GROWTH: Student Talent Development

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GROWTH: Student Talent Development is a framework for enhancing students' on-campus employment through developing and evaluating learning outcomes that contribute to post-graduate success. All UL units hiring student employees categorized as Student Wage or Federal Work-Study are required to participate in SEE. Current participating units include:

Disability Services; Diversity, Inclusion and Multicultural Education; Early Identification Program; International Programs and Services; Leadership Education and Development; Learning Services; Mason Autism Support Initiative; Mason Recreation; New Student and Family Programs; Off-Campus Student Services; Student Centers; Student Involvement; Student Media; Student Success Initiatives; Student Support and Advocacy Center; University Career Services; University Life Central; University Life at Science and Technology Campus; Women and Gender Studies;

The GROWTH framework is made up of four primary components:

  1. An Intake Survey administered to student employees at the beginning of the work cycle to report on their current strengths and what skills they would like to develop in their work roles
  2. Structured, one-on-one conversations between supervisor and student employee that help student employees reflect on their learning and make connections between work, school, and career aspirations
  3. Professional development opportunities for both student employees and supervisors
  4. Outcomes-based evaluations completed by both supervisors and student employees at the end of the first and second halves of the work cycle

Four UL groups are responsible for GROWTH program administration:

Administrative Team (4); Unit Points of Contact (19); Supervisors (80+); Student Employees (500+);

The GROWTH Administrative Team, made up of staff from the Office of UL Assessment and University Career Services (see below), is responsible for managing compliance with GROWTH framework components, developing common learning outcomes for the general rubric, approving role-specific rubrics, promoting student professional development opportunities, providing Point of Contact and Supervisor professional development training, and reporting on evaluation data.

Each unit appoints a GROWTH Point of Contact to act as an intermediary between the unit’s Supervisors and the GROWTH Administrative Team, communicating issues such as expectations, deadlines and troubleshooting.

All UL supervisors of Student Wage and Federal Work-Study employees are required to participate in GROWTH with their supervisees. Supervisors of other types of student employees (e.g., Graduate Student Assistantship) may opt-in and receive the same support from their Unit Point of Contact and the GROWTH Administrative Team.

Supervisors conduct one-on-one guided conversations with their Student Employees a minimum of three times during the work cycle (August-May academic year for most units):

  1. To review the Intake Survey and preview elements of the Evaluation Rubric and discuss goals for the first half of the work cycle (Fall semester for most units).
  2. To discuss the mid-work cycle evaluations (Conducted in December for most units)
  3. To discuss the end-of-work cycle evaluations (Conducted in May for most units)

Supervisors also encourage their Student Employees to attend at least one professional development opportunity during their work cycle. The GROWTH Administrative Team supports Supervisors by regularly posting professional development workshops and events (e.g., Leadership 101, Project Management, Experience Expo) on the Blackboard Org GROWTH Hub Announcements page.  Supervisors can also direct their students to the University Career Services Events webpage (https://careers.gmu.edu/events) to seek out professional development opportunities.

The Division of University Life (UL) at George Mason University is committed to providing student employees with the opportunity to gain valuable skills and co-curricular experiences that will enhance their personal development, professional growth, and academic success. UL's GROWTH: Student Talent Development program (formerly Student Employee Experience) was developed by the Office of UL Assessment and University Career Services to:
  • Support the divisional goal of engaging students in high-impact co-curricular learning experiences
  • More intentionally structure student employment experiences to support intended learning objectives, many of which are connected to skills valuable to future employment
  • Help student employees clarify expectations, set goals, and make connections between learning occurring in the classroom and through on-campus employment
  • Provide student employees and supervisors with the opportunity to discuss performance achievements and address areas that need improvement
  • Develop student employees’ awareness and articulation of their job-related skills, facilitating communication about their job readiness to prospective employers
  • Formally assess development and achievement of student employee learning outcomes

The foundation of the GROWTH program is made up of five core competencies, which are rooted in NACE Career Readiness Standards and CAS Student Learning and Development Outcome Dimensions:

CommunicationSelf-AwarenessWork EthicProblem-SolvingWorking with Others
1. Communication2. Self-Awareness3. Work Ethic4. Problem-Solving5. Working with Others

From these core competencies, ten student learning outcomes were identified and written into rubric form (see PDF below). At the end of the fall and spring semesters, the supervisor and the student employee each complete a GROWTH rubric (“Supervisor Evaluation” and “Self-Evaluation” respectively), enabling direct and indirect assessments of learning outcomes achievement.

Rubric

Coming...

The GROWTH Timeline provides a list of milestones occurring over the course of an annual performance cycle. Associated with each milestone are expected actions, deliverables, responsible parties, recommended dates, and follow-up tasks. The length and start/end dates of an annual performance cycle may vary by unit or employee role. Since most unit and role cycles follow Mason's 9-month academic year (August to May), this is reflected in the timeline below. Units with other cycles should consult with the GROWTH Admin Team about their custom milestone dates.

GROWTH Timeline