Resources for Supervisors
Who can participate?
Any current student employee or supervisor interested in the program is welcome to join! This is a free program and is open to any willing supervisors and student employees. If you are an interested student, please have your supervisor reach out to our office indicating their interest in joining the program. As a supervisor, you are promising to meet with your student employees at least twice a semester, as well as continuing to offer opportunities for your employees to improve skills they would like to focus on.
What are my requirements?
For detailed supervisor requirements, please visit the corresponding page on the menu.
Why should I participate?
Student employees and supervisors can benefit from having structured communication with one another. This program ensures that student goals are being formed, job outcomes are improving, and overall communication within your department is increasing. We also believe in the importance of focusing on student employee growth and well-being in their job positions.
How intensive is this program?
To participate you would have at least two Pepperdine GROW® conversations per student, per semester.
Will Student Employment assist me with this?
We will do our best to assist you with anything that you may need. Our Student Employment team is here to help with any questions you have and can guide you to campus resources available to you or your student employee. We are working on creating workshops and training materials, stay tuned!
How should I prepare for the conversation?
Before asking students to reflect on what they have learned on the job, you will need to think about what you expect them to be learning. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) have targeted eight competencies that they consider are skills or knowledge your student employees should gain as a result of working in their position. These are:
- Oral/Written Communication
- Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
- Digital Technology
- Professionalism/Work Ethic
- Career Management
- Global Intercultural Fluency
This can help guide your conversation or allow you to prompt students if needed. Communicate with your student employee to let them know that you will be having a Pepperdine GROW® conversation with them and give them the list of questions beforehand. This will give students a chance to reflect on their learning prior to your conversation. Also, take time to consider the best format for having the conversation with students, whether it is one-on-one, small group, or woven into a conversation during the workday.
How do I have the conversation?
The conversation consists of four questions:
- Please talk about how your job has influenced your (time management skills, ability to balance your priorities, teamwork skills, etc.).
- How does your experience as a student-employee connect with your (coursework, major, overall college experience)?
- What were you looking for in student employment? How has your current job met this need or needs?
- Please share a couple of examples of things you've learned in your experience as a student-employee that you may use in your chosen profession. (University of Wisconsin, WiGROW®)
Ask the questions in your own way and weave them into your conversation naturally. Additional questions can be used to supplement the original questions. You may want to take notes during your conversation so that you can revisit those topics in future conversations.
What if I oversee a lot of student employees?
When you have a lot of students employed in your department, it can be difficult to find time to meet with each student one-on-one, so you may wish to have Pepperdine GROW® conversations in small groups. Keep the group size at 5 - 10 students to ensure that each student has a chance to speak. This can even be implemented within a staff training, meeting, or retreat setting. Consider having students share their reflections with a partner, and then have the partners report back to the large group about what they talked about. Providing the questions beforehand can also help students prepare their thoughts and to be ready to contribute to the conversation.
What if I meet with the same student multiple times?
When meeting with a student for several semesters or a student who has worked in your department for a while, it may seem difficult to find new things to talk about.
Here are a few ideas:
- Use notes from previous meetings or your own identified outcomes to prompt students about new skills they may have developed or built upon.
- Specifically ask students what they have learned since the last meeting.
- Consider using additional questions along with the main four questions. These questions are provided on the Supervisor Resource page. (work in progress)
- Tell students that you will be having another Pepperdine GROW® conversation in the future, so they anticipate additional follow up and accountability.
What if my student discloses a problem to me?
When a student tells you about a concern, this means they trust you and know that you care about them. While it is helpful to listen and show your concern, it is not your job to solve their problem. Please keep in mind that you may be deemed a Mandated Reporter based on your job duties and this information should be disclosed to the students, if a sensitive topic is brought up. You can best support your student employees by referring them to an appropriate campus or community resource.