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Student Work Study and Supervisor Handbook

Student Work-Study Employment - Introduction

Northern New Mexico College student work study employment program provides job opportunities for students both on and off campus.  These valuable and exciting opportunities are made possible from both federal and state resources.  The federal and state work study programs provide jobs for undergraduate students attending Northern, allowing students to earn money to help pay their educational expenses. If the student works off-campus, then the employer must be an approved private, nonprofit organization or public agency. The work performed must be in the public interest.

Although many students qualify, a work study award is not offered to all eligible students due to limited funding. We will make a conscious attempt to support employment needs of all Northern’s students to the greatest extent possible.

To the maximum extent possible Northern’s Financial Aid Office encourages employment that complements and reinforces each student employee’s educational program and career goals.  To participate, a student must be awarded Work Study as part of his/her Financial Aid Package. The current wage rate is $10.50  per hour and a student can work a maximum 20 hours per week each semester. When school is not in session, students may be eligible to work more than the 20 hours per week depending on the availability of allocated funds. The total work study award is based on the following:

  1. When the student completed FAFSA and Financial Aid file
  2. The student must demonstrate need
  3. The level of funding Northern receives
  4. Days left in the semester

The policies and procedures outlined in this handbook apply to Northern’s student employee program.  This handbook is intended to help students become familiar with Northern’s student employment policies and practices.

This is your handbook.  Please read it carefully and keep it handy for quick reference.  This handbook will be available on Northern’s Financial Aid web page at www.nnmc.edu.  If you should have any questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office located in the Montoya Administration Building, Room 278 or by calling 505-747-2128. All policies and procedures are subject to change.

Purpose of College Work Study

The student employment program is designed to provide part-time employment to students who have financial need and require additional income to help meet costs of post secondary education.  Students on work study may also, if eligible, be awarded other forms of financial assistance (ex. Grants, scholarship, etc.)

In addition to assisting students with their educational costs, the student employment program also provides students with actual work experience.  Students are provided with an opportunity to apply their skills in a professional environment and at the same time learn new skills that can be carried over to future employment.  Additionally, student employees are encouraged to develop positive attitudes and good work habits that will be of value in the job market.

The Student Work Study Employee must:

  1. Apply for financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid each year to continue eligibility in the work study program. Students are encouraged to apply early by or before October 1st
  2. Pre-register for at least six credit hours for the subsequent term to be eligible to work between terms (ex. Summer)
  3. Maintain satisfactory academic progress (Appendix A)
  4. Comply with all policies outlined in Northern’s Student Work Study Employee Handbook
  5. Comply with Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Student information MUST NOT be disclosed without written consent by the student. You are also not allowed to discuss outside the office any confidential information regarding the student
  6. Follow the departmental dress code policy and conduct policy
  7. Northern’s Nepotism policy also applies to student employees. (Appendix B)
  8. Anytime a student will not be in to work, they MUST call or email before their scheduled work time to notify their supervisor
  9. Three consecutive missed days without proper notification or justification will lead to termination of the students work study position

The Student Work Study Supervisor must:

  1. Develop a mutually agreed upon work schedule to meet departmental needs that will not conflict with the student employee’s class schedule
  2. Ensure student employees work only the maximum work hour limit approved on Authorization Form
  3. Be available to sign or have a designated person available to sign student work study employee time sheet and submit signed time sheet to Financial Aid Office by the date indicated on the pay schedule
  4. Cannot allow work study students to begin working until approval has been made by the Student Employment Coordinator, if supervisor fails to comply any hours worked before approval will be paid directly from department funding
  5. Ensure that hours reported for payment are reflective of hours actually worked. Must maintain a separate record or file of the time in and outs for the day for audit purposes. Record will assist in accurate time sheet reporting
  6. Submission of all time sheets must be in a sealed envelope if delivered by the student it will not be accepted otherwise
  7. Supervisors should set a positive example of professional, polite, and ethical behavior. If students witness a supervisor that is punctual and professional, they will learn the importance of doing the same
  8. Cannot allow current work study employee to assist another department (Sharing, lending of student work study employee(s) is prohibited
  9. Anyone who shares and or lends their current student work study employee who has been Authorized for hire within their department, jeopardizes their current position(s) for grounds of termination of all current and future employees. Not allowed
  10. Ensure the student as well as the supervisor become familiar with the policies and procedures contained in this handbook
  11. Ensure the student is informed about the Federal Family Educational Right and Privacy Act (FERPA). Information MUST NOT be disclosed without written consent by the student.
  12. Employees are also not allowed to discuss outside the office any information regarding a student
  13. Inform the Financial Aid Office of when a termination occurs
  14. Inform the Financial Aid Office of any infractions
  15. Northern’s Nepotism policy also applies to student employees

Each supervisor or department chair who wish to request for the creation of a work study position must first indicate they’re interest with the Budget Analysis team before the beginning of the Fiscal Year. Each department must budget the amount of work study aside from their current operational budget. This procedure is done in case a student has exceeded his/her work study award(s) that hiring department will be liable and responsible to paid student(s) directly from department budget.

