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Training is one of the critical functions of a supervisor to ensure that student employees understand how to use the tools of their position and how to best represent the department or work unit. In addition, training student employees allows them to grow in their positions and to reflect on how their positions connect to their academics and their careers. While training student employees thoroughly can take time, supervisors have a variety of tools and resources at their disposal. Well-trained student employees perform their duties with higher quality and more efficiency, allowing supervisors to focus on their other responsibilities. 

Training is different than orienting new student employees. During orientation, student employees receive access to tools, processes, etc., and learn why they’ll use those items and information. Through training, student employees learn the “how” of their positions. Another difference between orientation and training is that training continues beyond the first days and weeks of a new student employee’s tenure and should be incorporated throughout his or her employment.              

Integrating the Principles of Undergraduate Learning

IUPUI’s Principles of Undergraduate Learning (PULs) serve as a compass for supervisors to use in designing training activities. The PULs, listed below, are abilities and skills undergraduates are expected to master through their education at IUPUI. By using and integrating the PULs into student employee positions and programs, students can grasp the idea that learning also occurs outside the classroom. The PULs give supervisors a framework to guide student employee skill development and evaluation.

  1. Communication and Quantitative Skills
  2. Critical Thinking
  3. Integration and Application of Knowledge
  4. Intellectual Depth, Breadth, and Adaptiveness
  5. Understanding Society and Culture
  6. Values and Ethics

Listed below are a variety of resources to guide the development and implementation of training activities, as well as leverage existing resources on campus. The questions and considerations below are not comprehensive, but serve as a starting point for supervisors.   

Student Employee Training Considerations

  • What training needs exist? Should you conduct a needs assessment to determine areas for growth?
  • By the end of the training, what do your student employees need to walk away with?
  • What types of knowledge, skills, or abilities do you want to train on? Hard skills versus soft skills? Team building?
  • What is the best format for the training? Online? Individual? Group?
  • What is the best delivery method for the training?
  • Who should deliver the training? Supervisor? Department head? Other student employee? Outside party?
  • How can the training accommodate multiple learning styles?
  • How will you know if the training was successful? How will you evaluate the training?

Training Formats and Techniques

  • On-the-job training
  • Instructor-led learning
  • Job shadowing
  • Cross-training
  • Scenarios
  • Role-playing
  • Reflection exercises
  • Games
  • Rotations
  • Pairing up employees
  • Group training
  • Coaching
  • Mentoring
  • Stretch assignments

Training Topics

  • Communication skills
  • Conflict resolution
  • Teamwork
  • Research skills
  • Emergency procedures
  • Dealing with difficult customers
  • Customer service and Service with Distinction
  • Microsoft Excel
  • SPSS
  • SharePoint
  • Managing your finances
  • Connecting your student employee position to your career
  • Putting your position on your resume

Recommended Campus Trainings

Students working on campus may be required to completed specific trainings, based on their roles at IUPUI. Some required trainings may include:

On-Campus Training Resources

Additional Resources for Supervisors of Student Employees

On-campus supervisors or departments with questions about training student employees can contact us at 317-274-4856 or future@iupui.edu for coaching and consulting services.