Capstone Project Title
Earning and Learning: Undergraduate Student Employment and The Importance of Relevant Work
Jana Lo Bello Miller
Current trends in undergraduate education show that more students than ever are working part-time jobs during college, and their academics are likely suffering as a result, as a greater number of hours worked correlates with a decrease in grade point average. This is especially problematic as it creates a socioeconomic inequity in academic standing, with students with less financial security or support from parents having to sacrifice their performance and their time in order to supplement their income or even to afford tuition. Relevant, meaningful job placement mitigates some of this effect if students can identify connections between their part-time employment and their career and academic goals, and colleges have started to enact strategies to encourage these connections through targeted, relevant work placements and coursework that intentionally draws from on-the-job experiences. So far, very little research exists into the employer’s role in establishing these connections or other efforts they can make to promote the student employee’s academic and career growth, even though the employer is often part of the university. This study explores the question: How can employers be more involved with their part-time undergraduate student employees’ academic and career goals, to help them make the most of their work-study experience? This question was addressed in the context of the author’s position at MiTech, Miami University’s walk-up laptop and technology support store, which employs around a dozen students under the author’s supervision. The research led to the development of a guidebook to facilitate the student employees’ training, treating their first semester of employment as a learning experience, a curriculum tailored to their career plans and academic studies. The goal of this effort is to maximize the benefit of the hours spent at work and mitigate the effects of the hours lost from potential study time. This effort shows that employers can play an important role in their student employees’ academic and career success and can serve as an example for other employers who hire student employees.
Adult Education, Technology, Undergraduate Education, Work-Study
Green, Benjamin, "Earning and Learning: Undergraduate Student Employment and The Importance of Relevant Work" (2021). School of Education and Leadership Student Capstone Projects. 649.
School of Education Student Capstone Projects