  1. The department supervisor must complete the following forms and submit to the Work-Study Coordinator (by Jan. 20th)
    Work-Study Request Form and Job Description & Duties Form
  2. Work-Study Assignment Committee will review new position requests on an annual basis (February) and make final decision to Approve or Deny the request
  3. If approved, the Work-Study Coordinator will notify supervisor and instruct the requesting department to address the new position at annual budget process
  4. If request is Denied, Work-Study Coordinator will notify the requesting department supervisor
  5. Work-Study Coordinator will create job advertisement that is posted both online and in the Financial Aid Office
  6. Supervisor is responsible to schedule interviews and complete selection process
  7. Selected candidate will return completed Authorization Form (signed by supervisor) to the Work-Study Coordinator
  8. Start Date for student employee is provided after all HR documentation is completed and New Student Orientation has been attended

The Financial Aid Office will determine an appropriate award amount for each student who is eligible for student work study employment. In determining the award amount the financial aid office will consider the individual student’s financial need, eligibility of degree program, student’s enrollment hours, period of employment, anticipated wage rate, and amount of other assistance available to that student.

Northern may only award student work study employment to a student if the award combined with the other resources the student receives, does not exceed the student’s maximum financial need.

In the event of an ‘over award’ a Financial Aid Officer or Student Employment Coordinator will adjust the amount of the students work study employment award. The student will be notified and may be asked to reduce working hours or may be terminated depending on the adjustment made by the Financial Aid Office.

Students must not start working before a Work-Study award is offered and accepted. Once awarded, it is the responsibility of the student to locate a job vacancy, interview for the position and get hired by the department supervisor and complete all documents required by the Human Resource department. Final approval and start date is determined by the Student Employment Coordinator once the Authorization Form has been submitted to the Financial Aid Office.

Vacancies are posted both online and outside the Financial Aid Office upon receipt of a Job Announcement from the department supervisor.  The Financial Aid Office will issue job announcement forms to each department supervisor for specific job description and duties.

Students must meet the eligibility requirements, documentations and receive approval from the Financial Aid Office prior to commencing work.

  1. The supervisor listed on the Work Study Job announcement form is contacted by the student and arrangements are made for an interview
  2. A Student Employment Authorization Form is provided to all students awarded student employment. This form lists the amount of hours the student is available to work. This form must be taken to the interview
  3. The form must be taken to the Human Resources department to complete the required hiring documentation. Currently returned to the Student Employment Coordinator
  4. Then the completed hire form is returned to the Financial Aid Office. A copy must be made by the hiring department
  5. At that time (if necessary), the student will complete an I-9 and a W-4 form. NOTE: An acceptable documentation listing can be provided by the Financial Aid Office


  1. W-4 Form- Student is required to complete a W-4 form for Federal income tax withholdings. (Appendix C)
  2. I-9 Form- the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 require all employees to verify their identification. Documents required: (Appendix D)
  3. An acceptable documentation listing will be provided to the student prior to completing form. Student will provide two forms of Identification listed on the form
  4. A Personnel Action Form is complete by the Financial Aid Office and submitted to Payroll Office to complete hiring process.
  1. Northern’s Nepotism policy also applies to student employees

Every new student at Northern who has accepted their work study award will be required to attend a new student orientation at the time of completing their Human Resource documentation for hiring. If there is a group of students, a location, date and time will be announced at a later time.

Each student will be responsible to be on time.

All new student employees are employed on a probationary period for the first 20 work days.  This trial period gives the student an opportunity to determine if they are in a job setting appropriate for them as well as allows the supervisor to determine whether the student is able to perform satisfactorily in the position.

A student may be involuntarily terminated during this period without implication of criticism or specification of cause.

Students who have been awarded work study funds for the upcoming semester will receive a Student Work Study Employee Authorization Form in the mail a month prior to the end of the current term or may pick up the form from the Financial Aid Office.

