Supervisor Handbook


This handbook is intended  to assist Creighton University employees who supervise Federal Work-Study (FWS) and University Employment (UE) student employees. Please refer to this handbook  and its links to guide you through the student employment on-campus employment process. It is divided into the following sections:



The Complete Supervisor

The Department of Labor defines supervision as: "Determining or interpreting work procedures for a group of workers, assigning specific duties to them, maintaining harmonious relations among them, and promoting efficiency. A variety of responsibilities is involved in this function." What is meant by a "variety of responsibilities?" Nothing is more frustrating for a newly appointed supervisor or any new worker than being told, "Your job has a variety of responsibilities, but don't worry; you'll pick them up as you go along." Of course this attitude may lead to future problems due to lack of direction, specific job assignments, and things not getting done.

The "Complete Supervisor" is one who works for balance in both production and human relation skills. Four images are projected: the Teacher, the Coach, the Counselor, the Judge and the Motivator.

The Teacher: This role helps widen the student's awareness and perception. Students need to know what is expected of them. These expectations should be stated in precise terms, much like an outline of course requirements. Descriptions of the work tasks, work schedule, production deadlines, dress code, evaluation procedures, policies and payroll details are all necessary items in the supervisory structure. Equally important are introductions to co-workers, opportunities for "hands-on" experience, use of equipment, and a chance for students to ask questions related to settling in as new employees. The supervisor as teacher also helps the student develop time management skills -- showing a new worker which tasks are most important or which are the most consuming. Simple suggestions on assigning time requirements and limits to tasks will provide valuable assistance to student workers. The supervisor should allow students to pursue particular interests and develop skills by structuring work assignments for these developmental outcomes.

Job entry for new or inexperienced workers is a stressful situation. Anticipating job-entry anxiety, the supervisor must explain: 1) the function of the department, 2) the student's specific duties, 3) the work schedule -- starting time, breaks, closing time, 4) the supervisory structure, including introducing the student to a designated supervisor, 5) the procedures of operation and care of equipment, 6) work performance assessment procedures, 7) payroll procedures, and 8) other policies related to employee rights and responsibilities.

The Coach: The coach strikes an ideal balance between concern for work production and concern for employee harmony. This also includes the need to motivate employees and provide a morale booster. These techniques will differ between employee personalities and work environments, but include posting deadlines and work schedules, praise, recognition, and opportunities for fraternizing. Another aspect is communicating to each employee precisely where he or she fits into the organization. Even the most menial task can lose much of its tedium if a worker sees how this small activity contributes to the total product. Students want to feel they are contributing, but are generally placed in the most elementary job that often creates or adds to a lack of enthusiasm for their job.

The Counselor: Personalism, humanism, trust, and honest concern can be parts of every supervisor's role. Employees respect a supervisor who listens. Not everyone will come running to unload grievances or problems, but an open-door policy simply creates a climate where concerns can be defused before crises develop. Supervisors of students are generally the closest adult figure they see on a regular basis. Students may not feel comfortable approaching instructors with their problems, but someone they see on a daily basis is a better source for support and encouragement.

Intervention is necessary to confront typical problems such as tardiness, absenteeism, habitual loafing, repeated carelessness, inter-office grumbling, to list just a few. Before considering what action to take, it is important to look for the root causes. Work-disruptive behavior is often only the tip of a much larger iceberg. Each month of a developing semester seems to bring a predictable onslaught of student worries. Understanding the root of a problem provides a basis for developing an appropriate response to the crisis.

The Judge: Evaluation of both a worker's productivity and work attitude is a necessary and regular responsibility of the supervisor. To maintain objectivity and fairness, the supervisor should not delegate evaluation. Employees need to know in advance the basic criteria by which work performance will be judged. Criteria should be used impartially and with a rating scale to show different degrees of performance: 1) ability to learn and perform work responsibilities, 2) quality of work, 3) amount of work accomplished, 4) cooperation with other workers and supervisor, 5) time lost from illness, absenteeism, tardiness, 6) individual strengths and weaknesses.



