time they will need to dedicate to their studies. Student Employees are advised not to allow their work schedule to negatively impact their academic success.

  • Payment and Recording Time
    • Student Employees are paid every other Friday. Payment is directly deposited into their bank account. To view payroll dates, go to the Pay Schedules website at
    • For On-Campus positions, students you will clock in and out via computer or assigned time clock. To clock in or out from a computer, they go to the WVU Portal at and enter their WVU login credentials (WVU username and password), then click the “Web Clock.” When they start a shift, click the green “in” button, and when clocking out they use the red “out” button.
    • Student employees will need to use the WVU Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access the MAP-related services, as well as other secure systems if not connected to the University’s network.
  • Work-Day Breaks
    • When working a consecutive four-hour period, Student Employees must receive a 15-minute break with pay. If you are working a six to eight-hour period, Student Employees are entitled to two 15-minute breaks with pay and no less than a 30-minute lunch break without pay. Paid breaks may not be taken at the beginning or end of the work period and are not cumulative. Breaks should also be taken at times when the Student Employee’s absence will not place an undue burden on the department/agency.
  •  On Campus Student Employee Permissible Work Hours
    • On-Campus Student Employees will work with their supervisor to establish a feasible work schedule. Student Employees can work one to 20 hours per week throughout the fall and spring semesters.  Student employees (except for emergency/essential personnel) cannot work on days the University is officially closed, which includes scheduled University holidays, as well as emergency closures, such as snow days.
    • There are some exceptions where Student Employees can work up to 37.5 hours per week. Student days off, such as spring break, are days the University itself is officially closed for a University holiday. Therefore, Student Employees can work full-time during spring break if needed.
    • When a student holds more than one job at a time, the total hours worked cannot exceed 20 hours per week when taking classes and cannot exceed 37.5 hours per week during breaks and summer.
  • Off-Campus Student Employee Permissible Work Hours
    • For off-campus positions, students can hold multiple jobs throughout the year. There is no limit to the number of hours worked each week, but employers are discouraged from working students full time during the academic year.
  • International Student Employee Permissible Work Hours
    • Specific restrictions apply to international students on F-1 and J-1 visas. They must be continuing students in good standing with the University, and federal regulations specifically limit employment to 20 hours per week on-campus while school is in session, 40 hours per week on-campus otherwise, regardless of the position type.
    • For questions regarding the employment of international students, contact the WVU Office of International Students & Scholars Services at:
  • Graduate Assistantships Permissible Work Hours- (Graduate Teaching Assistants, Graduate Research Assistants, and Graduate Service Assistants) 
    • For Graduate Assistantships, students are expected to establish their work schedule with their supervisor. Graduate Assistants should be assigned no more than an average of 20 hours of work per week.  They may be employed in another on-campus position, in addition to the assistantship, for no more than 100 hours per regular semester. Students with partial graduate assistantships may be simultaneously employed in one WVU hourly Student Employee position for up to 10 hours per week. Partial graduate assistants (10 hours per week) may not hold a second partial assistantship but may work up to 10 hours per week as an hourly Student Employee. 

    • All graduate assistants must be accepted into a graduate degree program and are required to be enrolled full-time while employed during the fall and spring terms (nine credits or more). If you drop below full-time status during the semester, you must obtain permission from your GA supervisor, academic advisor, and the Office of Graduate Education and Life to continue with your assistantship.
    • Please note that previously established work standards for students in graduate assistantships can be found at

  •  Winter Intersession
    • Student Employees that are enrolled in Winter Intersession classes must adhere to the 20 hours a week policy. If you are not enrolled in Winter Intersession classes, you may work up to 40 hours a week if you will be returning for the spring semester. 
  • Summer Session
    • If the student is enrolled in the upcoming Fall semester, they can be a Student Employee in the summer without being enrolled in summer classes.
    • Summer Graduate Assistants may hold any combination of assistantships and hourly worker positions on campus during the summer if their total work hours do not exceed 240 hours for the summer term.To be eligible to hold a graduate assistantship during the summer, a graduate student must enroll in a minimum of one credit during the summer term.
    • Students who serve as regular (not partial) graduate assistants in both fall and spring are eligible to receive a tuition waiver the following summer even if they are not a graduate assistant in the summer, with the approval of their school or college. Some schools, colleges, or programs that accept waivers during the fall and spring may not do so in the summer, so students interested in summer waivers must check to determine if they can receive them.
  • At the end of each semester, supervisors should then evaluate their student employee. 
  • To release or terminate a student employee, please email Shared Services at and provide the students name and effective end date. Here are reasons to release or terminate a student employee:
    • If a student is no longer working for you or your department.
    • Grounds for termination can include excessive tardiness, inappropriate behavior, sleeping on the job, absenteeism, or failure to properly perform assigned duties and tasks.
    • If a student is recording time fraudulently, the student should be immediately terminated and referred to the Office of Student Conduct for further disciplinary action.

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