If the student does not receive this form, there may be a problem with their file, please check with the Financial Aid Office.

A student cannot be rehired if they do not present this form prior to commencing work and approved by the Financial Aid Office. *The hiring department may be responsible for payment to the student if the student employee continues employment without Financial Aid Office approval*

A student work study employee has the option of reapplying for the purpose of transferring to any vacant position which fits his/her interests or skills upon approval of the Financial Aid Office.

A separation form will be required by the student and supervisor to properly and administratively terminate the students prior position.

Student employees may be terminated for various circumstances. There are three broad categories:

Administrative Termination- The Financial Aid Office may terminate student work study employment for any of the following reasons:

  1. The student employee’s earnings have accrued an amount equal to his or her financial need for the academic year
  2. The student employee is not maintaining satisfactory academic progress or,
  3. The student employee is enrolled in less than half-time or has withdrawn from Northern
  4. The student employee has received a scholarship(s) that is need-based
  5. All funds allocated to Northern have been spent

The Financial Aid Office will notify both the student work study employee and the hiring supervisor before an administrative termination occurs.

Voluntary Termination- Student employees may resign from their place of employment upon giving written notice. All resignations should be submitted in writing, no less than one week prior to the indicated date of termination. Student employees may also be considered for voluntary termination if the student is absent for three consecutive days without permission or notice to the supervisor.

Involuntary Termination- Student employees may be involuntarily dismissed from their position if there is failure to perform in a satisfactory manner; or if a major offense is committed such as theft, gross misconduct, gross insubordination, etc. If a student employee is involuntarily terminated, the grievance procedures outlined in Northern’s Student Work Study Employment & Supervisor Handbook will be followed.

  1. A verbal warning is given to the student employee.
  2. A written warning from the supervisor is given to the student employee with a written summary of the case sent to the Financial Aid Office.
  3. Termination of the student employee with a written summary of the case sent to the Financial Aid Office.
  4. Supervisor must submit a Separation Form to the Student Employment Coordinator, the form must be signed by both the supervisor and student employee. This form will be placed in the student’s file. Please attach copies of written warnings given, if applicable. The Separation Form is available online under the Work Study and Student Employment.

*Each department can create their own termination procedure as long as it meets the minimum as outlined above*

The student work study employee payroll time sheet (Appendix E) must be signed by the student and the student’s supervisor. Turned into the Financial Aid Office on the dates indicated on the payroll schedule. Time sheets are to be submitted to the Financial Aid Office by 5:00 pm no exceptions according to the Payroll Schedule but are subject to change.

Failure to meet this deadline may result in the time sheets will not be processed until the following pay period.  Time sheets must be submitted by the supervisor or in a sealed envelope if submitted by the student. Student employees are paid on an hourly basis.

The current wage rate is $10.50  per hour. When payday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, checks/ direct deposits will be distributed the Friday before.

Work-Study student employees have two options for receiving their earned wages:

  1. Direct Deposit; or
  2. Paychecks – Paychecks may be picked up from the Cashier’s window, they will be mailed directly to student if there is no response or if the student fails to pick up within 14 days.

It is highly recommended that all Northern New Mexico College Work Study student employees enroll for Direct Deposit.

To enroll in Direct Deposit a student must complete the “Direct Deposit Form” available in the Human Resource Department. *Direct Deposit recipients will have a pay check available at the Cashier’s their first payday, thereafter will be direct deposit.* Please refer to (Appendix F)

Student employees are not eligible for:

  1. Annual Leave
  2. Educational Retirement
  3. Holiday pay
  4. Sick Leave
  5. Unemployment Insurance

Work Study is awarded after the eligibility for all Federal and State aid has been determined.  All financial aid awards including work-study are subject to change at any time during the year due to change in enrollment status, verification of financial aid file and notification of other resources, student need or availability of funds.

Students must be enrolled in at least six credit hours during the Fall and Spring semesters.


Number of Hours

per Week



Number of Weeks

per Term

Wage Rate
20 Full-time (12 or more) 16 $10.50
16 ¾ time (9 – 11 credits) 16 $10.50
12 ½ time (6 – 8 credits) 16 $10.50

All Northern employees contribute to Social Security as a requirement of the Federal Insurance Compensation Act (FICA). Student employees are exempt from this deduction as long as they are enrolled in at least 6 credit hours.  During times of non-enrollment FICA is withheld from earnings.