The Motivator: Positive motivation for employees and how to improve it is an important priority for any supervisor. In student employment programs, some constraints are obvious. Pay  usually begins at minimum wage with small raises or bonuses to provide incentive. On-campus employment is not seen as economic security because it is not a long term activity leading to career advancement. The supervisor is the primary motivator in the workplace. It is a given of the supervisor-worker relationship that the supervisor is the role model for his or her workers. The personal motivation is apparent to every employee under his or her charge. No motivational strategy or technique will replace the supervisor's own investment of self and energy in motivating others. This is particularly true in student employment where, in many cases, supervisors also have the deference accorded to adults by youth.

Environmental conditions are often overlooked as a source of student motivation. Adequate light, ventilation, minimal noise levels, desk space and a place for personal possessions are taken for granted for regular employees. Students are often given work stations in corners or separate from other workers. There is also a tendency for students to be provided less in work tools and equipment than regular employees. Examples of discrimination in the name of economy are endless. The economics realized from inadequate equipment for student employees is quickly canceled out by the loss of student motivation for productive work. Motivation of the student requires recognition by the supervisor and co-workers of each student as an individual. Placing students in positions that compliment their work-related interests and skills contributes to motivation through personal achievement.

The following ideas are offered as "non-pay pay" incentives/rewards that departments may wish to consider implementing for their student workers. These ideas may not be applicable to all departments, but give supervisors some ideas that they might find useful regarding non-salaried compensation.

  1. Periodic use of office equipment (i.e. -computer terminals for student use during non-work hours)
  2. Student Employee of the month bulletin board
  3. Care packages/balloons on special occasions.
  4. A study area set up in your department for student use during non-work hours.
  5. Department newsletters focusing on your student workers.
  6. Ask your students to write and produce their own departmental training videos and manuals for future student employees. They can be fun and creative, and save you some training time.
  7. Department parties.
  8. "T-shirts" with department name/logo designed by student workers.
  9. Book loan system - maintaining a library of text books that students may check out for a semester, to reduce their book expenses.



The Federal Work Study Program

Employment of students on-campus falls into two distinct categories: Federal Work Study (FWS) and University Employment (UE). While students employed under each program may perform the same duties, funding sources for salaries are very different.

Originally, Federal Work Study (FWS)  was called "College Work Study".   It originated with the Congressional Higher Education Act of 1965. On Creighton's campus it is administered by the Student Employment Office, which is a part of the Financial Aid Office. It is located in the Harper Center rm 2054.


FWS is a federally administered self-help employment program. It allows students to earn money through on-campus work. The term "work study" can be somewhat misleading to students. It does not infer that students can study on the job.

Under the Federal Work Study program, 75% of earnings are paid by the Federal government. Creighton University matches the other 25% of earnings. Individual departments are not assessed any of these costs. Not every student qualifies to work under the FWS program. The Financial Aid Office makes FWS awards to students who can prove a specific level of financial need. Students are assigned to specific departments by the Student Employment Office. Pay rates initially start at the Federal minimum wage, with regular pay rate increases with each grade level advancement.


To qualify for FWS, the student must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit it to an approved agency which does a calculation to determine the family's ability to pay for college. This information is forwarded to the school, along with the Creighton aid application, to determine types and amounts of financial aid that can be offered to a student. The Financial Aid Office makes a formal award offer to those students who qualify for Federal Work Study, and also forwards a Federal Work Study Employment Agreement to the student. If the student accepts the FWS offer, he/she completes the contract, indicating skills and work interests and returns it to the Financial Aid Office. The Student Employment Office uses this information when making job assignments.

The assignment process starts in mid-summer. Priority assigning is given to those students who wish to return to a department providing the department indicates that they wish the student to be assigned to them again. Seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshman are then assigned.

