Student Employment Guidelines

Academic Year Student Employment Guidelines

FERPA | Authorization & Job Descriptions | Hiring & Advertising | Hours Limit | Teaching Assistants| Special Circumstances | International Students | Compensation & Pay Rates | Other Payroll Documents | Timesheet Management | Work Schedule | Disciplinary Procedures | Contact

There are important limitations on accessing and sharing student information placed on us by federal legislation and college policy. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, often referred to as FERPA or the Buckley Amendment, provides considerable protection to our students and their records, along with legal sanctions against the College if we do not comply. Therefore, it is necessary to understand your responsibilities before being provided access to student information.

Under FERPA, information is divided into two categories: directory and non-directory. The law covers the educational records of living persons who are attending, or who have attended, the College so the following procedures and policies cover both students and living alumni/ae.

Unless the student or alumnus/a specifies otherwise to the Registrar, the College may, but is not required to, release what it defines as directory information without the prior consent of the individual. Except under specific circumstances stipulated in the legislation, e.g. in response to a lawful subpoena or an emergency, the College may not release non-directory information without the prior consent of the student or alumnus/a.

Williams defines the following as directory information: name; permanent and College addresses; campus electronic mail address; permanent and campus telephone numbers; date and place of birth; country of citizenship; major field, extra-curricular activities; height and weight of members of athletic teams; dates of attendance; degrees, honors and awards; other schools attended. Although this information is defined as directory or “public” under the law, we do not release it indiscriminately. We do not, for instance, provide directories to outside agencies who wish to prepare mailing lists or otherwise solicit our students. We would ask that you also follow this procedure. Please direct inquiries for information from off-campus to the Office of the Registrar.

In general, faculty and staff have access to personally identifiable non-directory information about students as long as they have a legitimate educational interest in the data, or a “need to know.”  Legitimate interests might include hiring a student during the academic year; seeking information to assist in writing a letter of recommendation; or gathering information to update department or program records.

Releasing personally identifiable non-directory information to others without prior permission from the student or alumnus/a is illegal. You cannot, for instance, provide information about students, even to parents, unless the student or alumnus/a has given you prior written permission to share the data. This includes the student’s enrollment information, all financial aid information, and work history.

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Authorization & Job Descriptions: No department, program, office, or student organization may employ Williams students without the approval from the Provost’s Office.  A manager’s budget must be approved for student employment by his/her superior and the Provost’s Office.

Any employee or student leader who will oversee Williams student workers must complete orientation and training with the Student Employment Manager.  Student employment is regulated by the same organizations as regular staff (i.e., U.S. Department of Labor, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, as well as state regulators), in addition to the U.S. Department of Education.  It is imperative that supervisors understand their roles and legal obligations.  The training provides instruction on (i) governmental and institutional student employment policy and procedure and (ii) the Human Resources System Manager Self Service module.  Supervisors must sign an agreement upon completion of their training that will give them access to the module.

Job Descriptions Federal regulations mandate that the college maintain up to date student job descriptions.  Campus employers should annually review their active student positions (a list is available for authorized users on Human Resources System Manager Self Service > Student Positions).  A Student Employment Position Request Form must be submitted to the Student Employment Manager, for any position that needs to be created as new, updated, or inactivated.

Each position is individually created based on department needs and with approval of the Student Employment Manager.  Students are not permitted to work for any campus department, office, or student organization in a position that hasn’t been authorized and created.

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Hiring & Advertising: Supervisors are responsible for advertising positions, communicating with and screening applicants, and then hiring them in the Human Resources System through the Manager Self Service menu. Supervisors are not permitted to hire any student who has not completed the I-9 form to be eligible for employment. Student who were not enrolled in the Spring Semester but will be enrolling for the upcoming Fall Semester cannot be hired through the Self Service system.

Students are required to complete the federal Form I-9 before they begin working. This form must be completed in person prior to employment . Only certain, original, unexpired identification documents are acceptable to complete the I-9 form. Please note that no document reproductions of any kind can be accepted. For more information, refer to the Student Employment website.

Advertising  Standard labor practice recommends the College post all available student jobs in a central location.  Handshake, the ’68 Center for Career Exploration’s job posting platform, is considered the primary advertising site for student positions and should be used accordingly.  Campus employers may also use other means to direct students to postings on Handshake, such as department websites, SwitchboardDaily Messages, WSO.

