Training & Orienting-Career and Professional Development Center - Carnegie Mellon University

Training & Orienting

The Importance of Training

One of the most effective strategies you can use as a supervisor is thoroughly training and orienting your student employees. Doing so builds a foundation of knowledge and opens channels of communication that can contribute significantly to a positive student employment experience. Conducting a thorough orientation and ongoing training for student employees can prevent problems from developing and worsening throughout the experience.

Designing a Departmental Training

While the online student training can provide a solid foundation for working on campus, each campus position comes with unique expectations and requirements that cannot be thoroughly addressed in a general training. For that reason, it will be useful to conduct a departmental training for new and returning student employees. While it is often difficult to find time away from your own work to spend training new employees, training is crucial to job success. Remember that things which seem obvious and simple to you may seem confusing to the student. You may do these procedures every day, but this is a completely new experience for the person you are training.

A good training program includes general office training as well as specific training for the job that the student has been hired to do. The training should include discussion of specific duties and responsibilities of the job as well as any instruction on using office equipment and the computer or technical components of the job.

The departmental orientation should consist of three parts:

1. Brief overview of department’s purpose, structure and organization.
2. Specifics of the student’s job. (This includes duties, responsibilities, pay and hours/week.)
3. Office rules and regulations. (This includes dress code, how to schedule time off, who to contact if ill and grounds for disciplinary action.)

This orientation does not need to be lengthy, but it will be to your benefit to spend this time ensuring that the students know the basics before they start performing tasks.

Orientation Forms

The following forms may be useful to have on hand during your orientation.

• FERPA Form (Statement of Understanding of the Family Educational Right and Privacy Act)
• Campus Employment Statement of Understanding
• Payroll/Timecard Information for Student Employees

Orientation Checklist

Your student employees will only be as effective as the training they receive. With this in mind, the following checklist was designed to help you better prepare your student employees for their jobs. Of course, each department and each position has its own unique duties and responsibilities; this checklist can serve as a guide as you develop your own.

Tours and Introductions

• Restrooms
• Lunch room or break room
• Where to put books, backpacks, etc.
• Where extra supplies are kept
• Faculty/staff/co-workers
• Other people who may share space or equipment


• Transferring calls
• Taking messages
• Phone etiquette
• Important numbers/office web address
• Phone use (policy for personal calls)
• How to send a fax, the department’s fax number
• Copy machine how-to and policy for personal use


• Logging on and off (passwords; security; energy conservation)
• Office usage policy (may students check email, do homework, surf the web?)

Office Etiquette and Procedures

• Dress code
• Eating/drinking at desk (is it allowed?)
• Daily duties (expectations and consequences)
• Visitor policy (may friends stop by to chat?)

Money Questions

• How to fill out a time card
• When the student will get paid
• Where to pick up paychecks
• Breaks: When? How many? How long? Lunch? Are breaks paid?