New students (those who have not completed their I-9 federal employment verification form) must pick up their FWS work assignments within the first two weeks of school, or they forfeit the award. (Job assignments are e-mailed to many students who meet certain guidelines. ) The work assignment is printed on CU Financial Aid letterhead with the student's academic year award amount indicated, as well as hourly wage, assigned department and Contact person's name phone and email. At the same time, they are given a Federal W-4  and a direct deposit form. The student is also required to complete the on-line Federal I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form with Student Employment staff, if one is not on file, before assignment is released.

The student is instructed to report to the designated department contact person. He or she assesses staffing needs in his/her department and directs the student to the appropriate supervisor to set up a work schedule and receive orientation to the job. The supervisor signs the FWS referral letter and returns it  to the SEO. Payroll timesheets begin to be issued through the payroll office. All FWS timesheets will show the FWS designation at the top. Departments do not need to submit a student employment authorization to engage a FWS student. Supervisors must, however, sign the job referral letter and return it to the SEO in a timely manner.

As mentioned previously, the FWS award amount for the academic year is indicated on the job referral letter. These award amounts, as well as earned amounts, also appear on the biweekly employment reports  each department receives via email after every pay period. It is essential for the Supervisor to monitor student earnings relative to award amounts. Careful tracking of earnings will prevent a student from using up all eligible earnings prematurely, leaving you short of manpower. A good average is about 8-10  hours worked per week throughout each semester if a student has a $2200 yearly award (award amount divided by pay rate divided by 15 weeks per semester). It is equally important to offer students the opportunity to earn up to the award limits, with a fairly consistent number of hours per week so that students have a steady income throughout the semester. Your earnings are limited to your semester award amount. Unearned dollars do not carry over from Fall semester to the next Spring. Unearned dollars are canceled at the end of each semester. Any earnings exceeding the yearly awards will be charged back to the employing departments.  Remember that each department FWS contact person is emailed biweekly FWS earnings reports so s/he can monitor students' available balances.

FWS vacancies need to be reported directly to the Student Employment Office. No guarantee can be given regarding replacement of FWS students after the initial assignments have been made.

If you find that you are over-staffed with FWS students, return the students to the SEO with a note / email from you indicating that you are releasing them for re-assignment.


~~ FWS student assignment process

The FWS Student Request and Supervisors Responsibilities forms will be distributed by the Student Employment Office via email during the Spring semester of each academic year. The FWS Student Request Form  asks for the following information: total number of FWS students needed (assuming a 10 hour work week per student) and student position titles. The form also includes a list of current FWS workers. Supervisors are to indicate which current workers they would like to have back again next year. Finally, the form asks for the department contact person.

A Supervisors Responsibility Form* needs to be signed by every Supervisor requesting a FWS student. These forms will be kept on file in the Student Employment Office. Your signature informs the SEO that you will train, supervise, submit weekly timesheets, and monitor earnings on all FWS student employees assigned to you.

A FWS job description* for each position is kept on file in the Student Employment Office. This description explains the duties of the position, as well as what qualifications and skills are needed. A job description must be filed for each different job title you indicate on your request.


~~ Off-campus FWS

The Student Employment Office, at its discretion, may enter into off-campus agreements with public or private non-profit organizations. These positions are Community Service oriented. The same regulations pertain to both on-campus and off-campus employers of FWS students.



University Employment

A department may hire a student under their own student employment budget line if such a line is authorized by their administrative entity. This type of student employment is referred to as University Employment (UE).


University Employment (UE) is available to all Creighton students who are enrolled at least half time during any semester they are working (except summer).* It is not tied to financial need. Departments who hire students under UE select the students, set the pay rates, and are responsible for submitting the hiring action form (PR2S) to the Student Employment Office. All salaries earned under UE are charged to the hiring departments' student employment budget lines. Student earnings reports are available through your departmental Payroll Distribution reports.


Student employees do not qualify for sick time, vacation or holiday pay. Hiring supervisors select students and set hourly or monthly  pay rates. Supervisors can download biweekly payroll distribution reports each pay period to track earnings for students working under their department funds.  The employing supervisor is responsible for initiating all employment forms and forwarding them to the Student Employment Office in a timely manner. 


