Human Resources Department

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Muhlenberg Presidential Assistantship Program - Day Program

Purpose and Requirements

September 1, 2012

Purpose

To maintain and enhance College services through the appointment of talented undergraduate students to entry-level management positions. To provide students with a significant credential for future employment and/or graduate study.

Commentary

The Presidential Assistantship program for full-time day students consists of a meaningful job experience available to students who are willing to reduce their course load in order to assume responsibilities as a half-time entry-level manager at Muhlenberg College. In exchange, students receive free tuition for a designated number of courses. It should be noted that this waiver of tuition represents a taxable benefit and that participation in this program may extend the student's graduation date. Applicants for open assistantship positions should carefully review the information listed below. Clearly, this program is not for everyone. However, those students who have completed assistantships have been uniform in their praise of the work credential gained and the learning opportunity the experience has provided.

Announcement of Positions

The specific positions available with position descriptions and application instructions will be listed in the Career Connections database no later than March 1 of each year. Career Connections can be found at: http://muhlenberg.experience.com/er/security/login.jsp. To find the list of PA opportunities, search "Muhlenberg College" as the employer name.

If you do not have access to Career Connections, please contact The Career Center at 484-664-3170 or careers@muhlenberg.edu.

Requirements


1.
Presidential Assistants normally will be required to have completed the equivalent of their sophomore year. Depending on student abilities and interest, rising sophomores may receive consideration.

2.
Employment terms, depending on the position and the student, will be as follows:

  • -15 months June 1 through August 15 (summer plus academic year plus summer)
  • -two academic years, August 15 through May 15 of each year
  • -one academic year, August 15 through May 15
  • -one academic year and one summer in combination.

3.
Assistants will follow the management staff work calendar, working half-time (average of 20 hours per week) while enrolling for a half-time course load. For purposes of this program, a half-time course load is defined as two course units during each academic semester and two course units over the complete summer period. Class hours must be scheduled in consultation with the administrative supervisor to assure that satisfactory work schedules are maintained. Assistants are required to enroll through the Wescoe School in order to provide access to both day and Wescoe School courses. Assistants are regarded as part-time employees of Muhlenberg College.

4.
Assistants will be granted tuition remission, a taxable benefit, equal to a half-time load (2 courses per academic term) for the duration of their appointment.  For instance, students whose term of appointment is one academic year (fall and spring semesters) will be granted tuition remission for a total of four course units.  Students whose term of appointment is for one academic year and one summer will be granted tuition remission for a total of six course units.  In instances where an additional course is needed for graduation or completion of a major or minor, special approval may be granted by the Vice President, Human Resources for one additional course unit at no cost during one term of appointment.  Course audit fees do not qualify for tuition remission.  Assistants will also receive a stipend of $600 per month. Withheld from this amount are taxes on both the stipend and the value of the tuition benefit received.  Students will continue to pay the Student Activity Fee and will retain access to health and other student services during their term of employment.  They will be required to declare the value of tuition and stipends as income for federal and state income tax purposes.  For questions regarding tax deductions, other witholding and the effect on monthly stipend checks, students are invited to consult with Ellen Pothering, Controller.  Assistants are eligible for a 10% discount on most items in the Muhlenberg College Bookstore subject to limits established by the bookstore.

5.
Students should be aware that part-time students (2 courses during an academic semester) are not eligible for Dean's List. If students wish to be eligible for the Dean's List, they may choose to carry a three-course load and pay for the third course at Evening College rates.

6.
Students who wish to participate in inter-collegiate athletics are required to carry 3 courses in the semester of competition to retain eligibility.

7.
Assistants will be required to live off campus (not in campus-owned residences, or fraternity or sorority houses) during the term of  employment. This arrangement will allow Assistants to be available during work periods when College residence facilities are closed. During summer periods Assistants may live in College housing at no cost if such housing is available. The campus Housing Office will maintain a list of property rentals in the vicinity of the College as well as a list of students who seek off-campus housing.

8.
Because students in the Presidential Assistantship program are half-time students, health insurers may raise questions about their eligibility for continued coverage under their parents' health insurance plan. This can occur because 2 courses represents part-time student status. This assistantship program is not unlike other college programs where students take lesser load credit to make work experiences possible, i.e., co-op programs where students study for 6 months and work for 6 months, student teaching programs, etc. Parents should inform their health insurance carriers about the details of the program and state that progress toward graduation is being maintained. As necessary, Anne Speck, Vice President, Human Resources is available to contact students' health insurers directly if further explanation is needed about load status. When the above is explained, students have had no problem.

9.
Because of tuition remission and the granting of stipends, Assistants will normally not be eligible for financial aid grants from the College or state and federal sources during the period in which they are employed. However, since each individual's eligibility may be different, students should consult the Financial Aid Office for precise information. Because Assistants maintain half-time load status, they are eligible for Stafford loans. Working half-time and studying half-time will not affect an individual's repayment of loans schedule. Upon return to full student status, Assistants again will be eligible to apply for financial aid.

10.
Assistants are expected to commit themselves to the full employment term agreed to at the time of appointment. Assistants will be evaluated during February each year and will continue to serve at the pleasure of the President and the designated administrative supervisor. Unsatisfactory work habits or job performance could result in the discontinuation of the assistantship at the conclusion of any academic period. This would result in the forfeiture of tuition remission and stipends for the time which remains in the stated term of appointment.

11.
Assistants will be able to participate in the May Commencement ceremony even if courses remain to be taken in the summer sessions which immediately follow. College policy allows seniors to participate in the ceremony as long as no more than three courses remain to be completed during the summer period which follows. Students' names will be printed in the commencement program after they have completed all of the requirements for graduation.
12.

Applications for specific positions should be made through The Career Center as described in the Announcement of Positions section above.  Applicants will be required to submit a letter of application, a completed application form, evidence of good academic standing, and personal references.  Interviews with the administrative supervisor of the position and Anne Speck, Vice President, Human Resources will be required.


13.
Presidential Assistants will be appointed on the recommendation of the designated management staff supervisor with the approval of the President and in consultation with the Vice President, Human Resources.

14.
Assistants will complete orientation sessions on the organization and operation of the College.  They will have the opportunity to participate in discussions dealing with benefits and financial planning in relation to a first job in the workplace.  They will be provided with work space, will be assigned student mailboxes, and will follow administrative work calendars and holiday schedules, attend administrative staff meetings, and carry out work schedules as agreed on with the administrative supervisor during their term of employment. 

Further questions relative to this program should be directed to Anne Speck, Vice President, Human Resources or Alana Albus, Director of The Career Center.