Supervising Today's Students

Overview and Benefits

It takes a special set of skills to effectively hire, orient, motivate, train, and develop student employees. Therefore, Learning and Development, in partnership with the Office of Student Employment and the UI STEP program is pleased to offer a certificate program for UI faculty and staff which supports the UI strategic goal of undergraduate student success. The Supervising Today's Students Series (STS) focuses on developing skills for individuals who supervise and/or represent undergraduate students, while providing insights on how to best lead and support student employees.

All faculty and staff are invited to take part in the series, or select courses which are most pertinent to their individual needs. All courses are open to all regardless of participation in the certificate program. Participants who complete all STS series requirements will be eligible for a certificate. To be awarded a certificate, participants may complete any six courses of their choice.  The courses do not have to all be done in one semester.

In the past 2 ½ years, the Supervising Today’s Students series has awarded 143 certificates to campus supervisors. In 64 workshops, we have had a total of 1,427 university employees attend. If you have any questions about the series, please contact Josh Frahm at or at 319-384-4024.


Pre-Employment Process Coaching

January 31, 2018 | 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

The pre-employment process is the first step in creating a top of the line employment culture within your department. During this session, we will focus our discussion on how to attract the top student candidates by improving your workplace culture through highly effective processes at each level of pre-employment.  We will focus on job advertisement, creating effective job descriptions, a culture defining interview process, and setting expectations for the student before they start. Gain the competitive edge with your pre-employment processes by attending this workshop.

Learning Styles—Understanding How Students Learn

February 5, 2018 | 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Have you ever tried to learn something or teach something to one of your students that seemed fairly simple, yet the key idea was unable to be grasped? If so, you may have experienced a clash in learning styles. When this happens, communication can break down and learning fails. This can be a frustrating experience for everyone. Through this workshop, our goal is to help you understand your own learning style in order to give you the ability to teach others more effectively. We will also have each participant think about and discuss their own training philosophies and how they can be improved with a better understanding of how your student employees learn best.

Successfully Training Student Employees

February 20, 2018 | 9:30 am – 11:00 am

Effectively training front-line student employees is vital to the quality of customer service your organization can provide, but training students has some unique challenges. This course will address those challenges while offering participants an opportunity to explore training as a process that begins with your hiring procedures and continues throughout employment. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with each other while designing or updating their own student employee training program using a conceptual framework.

Effectively Leading Students

March 8, 2018 | 10:00 am - 11:30 am

My students are hired, so now what? Leading students can be an overwhelming job, but supervisors will leave this course with tips on how to communicate and build relationships with students while at the same time setting boundaries. Students today are asking for opportunities to be challenged in their workplaces, and as supervisors we have the opportunity to model leadership and set the example for our students so they may perform well and develop into strong leaders in their own right. We will also be exploring best practices in student employee supervision and the challenges and opportunities of leading students today!

Conflict Management For Student Supervisors

March 29, 2018 | 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

A critical skill for supervisors is the ability to address conflicts with employees effectively. This workshop will introduce student supervisors to several key conflict management concepts and tools, to help prepare them to respond appropriately to conflicts with student employees. It will be a highly interactive session including large group discussion and small group work. 

Progressive Discipline: The Structure to Student Success

April 3, 2018 | 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

When students apply for a position on campus, it may be the first time they have ever had a job. This is a great opportunity for student employees to gain experience that will help them beyond the classroom. As a Supervisor, it is your responsibility to set them up for success in your workplace and beyond. This workshop will focus on the creation and implementation of progressive disciplinary policies that aim to benefit the student and the supervisor by creating a fair, consistent, and equitable environment that fosters success. Throughout the workshop we will discuss the basics of creating and implementing a policy that works for a staff of all sizes, how to enforce policies consistently and create an environment where your expectations are met and the work is accomplished.

Evaluating Student Employee Performance

April 11, 2018 | 9:30 am - 11:00 am

What comes to mind when you think of evaluating employee performance? The once-a-year performance review? One-size-fits-all forms that don’t really match the needs of your staff? Where do I even start? Who has time for that? This session will focus on strategies for providing consistent, ongoing, timely feedback, types of assessments, and how those strategies change as team size increases. Most importantly, you’ll take away some practical ideas you can start with as soon as you get back to your desk – not in a few months!

Student Reward & Recognition Programs

April 20, 2018 | 10:00 am – 11:30 am

The current generation of students in the workplace values feedback and recognition greatly. This workshop will focus on the importance of having a solid employee recognition strategy in efforts to improve student employee engagement, retention, and performance. Throughout the workshop, we will discuss the important aspects of successful employee recognition programs and work in groups to brainstorm methods of rewarding students within your department. Think of this workshop as the “GUIDE” to Modern Employee Recognition Programs.

Creating an Effective and Positive Workplace Culture

April 30, 2018 | 10:30 am –12:00 pm

The key to having a successful workplace culture, and in turn a successful workplace, starts and ends with your employees. In this case, that involves student employees. This workshop will focus on getting your students on board with your departmental culture from day one. Our presentation will focus on how to set clear expectations, set appropriate goals for your employees, create open and winning relationships, and go through how to hold your employees accountable. We look forward to discussing many tips and best practices in a positive and interactive setting.

Course Instructors

  • Josh Frahm, UI STEP & Student Employment Coordinator, Office of Student Employment
  • Stephanie Preschel, Assistant Director, Academic Support & Retention
  • Lindsay Moen, Department Liaison, Special Collections & University Archives
  • Cara Wiebel, Assistant Director-Orientation Services
  • Anita Cory, Associate Director-CSIL, Office of Student Life
  • Cynthia Joyce, University Ombudsperson, Office of the President
  • Allison Hursh, Assistant in Instruction, Health and Human Physiology
  • Kimberly Keister, ITS Support Consultant, ITS-Enterprise Services
  • Jacqueline Kleppe, Director, Collegiate and Community Relations

A very special thanks to our course instructors for their willingness to share their expertise and knowledge with our campus community.


Open enrollment will occur for each semester. Please register for each class separately when listed on the Employee Self Service site. Available sessions default to alphabetical order and all courses connected to this series will be listed as "STS: course title". Also, watch for our advertising channels (brochures, web, listserv) for current offerings.