A PR-2S employment authorization form is required when hiring a Creighton student on department funds.  The same form is used to adjust pay rates, change funding/org # and ending employment. If your employment account lines change with the new fiscal year, be sure to rehire under the new account numbers. Our fiscal year begins July 1st.

Departments who are hiring students under 200000 series funds must forward the PR2S to Grants Administration for their co-signature before employment can be authorized.

When hiring a student, you should direct him or her to Human Resources to complete the on-line Federal I-9 Employment Eligibility verification form, the W4 tax withholding form and the automatic deposit paycheck authorization. Remind the student that they must present an ORIGINAL document that proves legal eligibility to work in the US. See list.


*For those graduate students who are no longer enrolled, but are finishing their thesis, they may be paid a final monthly stipend up to 30 days past their final date of student status (at least 1/2 time enrollment).


 ~~ Job Listing System and advertising vacancies

 Student jobs are listed along with all other Creighton jobs in the Creighton Human Resources listing system. Employing departments may list their jobs either by calling HR, 402-280-2709, or emailing Another good source to list jobs is through the Career Center's Jobs4Jays. The system has a category for on-campus jobs and close to campus jobs.


In keeping with EEOC requirements,  departments have a responsibility to advertise student positions as they become available, so that all students get a fair chance to apply.  Departments should consider the following items: job duties, preferred experience, rate of pay, length of appointment, and work schedule.


Overtime and working over breaks

~~ Overtime


Federal regulations define overtime as any hours worked over forty in one week. Time and one-half payment is mandatory for hours worked exceeding forty in one week. No student can work overtime under Federal Work Study funds. Overtime payments will be charged back to the employing department.

It should be noted that the forty hour limit is based on total hours worked for Creighton University in one week, regardless of if total hours were worked in more than one department. It is important for supervisors to know if students are working in other departments simultaneously to avoid exceeding the 40 hour per week limit. Usually, the last department to hire the student will be assessed the overtime.


~~ Christmas break


FWS students are not eligible to work during this break under FWS funds. However, any student employed under FWS funds may be transferred to University Employment if the department wishes to employ the student during the Christmas break. A Student Employment Authorization form (PR2S) will need to be submitted.


~~ Thanksgiving, Fall and Spring breaks


Since Thanksgiving, Fall and Spring breaks are only a few days, they are treated as part of the academic year. Any FWS student may work during these break periods if the supervisor agrees. The student's earnings during these breaks will be monitored.


~~ Summer


Students employed during the summer under UE may work up to 40 hours per week. All Creighton students, whether enrolled for summer school or not, need to be engaged on a Student Authorization Form (PR2S) for summer employment. A W-4 is not needed for students who have worked during the preceding academic year on campus. Creighton's fiscal year ends June 30. All student workers who will continue working past that date should be re-hired for the new fiscal year. Submit PR2S's to the SEO in mid June.


No FWS positions are available during the summer. All FWS students are mass-terminated at the end of the Spring semester. Any students employed under FWS during the academic year, who continue to work during summer months, must be re-engaged using a Student Employment Authorization under UE.



International Students and work


All International students who are attending Creighton University have a "Student" VISA (F-1 or J-1) which allows them to work on-campus a maximum of 20 hours per week during the academic year and 40 hours per week during summer. International students are restricted from working off-campus under most circumstances. Contact the CU International Programs Office, 402-280-2221 for information about off-campus restrictions.  Go here for more information about policies and procedures for International students at Creighton.


A Student Employment Authorization Form needs to be completed on all international students employed, and sent to the Student Employment Office for processing. International students are not eligible for Federal Work Study (FWS). They can be hired through University Employment (UE) only. All international students must have a valid social security number obtained through the Social Security Administration. To obtain a valid SSN, students should go to the Social Security Administration Office. Go here for location and more information. 


