College administrators believe in the value of on-campus jobs and want more funding to add positions.
for a college or university can often be considered a plum job for a
student -- with generally flexible hours, minimal to no commute and a
relatively easy first professional opportunity.
But according to a new analysis
by NASPA: Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education,
institutions of all sorts -- two-year and four-year, public and private
-- want and need more money to invest in student employment and to add
more positions on campus. These jobs also compete with those outside the
university that might pay better, the report shows.
NASPA researchers surveyed student affairs professionals and other
employees at 244 institutions, most of them four-year public
(47 percent) and private nonprofit institutions (37 percent).
The survey asked respondents to identify barriers in “advancing”
student employment on campus. Inadequate funding was generally the top
answer, with 77 percent of respondents at public colleges and 62 percent
at privates reporting that funding was a problem. About 76 percent at
two-year institutions in the survey also reported that limited funding
was an issue.
64 percent of respondents said that in the next three to five years
they’d like to increase the hourly wage of student workers. And
59 percent said they wanted to add to the number of student positions.
The survey found that the top two “environmental factors” affecting
student jobs were minimum-wage changes and a competitive off-campus job
market. The report didn’t provide a range of how much students typically
are paid for on-campus positions. But it said many students from all
types of institutions work between 11 and 15 hours a week, which can be
fewer hours than is required by retail jobs off-campus, said Amelia
Parnell, NASPA’s vice president for research and policy and one of the
On-campus jobs benefit students in ways their off-campus counterparts
don’t, Parnell said. For example, she said, staff members recognize
that a worker “is a student first,” and they can be more flexible about
Omari Burnside, assistant vice president for strategy and marketing
at NASPA and a co-author of the report, said that in some cases
low-income students might need to seek off-campus jobs that pay more
than those offered by a college. Institutions said they sometimes help
students find jobs with better pay. And Parnell said some on-campus
positions last longer than single semester or academic year, which means
that students, just like if they were working off-campus, are able to
earn promotions and raises.
She said students shouldn’t ignore off-campus opportunities. But
campus jobs can be uniquely beneficial, said Parnell, often by not
requiring a car to go to work or by helping student employees develop a
mentor-mentee relationship with a boss.
“I think we do it owe it to them to make it as fruitful as possible,”
Parnell said of on-campus jobs. “With other jobs, it’s much more
transactional -- you do the job, you get paid. College is much more than
that -- with this particular work environment, it should be a living
and learning community.”
The survey's other findings include:
Source: Inside Higher Ed