Eagle Strong: Work Study Support During a Pandemic

When it became clear Eastern Washington University was going to have to move to online only classes for spring quarter, one of the many groups affected by that decision were our student employees—in particular, our work study students.

Since their federal and state work study awards were part of their financial aid packages, it was imperative to try to provide meaningful work for this group of students, many of whom had jobs that would be dramatically impacted by not being able to physically be on campus.

The Student Employment Office was quick to post resources for student employees to pursue professional development opportunities. Many of these opportunities are part of LinkedIn Learning, a free service available to all EWU faculty, staff and students.

“I am endlessly amazed by the opportunities for adventure that exist right in our backyard,” says Chris Hoppe in his EWU Campus Recreation online bio.

However, one department took this opportunity to do something more.

Chris Hoppe, associate director of EPIC, EWU’s outdoor program, put together a detailed professional development curriculum in Canvas with daily assignments from LinkedIn Learning for his work study students. EPIC student employees were hit particularly hard by the suspension of on-campus activities, since in-person programs are the heart and soul of this award-winning department.

Hoppe and his team not only came up with a Canvas course for spring quarter, he was able to figure how many hours of work each section was worth, thus allowing work study students to quantify their time spent in the Canvas course.  Once a student completes the prescribed lesson in LinkedIn Learning, they receive a certificate which can then be downloaded to fulfill the 1.5 hour assignment for that day.

Not only will these work study students be able to engage in meaningful professional development, they will have certificates to prove their completion. These certificates can also be used to support various career competencies when students write their resumes.

Hoppe and his team have generously shared their Canvas course with departments across campus so all our work study students can participate and benefit from this creative program.

Eagle Strong submission from:

  • Josh Ashcroft, Interim AVP, Campus Life
  • Gini Hinch, AVP Student Resources & Career Development
  • Brooke Nicholson, Africana Studies Program

We know many of you in various departments and units are also planning and doing some special things—so please share with us by submitting your Eagle Strong story at Inside@ewu.edu. Please visit ewu.edu/strong to learn more about the university’s efforts.

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