An I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification  form must be submitted to Human Resources by all student workers, including international students. International students must show, in person,  their original unexpired passport with US VISA and I-94 attached AND the I-20(or DS 2019) document they are issued when they are given their student VISA.  Human Resources is located on the North east corner of 23 and Burt Streets.


  ~~~ International students and taxes

International students are subject to income tax withholding unless their country of residence has a tax treaty with the US. If this is the case, international students must fill out form #8233, a tax treaty affidavit, and a W-4 to be used in case he/she exceeds the earnings limit of the treaty. (Graduate teaching and research assistants are treated by IRS as "students." ) Contact the CU payroll office for these forms.

For more information on international students, as well as a list of countries who currently have an income tax treaty in force, go to The Smart Student's Guide for studying in the USA.


Student Employees and Performance Issues


Effective evaluation is an important program tool and is essential to the operation of the FWS program. It is not simply a grading system, but should be considered a means of measuring student development in terms of productivity, responsibility, initiative, cooperation, and attitudes. Periodic review and evaluation of student performance can be used very effectively by supervisors to enhance development and increase the learning potential of every work assignment for students and their departments.


Student Performance Evaluation Forms are sent to each department for distribution to the students' direct supervisors during the Spring semester. Receiving the evaluation sheets before finals week provides each supervisor with an opportunity to discuss performance rating with the student workers before the end of the semester. This enables the supervisor and the student to analyze the student's progress or problems before the forms are turned into the Student Employment Office.


The evaluation can be made into a learning process for the student if the student is allowed to have some input into his or her evaluation. A student signature is preferred to acknowledge that the student has seen a copy and discussed it with his supervisor. The Student Employment Office requests that evaluations be completed on FWS students not requested to return to that department next year. The forms will be used to re-evaluate what types of job(s) would be best suited for the student and enable the student to succeed.


Departments may also submit evaluations on other students if they wish. Departments are encouraged to maintain a file of evaluations on their student workers.


~~ Absences:  Student employees are essential to the operation of Creighton University. The tasks which the students perform are important to the overall functioning of the University and assignments should be considered important by students and supervisors alike, not only because of the experience and skill training which students may gain, but also because of the self-discipline and sense of responsibility acquired. Absence from work is a serious matter and requires special attention by the supervisor. Legitimate reasons do arise when a student must be absent, but responsibility for the situation - or potential situation - which continued absences create must be taken seriously by the student and should be a matter of concern for the supervisor. Each supervisor should explain to students at the beginning of their assignment that students who are unable to report to regularly scheduled work assignments, due to emergencies, are expected to notify their department supervisor immediately. The supervisor should make clear his/her expectations that the student will notify him/her of any anticipated absences well in advance. In any event, the supervisor should expect notification by student workers of planned or emergency absences so that arrangements can be made to schedule substitutes or "cover" workers for that period of time.


~~ Intervention: When problems arise and a need for disciplinary action is indicated, the initial action should begin in the department where the difficulty is originating. Whenever possible, problems should be resolved between the supervisor and the student. If the matter cannot be successfully resolved within the department, supervisors should contact the Student Employment Office for assistance or further action. Student development is an important part of the FWS and UE programs.


Since class attendance is no longer a matter of official record and residence hall hours have become more flexible,  students can be out of the residence hall or fail to attend classes for a considerable length of time before being missed. This is part of the new approach to giving more responsibility to students.  Occasionally there are students who have difficulty in adjusting to this kind of responsibility.


One of the first places that the problem becomes apparent is in the work place, when students begin to miss work. If a student is beginning to show evidence of having some difficulty in fulfilling their employment requirements, it is possible that the student is experiencing difficulties which go beyond their work. Students experiencing difficulty in their personal or academic life can meet with a professional psychologist/counselor in Creighton's Health and Counseling Center (Harper Center rm 1034). The student can obtain an appointment by calling 280-2735.


