Giving Compass’ Take:
· As policy debate continues on over the future of the federal work-study program, Education Dive explores how some colleges are taking steps to find new kinds of jobs for students to gain proper work experience.
· What is the federal work-study program and how has it provided students with an opportunity to further their education? How are colleges rethinking this federal program?
Work-study programs are getting more attention in the hopes they will tackle some of higher education’s thorniest problems: Attracting and retaining more low-income students, and addressing the chiding colleges often receive about not preparing students for the world of work.
“This is an important time for work-study,” said Reid Setzer, co-author of a 2014 review of the Federal Work-Study (FWS) program that critiques the formula it uses to distribute $1 billion in funds each year, as well as the kinds of jobs it offers students. “The key question is: How can we develop better employment opportunities, and how can we get them to low-income students?”
The answer is proving to be two-part: changing how jobs are structured and the nature of the work itself. To both those ends, colleges are getting creative in offering work experiences that reflect students’ academic and career goals and that help set them on a related path after graduation.
At the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), students seeking FWS and institutionally funded jobs must develop a resume, apply through a job board and have a formal interview. Once in the role, student workers are reviewed based on written goals and job parameters.
Read the full article about reinventing work-study jobs by James Paterson at Education Dive.
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