If a hiring manager/supervisor needs access to or assistance with Handshake, be in touch with the Student Employment Manager.


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Special Circumstances: Students who are not physically on campus during the academic year due to a Leave of Absence (personal or medical), Study Away, or other voluntary or involuntary reason(s) cannot hold student employment positions. Those students who are enrolled for a semester with the Williams-Mystic program may hold student positions on the Williams-Mystic campus while they are attending the program.

Recipients of the Tyng Scholarship, should work with Kate Heekin, Associate Director of Admission, to discuss working on campus. Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship or Allison Davis Research Fellowship recipients should work with Clinton Williams, Assistant VP/Director of Pathways for Inclusive Excellence, if they are interested in working on campus.

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International Students: International students (non-resident aliens) attending Williams with an F-1 visa are eligible to hold campus positions after they have completed the I-9 form. They may be eligible for certain positions that take place off campus, but that are paid through the college (these typically occur through the Center for Learning in Action [CLiA]). Please visit International Student Services for more information.

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Teaching Assistants:  A Teaching Assistant (TA) is a student who assists a faculty member with instructional responsibilities; this program is managed by the Office of Dean of Faculty. At Williams, both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to be TAs. First year students are eligible to work as TAs in their second semester, with approval from the Dean of the College. More information regarding the TA program is available on the Dean of Faculty’s website.

Effective with the 2022-23 academic year, TA positions are paid on an hourly basis. Students working as TAs must record the hours they work each pay period. Per the Dean of Faculty’s Office, TAs may work no more than ten (10) hours per week in a TA positions(s). However, students may hold additional positions that, when combined with TA hours, total no more than twenty (20) hours per week.

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Hours Limit:

Student employees may work no more than twenty (20) hours per week, per pay period during the academic year. The academic year includes reading and exam periods, spring break, winter study, and any partial weeks at the beginning and end of vacation periods.

The College established an hours limit to safeguard study time and encourage active involvement in extracurricular activities.  Students may hold more than one position, but may not exceed a total of twenty hours between all positions (see example below). ALL hours that a student works, regardless of the position(s) held, contribute to their total hours worked.

Example A student may work 5 hours per week as a TA with an academic department, 6 hours per week as an Access Services Assistant with the library, 5 hours per week as a Sports Information Assistant, and an additional 4 hours per week with CLiA for a total of twenty (20).  That student may not also work as a Peer Tutor without exceeding the 20 hours per week limit. (Note that students may not work more than ten hours per week in a TA position(s)).

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Compensation & Pay Rates: All student positions must be paid through the college’s Payroll office.  Students cannot be paid by voucher through the Accounts Payable office unless they are approved by the Student Employment Manager as independent contractors.

Students are paid every two weeks as outlined on the academic year pay calendar. No wage advances or special checks will be issued.

A student position refers to any position filled by a student, utilized by a Williams office, department, program, or student organization, and compensated by Williams College.  A position’s duration may last one academic year, one semester, one month, or one hour.  Regardless of the type or duration of the position(s) students are hired to fill, they must be paid through the Payroll office.

Student pay grades and rates are designed to foster pay equity between departments and to encourage job retention.  The Student Employment Manager, along with Human Resources and the Provost’s Office, reviews student pay rates on an annual basis.  Hiring departments, programs, offices, and student organizations are not authorized to determine pay rates and must abide by the Williams College Pay Grade and Rate Schedule.  Pay grades and rates apply to all student position affiliated with Williams.

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Other Payroll Documents:

Tax Forms 

Student Employment Earnings are considered taxable income. There are two tax forms in the Human Resources System that a student will be able to access after a student starts in a position. One is the W4, used for federal income tax withholding from each paycheck. The other is the M4, used for Massachusetts state income tax withholding from each paycheck. Once a student starts their position, they will receive an email with instructions on where to review and/or change these two tax forms. **International students will use Sprintax to complete the W4 and will receive separate communication about this from the Payroll department. The M4 can be completed in the HR system.

Direct Deposit 

The college requires that all employees, including students, be enrolled in direct deposit. This is a free service that deposits earnings from student employment directly into any U.S. bank account(s).

