Community Service Work Study

Resources for Partner Sites

Community Service Work Study Overview

Hire a Rhody Ram! The Center for Career and Experiential Education(CCEE) and Office of Civic and Engagement and Action(OCEA) work alongside Enrollment Services to support part-time, community-based positions for URI students to gain real world work experience related to their interests or field of study while building a strong relationship with the URI’s surrounding community.

Community Service Work Study (CSWS) positions provide opportunities for URI students to work for off-campus community partners and be paid through URI and the student’s federal work study award. Students must have a Federal Work Study (FWS) award to participate. “The FWS program provides part-time employment for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the student’s course of study (Federal Student Aid).”

Community Partner Qualifications & Requirements:

  • Be a school or non-profit 501(c)(3) organization
  • Complete an Off Campus Federal Work Study Agreement
  • Complete and post a position description prior to the start of the academic year (through Handshake)
  • Assist with recruitment and selection of student workers. Although URI will hire the student, you will interview and select the students hired.
  • Provide supervision and support of student workers in a safe environment
  • Pay costshare (10%, if applicable), which is invoiced twice a year (end of each academic term). Math and reading tutors, Pre-K to 12 and open to the community (not a private/exclusive opportunity) are eligible for 100% Federal Work Study.
  • Able to communicate student employee engagement or concerns in a timely manner (i.e. confirmation of service hours, change in schedule, etc.)

Community Service Work Study Partner Site Process

Step 1: Partner Application Process

  • Complete the Partner Application and Needs Assessment and include the following:
  • Proof of 501c3 status
  • Job Description – CCEE will provide resources and support for how to write and post your position description
  • Enrollment Services will review your application and once approved you will sign the Off-Campus Federal Work Study Agreement.
  • Confirmation sent to you from Enrollment Services for the pay split, if applicable, and the schedule for invoice payment (if you owe a portion of the student payroll)
  • Have questions or need assistance during this step? Email Enrollment Services staff at

Step 2: Student Employee Recruitment & Selection

After your site is approved and the agreement is signed we will ask that the jobs be posted on Handshake. Handshake is a platform where employers share opportunities with URI students. You can find guidance on how to create your Handshake employer account and post opportunities below.

Handshake Quick Tip Sheets:

Connect with us! CCEE will advertise Community Service Work Study positions through social media and at campus events, and students will apply directly to you! We will support you though the Handshake process and once you have selected your candidate – let us know. URI Enrollment Services will then work with the student to complete the hiring paperwork. You will be notified when they are ready to report to work!

We can help guide you through the Handshake process, and assist with recruitment on campus!

Connect with Alicia

Step 3: Ongoing Support & Supervision

CCEE & Enrollment Services are available to support you throughout this experience. In addition to being available with questions, they also support these ongoing pieces:

  • With communication and confirmation from the site, Enrollment Services officially approves timecards
  • Students receive a paycheck through the URI payroll system
  • CCEE and Enrollment Services will be in touch with you if your student is close to reaching the end of their work study dollars
  • CCEE supports you and your students during the experience, and also administers mid and end of experience evaluations

Tracking of Student Hours:
Students are responsible for tracking their own hours and are expected to submit their hours through e-campus (URI system) every two weeks. The students and supervisors must also submit a hard copy timesheet, which can be emailed directly to Enrollment Services approval. Please note: The student reported e-campus hours and the verified timesheet hours must match. If there are any discrepancies, CCEE or Enrollment Services will notify the supervisor for clarification.

Paying Students:
There must be a supervisor to sign off on the paper timesheet; but the University is responsible for paying the students.

End of Service
Once a student reaches the end of their work study dollars, as a site you can either: hire the student on your payroll, ask the student to say as a volunteer, or end the experience. We recommend being transparent about this outcome so that the student is not surprised if they need to leave the position early. CCEE & Enrollment Services will work with you and notify you if and when this might happen, and help you plan your position appropriately to be able to engage the student for a full semester or academic year (if applicable).

Student Employment Process

No matter where you are in the process – just starting out, refreshing the on-boarding and orientation, transitioning to virtual or remote student employment – the CCEE Employer Relations Team is ready and able to support you.

Posting & Promoting

All student employment job postings must be made available on Handshake. Through this platform, students have immediate access to a searchable database of every open job available, providing up-to-the-minute information on what opportunities exist. To hire work study eligible students only please include this in the body of your posting. When asked to select a “Job Type” please select “on-campus job”.

If you are interested in screening potential candidates at an Student Employment Fair (see our Events Calendar) this can be a great way to meet the students who are considering applying for positions in the community and who will be utilizing Work Study funds. Student Employment Fairs are typically held twice per academic year.

Screening & Interviewing

The student employment hiring process is designed to mimic the process candidates undergo when applying for a full-time job or internship. As this may be a student’s first time applying for a professional position, employers are encouraged to view this process as a learning opportunity for potential candidates.

Completed applications can be automatically emailed to supervisors by Handshake. These application packets will include student profile data, resumes, cover letters and supplemental documents as you request. As a best practice, the Center for Career & Experiential Education  recommends creating a folder within your email inbox to collect application packets as you receive them in order to stay organized, or utilize Handshake as a secure place to complete all parts of the process. 

When reviewing applications, it’s helpful to think realistically about how well the students skills match the needs of the position. On-campus student employment is a learning experience for students and may be their first professional position. By acting as a mentor and guiding them along their career development pathway, you not only prepare them for the world of work, but increase the student’s effectiveness and investment in your department’s position.

Position interviews can be conducted at any time once applications are open and candidates have completed applications. Supervisors should give candidates advance notice of interview availability, who will be conducting the interview, and any requirements of the interview if appropriate. 

Once interviews have been completed and a decision has been made on which candidate or candidates to hire, please be sure to issue an offer to the successful candidate. This should include the anticipated start date, pay rate, and any additional information useful to the newly-hired employee.  This can be done directly through Handshake, as can an email sent to those applicants who will not be hired.  This communication should thank candidates who were not selected for their interest in the department and position and should encourage them to continue searching for opportunities on Handshake.  If applicable, it is appropriate to share feedback with interviewees to assist them in their job search. 


All student employees are treated as employees of the University and are required to complete documents as specified by the Office of Enrollment Services. Once you select your student employee, URI Enrollment Services will take care of hiring the student. You will be notified when they are ready to begin work!


Supervisors are responsible for introducing new student employees to your organization, the department/office staff, and any specific policies and procedures. Training should address the student’s specific responsibilities, expectations, goals, and daily tasks. It also is important for supervisors to discuss their expectations regarding attendance, punctuality, and general work performance with student employees when they begin employment. In addition, supervisors should promote the professional development of student employees. Many departments/offices have developed policies and procedures for their student employees and it is strongly encouraged that all departments or offices develop a procedures manual for student employees.

Virtual Supervising & Supporting

Supervising a Student Employee in a Virtual Setting

  • Create a training program that can be delivered online or in person so the student has a strong foundation right from the start. 
  • Select and test the technology that will be ideal for the student employee in accomplishing the projects and tasks. Ensure that they have access to that technology on campus or remotely.
  •  Clearly define expectations and deadlines at the beginning of the students’ employment. All tasks and projects should be carefully planned out in order to allow the student employee to manage the work effectively and independently. 
  • Supervisors and other staff members need to be committed and available to engage with student employees on a consistent basis virtually. 
  • Create a routine schedule with consistent progress checks and support.