In accordance with the Federal Work-Study rules and regulations, Work-Study funds cannot be used to compensate a student for overtime hours. Therefore, the Department will be 100% responsible for any overtime paid to the Work-Study student employee. If the supervisor does not have enough work for the student employee to be occupied, the student should be relieved from work for that day.  Work Study does not mean that the student can get paid for work that has not been performed.

The Financial Aid Office will monitor student employees on a regular basis.  Periodic visits of work-sites will be conducted to determine the need for work study employee positions and to verify appropriateness of work activities as well as customer service. Student work study class schedule(s) will be asked in order to monitor each student equally.

Upon approval by their supervisor, student employees are permitted to take a 15 minute break or rest period away from their working department for every two hours of work.  These rest periods must be scheduled.  Student employees who work 8 continuous hours must take a minimum of 1 hour lunch. This lunch break must be taken at mid-point during the 8 hour shift.

Due to liability issues, student work study employees are not permitted to utilize personal nor college vehicles to conduct college related business.

Student employees are expected to dress appropriately for the work they perform as determined by the departmental policy.  Departments are encouraged to inform student employees of this policy at the time of hire.

Student work study employee(s) work activities such as, excessive or lengthy personal phone calls, excessive visits from friends, or engaging in personal work is prohibited.  Northern recognizes that a limited number of personal calls may be made during work hours if necessary; however, such calls should be kept to a minimum.

When an injury occurs on the job, the department supervisor or designated staff must notify the Human Resources Department to file an incident report.  Any questions regarding accidents should be referred to the Human Resources Department.

At any time Northern is closed for holidays, closed or delayed for inclement weather, student employees will not be paid for hours not worked. Information will be available online at nnmc.edu, on KDCE radio or you may contact 505-747-2100.

The College, through IT and departments, provides computer accounts to authorized users for access to various College systems. These accounts are a means of operator identification and passwords are used as a security measure. An individual’s computer account shall not be shared. Account use is a privilege, not a right. Please Note: Students access is immediately disabled at the end of the academic year.

Northern affirms that it will not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, national origin, religion, age or disability in any of its policies, practices or procedures in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws, nor will it condone any act of illegal discrimination or harassment on the part of the employees.  This provision includes, but is not limited to, employment, admissions, testing, financial aid and educational services.  It is the policy of Northern not to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, marital status or ancestry.  Upon request, Northern will provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities with regard to conditions of employment as provided by applicable federal, state, and local laws.

Northern New Mexico College is committed to the prevention of unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by all students and employees on school premises or as a part of any of its activities. Substance abuse in the workplace, on the campus or other College locations, or while on College business is prohibited. Substance abuse is defined as the unauthorized possession, distribution, dispensing, manufacture, sale or use or being under the influence of controlled substances that are identified in Schedules I through V of Section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act, 21 USC 812 (United States Code, Title XXI, Chapter 13) or its implementing regulations, 21 CFR Sections 1308.11 to 1308.15 where the use is neither authorized by law nor a valid prescription, or the misuse of a legal substance, including but not limited to alcohol or prescription drugs, that may affect an individual’s ability to perform his or her job in a safe, adequate and secure manner.

While Northern is committed to maintaining a professional work environment, it also recognizes that misunderstandings and disagreements between an employer and a work study employee may arise regarding terms and conditions of employment. These disagreements should be resolved promptly through a discussion between the student employee and the immediate supervisor.  If a resolution is not found, the student employee may appeal to the next level of administration within the hiring department or agency. At any step or level of the proceedings, the employee or supervisor may ask a representative of the financial aid office to serve as consultant to the proceedings. In such cases, the consultant will serve in the capacity of an information gathering and advising person only.

Northern offers over 50 bachelor's, associate and certificate programs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math); Nursing and Health Sciences; Liberal Arts and Humanities; Arts, Film & Media; Business Administration; Teacher Education and Technical Trades.
Northern New Mexico College is the most affordable 4-year college in the Southwestern US. Choose us for our value, our quality degree and continuing education programs in diverse areas of study, and our experienced faculty. We provide students with unique opportunities for academic, personal, and professional growth, small class sizes, personalized attention, and strong hands-on experiences from day one.
The Northern Foundation remains committed to stimulate leadership, promote equity, and grow resources and philanthropy in the Española Valley and surrounding rural areas. Over the past twenty years, we have granted $1.3 million to support over 1,250 NNMC students.