Planning for Higher Education Journal

Redefining Federal Work-Study Programs

Support Students in Their Academic and Professional Success by Developing Their Career-Readiness Skills
Journal Cover
From Volume 49 Number 1 | October–December 2020
By Dea Marx, EdD, Jessica Flinkman, and Carla Wilson
Planning Types: Student Affairs Planning

Institutions referenced in this resource:
University of Missouri-Kansas City

As Federal Work-Study (FWS) programs are coming under national scrutiny for their lack of proven effectiveness and antiquated systems, the University of Missouri-Kansas City reevaluated the culture surrounding its student employee positions. After collaborating with financial aid personnel and identifying key stakeholders, a new program was created to focus on professional-readiness skills and developing a culture of high-quality, campus-wide customer service. Former expectations of FWS positions were revised to include more intentional career-readiness opportunities. Doing so required investing in professional development for supervisors and support for mentoring student employees. This article presents the planning and collaboration methods that are vital to implementing an innovative program and provides insight for other universities seeking to professionalize their FWS programs.

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