TMCC College News

Student Employment Creates Sense of Community

Posted: Jul 10, 2014

Picture of Cesar Piedra

Cesar Piedra, ceramics lab assistant at TMCC, loads the kiln with student pottery.

August is the busiest time for student job-seekers in anticipation of Fall semester at Truckee Meadows Community College – continuing a tradition of students helping their peers build a meaningful environment to work and learn.

The fall contract period is from Sept.1 until Dec. 31, and many students start looking for during this time.

“We have a more vested workforce; students helping other students creates a sense of community,” said Valerie Lambert, Program Officer I, Financial Aid. “It also benefits the students by getting work experience.”

A conscientious artist works to share accomplishments with fellow student sculptors

Cesar Piedra has been a ceramics lab assistant in the department for almost two years. He prepares the lab for pottery class, helps beginning students develop skills on the wheel, fills the kilns with class pottery to be fired, cleans up after class projects, and siphons excess water from glazes.

One of his favorite tasks is to make clay because he likes to get his hands “dirty.” But the best part of working in the lab is creating art with other students.

“There’s a lot of art going on in the ceramic lab here, so I get inspired from the atmosphere and the energy that is contagious,” Piedra said. “I help the students on the pottery wheel. They make something, and I make something. We share the feeling of accomplishment.”

Piedra would like someday to become an art instructor at the K-12 or college level.

“Whenever someone asks me for help, I say ‘absolutely,’ because it’s great experience for the art teaching career I’d like to pursue,” Piedra said. “I want to help students achieve their potential.”

Student job positions can help advance academic careers

Students benefit from working on campus by forming a better connection to the school, experiencing a higher retention rate and having an improved chance of completing their degree, said Lambert.

“If you can work 20 hours a week and go to school, studies show this is a very successful formula,” Lambert said.

There have been several successful work-study transfers to the University of Nevada, Reno.

“There was a work-study student in admissions and records at TMCC who got her degree and transferred to UNR,” Lambert said. “She worked in the financial aid office there as a student, was hired full time in financial aid after she got her bachelor’s degree. Now, she just got a job at University of California, Berkeley in their Financial Aid office.”

Student employment can lead to full time professional positions

“A student employee in the financial aid office here who graduated with an associate degree is now working full time at Milan Institute as an adviser in financial aid,” Lambert said. “She was able to land this position based on her work-study experience and her degree.”

Lambert adds that there currently are at least 10 permanent full time classified or professional staff at TMCC who started as student employees.

Students also learn the important informal career skills as a college employee.

“Part of our mission in higher education is to teach job skills like being on time, choosing business attire and communicating in a professional manner,” Lambert said.

Colleges also gain from hiring student staff

“I think our student employees are fabulous; I don’t think you could give them enough credit,” Lambert said. “They’ve really stepped in and helped their fellow students at a time of financial hardship for NSHE.”

During the regular academic year, there are between 200 and 220 student employees. Students are employed in departments including the Tutoring and Learning Center, Financial Aid, Information Technology, Job Preparation Center, Facilities Operations, academic departments and the Institutional Advancement Office.

All Nevada System of Higher Education institutions hire student workers. How the individual colleges fund the positions depends on distribution of the varying number of work-study and regular student employee jobs. Work-study is funded by federal programs, and other student positions are paid for through state support.

More information about work-study programs and student employment can be found on the of TMCC’s financial aid pages. There are also posted as a resource for students; for both on-campus and off-campus employment.

Posted by:
TMCC's Public Information Office
Telephone: 775-673-7087

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