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Feel the Teal: Make sure you are having effective student-employee conversations

Student-employees play a vital role in this University’s success, a belief of mine that I have shared with you before. As we approach the start of the fall semester and the return of the bulk of our student body, I believe it is essential to reiterate their importance to service excellence and to maintaining and furthering the traditions of Coastal Carolina University.

CCU employs more than 1,200 student-employees. I am happy to report that more than 400 of them, around 30 percent, have completed the first session of a Feel the Teal® training program specific to student-employees that is available to all students. This is a fantastic start for the program’s first year, but with your help I know we can improve the number of student-employees who participate in “Student Service Basics.”

It is not enough for our students to simply have a job on campus. We need to engage them in thoughtful and purposeful dialogue that is centered on how and why their student jobs are beneficial. Have a conversation with your student-employees about what they are learning in their jobs and through training opportunities. Ask your students to reflect on their experiences as an employee on campus. Here are a few guiding questions that we hope all student-employees are able to answer and that will help you engage in an effective conversation with them:

• What are you learning in your classes that you can apply here at work?
• What are your career goals? How is your job here going to assist you in your future career?
• Give me a couple of examples of things you are learning here at work that you will be using in your chosen profession.

It is our responsibility as educators to have these conversations with our students. Make sure your student-employees are aware of the training available to them via the Feel the Teal® training program, and encourage them to register. Part of our University mission is to provide holistic education for our students, and the learning that happens in a student’s job on campus should be experiential and purposeful. I hope you will join me in giving our student workers the best possible experience.


David A. DeCenzo, Ph.D.

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