The same bank account information a student uses for direct deposit in Accounts Payable will be utilized for  payroll direct deposit. If you need to enroll or want to review your Accounts Payable direct deposit information, after logging into the use the path:

Self Service > Campus Finances > Manage My Bank Account > Add Bank Account Details

Students will need their bank routing number and account number. Routing numbers are federally assigned to banks and not attached to your personal banking information. They can be found through a Google search or your bank’s general website. The account number is not the number on the front of your debit card.

To protect your personal financial security, never send personal bank account information via email.

**If enrolling in direct deposit represents a challenge for you, please be in touch with the Student Employment Manager at [email protected]

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Time sheet Management:  Students are responsible for submitting their work hours according to the Williams Student Pay Schedule.  Supervisors must approve reported time in the Human Resources System by the published deadlines to ensure that students are paid in a timely manner.  The pay schedule must be publicly posted in each employer work space. Falsification of time sheets is grounds for immediate dismissal from a position.

All student hours must be recorded for each date in a pay period that is worked. After a pay period ends, students will no longer have access to the timesheet for that period.

Hours worked in one pay period may not be reported in a different pay period. If a student makes an error or forgets to report hours, they should be in touch with their supervisor as soon as possible for assistance.

Students must log into the Human Resources System and record their hours for their respective job(s) for the appropriate pay period. It is the responsibility of each student employee to record their hours by the end of each pay period. This is the path to use once logged into the system:

Self Service > Time Reporting > Report Time > Timesheet or Webclock

Student positions are set up to use either the timesheet option or the webclock option. If you select one, but do not have the ability to enter your time, your position uses the other option.

Supervisors must review the student timesheets for accuracy, edit as necessary (always notifying a student if changes are made), and approve them in the Human Resources System in accordance with the published schedule. You will find an instruction guide for approving time on the Using Faculty & Staff Self Service page.

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Work Schedules:  Supervisors and student employees are expected to work together to establish work schedules.  Schedules may be fixed, variable, or a combination of the two.  Some positions may have special projects or peak periods when students are scheduled for concentrated blocks of time. Supervisors and student employees should consider academic and extracurricular workload, schedules of other jobs that are held, as well as department needs, when determining work schedules. Student employees should inform their supervisor of any known conflicts in their schedules that may prevent them from working.

If illness or some other unavoidable circumstance prevents attendance at work, the student employee must notify the supervisor as soon as possible.  It is the student employee’s responsibility to find an approved substitute if the supervisor has supplied a list of names for that purpose.  Continued absenteeism is cause for disciplinary action or dismissal.

Important Points for Scheduling

  • Per federal regulations, students are not permitted to work during times they are scheduled to attend class.
  • Students cannot record hours for more than one position simultaneously. There can be no overlapping hours between positions.
  • Per Massachusetts labor law, any student shift exceeding six (6) hours, must provide a 30 minute, unpaid break. Student employees must show this break on their timesheet.

Reading and examination periods are considered part of the academic year. While students are expected to work during these periods, supervisors may offer flexibility with student schedules to allow adequate opportunity to prepare for examinations.

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Disciplinary Procedures: The college depends on its student employees to be reliable and conscientious. Most job related difficulties or misunderstandings can be worked out between individual students and their supervisor. Students and supervisors are encouraged to speak directly with one another about job related issues as a first course of action.

If conversation results in discovery of a necessary accommodation to support a unique need for a student employee, the Student Employment Manager should be consulted to ensure necessary steps are taken to support the student employee to the extent possible.

If the initial conversation proves unsuccessful in modifying the problem, best practice is a second conversation accompanied by a written warning. The Student Employment Manager should be consulted in drafting this notice of correction.  Repeated negligence such as absenteeism, tardiness, timesheet abuse, or poor job performance will result in warnings or dismissal. If a written warning proves unsuccessful, the supervisor has grounds for dismissing the student. Falsification of time sheets is grounds for immediate dismissal from a position.

The Student Employment Manager should be made aware of any student employment issue(s) that are likely to result in a student’s dismissal. Supervisors and/or students may consult with the Student Employment Manager at any time for support around disciplinary issues and procedures.

Students dismissed for valid and supportable reasons may jeopardize their ability to work on campus for the remainder of the academic year.

Students who have questions, concerns, or other inquiries related to their position and/or supervisor, including any disciplinary actions, should contact the Student Employment Manager at [email protected].  This is a confidential e-mail and will not be shared with your supervisor without your consent or knowledge.

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Questions about these guidelines and best practices can be directed to: [email protected]
HR office: 413-597-2681