~~ Termination: A student should be given an oral warning if he/she is not fulfilling his/her job duties. Meet privately with the student to review the job duties and work schedule the student agreed to at time of hire.

  1. If no improvement is noted, this should be followed by a written warning indicating that if the student does not show sustained improvement by a specific date, the employment agreement will be terminated.
  2. If it is necessary to terminate a student, the student should be given a written termination letter summarizing all the steps leading to the termination. The supervisor should submit a Student Employment Authorization Form (PR-2S) indication that the action is a termination. After the termination, student timesheets will cease to be issued.

 Remember: Termination should follow a 3 step coaching approach.


~~ Student Handbook: It is important that each student is given a solid orientation to the job duties and expectations, and department policies and procedures. There are so many types of jobs on campus that a one-size fits all handbook is not useful. Here is a template you can use to create your departmental handbook for students. Some parts will be applicable to your department and some will not. So review it and make it your own.



Taxes and paychecks

Just like any other worker in the US, students who earn wages are subject to income tax.   Every student will be required to complete a Federal W-4 Tax Withholding form when first hired. Frequently, students will be confused regarding how to fill out a W-4. Departments and the Student Employment Office should avoid giving out tax advice. Advise students to consult their parents or tax preparers.


~~ FICA taxes (Social Security and Medicare)


Students who are employed for the University they attend at least 1/2 time are exempt from the  FICA tax withholding.  In order for a student to be exempt from FICA tax withholding, the student must be enrolled at least half time during the period of employment.  If a student is enrolled for at least 3 hours in any summer session he/she meets the enrollment requirement. They payroll office will monitor this on each student each pay period, and withhold FICA appropriate. FICA withholding, when in place, is 7.65% for student and 7.65% for employing department.


~~ Payment Procedures


During the Fall/Spring terms, all FWS and most University Employment students are paid once every two weeks. The first paycheck that a student is issued prior to direct deposit going into effect is distributed every other Friday at Human Resources, NE corner of 23 and Burt St.  8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.


Automatic deposit is mandatory for all students employed under University funds. Paychecks can be sent to any bank in the USA with which the student has an account. Students can obtain a direct deposit form here. Pay stubs are accessible on-line only.  Go here for first time user sign-up instructions. When students sign up for direct deposit it should be noted that if they do not attach a voided check to the form,  they need to pick up their first check at the CU Human Resources Department. Subsequent checks will got directly to their bank.



Federal Employment Eligibility Verification form (I-9)

The Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9) is an on-line federal document that must be filled out in person by the student in Human Resources at time of hire. 


Students should be advised that they are required to present an official photo ID and an original document that proves s/he is legally eligible to work in the United States. The student cannot be authorized to work until the I-9 has been successfully completed. This is a Federal regulation. Creighton is required to collect and maintain this documentation on each new employee. These I-9 forms are subject to review at any time by Federal agents. Creighton University uses TALX, a federally approved on-line e-verify system.


View the I-9 form and a complete list of acceptable documents


Acceptable documentation for international students will most likely be their home passport, US VISA with I-94 AND the I-20 or DS 2019 identification document that every international student enrolled at Creighton must have.


You do not need to submit an I-9 on any student who has already submitted one through another department. One I-9 will cover a student throughout his or her attendance at Creighton, provided there is not an interruption of over 6 months in active employment. The Student Employment Office will collect I-9's on Federal Work Study students. You can always check with the Student Employment Office , 402 280-2457, to confirm if a student has an active I-9 on file.



EEOC Statement


The Student Employment Office adheres to Creighton University's Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action statements. All on and off-campus employers are expected to follow these guidelines: "Creighton University is an EEO/Title IX Employer, in compliance with the Federal Laws relating to discrimination in employment practices. Student Employment Services are available to employers who comply with EEO Federal Regulations and that do not discriminate on the basis of race, age, sex, religion, national origin, marital status or handicap.



All forms refered to in this handbook can be accessed through the Student Employment website.

Hiring forms:


Federal Work Study forms: