Western Oregon University employs over 1,200 students each year. Student employment gives every student the opportunity to gain necessary skills and experience that they will need for their careers down the road. To aid both students and supervisors, we have created a section with specifics relating to working as a student employee. For questions or comments regarding student employment policies and practices, please contact the Human Resources Office.

All student employees must complete and turn in paperwork to the Human Resources Office. There are two separate packets for new student employees or returning employees. “Returning Employees” are classified as those who begin a new academic year (fall term) in the same position. If a student has worked on campus in another position, they may not need to fill out other HR forms. We recommend that they fill out the “Returning Student Employee” paperwork as well.

[section=Hiring a Student Employee]

Student employment at Western Oregon University is managed by the Human Resources Office. During the 2016 fiscal year, WOU employed a total of 1,121 students paying $2.9 million. This includes all regular student employees and work study students. The various aspects of the Student Employment Policy can be found here.

Hiring a Student Employee

Recruiting a student employee is at the discretion of the hiring department. Departments are required to observe the same non-discrimination practices for student employees as required for faculty and staff. Additionally, departments shall ensure that all affirmative action and other institutional policies are followed while hiring student workers. Students are not allowed to work in departments where a conflict of interest exists (e.g. SW Smith could not be supervised by a partner or other family member).

Once the department has selected a student for employment, the supervisor (or designee) must complete the Student Employment Notification Form on/before the FIRST day of work. Additionally, it is the responsibility of department supervisors to confirm eligible employment status by visiting the Student Employment Verification page inside the WOU Portal. If you do not have access to this form, please notify the Payroll Coordinator and they will get you access.

Confirming Eligible Employment Status

To be eligible to work as a student employee, students must be registered for at least six credit hours in the term of employment. As a supervisor, you must check this status at the beginning of the term and again after the fourth week of classes. If a student dips below six credits, they are no longer eligible to work as a student employee (there is one exception to this rule).  This exception exists when a student employee chooses to use their “free term.”  The free term is when a student is allowed to work for one term per calendar year without meeting enrollment requirements.  Federal Work Study funds may not be used during this free term. For more information view the Student Employee Policy.

On the Student Employment Verification page, you can see all of this information in a box titled “Registration Information.” If the student is registered for six or more credits, the “Required Credits for Employment:” section will read “Yes” for the appropriate term. If the term of employment is labeled with “No”, you will need to refer the student to the Human Resources Office immediately and remove all future work shifts from their schedule.

The “Employment Information” box at the bottom of the screen also outlines the number of hours a student can work in a week. If they are not eligible to work, this box will say “0” for hours allowed. A student can work up to 20 hours per week without approval or 30 hours per week with approval from the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. NO STUDENT can work beyond 30 hours per week.

Can I hire a student who isn’t a WOU student?

Yes. Students attending another Oregon public university or non system students (those not attending an Oregon public university) are eligible to work provided they’re taking six or more credits. To qualify for employment at WOU, the student must demonstrate their eligibility by providing documentation during the first week of EVERY term they wish to work at WOU. The documentation can include:

  • Schedule of classes
  • Receipt of fees paid for current term
  • School ID
  • Chemeketa students must obtain an Enrollment Verification Form from the Enrollment Center on Chemeketa’s campus (2nd floor of building 2).

Students that are taking less than six credits and ARE NOT enrolled at WOU do not qualify for exceptions and cannot be employed as a student.

I’ve hired a student employee and confirmed their eligible employment status. Now what?

Prior to their first shift, it is critical that the student employee visit the Human Resources Office and fill out the proper paperwork. If the student has not worked as a student employee at WOU in the past, they will need to fill out a new employee packet. This packet is also available on this website under the “Forms” menu. For students employed by WOU in the past (as a student employee), a simple form updating their contact information will suffice. This paperwork must be completed PRIOR TO THE FIRST DAY OF WORK. If you or the student is unsure, please contact the Human Resources Office at (503)-838-8490


[section=Supervisor Hire Checklist]

This checklist serves as a guide for supervisors to complete all necessary steps for student employment.

Prior to Hire:
  • Post position in WolfLink.
  • Advertise opening.
  • Review resumes.
  • Begin interview process.
  • Review employment eligibility.
    • Student Employment Requirements
    • Employment of Minors
    • International Students/F-1 Visa
  • Extend offer and give employee official start date.


Prior to Employee’s Start Date
  • Provide employee with Student Employee Paperwork (can be located on the Forms Page)
  • Retain a signed copy of Student Employee Information for student personnel records.
  • Send employee to Human Resources to complete employment paperwork and obtain Stamped Employment Authorization Form, when completed this should be returned to the supervisor indicating the student has completed necessary steps to begin work.
  • Review the Student Employment Policy
  • If applicable, provide student access to any necessary systems.


On Employee’s Start Date
  • Collect Student Employment Authorization and retain a copy for student personnel records. This must be authorized by Human Resources before employee can work.
  • Review hire information with employee, including information about schedule, timesheets, pay periods, and pay days.
  • Have employee complete any department specific forms and training’s.


[section=Work Breaks]

Length of Work Period Number of Rest Breaks Required Number of Meal Periods Required
2 hours or less 0 0
2 hours 1 min – 5 hours 59 min 1 0
6 hours 1 1
6 hours 1 min – 10 hours 2 1
10 hours 1 min – 13 hours 59 min 3 1
14 hours 3 2
14 hours 1 min – 18 hours 4 2
18 hours 1 min – 21 hours 59 min 5 2
22 hours 5 3
22 hours 1 min – 24 hours 6 3
BOLI Standards for Work Break Length:

Students working a shift of four consecutive hours are entitled to a paid break not less than ten minutes in length (every 4 hours). Students working six or more hours in a day are required to take an unpaid meal break not less than 30 minutes in length.

  • i.e. Student is working from 8am to 5pm – student must take a meal break and is allotted two (2) 10 minute paid breaks.
  • State law requires a ten minute break every 4 hours after the two hour mark. i.e. A student who works 9am – 11:30am is allowed one ten minute break.

More information on work breaks is available on the BOLI website.


[section=Student Employment Verification Instructions]

Before employing a student at the beginning of the academic year, either as a new or returning student worker, the supervising department must verify a number of facts. Supervisors should login through the Portal and click on Student Employment Verification under My Programs. Below are some instructions and screenshots to assist a supervisor using the verification tool for the first time.

Step 1:

Student employee supervisors must verify that their student employees are actually students. The student must be registered for the appropriate number of credits based on their student type. Undergraduate students must be registered for at least six credit hours per term, international undergraduate students must be registered for twelve credits and international graduate students must be registered for nine. For simplicity, in this box you will see simply a “yes” or “no” indicating your student meets the qualifications needed that are unique to their student type.


Step 2:

Review the number of hours the student is allowed to work per week. The number of hours a student is allowed to work will only be changed from “up to 20 hours” to a greater amount if the student has special permission from the Vice President for Student Affairs.


Step 3:

If the student has brought back the Student Employment Authorization page, stamped and signed by HR, then the student has completed all paperwork with the Human Resources Office and is ready to begin work. Federal laws state that employees must complete all necessary employment paperwork (completion of I-9) within 3 days of beginning work. Returning student employees will not need I-9 documentation or direct deposit information if they have previously provided this. However it is important if changing departments to complete the Returning Student Packet, which also includes a Student Employment Authorization page that must be returned before beginning work.


Step 4:

Supervisors should check to see if their student worker has work study available to use. If the student has work study, the appropriate box will be marked “Yes” and the remaining balance will show below it. Note: this step should be done monthly when completing the Department’s student payroll roster.

If there are holds on the student’s financial aid, their work study may not be used. Hold’s will show up next to the student’s work study status as below.


Step 5:

Finally, if your student worker is a non-WOU student worker (student at another school) then proof of enrollment must be provided to the Human Resources Office by the end of the first week of each term. Supervisors must verify the appropriate box for the current term has been checked here. If no proof is given to the Human Resources Office then the student worker may be asked to stop working until it is provided.




Human Resources

P: 503-838-8490 | F: 503-838-8522 | E-mail: hr@wou.edu